Monday, April 23, 2007

An Upstart Crow

No, not William Shakespeare, though today is the anniversary of the day he died, which for some complicated reasons has traditionally been celebrated as his birthday.

The Crow I mean is Sheryl Crow, whose brilliant idea to solve anthropogenic global warming is to restrict toilet paper usage to one square--except for what she calls "those pesky occasions" when one must use two or three. (I had to wonder if she was somehow channeling the spirit of all fathers blessed with multiple daughters.)

Crow also thinks that paper napkins are potentially deadly in the whole melting-icecaps-oceans-of-doom sense, and has designed a clothing line that comes with sleeves that you can wipe your mouth on, and then detach and replace with another sleeve when you've finished your meal. This is clearly the kind of bold, visionary thinking that can only come from a woman with no children who pays other people to do her laundry.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all for sensible energy conservation, especially if it will help lower our monthly energy bills. God did make us the stewards of this planet, and we're not entitled to throw trash around or hunt today's version of the dodo on the grounds of sport or fashion.

However, despite what you might see in the mainstream media, there's not really any scientific consensus that global warming is caused by humans--and certainly not that it's caused by reckless overconsumption of toilet paper or paper napkins. This isn't stopping the usual suspects from using cries of anthropogenic global warming as their latest front in their never ending battle against the human weed.

I can't really imagine how joyless it would be to view humanity as some kind of evil blight upon the surface of the earth. But there's no denying that quite a few people do hold this view, and that they think the only way to save the world is to make sure there are fewer people in it.

In the short run, the environmental celebrities will settle for making sure that we're all as miserable as possible (except for them, of course: they'll just plant a few trees in the desert as a way of 'offsetting' all the carbon that it takes for them to style their hair). But in the long run, the goal of many mainstream environmental organizations is to restrict human population by whatever means are necessary. You only have to hear some of them speak admiringly of China's solution to its difficult population problem to understand the lengths to which they are willing to go in their efforts to save the planet from people like us.

Pope Paul VI foresaw the danger:

"Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife." Humanae Vitae

As global warming rhetoric heats up, people of faith might need to start paying attention. Silly talk of restricting toilet paper or exterminating paper napkins could turn into quite serious talk of restricting family size or exterminating children not yet born. The war on paper products could become a war on people; there are those who believe that saving the earth means waging an unprecedented war on our own posterity.

1 comment:

AnnonyMouse said...

I liked your post and found it timely as we are in the process of getting "rid" of stuff because we are moving to Texas. The amount of "stuff" we have accumalated in just our 13 years of marriage is staggering. BUT toilet paper and napkin war is just absurd.
One thing I wish our county would do, though, is get rid of the plastic bags and we start using canvas bags as in some countries.