Final Word from Wednesday, December 23, 2009



Like every year for the past decade, it will be a Chinese Christmas in the Czech Republic. Chances are that at least half of the items under the tree in a typical home will come from the Middle Kingdom. Ah, if only this were the last Christmas dominated by junk that never should have been made, much less bought. No one knows for sure what impact the Copenhagen climate-change conference will have, but let's hope it leads to a general realization in the West that we will soon be paying climate ransom to developing countries so that they can keep making high-emissions products that we can only afford to buy because of the money China lends us. The simpler solution would be to quit making most of that crap. Of course that would require the nations of the world to agree on a list of allowable low-carbon-footprint products. Another reason to call a global summit that China can dominate.[Czech Republic Denmark CO2]

Glossary of difficult words

satire - today's Final Word is not meant to be taken literally. It is satire - the use of humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics or other topical issues;

Middle Kingdom - a nickname for China;

junk - items that are considered useless or of little value;

ransom - a sum of money or other payment demanded or paid for the release of a prisoner;

crap - (mildly vulgar) something of extremely poor quality;

carbon footprint - the total volume of greenhouse emissions caused by an individual, organization, event or product.

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