It seems like just yesterday that the Kyoto Protocol came into force, only to languish in toothless uncertainty as major powers including the U.S., Australia, Canada, and the U.K. sought to tank it in various ways. But it’s been a whole year! Can you believe it?
Yes, today marks Kyoto’s first anniversary. In honor of this glorious occasion, we offer a toast to those countries bold enough to ratify. We pants those countries that are holding back. And we hereby give you, dear readers, a few ideas for creating that perfect Kyoto Anniversary party. Gather your friends, festoon your co-op, and party like it’s 1997!
1. The Kyoto Klatch. Let’s start off nice and slow. For this event, best held in the mid-morning or early afternoon, you’ll want to brew some fair-trade coffee, lay out some vegan doughnuts, and invite a few friends over. Then proceed to discuss the ins and outs of emissions trading, the vagaries of international treaties, the science behind global warming, and the plight of toxic-laden polar bears. For background music, we suggest Bruce Springsteen’s Devils and Dust. Did we mention you’ll need lots of coffee?
2. The Protocol Party. If you like things a little more animated, try this fun role-playing game! You’ll need a suit, a briefcase, horn-rimmed glasses, and an iPod, which will double as one of those U.N. translator thingies. Put it all together, and you’re a “party” to the Kyoto Protocol! Get it? If you can convince 140 of your friends to dress up too — that is, if they didn’t all abandon you after that whole giggling-during-Galactica fiasco — you might just change the world. Recommended music: It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want to (on repeat).
3. The Emissions Swap. Modeled after the time-honored cookie swap, this shindig’s twice as useful — but not nearly as tasty. Invite your guests to estimate their personal emissions, from electricity usage to flatulence. Then gather them around the table, compare stats, and surprise them by making the person with the highest number empty his wallet! Everyone else gets to divvy up the cash, as you bring emissions trading to life. To soothe the blow, feed your wasteful friend a steak dinner with all the fixings — and make the others watch. Recommended music: anything from the Putumayo world music series.
4. The Ratification Rave. Now the kids have a way to celebrate too! Even if they’re all hopped up on … whatever it is the kids are getting hopped up on these days, they’ll still appreciate the chance to mark the beginning of the end of their future. Help them out by renting a warehouse, finding a solar-powered troupe of hip-hop punks (if you can decide which one to go with), and keeping the “fuzz” from “hassling” them for a few hours. Worried about what’s going on in the dark? Hey, at least keeping the lights off conserves energy! Recommended music: that stuff the kids are listening to these days.
5. The “Sorry” Soiree. Feeling guilty about being from the U.S.? Wish the rest of the world would forgive you for damning it to a roasty-toasty, ruinous fate? Throw an elegant evening affair that will let them know how you feel. Dress in your finest regalia (but be sure it’s not from a sweatshop), whip up some elegant appetizers, and throw the doors wide to anyone you know from another country. (If you don’t live in a college town, invite anyone you know who’s been to another country.) After several glasses of bubbly, crumple into a heap, weeping to those within earshot how beautiful they are, how much they mean to you, and how sorry you feel about this whole global “thing.” Recommended music: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? (Van Morrison only).
6. The Bush Bash. Do absolutely nothing. Recommended music: It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine).
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