President Barack Obama, rebounding off his pivot from giving speeches on race relations in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict to giving speeches about the economy, surprised the White House press corps yesterday when he abruptly pivoted back to climate change, announcing his intention to give a series of speeches designed to stop the rising tides and cool the raging heat.
In what pundits described as a response to the trending media meme demonizing air conditioning as a major source of carbon pollution, the President, appearing in the White House briefing room dressed only in swim trunks, announced that for the duration of the summer, all thermostats in the White House will be set to 85 degrees.
"Some accused me of hypocrisy when I warned aspiring Africans that, 'If everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over.' To combat this false impression and demonstrate my commitment to spreading the sacrifice around, I am today announcing a series of steps designed to bring Americans' lifestyle in line with the more Earth-friendly practices of our brothers and sisters in developing nations."
"First, I have instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new regulations that would require the replacement of all home and office thermostats with government-approved units that cannot be set lower than 85 degrees for cooling or higher than 60 degrees for heating. Enforcement of this retrofit program will be handled by experienced Toilet Police SWAT teams."
"Second, I am calling on my friends in Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the fashion industry to design more climate-appropriate clothing while promoting the virtues of natural hygienic standards. What could be more environmentally insensitive than wearing a suit and tie in the summer, requiring office air conditioning to remain comfortable? What could be more wasteful of our limited water resources than bathing every day? If we are going to save the environment for future generations, we must set a better example for the world and make it trendy to sweat in the summer, shiver in the winter, and give up our showering fetish."
"Finally, in a world where billions of our fellow human beings have no access to electric power, we can neither afford the luxury of 24/7 electricity use nor tolerate the abject unfairness of such conspicuous consumption. Having been stymied by partisan obstructionists in my efforts to make coal, oil, and gas prohibitively expensive, I have issued an executive order commanding all fossil fuel power plants to shut down for one hour out of every four. Not only will this improve the competitive viability of wind, solar, and burning dried cow dung, but the consequent reduction in energy consumption will help restore the balance of nature distorted by selfish aberrations like refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and hot water heaters.
Former President Jimmy Carter, the last Nobel Prize winner to occupy the Oval Office, praised the president's initiative, and sent him an autographed picture of himself wearing the sweater he made famous during the 1970s energy crisis. "I knew it was just a matter of time before my policies were proven right by a president as deeply committed to equality and social justice as I."
Fellow Nobel Prize winner Al Gore also endorsed the president's program, and issued a statement promising to restrict the use of his heated swimming pool to even-numbered days and his private jet to odd-numbered ones.
Reaction from analysts was mixed. Stock in the Dial Corporation, makers of Right Guard Deodorant, soared, while Carrier Corporation declared bankruptcy. Former Enron advisor and Nobel Prize-winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman offered his conditional support provided the president funded a job corps program that would put millions of Americans to work fanning each other on hot summer days. "While not as effective at stimulating economic growth as a category five hurricane, decreasing our dependence on labor-saving devices is the surest way to increase employment."
The President did not answer questions and boarded Air Force One to take him to Martha's Vineyard.