The inconvenient truth about beer
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22. Im a big fan of Earth. One of my favorite songs is from the musical Paint Your Wagon. Its called, The best things in life are dirty.Give me the pristine areas of Earth where there are no people, and where I dont run the risk of an eruption of molten lava exploding right under my feet and shooting me high into the atmosphere. I also like to steer clear of large asteroids whenever possible.Some of us fear Mother Earths notorious reputation for earthquakes, tsunamis, forest fires, volcanoes and talk show hosts. I think they are some of the planets most endearing features, and worthy of our protection. Yes, even Don Imus, that rat-haired old man.Everything about Earth is great, cataclysms as well as caterpillars, and butterflies, of course. But what really keeps me here is my favorite earth thing gravity. Do you know that every beer poured around the globe, from Germany to Ireland to the organic beer at the Village at Squaw Valley USAs Earth Day Festival, emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and the eventual extinction of homo sapiens as a species? Its a fact. Talk about an inconvenient truth. I dont want to be an alarmist, or steal the spotlight from Al Gore, but given the popularity of beer drinking among the planets human population, thats a lot of carbon dioxide. If we are really dedicated to the inconvenient truth hypothesis, then we have no choice but to quit drinking beer. Hey, dont look at me. Im just reporting the facts. Save the planet. Stop drinking beer. That oughta go over really big around here, like the head on a badly poured glass of Budweiser. Carbon dioxide from beer may seem too insignificant to be a real threat to the planet, but combined with other sources of carbon dioxide emissions, it sure adds up. Lets not kid ourselves. And it raises an important question. Are we willing to do everything within our power to save the planet, including making the ultimate sacrifice?What will it be my friend, beer or the planet? Make your choice. Do you love your Mother enough to give up your favorite brew? You can always have a Jack Daniels.I guess well see how much everybody really loves Earth when Oktoberfest rolls around. I say cancel it, globally. Why take any chances on our survival?If we want Congress to cut carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2050, we have to get them to quit drinking beer first. Though I suspect their favorite drink of choice is a martini.Earth should be intoxicating enough without beer. Unfortunately, it doesnt come in a six pack. One Earth is all we have. Like an ice-cold beer on a hot day, Earth can be quite refreshing and, like your favorite town tavern, it comes with plenty of nuts. Id rather have a beer with them than my local Congressman, even if it means being oblivious to all that carbon dioxide escaping from the tiny bubbles, and the sky falls through the roof.Imagine a world with no cars, no airplanes, no hairspray, no need for oil, plastic, amusement parks or shopping malls, and no beer. It would be a major improvement.Who knows? Any number of realistic scenarios in the foreseeable future could send us back to the stone age. In a flash we could be a band of semi-nomadic, food-gathering, big-game hunting, beerless, cave-dwelling storytellers. It would sure beat losing the planet. But human beings would never be content with a stone age utopia. Eventually wed just get thirsty, and clever, and ambitious and start discovering and inventing things and, before you can say Beer me, wed screw it all up again. Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist,He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.