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An Earth Day quiz

Run for your life! It’s Earth Day. Actually, at 9 a.m. Saturday at Paepcke Park, there will be a random distance 4K, or so, “fun” run to celebrate the day, the earth, or whatever you want. (There’s also a 10K real race and all sorts of other green-but-fun events throughout the day. Check with a local tree hugger for details.) Obviously the “fun” run is designed for protein-deficient, anemically weakened vegans and those who want to save their energy for picking up trash along the highways later on. But, in staging a race like this, organizers recognized the potential for Republican sandbaggers to expend all of their energy and walk, literally, away with all of the awards just to spite human beings. So, although they claim it’s to add fun and raise awareness, a hybrid (ha ha) format has been developed that favors those of us who love the world.Along the course, at stations set up in front of recycling receptacles (contraptions designed to make ecoterrorists uncomfortable), officials will ask participants questions about environmentalism. Those who answer the questions correctly will get extra points when the final results of the race are tallied to ensure that enlightened people win most of the prizes. Personally, I don’t care whether a liberal or a Texan wins this race. I only hope that it will be either of my readers. To that end, I am giving out some Q&A to the race-day quiz. Think of this as performance-enhancing knowledge. (Remember, if you get caught, you had no idea what you where reading.)1. What is the actual birthday of Earth?A. Scientific evidence strongly suggests that this planet came into existence 4 billion years ago on April 22, 3,999,997,994 B.C.B. Psuedoscientists around the world agree that the original Certificate of Occupancy, recently almost discovered in ancient Babylonian caves, was issued 6,000 years ago on April 22, 3,994 B.C.C. All answers (including these) are correct because event organizers want to avoid fistfights at a public gathering this early in the morning. 2. Landfills are:A. necessary places to concentrate our waste so that it can be effectively managed and doesn’t end up where it is unsightly and/or can do excessive harm. They are an integral component of any recycling program. B. counterproductive and destructive to the environment since they are generally located in out-of-the-way places so we never see the effects of our prodigious consumption and wasteful packaging practices. If our own landfill was relocated to Wagner Park, where we could all stare at it while driving around looking for parking spaces, you would see an immediate and concerted effort to reduce solid waste.C. hmmm …3. Efforts to preserve open space are:A. always a good idea. As stewards of the globe, it is our duty to preserve as much undisturbed land for posterity as we possibly can. Open space is necessary to maintain a high quality of life in every community.B. not always good for the environment. If dedicated open space is created so that traffic is forced to go around it and bottleneck through a restrictive course of outdated S-curves to get in and out of a busy town, the resulting noxious-fume-belching traffic jams more than offset any desirable effects. C. well …4. Encouraging people to take the bus by creating separate traffic lanes for them, is:A. an effective and necessary part of any transportation plan designed to reduce reliance on the automobile to cut down on pollution and alleviate global warming.B. a bad idea if implemented on a Main Street already congested by commuters who have few alternatives to driving because of service-based work requirements. Irate citizens will believe that the authorities have lost their minds and that the whole environmental movement is orchestrated by morons.C. uhhh …5. If you are walking down the street and you see somebody toss a cigarette butt onto the sidewalk, you should:A. gently point out to the offender that his or her behavior is offensive, risking leaving the impression that you are a condescending jerk who should mind your own business, strengthening the smoker’s resolve to finally trade in the Taurus for that new Hummer just to spite liberal do-gooders.B. punch the offender in the nose and follow that up with a swift kick to the place where she doesn’t blow smoke rings. Since you can’t change this idiot’s mind, you may as well rearrange his face. In jail you will be provided with ample time to write pamphlets about conservation … and inmates’ rights.C. say nothing and go about your business. Give generously for education so that this jerk’s kids have a chance not to be ignorant.6. The Aspen Skiing Co. environmental policy is:A. hypocritical. Operating a skiing, golfing and real estate development company, then marketing your product to people whose idea of commuting commonly includes the use of long-range private jets is plain and simply awful for the environment. B. a godsend to an industry that has sorely lacked leadership in this area. They are good people whose hearts and minds are in the right place. Their high-profile example, with the magnificent Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, inspires many visitors to make the world a better place. C. hard to figure out. Now, obviously I’ve omitted the simple questions like: “Should you throw empty beer bottles out the car window?” or, “What was in the bag that was thrown at the feet of the crying Native American chief in the first anti-pollution ad campaign back in the 70s?” Just remember, the answers to all questions like these are true. The answers to the questions above are C, C, C, C, C and C (for cimplicity). If you answered all of them correctly, you don’t know as much as you’d like about preserving our planet. That’s good. You’re sure to do well in this race.Roger Marolt hopes to win a new pair of Birkenstocks to train in. Race him to the recycling bin at roger@maroltllp.com


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