“Hello, I’m Carl Coalman, and I am the newly appointed Director of the Federal Green Refit Plan Committee. I will provide you with all of the details for the worldwide plan to reduce and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and toxic chemicals from the environment. This is a very necessary and serious step to remedy the deteriorating effects that these substances have had on our planet.
“This is the 21st century. Fossil fuels are an antiquated solution, for producing energy, and it has to end. Otherwise, in a few short years, the destruction of our atmosphere by greenhouse gases will be beyond our control. There are many viable green, non-polluting alternatives already in existence that need to be utilized on a grand scale. Right now, only about 1% of the population is using green energy. This is not enough to effect a meaningful change to our environment. Our generation needs to be the trailblazers who establish the universal usage of green renewable energy. This has been talked about for decades now. However, at this point, the twenty year, phase-in plan is not going to slow down our pollution output at the pace that we currently need.
“The leaders of the world have had to make some very serious decisions. In addition to reducing our carbon impact to save the bees, we now have learned that the saturation of greenhouse gases is causing the deterioration of the Earth’s atmosphere, land and water at a more rapid pace than scientists had originally estimated. Scientists have just discovered that the ice caps in the arctic are melting at a faster pace than expected. This acceleration is due to global warming. Beneath the ice caps is permafrost, which is frozen vegetation that has not yet decayed and released its methane gas. When this methane is released it will compound the global warming problem. It is a vicious cycle. The Earth gets warmer, the icecaps melt faster and the planet gets even hotter. This is an unexpected wild card scenario that needs to be counter balanced.
“We have ten short years or less to turn this around before the point of no return is upon us. We are going to join the world in a fast-track plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% immediately. It will be a reduction-to-stop-plan. We are pulling the emergency brake on the greenhouse gas run away train.
“The complete answer to the world’s environmental problems is inherited in the habits of many green countries, cities, towns and neighborhoods from all around the world. These green practices already have a strong proven record of success. We will combine these successes into one master Green Refit Plan. The world must have the courage and fortitude to execute the plan to save our world. This can be done very easily if we have all hands on deck (AHOD) participation and cooperation from each individual. It is not as hard as it may seem. We can reduce the production of greenhouse gases in simple easy everyday steps. Mandatory classes will be given in your communities and towns to educate you on how to green up your lifestyle. Here is a synopsis for the Green Refit Plan.
“There will be a moratorium on the cutting down of trees for commercial use. We need all trees to stand to remove the CO2 that saturates the air. If wood and wood pulp is required for wood products, building materials and paper products, then reclaimed wood and recycled paper will now need to be used. No more reusable wood and building materials going into landfills.
“Actually, the reality is that we have right now on the planet enough manufactured materials to last us for several years. Plastics, metals, glass can be reused and recycled instead of being trashed. Most of us have excessive things that we don’t use stored in closets, drawers, basements and other storage areas that others who may not have them, can use.
“Back during WWII, the United States pulled together recycling drives to recapture materials for reuse. People were able to sacrifice and get by on less in order to free up supplies for the war effort. Ladies gave up their nylon stockings. Kids collected bottles and old thrown away tires. These materials were remanufactured into new usable items. This spirit was an all hands on deck approach for solving a problem that everyone was affected by. The country worked together to achieve a common goal. That same spirit has to now be resurrected in the 21st century to achieve our new green and renewable goals. The habits of just throwing things away that can still be used or recycled in some way has to stop. Recycling, reusing and repurposing items now has to be the norm and the new habits of a once wasteful world. I’ll talk a little bit more on that in a moment.
“No more smokestacks are to be built worldwide. The toxic exhaust from these structures has added tremendously to our deteriorating environment. Current smokestack users will have to initiate a reduction-to-stop-plan.
“There will also be a 40% reduction on the output from coal fired plants. The general public putting less demand on coal powered electric grids will balance this. Again, the planet is under a state of emergency. Drastic measures have to be taken.
“In China, Ireland, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Italy and other places, plastic bags are banned. The citizens in these areas are now in the routine of carrying reusable tote bags when shopping. Plastic bags don’t biodegrade meaning that they remain intact forever. We will be following this rapidly increasing trend by eliminating plastic bags.
