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Loopy liberal lawsuits: a look at some possible upcoming litigation sparked by the fact that the government is being pressured to list polar bears as an endangered species because of global warming.

"Jocko! Jocko!" Marie yelled to her husband. "This came in the mail! This came in the mail!" Marie waved a sheaf of papers as she scurried to the house, holding mail in one hand and 13-month-old Charlie in the other. "It says that we're going to get sued," she burst out as she got closer.

"Let me see that, please," Jocko replied, as he stomped dirt from his too-large, knee-high rubber boots and wiped his hands on his jeans. Marie handed him the letter, and he began to read parts of it aloud as he walked into the house and sat down at the kitchen table: "'Mr. Johannsen, this letter is to inform you that the Association for Animal Lovers Everywhere intends to sue you pursuant to violations of the Endangered Species Act. Your farm operations have been determined by us to have a detrimental effect on U.S. populations of polar bears. Your operations ...'"

"Wait a minute, Jocko," Marie interjected. "Check the address and make sure that we were the ones who were supposed to get that letter."

"Yep," he said after glancing at the envelope, "it says, 'Johannsen--1312 Grouse Lane, Lakewood, Wisconsin.' That's us."

"You'd think that if that group that is planning to sue us really represents animal lovers everywhere, they'd know their geography well enough to know that there aren't any polar bears here in Wisconsin."

Jocko momentarily reads to himself before answering, "They know that, Honey. Evidently, our farm emits a gaseous vapor that 'is a greenhouse gas and has a negative effect on our planet's climate and ...'"

"They say we're causing global warming? Do you think they realize we run a tree farm?"

Jocko silently reads more of the letter. "Yep, they know. Listen to this: 'A peer-reviewed study, which was published in Nature magazine, conclusively demonstrates that trees give off methane gas, a gas that's thousands of times worse as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide."

"Wait a minute again. Didn't we just win an award from this same environmental group last year for the good job we were doing planting trees because trees use carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and turn it into oxygen, not a greenhouse gas?"

"Yep, but it appears they've taken on a new perspective of our activities since it was discovered that trees released methane gas, and polar bears made it onto the endangered species list."

"Don't they know that trees have been around basically forever and nothing is more natural than trees?"

"Apparently, Honey, our trees aren't natural," Jocko stated, further perusing the letter.

"Excuse me, what?"

"Yeah, it says right here: 'Because your farm operations have altered the use of the land from its natural state, your trees are considered to be an anthropogenic (human caused) source of methane gas and are subject to legal action under the Endangered Species Act.'"

"So if we merely owned a forest that grew naturally, we wouldn't be subject to the Endangered Species Act?"

"That's the way I read it."

"I wonder if they realize that in natural forests, trees topple and rot; and rotting vegetation emits tons of methane gas, while our trees are cut for lumber and paper?"

"I guess not."

"Speaking of what happens to trees, just what do the environmentalists hope to accomplish by suing us?"

"It says here, 'You must cease and desist from cultivating trees and ...'"

"If we do that, we won't have any income, and we'll be the endangered species."

"And it says 'you must remediate your land and return it to the state it was in before you started the tree farm."

"But most of the land was swamp when we started, full of decaying matter, which emits tons of methane gas," Marie said, as she massaged her temples with her one free hand in an obvious effort to stave off a tension headache. "And around those swamps, trees will eventually sprout and grow naturally, and they will emit methane gas! And until the new trees-to-be grow, there won't be any animal habitat around here, and we'll have animals die off around here. This makes no sense."

"I agree, Honey."

"Out of curiosity, does that letter say how much of the world's supply of methane is from anthropogenic, or human caused, sources?"

"Trees, both the anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic ones together, are estimated to emit as much or more methane than the 200 million tonnes assumed to be generated by the two major sources of anthropogenic methane--energy production and domesticated animals--combined."

"You're kidding? Pet poop and farm animal poop are main sources of human caused methane."

"That's what it says."

"Considering that trees have been around forever and they've been studied nearly forever and that it has only been realized recently that trees help cause global warming, I wonder if the people who study global warming have realized that the human population on Earth has risen by almost two trillion since 1980--about the time people say global warming got its start?"

"Where are you going with this?"

"Well, people's poop puts off methane too, and there seems to be a correlation between the rise in human population and the rise in worldwide temperatures, and so I'm just surprised that the environmentalists aren't suing every woman who has a baby for violating the Endangered Species Act."

"Shhh, don't give them any ideas."
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Title Annotation:HUMOR
Author:Williamsen, Kurt
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 20, 2006
Previous Article:Windfall profits for the government.
Next Article:"Tough love"--or torture?

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