Smashing Pumpkins

Some time ago, I posted about “The Greening of Lent”, where environmentalists gave people the charge to reduce their “carbon footprint” during the 40 days before Easter. Now, the kooks have moved their attention to Halloween costumes and fall festivities to deliver their politically correct message. If the thought of skeletons, zombies and angry clowns coming to your house tonight for free food makes you tense, you’ll be happy to know there are some new creatures that may be coming to your door.

The Department of Energy is encouraging potential ghosts and goblins to dress as alternative energy sources. It’s true. As if they have nothing else to concern themselves with, you may get to see kids dressed as wind turbines, solar panels and maybe even as the head of the department, Ernest Moniz. Not sure what’s scarier: a child who would want to dress in these costumes, or a child who actually knows who Ernest Moniz is.

The Department of Energy even has instructions on its website for kids who decide to take the environmentalist message into their Halloween costumes. The agency also made news this week after it claimed the most famous icon of Halloween—the jack-o-lantern—causes global warming. According to the website, once your happy or scary pumpkin face gets old, it will end up in a landfill, “adding to more than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in the United States every year… At landfills, MSW decomposes and eventually turns into methane—a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a part in climate change, with more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO2).”

However, they do mention some actual good news. This waste can be used as bio-fuel that could help the country become less dependent on foreign oil (as if we really have to be anyway with all of the natural gas we have), but that’s another topic for another time. The Department of Energy doesn’t seem to discourage the carving of pumpkins, however. As with the costumes, they just encourage you to carve something energy efficient into them, such as the previously-mentioned wind turbine, a curly CFL light bulb or the shape of an atom. So if dressing up as a windmill doesn’t interest you, maybe you can just carve one into a pumpkin, set it out on your porch and then all your neighbors will know that you care about the planet.

This is confusing…like the jack-o-lantern, the “Energy Pumpkins” too will end up in a landfill until such time as the technology and resources are in place that can convert them into the bioenergy of which the bureaucrats at the DOE speak. So, given the choice between some boring costume or pumpkin carving, most of us prefer to stick with tradition…so fire up the jack-o-lanterns!

Halloween humour

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