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"I Can't Stand It"

As the average price of a gallon of gas tops $4 for the first time this week, TV pundits are having a field day. There's nothing like bad economic news that everyone can understand to bring out the blather.

This morning's "Today" show gave us Jim Cramer, the Screamin' Jay Hawkins of TV stock jocks, on what we need to do to bring the price back down: "Drill more." On all coasts, in the Gulf of Mexico, in the Arctic. "And enough," he said, putting a spell on the nation of morning-show watchers, "with halting drilling for a few months for the sake of endangered animals. I'm a conservationist, but hey, enough is enough."

And then NBC cut to a commercial from Exxon, which is spending a little profit to tell us how smart they are in the ways they search and drill for hard-to-reach oil.

When I got to work this morning I read that on Friday, the same day the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill died in the Senate, the U.S. government declared the Caribbean monk seal extinct. They were overhunted for blubber, and to some extent food, and were last sighted in 1952. The only two remaining species of monk seal, the Hawaiian and the Mediterranean, are endangered, too; they continue to decline as the beaches they need to breed erode from rising sea levels brought on by global warming.

With the government acting at warp speed—56 years since the last sighting of a Caribbean monk seal and it's finally declared extinct on the same day our leaders decide to deal with climate change some other year—I don't guess the Hawaiian and Mediterranean monk seals have a snowball's chance in Hell.

As Screamin' Jay sang, "Stop the things you do / Watch out, I ain't lyin'.

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