“In Australia, regular filament light bulbs are banned. They only use compact florescent bulbs that use much less electricity thereby reducing the demand for power from coal-fired plants. Filament light bulbs will no longer be sold or used worldwide. This will aid us to reach our 40% reduction target. Australia also introduced the Earth Hour concept. Instead of Earth Hour being once a year, it will be once a day. Each community can decide when is the right time for all electricity to be cut off for an hour via a rolling blackout. We would recommend overnight hours for less disruption of daily routines. Of course, hospitals, police and fire stations and other essential buildings for public service would be excluded from rolling blackouts.
“Here in America, practically everyone has a car. Normally, there is just the driver riding in the car. That leaves a big carbon footprint. The United States is responsible for 25% of the worlds CO2 pollution. That is a lot! So, we need to find solutions for reducing our carbon emissions to reach our 40%-less target.
“With a population of ten million people, 65% of the citizens in Seoul, Korea take public transportation. In Curitiba, Brazil, three quarters of the population use public transportation. In Freiburg Germany, there are no cars in town. Everyone there rides a bike. We have towns here in the U.S. like Portland Oregon, New York City, Chicago where a large percentage of the citizens ride the bus or train. Public transportation enables fewer cars to be on the road thus reducing CO2. More electric trains, biofuel, hybrid and hydrogen buses will be put into service so that the public can drive less. We have plans for this transportation transition.
“In London, SUVs are heavily taxed because they are big pollution producers while hybrid and electric cars aren’t taxed at all. That taxation will be considered here too. So, here is how we will execute the transportation 40% CO2 reduction plan. Gas cars on the road, must have two passengers minimum, we’re talking carpooling on a grand scale. This is to encourage public transportation to be the first option. I know that bus schedules aren’t always convenient, but we will remedy that by modeling our transit systems in a European manner where punctuality and dependability is the norm. If the Europeans can do it, and have been doing so for several decades, so can we. If you must drive a gas powered car solo, you will need to buy a special permit to do so. The money from the permit will buy carbon credits to offset your CO2 emissions. Two free permits will be given to each driver: one to be used in case of emergency and the other to be used on one’s birthday.
“There are many new electric cars out now on the market. If it’s your time to purchase a new car or if you want to keep on driving without restrictions, then you will need to buy an electric car. Part of our plan is to eliminate gas-powered cars and they will no longer be manufactured. The world’s carbon emission’s needle has to start a downward trend. The idea is that we are starting with a manageable 40% reduction of greenhouse gases, and as more electric cars are driven and gas cars are refitted with electric engines, the decrease of CO2 will steadily go down. Gas engines can be converted to electric engines. We will have an AHOD approach for car refits.
“The combination of all these actions and others should immediately reduce the CO2 from car emissions to our 40% starting target.
“As mentioned before, methane is a very lethal greenhouse gas. It can come from many natural sources. Livestock and landfills produce our created sources. The town of Ghent in Belgium has a meat-free day once a week. This is an effort on their part to reduce the methane output from their livestock. Individuals may want to consider restricting their meat consumption to lower the methane impact on the environment. To offset the heavy methane production from farm animals, meat corporations will have to buy carbon credits for each animal that is raised. It is a tough decision in these economic times, but there is no free ride with the heavy amount of methane generated by meat products. Methane is an end byproduct from flesh packing operations that contributes greatly to global warming. Corporate responsibility for environmental impact has to be taken.
“We also have to keep garbage out of landfills by recycling and composting to reduce the methane produced in garbage dumps. Only 23% of the American population recycles. In Switzerland, 80% of the people recycle; know why? Because it’s free, and there are repositories where money can be made by recycling metals. The Swiss, however, have to pay for garbage pick up. In fact, in Germany, if you don’t recycle correctly, you can be fined. The world will pattern recycling programs via the Swiss method.
“Community and local food growing programs will also be implemented. Composting table scraps instead of putting them into the garbage will cut down on methane by keeping decaying food out of landfills. The compost then can be used to fertilize gardens. There is a circle of life to nature that works. We have to put it into practice.
“Let’s face it: our food is tainted with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Copenhagen is one of the greenest cities on Earth, and they are adopting an all-organic food policy eliminating all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. In our holistic approach to greening the world, we will adopt the same methodology for cultivating our food.
