Turf & Rec

Dying the environmentally-friendly way

October 13, 2009  By Ian Robinson

OH, my gosh.

I think it’s a sign of the Apocalypse.

I … I … I think I agree with the environmental movement about something.

This is kind of a big deal, given that I throw things at the TV whenever David Suzuki comes on.


And stomp out of the room.

And rant for 10 minutes.


And then have to take an extra blood pressure pill because I’m pretty sure that, untreated, my freaking head is going to explode.

Which would make David Suzuki very happy because I’m pretty sure he hates most human beings, including me, on principle, because we produce greenhouse gases and someday, that will make life tougher on the lesser spotted snail darter.

Or some other animal, bird, or crawling mollusk I’ve never heard of and that probably isn’t even any good to eat.
Whatever the hell a lesser spotted snail darter is.

See, I live in Alberta, home of the oilsands.

You’re welcome.

Despite what Greenpeace and Suzuki tell you, the oilsands are where simple, hardworking prairie folk economically extract oil from dirt which is then turned into a bunch of stuff that you need.

You get to put gasoline in your car so you can drive to an indoor job where you stay clean instead of trying to survive like a medieval peasant by growing lentils in your back yard and dying before 40, toothless and raving from the plague.

’Cause oil equals civilization.

You got your job in the first place because you didn’t have bad breath and rotten teeth for the interview because the oil we pulled out of the ground was turned into plastic that somebody made a toothbrush from and that you bought for 90 cents at the drug store.

Again, you’re welcome.

Thanks to Alberta, kissing is fun and you have a job.

Not to mention that the clothes you wore to work contained polyester and nylon—petroleum products—and so did the bubble gum you chewed while driving.

Et cetera.

Alberta provides the raw material for all that stuff, and then David Suzuki goes on TV and tells the world how evil we are because extracting oilsands oil takes more energy than, say, the oil we get from Venezuela or Saudi Arabia.

Alberta oil is, they say: “Dirty.”

Come again?

Buy Venezuelan oil and the money goes to keep Commie lunatic Hugo Chavez in power.
Buy Saudi Arabian oil and you’re propping up a regime that cuts off people’s hands for theft and makes women wear barbecue tarps in public.

Imagine that: An entire country that has never enjoyed the cultural and social benefits of a wet T-shirt contest.
Not to mention Saudi Arabia is the country that gave us Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 hijackers.

Um … explain to me again how the oil we produce in our own back yard is less moral than the oil we get from overseas?

Because environmentalists are such a pain in the butt—they want me to bicycle to work like those guys who lost their driver’s licenses because of drunk-driving convictions, plus they want me to quit eating steak because cow farts cause global warming—my immediate tendency when someone tells me something is environmentally friendly is to run it over in my Dodge Magnum.

And, yeah, it’s a Hemi.

However, I have come up against something from the enviros that makes sense.

Their stand on funerals.

Because I am a middle-aged man with rage-management issues who figures it’s only a matter of time before his head explodes, I have taken what I think is an age-appropriate, healthy interest in the death industry.

My wife, by contrast, when she catches me reading the obituaries, yells: “Stop that, you stupid, morbid SOB!”
She yells that because she knows what I’m doing is counting the number of people who died who are younger than me and trying to guess what they died of. “He looks kind of fat,” I say. “Lots fatter than me. You figure he went from a heart attack, right? Right, honey?”

“Stop that, you stupid, morbid SOB!”

“Yeah, you’re right honey. Coulda been complications from diabetes.”

“Shut up!”

I have to get up before my wife now, because if she gets to the paper first, she tears out the obits and shreds them.

Anyway, while flipping through the paper the other day to get to the obits, I found a feature story about how the latest trend for the environmentally conscious is the green funeral.

When it comes to pushing up daisies, they want to push up daisies.


Instead of fancy coffins, one is made from untreated wood or even pressed cardboard. No embalming—the average, embalmed corpse apparently contains more than 15 litres of formaldehyde—amounting to  four million litres a year in North America. Cremation, apparently is the leading cause of mercury in the air in Europe…from people’s fillings.

It all kind of made sense to me. Sensible.

For once, the greenies aren’t making me crazy and sending my blood pressure through the roof.
They keep this up … I may stay out of the obits for a while longer.

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