Sunday, December 14, 2008

Toying with Planet Earth -- Ho! Ho! Ho! -- ??


Honey ! -- I shrunk the Yule Log !

Carbonized Roasts of Christmas Past ?

Toys' carbon footprint: The gift that gives for centuries

In the spirit of the Holidays, let us ask where are the toys that will teach our children and grandchildren to love Planet Earth ?

I suppose they exist, but after a recent trip to the local toy store and after scanning the extensive toy ads from the Sunday paper here in San Diego, I can only assume they rarely escape from Santa's workshop. Or, perhaps Santa's North Pole workshop is now underwater, sadly?

As another climate-insensitive barometer...? -- a recent list of Top-10 toys from a supposedly savvy American nonprofit group, which they judged to be very cool for kids and good buys for parents, contains not a single toy with any global warming- or recycling-related content or meaning. Dumb and dumber.

Hence, to rectify the collective oversight of the American toy industry, here below I list my own Top-20 suggestions for toys, board and video games to teach our children well that carbon footprints are not left in sand, but in concrete -- forever:

(1) Carbie Doll cooks with solar !

(2) Carbon Capture Cowboys corral beef-eaters !

(3) Let's Play Greenhouse Gas !

(4) Grand Theft Carbon Footprint !

(5) Global Warming Sea-level Simulation Kit

(6) Guess that Extinct Species !

(7) Hot Topics in Global Warming !

(8) Name that Carbon Offset Scam !

(9) Cloning around with today's New Dinosaurs

(10) 1st-person Carbon Looter Video Game !

(11) Continental Desertification in 10 easy steps !

(12) Septic tank Methane-capture home-lighting kit !

(13) Whack-a-Coal-fired Power Plant !

(14) Pinocchio Swears he Really Produces Offsets !

(15) Thomas the Tank Engine™ ditches Coal, goes Nuclear !

(16) Curious George™ inhales Nitrous Oxide !

(17) Solar Power Rangers™

(18) Edible carbon-based Beanie Babies™

(19) Winnie the Pooh™ home-brew organic gardening kit, and, finally

(20) Street-legal U.N. Clean Development Mechanism Cashectomy Kit !

Whether you believe in global warming or not, it's probably best to teach our children to leave Planet Earth just like God made it, without modifying His original atmospheric recipe tooooo much. Therefore, all toys sold today should carry labeling describing:

-- (1) the carbon footprint that resulted from their manufacture, and how this was or was not offset (don't buy the latter)

-- (2) the percentage content and origin of recycled materials, and

-- (3) directions for later disposing of or recycling the toy to further minimize its carbon footprint.

Vote with your holiday dollars today by only buying environmentally-sensitive toys. Low carbon-footprint toys will be a gift not just for your children, but for all future generations of children too. Once carbon is released into the atmosphere, it will linger there for centuries. Consider deeply today your environmental legacy 50 - 100 years hence. Will your great grandchildren really enjoy their beach-front home in Gainesville, Florida, or will they wonder why Great Grandpa ate 16-ounce steaks every Sunday and stuffed himself and the atmosphere with CO2 ? Not to mention the @%$&load of methane both he and the cows made along the way.

There's still 11 days left until Christmas. It's not toooo late to change your shopping list -- and your carbon footprint !

Happy holidays ! Ho! Ho! Ho!

David A. Palella
Caped Carbon Crusader

San Diego, CA
tel: 858-793-0741