I read on Hecate's site that someone is offering a $25 million reward for anyone who can come up with an idea that will put a stop to global warming.
That's a big challenge. I put my thinking cap on, but I came up empty. So of course it became obvious I'd have to consult a bored god. And here he is. Please give a warm "Gods Are Bored" welcome to The Green Man!
Anne: Green Man, you lived through the temperature anomaly back in 1000 AD that allowed the Vikings to settle Greenland. Is this different?
Green Man: Yes it's different. For the love of buttercups, there were only a couple million people on the planet in 1000. Now humans are packed so tight that a rise in sea level's gonna be one big f***** deal.
Anne: (I don't dare tell a god to watch his language.) Emmm ... Green Man, Your Majesty. I did have a modest little idea for decreasing the CO2. Let me run it by you.
Green Man: Please do. By the way, did you know you have hyacinths coming up in your garden?
Anne: Yeah. Only two months too early. Anyway, here's my idea. My daughter The Heir and I were out in the neighboring suburb. We noticed that some of the largest mansions have a thick, unruly grove of trees in front of them. Now, in the wintertime (such as it is), you can barely see the mansions through the scrub. But in the summertime, you wouldn't know there's a house there at all.
Green Man: I'm getting your drift.
Anne: So why don't people let those stupid, over-watered, over-fertilized, over-pampered green grassy lawns go to seed? Don't mow the doggone lawns! The first year you'd have meadow. By the third year you'd have tree seedlings. By the tenth year you'd have a thick scrub. In twenty years, all the shade you could ever want, and no outdoor maintenance except picking up kindling you can use for ritual bonfires!
Green Man: Or marshmallow roasts.
Anne: Or both.
Green Man: It's just that easy, too. If all subdivision suburbanites just said "toodle-oo" to their fields of green, parts of America would re-forest in a hell of a hurry. You know all about that, don't you?
Anne: Yep. When I was a teenager on my grandparents' farm in Appalachia, there were three big meadows. They're gone. They're now three indistinguishable pine forests, soaking up CO2 and spitting out oxygen. So, Green Man. What do you think? Could I qualify for the 25 big old bucks?
Green Man: If you could combine that with stopping the people in the tropics from mowing down rain forest for cow pastures, you might be onto something. Say. While I'm here, I want to know what the hell is going on with this mountaintop removal on my favorite mountain range?
Anne: Don't put me in a sucky mood. It's Friday and I want a beer. I can only solve one big problem a day. We can tackle that one another time, I hope.
Green Man: I hope so too, because I am big time pissed at Big Coal, knocking down venerable old mountains created by Danu and Bile.
Anne: Get outta here. The Appalachian Mountains were made by Celtic deities?
Green Man: The Scottish Highlands are the same mountain range as Appalachia. It's all this complicated plate tectonics and stuff. I leave all of that to the Goddess. I just supply the flowers.
Anne: Getting back to my re-foresting the suburbs idea. The one downside I can see to it is tree roots getting into plumbing lines and basements.
Green Man: Oh yes, that's a problem all right. Until you factor in the possibility that your species might suck down all the oxygen before you have to worry about a backed-up sewer line.
Anne: Sold! I'm on the plane to Geneva. Or wherever it is that they're having the big global warming contest. Thanks for the feedback, Green Man. Will we see you at the 2007 faerie festival at Spoutwood Farm?
Green Man: Goddess willing and the creek don't rise.
Anne: Please give my regards to the awesome Celtic deities. They're swell.
Green Man: They like you too. I'll see you in a few weeks ... if not sooner.
I thought it was a good idea. But it never hurts to check with an expert.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS