Easy Solution For Ugly Skylines

By DuncanRhys C. Liancourt

––House Republicans have their thinking caps on. More surprising, it appears they have been reading news––real news, the kind with facts. Some of it is even about places not in these Unites States of America, places where the people don’t have to wear their national flag on their clothing to avoid having their citizenship or patriotism doubted. Some have called the evidence for this claim circumstantial, but, though causality is difficult to prove beyond all doubt, a relationship seems clear.

The related events are these, and both are real news stories: first The New York Times of Sunday January 27th reports that “smog is erasing the skyline in Hong Kong;” and second, Darryl Fears reports in The Washington Post of Thursday February 3rd that “House GOP readies bill to prohibit EPA from regulating carbon emissions: Acting on a vow to fight the Obama administration on climate issues, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and commerce Committee, unveiled draft legislation Wednesday to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.”

While it is troubling that “Hong Kong’s most striking feature––the skyline of skyscrapers silhouetted against Victoria Peak––is getting harder and harder to see (reports Bettina Wassener on The Time’s Green Blog),” and while there may be a dangerous increase in pollution related illnesses here in the US without the EPA regulating greenhouse gases, there is good news: Republicans care about unsightly skylines and have come up with a solution––smog.

Imagine a city like Phoenix, Arizona, which has a lot going for it but is often rated as one of the five worst skylines in the country. People considering a move to Phoenix for its drive through liquor stores and 118 degree days might be put off by the disturbing arrangement of its architecturally challenged, bunker-like skyscrapers. Once Republicans get rid of pesky EPA regulations the city will be surrounded by asphalt manufacturers, oil refineries, and fertilizer producers all using the cheapest fifty-year old technology and in no time the skyline will be invisible. Voilà, Phoenix goes up in the ratings and experiences a population surge sure to add even more real estate value improving, camouflaging smog.

If, like most people, you learned that Republicans––because they don’t value aesthetics, are hostile to art, and fear artists––never cultivated any taste and so are unconcerned about frightfully ugly skylines it is time for you to think again. Let go of your old stereotype! Todays GOP has your best interest at heart and they are willing to act, even when it means going against important, well-established, and generally popular institutions like the EPA. I bet that even as you read this Republicans are finding the good news in rising sea levels and the consequent submerging of irreplaceable coastlines. They likely have already calculated, for instance, careful husbands of natural resources that they are, a way to conserve valuable smog: if they are patient enough the problem of coastal cities with ugly skylines will solve itself.

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