Al Gore’s Tale

with due credit to Geoffrey Chaucer for the original

In medieval times, a pardoner was a charlatan who sold people indulgences, or pardons for their sins. You could even buy pardons for the souls of deceased relatives, so as to reduce their time in Purgatory. Al Gore and his friends have come up with a modern equivalent: the “carbon offset” to make up for your greenhouse gas emissions. Note also the money Al Gore is making from Earth in the Balance and An Inconvenient Truth. Like P.T. Barnum said, there is a sucker born every minute…

Now, good men, Earth forgive you each trespass,
And keep you from the sin of greenhouse gas.
My carbon offsets cure and will suffice,
So that it gains me gold, or silver brings,
Or else, I care not- brooches, spoons or rings.
You must embrace fully Al Gore’s line of bull
While o’er your eyes we will pull the wool!
An offset certificate I’ll give you, anon,
And into environmental bliss you’ll go, each one.
For I’ll absolve you, by Kyoto’s special power,
You that send me money, as Green this hour
As you were born.
And lo, sirs, thus I preach.
And the United Nations, who is our souls’ great leech,
So grant you each his offset to receive;
For that is best; I will not you deceive.
But, sirs, you must swallow my whole tale;
I’ve carbon credits in my pouch that cannot fail,
As good as Kyoto Treaty ever saw, I vow,
The which I got by kindness of Al Gore.
If dollars your change of heart and mind reveal,
You’ll get my absolution while you kneel.
Come forth, and send me your lucre bright,
And quickly I’ll set your consciences aright;
Or else receive a carbon credit as you wend,
All new and fresh as every mile shall end,
So that you offer me each time, anew,
More gold and silver, all good coins and true.
It is an honour to each one that’s here
That you may have a competent pardoner
To give you carbon offsets to you acquit,
For all greenhouse gases you may emit.

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