I spent the weekend at the Public Interest and Environmental Law Conference. It featured speakers from across the United States and from 27 countries. These speakers discussed problems about conflicts over fresh water, GMOs in food, mild drug pollution in water and in food that causes no immediate harm but makes viruses more drug resistant, ocean acidification, and a host of other nastiness.
To me the fresh water issues were the most interesting because the Pentagon and non-military agencies are predicting that fresh water will be the cause of many conflicts in the next few decades. Conflict does not necessarily mean war but it can be a legal fight that takes months or years to sort out.
Having heard this list of problems I was a little overwhelmed at first about how to solve all this crap. But then I put on my Kid Logic thinking cap.
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ISH: So what do you believe is the American Dream?
KID LOGIC: Oh. That’s easy… a house… with a picket fence.
ISH: Did you forget to draw the garage for your car?
KID LOGIC: No I will have a helicopter… and that way I won’t need to spend money maintaining roads. Everybody could just maintain parking lots for helicopters… and the little landing pad thing for the helicopter in my yard.
ISH: Your helicopter would cause pollution from the fuel. How will you solve that?
KID LOGIC: My helicopter will run on electricity. That will be better than fuel and less smokey.
ISH: Electricity is not a clean energy source. It still requires coal, or hydroelectric dams that impact fish and wildlife, or nuclear power which has waste. Even wind fans have some environmental issues. Electricity is not clean energy.
KID LOGIC: But my helicopter will use clean energy because I will invent a portable reactor that makes lots of energy inside of it… and also stores energy… and it will fit in my backpack. I can plug it into my helicopter… or my house… and it will last for over 10 years, and then I can trade it in for a new one. Plus it will be free. I can just turn it into the reactor shop and they will give me a new one for helping the environment by recycling the old battery.
ISH: Wouldn’t that have radiation and be dangerous to carry in your backpack?
KID LOGIC: No silly. I would make it without radiation.
ISH: Oh… well… that makes sense… I guess. What kind of job will you have to afford all this stuff? A house and helicopter will be expensive.
KID LOGIC: I will have free energy and free food. Free stuff will bring the costs of a lot of things down so I wouldn’t need a hard job… I could work an easy job that pays enough for me to go to Disney World and that’s all.
ISH: Well, it is true that there is a direct correlation between oil prices and food prices, so free energy will definitely bring down food prices and costs for other things. But, if I understood you correctly, did you say food will be free?
KID LOGIC: Yes.
ISH: Where does this free food come from?
KID LOGIC: The chocolate volcano in my backyard.
ISH: A chocolate volcano?
KID LOGIC: Yes. I will eat chocolate three times a day, every day. The volcano will erupt every Thursday night … and then Friday morning all the kids and mommies and daddies all over the world can spend Friday morning collecting the chocolate that fell from the sky. With free food and free energy there will be less crime because people won’t need so much.
ISH: Won’t you be in school Friday mornings?
KID LOGIC: No. Eating is more important than school… so they won’t have school anymore on Fridays. And everyone will only take what they need for the week to survive so that there will be enough for everyone to share.
ISH: Wow… okay… won’t the chocolate volcano knock the helicopters out of the sky when it erupts to spread chocolate?
ISH: Well? Will the volcano eruptions knock the helicopters out of the sky?
KID LOGIC: No.
KID LOGIC: Because I will tell people not to fly on Thursday nights.
ISH: Well, what about the health problems?
KID LOGIC: What do you mean?
ISH: If people eat chocolate all the time, that will make them fat and all their teeth will fall out. They might even get a disease?
KID LOGIC: Well… the chocolate would be good chocolate and not bad chocolate. My chocolate volcano makes chocolate that makes diseases go away, and it makes people strong and it doesn’t cause teeth to fall out because it makes people’s teeth straight to they don’t need braces.
ISH: Does that mean your chocolate volcano has drugs in the chocolate? There are a lot of problems with diluted drugs in food and water supplies which are creating super-bacteria. How would your chocolate volcano heal so many people? Drugs constantly in the food and water supply can be bad. Will it have GMOs in it?
KID LOGIC: These are the stupidest questions. It’s a natural chocolate volcano not a GMO volcano! Why would you think my chocolate volcano would be a bad volcano? Have you ever met a chocolate volcano that didn’t make people healthier?
ISH: Well… technically no…
KID LOGIC: Have you ever met a chocolate volcano that didn’t make people’s teeth sooo straight they never need to go to the dentist and they never have cavities?
ISH: No… but…
KID LOGIC: Okay good. Next question.
ISH: Okay… well… what about the chocolate that is left on the ground. People may not be able to find every little piece of it. That would be a lot of pollution.
KID LOGIC: There won’t be any pollution… at least not very long.
KID LOGIC: Because I will get Pac-Man to eat all the excess chocolate, and ghosts, and pollution. He’d eat all the pollution in the whole world. In the water, on the ground, and in the air. He’d get it all on the morning that the volcano erupts so that the planet would be extra clean for the new chocolate to fall from the volcano. And then Pac-Man would go around again the day after the volcano erupted to clean up any extra chocolate people left. So he would be well fed because he would eat twice a week.
ISH: Do you really think Pac-Man could go around the whole world in one morning?
KID LOGIC: If Santa Claus can deliver presents to kids around the world all in one night, then Pac-Man can eat all the pollution in the world in one morning. Santa has to think a lot and read his list when he is delivering presents and steer when the reindeer are flying… but all Pac-Man has to do is think about eating pollution, and eating ghosts, and eating extra chocolate that people don’t pick up.
ISH: Fair enough. Wow… so you solved world hunger… the global energy crisis… pollution… and health care in ten minutes.
KID LOGIC: Yeah I know. So what did you do today?