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Ben Franklin’s Rotting Corpse Banned From Student Groups


Photo By: Tim Brown // US Department of State GPA Photo Archive 

Everything is different these days. The bricks on Locust Walk have a new texture. It’s a mild fifty degrees in the dead of winter. The Stranger Things boy is gay now. The university is facing an identity crisis. 

“The University of Pennsylvania has begun purchasing carbon offsets for Penn’s air travel emissions, as part of its plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2042. The offsets purchased through the Travel Sustainability Fund - Penn's first offset purchases related to its air travel emissions - will be supported by a Climate Impact Offset charge (CLIO) applied to Penn's schools and centers that make travel-related purchases. This will be the first time Penn has purchased offsets specifically related to its air travel emissions.

Air travel comprises 5-10% of Penn’s main campus carbon emissions. ….  Penn faculty, staff andjiouh3rioheir students who travel on  uni  versity business arejeewqoijweqoi encouraged to choose more sustaiiewjoiwjweonable transpfweijojweoireortation methm    ods when possible ..,,,,,,,, but it is acknowleejioejqwoiewqdged that some level of air travel will continue within the Penn Community………” 

In the name of sustainability, Penn has set its sights on the most obvious hurdle impeding a green future – oboe players. If you play an instrument in the Penn Band but were also caught in the devious act of protesting against the university’s nebulous disclosure of its own financial holdings, you’ve implicated yourself in a cardinal sin and will thereby relinquish any permission to play songs from the early 1900s at collegiate sporting events. In truth, Moses decreed this exact rule as the fabled 11th commandment;  but the stone tablets weathered a bit over the centuries, and the rule was lost to history. 

Each time a Penn administrator gets on a reimbursed flight to head an admissions panel at a New England private school, a fairy gets its wings. Don’t worry though – Penn counterbalances every cubic centimeter of its emissions through carbon offsets! For every mile of the PHL-BOS flight, Penn cashapps a barely literate child in rural Venezuela 1,000 bolívares to plant a tree. 

Like eating a piece of lettuce after going face deep in a Caniac™ Combo, Penn chooses substitution instead of reduction, some kind of phantasmagoria Ben Franklin conjured during an opium-induced high. 

Like Franklin’s writing, Penn’s commitments to the environment can be characterized by false humility, self-pride and even contradictions. Franklin, though, admits to his own shortcomings, reflective of his own past and mistakes, expressing a desire to self-correct. Why self-correct when you could parade an infographic about investing in “energy efficient” stovetops in Maharashtra? With the magic of carbon offsetting, professors can now forego Zoom-meeting performance anxiety and feel a little less bad about upgrading to first-class seating!