The LAG Energy Primer
For those many Americans who don’t know how to match-light a nuclear reactor or which way a wind turbine blade is supposed to spin or even how to cool their home geothermally, Stevieslaw introduces the Less-Intelligent-than-Average American Guide (LAG) to understanding energy. In the guide, Smokey Diamond our intrepid reporter and energy expert will introduce the various forms of energy and walk you through how they work. Also included as part of the guide is the Not-on-my-Block, Inc. (NOMB) rating for each energy source— values that range from “no way, no how” all the way to “over my dead body.” And as a special bonus, you will get a chart giving the efficiency of each energy source in kilocalories per teaspoon—numbers, while not meant to be either factually accurate or useful, will drive the Weiners at your Cocktail parties green with envy.
We will introduce you to:
1. Things that Burn: Sod, wood, coal, oil, gas and litter. Most power plants in the United State currently generate electricity by burning something, and apparently will until they run out of everything flammable. In the guide, we will explain how the coal, gas, or oil is extracted from the earth and transported to power plants around the country. We will illustrate how this extraction and transport is ruining your health, appearance and happiness and why there is not a thing you can do about it. And, while we’ve got you down, we will carefully explain how the by-products of all this burning—mostly carbon dioxide— are changing the climate and raising the temperature of the planet by about a degree a day. Supplemental material will include a brief lecture by Lenny—the Rabbi of Canarsie—entitled: Why is there so much oil in the Middle East—or living with a god with an odd sense of humor.
2. Things that sometimes go boom: You say fission, I say fusion: you say fusion, I say fission—let’s call the whole thing off. We will tell you all about fission—the splitting of atoms to produce either energy or the atom bomb—depending mostly on whether or not the name of the month of production ends in a “y.” We will help explain how nuclear fission was the way of the future until engineers found themselves often having to modify the statement, “That could never happen at…” We will also teach you how to say nuclear waste and shudder. We will discuss the ideas for dealing with nuclear waste as soon as someone has one. We will also teach you about fusion—the smashing of two atoms together to make one atom and water, or a hydrogen bomb. Fusion truly is the energy of the past, present and future on the sun, although it doesn’t look like it is possible to do on the earth. A recent and nameless Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Yale, who is totally unemployable, will lecture on “Cold Fusion,” while Judy Collins sings Dreaming, no it’s not the same as lies,” in the background. Cold Fusion kits—every bit as useful as those in the fancy energy labs—are available for $19.97 only to buyers of the LA Guide.
3. Things more expensive than useful: You will learn all about alternative energy sources— wind and water turbines, solar cells, hydrogen cells, geothermal and others. Please note that this is information only obtainable in the LA-guide and perhaps on PBS on some random Wednesday morning when you had planned to do something else. You will learn how subsidies to the oil industry—needed to prevent them from turning to something even more profitable, like turning lead to gold—will make alternative energy too expensive, for all but oil executives—until cows fly or politicians stop needing campaign contributions. To show your heart is in the right place, however, you can put the exclusive LAG bumper sticker, “I Need Green to Go Green” on your gas guzzler.
4. The future of energy: You will learn about the best bets in future energy sources—those just over the horizon, such as mining the moon and mars, using string theory to connect with an energy rich alternate universe, and harnessing the power of positive thinking. We present interviews with researchers, currently funded by the DOE, who are working on topics as diverse as “Capturing and Reusing the Power of Political Babble” and “Mosquito Sweat for Energy Independence.”
Order your LA guide today. The deluxe edition is shaped like a log and contains a minimum of 2 billion kilocalories per teaspoon, a meaningless number which might even be enough to power your house and car for a decade.