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Sometimes folks get so carried away with their passions they just go plain crazy – and I’m not talking about Tiger Woods.
I’m talking about two Environmentalists at Victoria University.
In addition to wrestling with the problem of trying to be open-minded instead of blinded by their passion to save the planet Environmentalists (especially at universities) suffer from the handicaps of intellectual pretensions and moral indignation – but, still, it comes as a shock to read a couple of well-meaning (I think) tree huggers have crossed the line and sailed into hysteria by calling for eliminating pet dogs to combat global warming.
It turns out, according to Environmentalists Robert and Brenda Vale, man’s best friend has a carbon paw print more than double a gas-guzzling SUV. The Vales proved this astounding fact beyond a shadow of a doubt by studying pet foods, how much the average dog eats and the land required to grow (or graze) the food. Then they announced with absolute confidence:  Fido must go. Another scientist at the Stockholm Institute, doing his own study, confirmed their theory, adding primly, “Owning a dog is really quite an extravagance.”
What happened next was even more peculiar:  The Vales sparked an international uproar with, of all people, the French leading the counter attack. You wouldn’t expect it but in cynical France there is an animal rights group with thirty million members – so now the tree huggers and the ‘don’t wear fur crowd’ are going at it hammer and tongs with the French saying adamantly that eliminating pets will be every bit as devastating (emotionally) as the icecaps melting.

“Pets are antidepressants,” the commander of thirty million Frenchmen declared and another Frenchwoman, the proud owner of seven cats and two dogs – the environmental equivalent of a small fleet of cars – told the tree huggers defiantly, “Our animals give us so much that I don’t feel like a polluter at all.” 

In retreat the Environmentalists made a counteroffer:  Get rid of the dogs, they said, and buy a hen. A hen lessens its environmental liability by laying edible eggs. Or better yet, if you want a pet, buy a rabbit. Owning rabbits as pets is a foolproof way to save the planet. Then the Environmentalists added – provided you eat them.

In some academic circles – unrelated to this controversy – for decades philosophers have been debating the idea of human progress and citing, say, mankind’s no longer believing that the earth is flat as proof we are steadily marching toward sunlit uplands of enlightenment.
On the other hand, there are those who say all that happens from age to age is we go from one set of crazy ideas to another.
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009 5:29 PM
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