I was wondering why it was almost midnight with no article in the queue, and then I remembered: No actual letters! When I don't get your questions for advice, the creative juice takes a lot longer to flow. Writing an advice column without having anyone for advice is kind of like playing Checkers by yourself.
So I am going to offer advice to the whole world. We want to save the planet, right? We want more natural ecologal systems to thrive, right? I have a great idea to make this happen:
Let us all agree, as a human race, that any place north of the latitude of Tulsa, Oklahoma is TOO FREAKING COLD to live in.
First of all, I do not give a rat's cheek what some scientists have to say about global warming. "SOUND THE ALARM," they shriek, as Al Gore types the notes on his laptop, "At the current rate of warming, Detroit will have a December climate habitable for human beings in 716 years!" But if saving the planet and the environment and trees and whales are what they are all about, I say let us join forces. Let us combine my vision with that of the environmentalists, and declare by international fiat that people have to move.
That means everybody who lives north of latitude 35 degrees. (I have a globe on my desk, in case you were wondering. Technically I suppose I am "looking something up," but the great thing about a globe is you don't have to pull books off a shelf or type in a search-string. Just spin the ball on the axis.)
My globe tells me that this edict would require the migration of the entire continent of Europe to warmer climates, like the Sahara desert, for example. Also, everyone in Asia north of Iran has to move. Luckily no one in India has to move; all 1.4 billion of them can stay put. Mongols will have to migrate, but it is about time a hoard emerged out of those steppes--they are overdue.
We need to get human beings OUT of the too freaking cold places like "Canada" and in to places where a normal month of night-times does not require $400 worth of heating fuel. What we would save on heat energy HAS to have a positive effect on our green-house emissions. Plus, think of what we would save on road maintenance, rock-salt, and automobile longevity. An the planet from 35 degrees north to the North Pole, would be uninhabited wilderness, where baby seals, rather than being harvested by human beings with clubs, can be more humanely eaten by polar bears.
Put it this way: Why is Cuba still a rogue Communist state, while the Soviet Union collapsed? Because Cubans are not in danger of freezing to death. All that business about needing fuel was a BIG deal to the Soviets. In Cuba, fuel is nice, but if you lose power in the middle of the night, oh well. The Russians, on the other, in case you have not noticed, share the North Pole with Norway, Canada, and the US state of Alaska. Russians get COLD. And when the masses of Russians are in danger of freezing to death, they get testy and begin to look for new solutions. So, good-bye Soviet Politburo, but the Castros still rule in Cuba.
Egypt has historical continuity for 5000 years. Egypt is a WARM place. But you cannot keep a map of Europe around for 20 years and have it still make sense. Europe is a cold place, so its people move around and sometimes bring their borders with them.
My idea is to migrate all Europeans and Russians into the interior deserts of Africa and Arabia. This has the following advantages: 1) It would return most of the Eurasian continent to its pristine pre-human ecology beauty 2) It would give Europe another crack at redrawing Africa's and Arabia's borders, since the reason they did such a botched job in the post-Colonial withdrawal is that they did not stick around to LIVE in the nation-states they invented. 3) It would give Caucasian American liberals migrating into Latin America, and Europeans in Africa, the opportunity to look subsistence farmers from the third world in the eye and say, "Sir, please stop slashing and burning to enlarge your farm to keep you family from starving. You see, the Earth needs the oxygen. And since we white people have already deforested everything up north of 35 degrees, I'm afraid we will have to prevent you from farming in the timeless tradition of your ancestors. So we are passing machete-control legislation."
That would be a great moment to watch. Only I would want to watch the results of this attempt to "educate" third world farmers while from hiding, because I would rather not be identified as a white person when those chips start to fall.
Humanity has the technology to move into the deserts, live by solar power, and drive without fear of pot-holes. The Saudis already process sea-water through desalinization plants. All we would need is a pipeline, and we would have all the water we needed. And here is the thing. Take every man woman and child in the world, and give them one acre of land, and you can fit the ENTIRE population of the world into Texas. Texas is approximately dwarfed by the Sahara Desert. So there is plenty of room to redistribute humankind.
Tell me why this is a bad idea. "Oh, but Dear Jon, I love the depressed melancholy that hovers over Europe and North America during the dark winter months when we each retreat into the isolation of our heated havens." "Oh, but Dear Jon, if we did not spend our discretionary money keeping ourselves from freezing to death, we would not know what to do with it!" "But Chicago is my HOME! And if we can't talk about how the careers of our mayors get ruined if they call out the snow-plows too late, what is there left to talk about?"
Everybody who has lived through warmth during winter and seasonable temperatures in the summer, knows what I am talking about. That would include President-elect Barak Obama, who has experienced Hawaii and Chicago. Unless he is a blooming idiot, he KNOWS which lifestyle makes more sense for humanity. So, Mr. President, it IS a good idea to migrate every American south of Tulsa, and you know it. By doing this we can set the moral example of leadership for the world. I await your executive order.