Similar to every American company trying to turn around its public appearance, I care about global warming. I've put in compact fluorescent bulbs, brought reusable bags to the grocery store, and tried to find cow chips to replace my gas heat. These steps are a start, but I don't think they're enough to keep the Earth from dying in a smoggy hoo-hah.
That's why I'm lobbying to take school buses off our streets.
Oh, don't give me that look. The average school bus gets 8 to11 miles-per-gallon, and we're complaining about the SUVs that get 13? Please. Obviously, our problem isn't the original Hummer or the H2. Heck, our problem isn't even the forthcoming Hummerllenium, a Hummer-based limousine targeted at consumers rather than limo companies.
No, our problem is the laziness of America's school children.
We all know its true. Today's kids are becoming fatter than frightened blowfish, chubbier than cherubs. Part of the problem is the food we're feeding our kids (look for fat-laden Hummerllenium Chips in school cafeterias this fall). But the larger issue is that we're keeping our kids trapped inside like calves in veal pens. These children need exercise.
That's why I'm advocating that children walk to school, no matter how far away that school is.
I mean, how many times have you heard an elderly person complain about how they had to walk 15 miles to school when they were young? Dozens of times! And these elderly people turned out great! I mean, sure, they got old, but otherwise they're fine, and a lot of them are skinny. Some are even frail!
Some people would say that taking school buses off the streets isn't the solution, and that parents would just drive their kids to school instead, making vehicle-exhaust problems even worse. But, I tell you, that's not going to happen. Why not? We'll make driving children to school illegal. And hey, with the money we earn ticketing parents, we can buy carbon credits galore!
You might be ready to celebrate this eco-conscious change over a dinner of grass-fed, free-range steak. But the school buses are only the beginning.
We need to take the fire trucks off the streets, too.
Have you seen these things recently? Giant, lumbering vehicles that spew black exhaust into the air. Now, I know I'm going to get a lot of push-back on this one, because according to my Men of Engine 69 calendar, firefighters are already quite fit. They don't need the exercise like our children do. But look at it this way: Fire engine exhaust contributes to global warming, right? And global warming creates the hot conditions that lead to forest fires. So, if we remove the fire trucks from the streets, we won't have the hot conditions that lead to fires in the first place. Ta-da!
And don't worry, If I can't get the government to take the school buses and fire trucks off the streets, I do have a backup plan for childhood obesity: We'll make the kids fight fires.
Follow Meg Favreau on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ihaveapuma