There is no such thing as pure science. It is always contaminated by politics, and thus, in the last analysis, by humans.
This is the conclusion we at MJTT were forced to arrive at soon after my last report. Our proposal that American tourists be allowed to purchase hunting licenses for the purpose of shooting Antarctic penguins elicited such a spate of letters, most of them replete with vile obscenities and highly personal insults, that we have had to consider other ways to solve the real problem of the depletion of the ozone layer overlaying Antarctica.
We of course stand firmly behind our initial hypothesis, that the cause of this hole in the sky is the accumulation of penguin droppings. We still consider our aforementioned proposal eminently practical. And we wonder why the protestors did not accept our challenge to research an alternative to this proposal, that is, concocting a diet that would make the penguin dung environmentally sound.
But we are no fools. At the present time, our proposal is, despite its scientific brilliance, politically unpalatable. We are left to consider an alternate scheme.
We begin by calling attention to a fundamental difference. Just as medical science recognizes a distinction between HDL (the so-called “good” cholesterol) and LDL (“bad” cholesterol), so meteorological science posits a distinction between “good” ozone and “bad” ozone. Or, to put it more accurately (since ozone is ozone, a triatomic form of oxygen), the ozone layer in the sky is good, while the ozone that is a chief ingredient in the smog we breathe is unhealthy for photographers and other living beings.
Given this fact, we at MJTT spent two weeks devising plans for replenishing the Antarctic ozone layer.
Our first suggestion is the soul of modesty: simply purchase one hundred Hummers, ship them to McMurdo station, along with millions of barrels of gasoline, aim their tailpipes at the sky, and let them loose. We estimate that the hole in the ozone layer will be patched in 73.9 days. (This assumes, of course, that the penguin population remains stable, that there be no outbreak of diarrhea among those stately birds, etc.)
This solves one problem. A bolder move, however, would solve two. Inspired by the idea behind the construction of the California aqueduct system, we are in a position to propose the construction of a wide, long, flexible pipe extending from the Los Angeles vicinity to the heavens above McMurdo. The purpose of this engineering marvel would be, of course, to transport the smog (consisting primarily of the “bad” ozone) of Southern California to the currently-depleted ozonosphere, where it would serve a useful purpose.
At the Southern California end of this ozonaduct, there would be a series of smaller feeder pipes into which the smog would be forced by the evening westerly winds or, during the daytime, by powerful fans. On leaving California, the ozonaduct would be held aloft by a long string of hot air balloons stationed at, say, 5,000 meters above sea level. The Antarctic end of this ozonaduct would extend upwards, held in place by a bevy of Army helicopters, converted from their original military purpose for use at high altitudes.
Politically feasible? We think so. This solution should please environmentalists, the construction industry, and animal rights activists.