“Many communities are thriving using solar, wind, geothermal and tidal energy for power. It can be done, and it is being done in some of the greenest cities in the world. Reykjavik, Iceland runs entirely on geothermal and hydrogen power. Copenhagen has offshore wind farms and about five thousand windmills to power this cosmopolitan green city. Greensburg, Kansas, the town that was hit by an F5 tornado a few years back was destroyed. Now, residents are rebuilding their entire community in a green manner. The town’s power comes from solar and wind energy. Sweetwater, Texas was almost a ghost town as unemployment and loss of businesses emptied out the town. But they have reinvented themselves green and now they not only use wind energy for the towns electricity needs, but they have also revived the towns financial stability by providing green educational opportunities and the establishment of green businesses.
“These modern cities and towns that are emancipating themselves from the bondage of fossil fuels continue their daily routines as usual, but in a green manner. The general public appears to be afraid to let go of fossil fuels because they feel that life won’t be fulfilling. It is quite the opposite! The quality of life in green cities is better than ever. Costa Rica is considered the happiest place on Earth and only 6% of their energy comes from fossil fuels. The majority of their energy is obtained from sustainable green renewable sources.
“The Green Refit Plan will have an AHOD approach for the manufacturing and installation of green renewable energy sources. Out with the old and in with the renewable. All dwellings will have to be integrated on a green energy service supply line. We will have to work as busily as bees to get the job done.
“Our greening of the world should have a trickle down effect so that other species of living beings and their habitats can also benefit from the changes that we will make. There are some model preservation projects that we need to keep in mind, too, as we progress forward with our Green Refit Plan. Russia has set aside land for the polar bears in Novaya, Zemlya. They have dedicated 1.5 million arctic hectares for this endeavor. Costa Rica has planted thousands of trees and are preserving nearby forests. Many countries in Africa are protecting endangered species by maintaining wild life preserves. They also are able to make a living at the same time by offering tourists opportunities to go on safaris. This is working in cooperation with nature.
“The green market is very open right now, which lends itself to huge business opportunities. Instead of fearing the loss of business during the Green Revolution, people have to open up their minds to the endless possibilities of recreating everything that we need and use into a greener version. Clearly it is an untapped market. A Japanese company is manufacturing solar powered street lamps. Just that one item alone will keep them in business forever. All one has to do is just find a niche to green up. Here’s where revolutionary vision and human ingenuity come in to begin the climb of the first rungs of the green ladder. Scraping the old dirty fossil fuel slate clean isn’t the end. It is setting up the new fresh drafting board for a sustainable future. This is our human history, and it’s nothing new. Whenever one era or revolution is turned over, a new one takes its place. We went from candles to the light bulb, from horse and carriage to cars, from no electricity to electricity. This Green Refit Plan is a sign of progress.
“There are many more intricate details that will be forth coming and will be sent to every household. There will also be a website established and community agencies to facilitate The Green Refit Plan. This plan in its entirety is being duplicated all over the world. We have to act as one planet to get the job done.”
The reactions to The Green Refit Plan were all over the board. Reporters outside the capital took comments from the people.
“They are right! We need to do something. We can’t keep going on with global warming. Disasters will increase.”
“I don’t care what they say. I’m still gonna be driving my car.”
“Oil companies have made a few trillion dollar off our backs. Their product has caused most of this pollution. They should be just as accountable as the cigarette companies are for products that are known to cause damage. They need to pay some environmental reparations to help pay for green solutions.”
“I have been recycling for years, riding my bike more, changed all of my light bulbs, and I’m one person trying to make a difference. I’m glad it is going to be mandatory now on a grand scale because that’s the only way it will get done. People don’t want to change. They don’t want to give up all the things they are used to. We just have to make the big switch to non-polluting energy.”
“We have crapped and crapped and crapped on the Earth, and the Earth is mad. The Earth will keep sending calamities until we are wiped out. We have messed up this world, and we will pay. Let me rephrase that. We are already paying for what we have done. I’m willing to sacrifice if it makes the world a better place for the children.”
“People look up in the sky and see the stars and think there is no limit to what we can put up there as far as pollution is concerned. We can’t keep cranking that stuff up there. Our atmosphere traps the dirty air, and it’s coming back down on us.”
“Hey, I’m all for the electric car. I wanted an EV1 when it came out, but the car companies took back all the cars and destroyed them. I guess because they worked too well. So, I’ll be glad to have an electric car.”
