Stringer Wireman does his “roving reporter” thing by asking the important question of: “Is your carbon footprint bigger than a breadbox?”

Tom B. “I don’t think so. I just follow the examples of our great leader and prophet, Alpine Gorski. I only fly on private jets when convenient. I keep the thermostat on my 20,000-square-foot home at a comfortable setting and, oh yes — I also have a home in Malibu alongside my Hollywood friends. I can now watch the sea levels rise first-hand.”

Jim F: “Quite frankly, my man, I don’t give a darn. You see, I use as much carbon energy as possible. I drive a six-mile-per-gallon motorhome, use oil-based paints I buy in no-hassle Nevada and eat all the buffalo meat I can shoot in Wyoming. I figure since everyone else is conserving, that means a lot more left for me. It’s a ‘win-win’ situation.”

Dave W: “If you mean shoe size, yeah, I’m a real big foot. I’m a basketball player and have huge feet. I’ve tried to buy smaller sneakers, but I can’t wear anything less than a 25D. So I guess I’ll have to ease my guilt by going cap and trade. That means paying more than my fair share in taxes and attacking anyone I see using a straw.”

Mary K: “My husband lost his job in a coal mine, and now we’re barely getting by on welfare because of all this carbon nonsense. So get that microphone out of my face and go talk to one of those greenie nuts out there who right now is measuring the water level in my toilet!”

Wireman: “Wow! This interview is really getting depressing! There’s got to be someone out here who has some sensible beliefs about this carbon footprint thing. How about that lady over there? Ma’am, what are you doing to save the planet?”

Diana L: “Well, it’s a small step. It breaks my heart to see thousands of pounds of plastic containers and related trash from other countries wash upon our Pacific shores each day. So I get up early in the morning and clean up whatever I can. The refuse is then moved to another part of the planet where no one can see it. We all feel better that way.

If I can keep it up, I figure I’ll have things pretty much under control by the year 2330 — that is, unless that New York congresswoman is right.”

Bystander overhearing the interview: “You know, she’s got a point: Why are we blowing our minds over plastic straws when we’re all doomed in 12 years anyway? There’s no way we’re going to get China and India to stop burning up the planet in that short period of time!”

Shouts from a gathering crowd: “Yeah, she’s right!”

Wireman: “Now wait a minute, folks. There’s no need for hysteria. That congresswoman just might be wrong. She’s been wrong on just about everything else she’s come up with.

Just look at some predictions other greenies have made over the years — all which have completely fizzled:

So-called “experts” said by this time there would be a great increase in hurricane activities, the ozone hole would grow larger, acid rain would destroy our crops, snow storms would disappear, sea levels would flood New York, the North Pole would be free of ice in 2013 and even the United Nations said glaciers would disappear in 2015. Oh yes, I almost forgot: We’d be out of oil by 1990. Obviously, none of these catastrophes ever happened!

That doesn’t mean we should neglect conservation of our resources. We do what is reasonable to protect the environment. So, is there anyone out there with some degree of logic concerning this problem?”

Voice from the crowd: “Yeah, me! This Wireman guy is just trying to twist our feelings around with facts. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m heading for the highest mountain I can find. It’s probably futile, but I just might have a chance to save my family and self. I hope there’s a pizza joint up there.

Are all of you coming with me?”

Another voice from the crowd: “Yeah, let’s go!” (There’s the sound of running feet, as a group of concerned and frightened people head for the very top of the Sierra Nevada).

Wireman: (Sigh) “I’m so embarrassed. I guess my topic was just too contentious for a roving reporter type of interview. In the future, I think I’ll just stick with something much less controversial, such as: ‘Whom does God really favor — Democrats or Republicans?’”

Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer and satirist.

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