I Do Enjoy the Al Franken

I’ve been listening to Al Franken’s audio book (also available in print of course) Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. Here’s an excerpt just for you:

I want to draw you a word picture of a lagoon you may remember from Gilligan’s Is­land, where a caged lion or an Indian in a canoe might wash up just to get that week’s episode rolling. This lagoon is a rectangle the size of three football fields, lined with 40-mil high-density polyethyl­ene and filled, to a depth of thirty feet, with pig shit.

Now imagine that, at the bottom of the lagoon, pebbles have punctured the liner, allowing the liquefied pig shit to seep under and ferment. A bubble is growing. The polyethylene liner rises like a creature from the brown lagoon. It breaks the surface, spilling a pungent stew of untreated feces and urine into a nearby creek. An undocumented Guatemalan worker is ordered to puncture the liner with a shotgun blast. Retching, he fires. The swollen liner re­treats into the fetid depths. Mission accomplished.

The next day, however, one of the most magnificent sights in all of nature, a shit geyser, explodes into the afternoon sky. Those working nearby watch the pillar rise ten, then twenty, then thirty feet above the lagoon. It is as though the Earth itself is afflicted with a virulent case of projectile diarrhea.

Hold that image in your mind.

George W. Bush is the worst environmental president in our nation’s history. As you read this, his self-interested coterie of in­dustry shills are dismantling the protections that you and I take for granted.

Our air, water, and wildlife are under attack. How could this have happened under the watch of a man who spoke so passionately and with such quiet eloquence to this very issue in his very first presidential Earth Day speech?

“Each of us understands that our prosperity as a nation will mean little if our legacy to future generations is a world of polluted air, toxic waste, and vanished forests. … I en­courage Americans to join me in renewing our commitment to protecting the environment and leaving our children and grandchildren with a legacy of clean water, clean air, and nat­ural beauty.”

I know I joined him in renewing my commitment. Not too many people realize how much celebrities can do to improve the envi­ronment. Remember how I’m a nut for statistics? Well, not too many people realize this, but show biz celebrities make up just .000000001 percent of the world’s population, and yet consume nearly 37 percent of its resources. For example, every day, sev­enteen acres of rain forest are consumed by Barbara Streisand alone.

Finish reading this chapter (and more on the lagoon) at http://skeptically.org/env/id13.html

And for good measure – Al Franken vs Stephen Colbert