“The Bush administration did next to nothing to jump start a greener world. They spouted off at the mouth about “family values.” Clearly they did not value families by the way they left the people in New Orleans to suffer after hurricane Katrina. They did not value families to put forth some effort to make a cleaner world for the next generation. Their oil buddies are still trying to use their spin-doctors to say there is not a climate problem. Do they think we are all a bunch of idiots to keep trying to sling that bullshit? All anyone has to do is to look up in the sky and see the layer of filth left behind from the burning of their product. How come they don’t think their spewed poison is not choking the life out of this world?”
“It’s the end of the world! The Bible says we are living in the last days. The apocalypse is on us. God is mad at us because we have purposely destroyed his world.”
“Oil is an ass backwards way to use the power of the sun.”
“If I were locked up in my garage with my car running it would kill me in a matter of minutes. It’s poison. Well, where does the exhaust go from 85 million gallons of gas being burned everyday? We live in it, and our Earth’s garage door is shut. The atmosphere traps all of that gas in. We are slowly being poisoned, and we are being hypnotized and duped to want more and more gas.”
“Aren’t SUVs the dumbest invention ever? Real smart. Make a car guzzle more gas when gas supplies have peaked worldwide. Also at the same time, accelerate the accumulation of greenhouse gases. Brilliant! All for profit and all to stroke the American ego. Bigger equals power. No! Bigger equals prolific pollution.”
“What am I going to do for a living if my place of business is shut down? This is too massive. I just don’t think this is going to work.”
“Layers of oil and coal byproduct hang in the air. It’s poison. It’s legally acceptable poison, the hemlock of the industrial revolution. Deadly! Is that the vapor of the real evildoers of greedy corporations? It will last for decades. Twenty years from now, our children today won’t have a chance to counteract and untangle this toxic mess.”
“You know, these companies want you to buy their products and they make their profits and go home to live in their big mansions. They are making profits by robbing my children of a future. They don’t care about my family or me. Why should I support their bank accounts to the detriment of my children's future? From now on, I will only support business that have a green plan which proves that they value the world that we all live in.”
Riots threatened to break out, but troops in place were able to prevent any from getting too seriously out of control. Curfews were ordered in hot spots. The fallout was dotted with panic, hoarding, and people not psychologically or emotionally prepared to handle an Earth saving mission.
A month had passed since the Refit announcement. During that time, the majority of the world frantically made preparations for the greenhouse gas shut down. The reaction of the general population manifested in a variety of situations.
Most people had stockpiled supplies: canned goods, batteries, water, soap, diapers etc. World governments had warehouses filled with the essentials. These supplies would be systematically disbursed when needed. In blighted areas, the government provided housing bunkers and food for those who were homeless or tapped out of money with no sign of income forthcoming.
Some people really went rustic with the green transition lifestyle and lived in remote areas where they lived off the land as people did before the 20th century. It was their personal penance for the heavy carbon footprints of their lives thus far.
Whole churches gathered their congregations and established self-standing communities. Some took the green transition as a sign from God that the world would end. They spent their days in prayer and repentance.
Investigative groups went to third world counties, and into Amish and Mennonite communities to learn how day-to-day routines were managed without electricity. They brought the knowledge back home and assimilated it into their lives
Gripe groups formed to complain and protest the disruption of lifestyles and civil liberties. They wanted to keep the antiquated energy ways alive forever. Others stood on the sidelines and mocked at how it couldn't be done. Some deliberately wrecked havoc and created chaos only to be put back in their place by law enforcement.
Thousands of private and governmental groups formed to facilitate the green turnover. The Peace Corps grew by 1000%. The working-for-a-cause-spirit rivaled that of those from WWII.
Within the preceding month, all closed car plants were retooled to begin the refitting process of turning gas engines into electric. The towns around the once abandoned car factories were revived. Hundreds of jobs were needed to feed, entertain and support the around the clock crews at the car refit factories. There were 5-6 times more workers than homes and apartments near the refit plants. Rooming houses and trailers were set up to accommodate the newly employed. The refit factories were the first to receive renewable energy via solar panels and wind turbines so that they could do the necessary job of getting rid of the gas engines.
