The Clean Air Bandits is a mish-mash of reprehensible characters whose only goal is to maximize profits. If that results in a smoggy, smoky atmosphere, the Bandits figure they’ve sort of “made off” with some clean air. It’s treated like some backwards badge of honor. This month, the Foul Friend award was going to Smokey Fumes.
“Thank you, thank you,” Smokey began after accepting the award. “I’m humbled to be here in the presence of past award winners such as Parry Tickulates. But I wouldn’t have been able to disrupt so many summer travel and vacation plans had it not been for the decades-long efforts of giants such as Carl Bon-Dioxide, and May Thane. Carl…May… Come on up!” Amidst a thunderous round of applause May and Carl joined Smokey.
“I’ll admit,” Smokey continued, “I’ve made a big splash recently. But you two, along with your greenhouse gas (GHG) buddies, silently go about your work day after day, slowly raising the air temperature and making my work easier.” With that, Smokey held up a newspaper headline he’d clipped – ‘Earth Reaches Hottest Day Ever Recorded 4 Days in a Row!’ “Folks got all upset because for several days they could actually see and smell me. But I’ve got to hand it to you two! Being invisible and tasteless you just keep multiplying mostly unnoticed. Just image if folks could see and smell the increasing damage you do to their precious atmosphere every day. They’d be jumping all over themselves to shut you down!” Smokey concluded.
“Thank you, Smokey. You’re right,” May agreed. “But I think humans are smarter than you’re giving them credit for. I’ve been watching ordinary folks take steps to reduce their GHG emissions. You know…all the usual stuff – raise the AC a couple degrees, limit or combine vehicle trips and so on. And for summer travel they’re buying Solar Renewable Energy Credits (sRECs) from reliable sources like Legacy Solar Coop - legacysolarcoop.org/purchase-srecs/ to help offset their GHG emissions.
“It’s really not that surprising,” May concluded, “because this is humankind’s only home. It’s where they’re all forever…Earthbound.”