Oil company British Petroleum, whose corporate reputation has suffered since the environmentally devastating 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, recently announced the launch of a groundbreaking new product: the global cooling machine or "GCM," designed to counteract the effects of global warming.
Explained BP executive vice president Katrina Landis, "BP has already contributed a great deal to the world, particularly in the realm of greenhouse gases. The GCM simply represents our latest effort to change the world. In the climate sense, that is."
As Landis describes it, the GCM is a compact unit roughly the size of a car engine. When operated continuously on a large scale, GCMs have the effect of cooling the average global temperature - or at least appearing to do so.
"Consumers themselves will feel cooler, no question about it," pledged Landis. "GCMs lower the temperature of the immediate local environment almost immediately. And collectively, over time, they will cool the entire globe. We're pretty sure of that, at least."
In other words, stated Landis, the GCM offers consumers the perfect opportunity to think globally and act locally.
"Or maybe, I should say, think globally, cool locally," she quipped.
The one down side of GCMs, admitted Landis, is that unlike electrically-powered air conditioners (whose effects in some ways mimic those of the GCM), GCMs run on fossil fuel; as a result, their operation contributes (modestly) to global warming.
But, Landis assured consumers, people can effectively supersede that unfortunate effect by running their GCMs continuously, so that the overall level of cooling achieved by the GCMs exceeds the warming effect of the greenhouse gases emitted by the machines.
"Nothing's perfect," noted the seasoned oil executive. "Sporadic operation of GCMs won't suffice; consumers will need to really commit to this. I think they'll do it, though. For the sake of the planet."