The essential operations of the refit plant’s towns were also put on the green line, hospitals, fire departments, police departments, restaurants, everything needed to keep the refits going as three hundred million vehicles in the U.S. needed to be changed over. Municipal, government and military cars were the first to get refitted. The rest of the public who did not get their refit done at a local auto garage, had to wait until their names were drawn in a random lottery. Ironically, a fifteen-year-old boy who tinkered with computers and mechanical objects came up with the prototype battery that worked efficiently and economically for the car refits. He and his generation would be the beneficiary of a cleaner world.
Auto shops also jumped in on the new industry and learned how to refit cars to electric engines. This made it easy for average citizens to bring their cars into neighborhood shops and get their cars refitted so that they could keep driving and moving around. The big car companies had their designs for new electric cars.
In the urban areas, vital service buildings were the first to receive green renewable energy. Lily and hundreds of her green energy colleagues spent the month training new workers how to install and maintain solar panels and wind turbines.
Since the Iraq War was over, military work camps were established and troops assisted with the AHOD approach to manufacture the renewable energy sources. The ending of the war also freed up billions of dollars to fund the new green infrastructure. Prisoners in Jails all around the country also provided the muscle to usher in the green revolution.
The towns and cities that were already on geothermal, hydropower or other green energy grids had little disruption in lifestyles. Their main focus was on changing gas car engines to electric engines. Due to the advantage of having carbon neutral energy production, many of these areas offered sanctuary to those who were in need mainly the elderly, ill and physically challenged. These populations of citizens were unable to tolerate some of the challenges that reduced electrical power could cause. The guidelines were very strict as to who could move into the already established green areas. This was to prevent a flood of people from over populating and stifling a town or city. Extra law enforcement was hired to handle the security challenges that would occur with the refit plan.
Industries and manufacturers not wanting to fall too far behind on production began refitting their main energy source with green renewable supply. Industries, however, had stricter standards in which to operate, to create less waste and to recapture scrap materials and recycle. It was also mandated that they had to obtain a resource to responsibly dispose of any toxic byproducts. This caused a big dilemma for many companies that were used to dumping in illegal areas and habitats. This was a catalyst for them to rethink and reformulate chemicals and supplies that they used to more Earth-friendly substances. The public in general was so fed up with the past blatant abuse of dumping that watchdog groups formed that made it their business to monitor the operation of factories that had a dirty history. All manufactures had to take mandatory classes on how to lessen their negative impact on the environment.
Just as with any new or under used product that comes out on the market, the price initially was high. This was true for all of the green energy sources. As more and more citizens, companies, and others turned green, the price would eventually come down.
All over the world beehives were taken to areas of cleaner air in quiet unpopulated areas. Some hives were left outside while others were taken into huge greenhouses. The greenhouses were equipped with air purifiers to ensure that CO2 levels were at their lowest. The temperature was also controlled for the bees’ optimal comfort. Both habitats were full of the bees’ favorite flowers to help stimulate them in their daily occupations of gathering pollen and returning to take care of the hive. The bees needed to make a comeback and the structured environment for them was a nursery to facilitate their revival. Expert bee handlers were staffed at each location. Changes were made to the sequestered environments as the beekeepers observed problems or successes.
The Green Refit Plan was the world’s squeeze play at a shot to save itself from the point of no return. Celebrities and the wealthy, knowing their influence and following, banded together to form a unified group to be leaders by example. Actors, actresses, musicians, sports heroes, conglomerate heads, the ultra rich and the like were the first private citizens to refit their homes and cars to green. They had a presence and a voice and hoped that their fans and admirers would follow their green trend. Monies were raised, creating millions of dollars to fund Mother Earth’s restoration. The generosity was combined with matching government grants to provide green refits for low-income struggling families. Their support also reached out into the world to underdeveloped nations who traditionally had no energy sources. Many indigenous villages were ensured a well for clean drinking water and at least one central community station that supplied electricity. No role they’d played, song they’d sung or deal made would give the profound satisfaction of effecting a positive change for the Earth.
The human family was now united to reduce greenhouse gas worldwide to create a neutralized environment for the bees to make a recovery. Nature all over the world could take a sigh of relief. Habitats and ecosystems had the potential for restoration and recovery that could allow species that were endangered for extinction to revive, repopulate and regain some strength now that some of the burden was lifted.
It was a wait and see, cross your fingers moment while the world held its toxic breath. Hopefully the current plan would offer environmental redemption. If not, man had created a long-chain-carbon noose with which to hang his own children.