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Friday, March 02, 2007

Footprint Reduction

Porcupines are naturally careful with the environment. For instance, in a recent photo, observe the burrow of a cousin hibernating in Maine on some land that Porcupine owns. (None of us are at our best while hibernating)

However, Porcupine admits to living in rather more luxurious quarters on Cape. It is nothing compared to former Vice President Gore's digs, with a heated cee-ment pond and 22 rooms. The ecological Vice President assures us that he is carbon-neutral, however, as when his use of special light bulbs and such has not been sufficient, he has purchased carbon offsets, a rich man's coping strategy which strikes Porcupine as being rather like purchasing a substitute for $300 so you don't have to go fight in the Civil War.

Nevertheless, Porcupine is intrigued with the idea of reducing his Carbon Footprint, despite the wooden messenger. His own burrow has already been properly weatherized by the Cape Light Compact people, the roof and windows replaced, the switch to gas heat was years ago, and there are no automatic lights or sprinklers. Also, Porcupine has no washing machine, preferring to patronize a laundromat with a proper filtering system and holding tank for gray water, and also has no dishwasher. That is why Porcupine is married, after all.

However, Porcupine has one other major appliance - his beloved Patriot Blue PT Cruiser, often referred to as the 'Clown Car' - seen below.

The car was purchased new in 2002 with only 14 miles on it. Now, it has 143,000 and has been a devoted political worker - sign hauler, people mover and roving billboard. When Porcupine got the car, its unusual stying was still a novelty. Now, it is a popular and reliable car seen more and more often on the roads.

But - its best mileage is 24 MPG. So, Porcupine has turned to a newer model which gets 37 MPG and is a cleaner running car altogether - the 2007 Honda Fit Sport.

Porcupine expects to enjoy the new car, but there will always be a soft spot in his heart for the Clown Car, the first new car he had. Of course, years ago, Porcupine's Father bought his first new car in his late sixties, a Dodge Shadow which could talk - indeed, he would sometimes drive it around in order to hear the robot voice intone 'FUEL is LOW' or 'A DOOR is AJAR' (which always seemed like a Beat Poet philosophical statement). Still, THAT was the voice of the FUTURE! And now, the with its gizmos (will Porcupine be forced to get an MP3 player since it plugs into the dashboard for podcast listening?) and endurance (Low Emission Certified) also feels like the future.

That's the best part of reducing your Carbon Footprint - it feels like a step into a new future. Perhaps one with Cape Cod ocean windmills in it.


Blogger T. F. Stern said...

You reminded me when you brought up the "talking car". Nissan used to have one, "Key is in the ignition" that would go off as long as the door was ajar. It would drive me crazy during a job where I had to make an ignition key from scratch. I made up my own jingles, "Lower Tariff to Japan" and things like that.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

Hey Peter, looks like we're in another blog battle. May the best blog win.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Newlyn P VanderVoot said...

Well, there's good news and bad news. Judging be you selection of vehicle, you are clearly on your way to reducing your carbon footprint.

Unfortunately, your testosterone footprint is now a 2.5 narrow.

1:09 PM  

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