Dear Planet Earth:
I just learned this past week that I owe you an apology. You see, a London-based researcher (probably eager for a little Earth Day publicity to keep his grant extended) released a report saying that fat people are pretty much responsible for global warming. (Matt Drudge, the bottomfeeder of web news aggregation, titled his sensationalistic headline "Scientists' Alert: Fatties Cause Global Warming." Stay classy, Drudge!)
I pondered this concept as I traveled to work the other day, being passed in traffic by petite Washington women driving solo in Hummers and Escalades and Land Rovers (complete with roo bars - because you never know when you might get assailed by cattle or kangaroos en route to your Georgetown hair appointment!) I get that I am using up more fuel by driving a car in general. Any of us behind the wheel is guilty. I live in the suburbs, far enough from a Metro station that I cannot walk with my damaged spine (damaged by - wait for it - a thin Washingtonian woman driving alone in an enormous SUV) and Montgomery County doesn't run buses in my neighborhood on weekends. And considering that someone threw a Big Gulp at me in my car for being fat, I'm not about to start biking on Rockville Pike and find out how much hate there is for someone without the protection of some steel, thanks. I want to or need to go to the store? I drive. But I don't drive aimlessly, and I draw up shopping lists, just like my mom used to do, to maximize my efforts, minimize my travel time, and my impact on the environment.
I live in an area where excess reigns supreme, despite the green rhetoric. White Hummer limousines are not uncommon sights. (Not sure what's worse about that statement, btw: white limousine or Hummer limousine?) Saw one parked outside the Apple store in downtown Bethesda just two nights ago at oh-so-tony Bethesda Row. You cannot walk a block in downtown DC without seeing a dozen people with disposable coffee cups in their hands (usually, it's coffee cup in one hand, Crackberry in the other) - and 99% of those babies are not ending up in a recycling bin at home or at work. There are people here with homes that require the GNP of a medium-sized African country to cool in the summer and heat in the winter. You can find receptions all over this region, night after night, with seas of bottled water and tons of wasted food. That London scientist? His suggestion is that one of the reasons fat people cause the seas to rise and the ice caps to melt is because of all the increased food production. Apparently, he's never been to a reception full of well-heeled K Street lobbyists, piles of water bottles, and a four-foot-high fountain of shrimp. Let's face it - this is a place where a lot of people live high on the decadently disposable hog on a regular basis.
But I don't. Nor do my friends. But none of us are poster children for Washington wealth.
Would it be different if we had the big bucks?
Even if I had the moolah to be a gas-guzzling wastrel, it just wouldn't appeal to me. I'd like to think I'm making efforts to help maintain your health, Mother Earth. But apparently, since I'm fat, I'm doing more damage than the self-indulgent boneheads I see filling up their 7-feet-to-the-gallon urban assault vehicles with premium gas. Go figure. Who would have guessed? It's just another reason Why Fat People Suck, it would appear. Do we all get trophies for our continuing suckage?
Guess I'll go hide my face in abject shame now. I'm killing you, dear Planet Earth. Is there a big scarlet F for fat that I should have tattooed on my forehead, or perhaps velcroed to my chest? Dear god, no one should be seen with me! (Well, at least the strange, lycra-clad bike courier who propositioned me on my way into the office on Wednesday wasn't offended by me or my global warming-inducing size. He wanted to - and I quote: "Dive into all that hot loveliness." Of course, I could not take him up on his offer for many, many reasons. Lord knows, I would not have wanted that "hot loveliness" to further increase your temperature and climatic damage, dear planet. Of course, it was also only 43 degrees outside, he wanted to "do it" under the giant magnolia directly outside the entrance to my office, and, unsurprisingly, I didn't want to know what was under the dirty lycra leggings.)
Listen, Earth: I'm walking. I'm trying to eat right. I'm limiting my driving. I freaking recycle every damn thing I can. Apparently, that isn't enough, though.
If I became a skinny Washington babe and drove a massive car all alone, would that be better? Would my global warming activities be less offensive to the general public?
I know. I'll just try to breathe less. How 'bout that?
Personally, I think shutting down Drudge's website would bring about a massive reduction in hot air and pollution. But that's just me.
Hugs and kisses, dear planet. Dig your crust, love ya to the core.