Environmental campaigners were left reeling today after scientists questioned their strategy to save the planet’s rainforests and halt catastrophic climate change simply by adding the question ‘Do you really need to print this message?’ to the bottom of every email. A three-year study has found no recorded instances of someone changing their mind about printing, with the answer to the question on every occasion being ‘Yes, actually’.
It also transpires that not printing the odd email may not make as much difference to global warming as the construction of hundreds of Chinese power stations, the huge rise in air travel and the world’s population spiralling out of control. On hearing this, many office workers emailed each other the depressing news, then printed out the email just so they didn’t lose it.
‘We’re as surprised as anyone that such a well-thought out strategy isn’t putting everything right,’ said Rajendra Pachauri of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. ‘Even the subtle variations aren’t working. The typical response to the more direct ‘Save the rainforest’ message was ‘sure, right after I’ve printed this 86-page report’, while ‘Think before you print this email’ has generally been interpreted as ‘observe a moment’s silence before slaying another tree’.
Understandably the news has sent shockwaves through the Green movement, but activists have moved quickly to unveil a range of more radical proposals to save the world. Envelopes carrying the message ‘Do you really need to include a letter?’ will soon hit the shops, while manufacturers are pre-programming all new wide-screen TVs with immovable subtitles asking the viewer ‘Are you sure you couldn’t make do with only a 38-inch set?’ and ‘Why do you want to watch this shit anyway?’ Free newspaper distributors have also pledged to send their goods straight to recycling plants to save everyone the inconvenience.
But perhaps the most innovative new approach is one that will see posters in nightclubs urging customers to ‘take home a minger’. ‘The more ugly people there are having sex, the more light bulbs get turned off at night,’ said one randy, unwashed environmentalist with long, matted hair.