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Duften af fremtiden

Forleden dag skrev jeg om de små ‘hvordan vil du huske Jorden?’ historier fra Douglas Couplands bog ‘Generation X’. En anden af de små perler, som jeg af og til tænker over, er denne:

“I’ve got one,” says Dag with some enthusiasm, partially the result, I suspect, of his wanting to score brownie points with Elvissa.

“It happened in 1974. In Kingston, Ontario. My dad and I were at a gas station and I was given the task of filling up the gas tank—a Galaxy 500, snazzy car. And filling it up was a big responsibility for me. I was one of those goofy kids who always got colds and never got the hang of things like filling up gas tanks or unraveling tangled fishing rods. I’d always screw things up somehow; break something; have it die.

Anyway, Dad was in the station shop buying a map, and I was outside feeling so manly and just so proud of how I hadn’t botched anything up yet—set fire to the gas station or what have you—and the tank was a/most full.

Well, Dad came out just as I was topping the tank off, at which point the nozzle simply went nuts. It started spraying allover. I don’t know why—it just did  —all over my jeans, my runningshoes, the license plate, the cement— like purple alcohol.

Dad saw everything and I thought I was going to catch total shit. I felt so small. But instead he smiled and said to me, ‘Hey, Sport. Isn’t the smell of gasoline great? Close your eyes and inhale. So clean. It smells like the future.’

Well, I did that—I closed my eyes just as he asked, and breathed in deeply. And at that point I saw the bright orange light of the sun coming through my eyelids, smelled the gasoline and my knees buckled. But it was the most perfect moment of my life, and so if you ask me (and I have a lot of my hopes pinned on this), heaven just has to be an awful lot like those few seconds. That’s my memory of earth.”

Det er helt uunderbygget og usagligt, jeg ved det godt. Men jeg tænker ofte på den her historie, når godhjertede og bekymrede mennesker drøfter klimaforandringer, indførelsen af en skat på CO2 og behovet for at ophøre med at anvende fossile brændsler lige om lidt.

Hvilket sikkert alt sammen er rigtigt … men jeg har det jo på samme måde, som Dag i historien. Jeg elsker duften af benzin. Er der noget bedre end duftbilledet på en tankstation? Det lugter, ganske rigtigt, af fremtiden. Af at nå frem til målet. Af dynamik. Af ting, der skabes. ‘Hvordan kan man dog have noget imod det? Hvorfor vil I stoppe mig?’, spørger min reptilhjerne gnavent.

Det er dette irrationelle, olfaktoriske fænomen, som de klimapolitiske forkæmpere er oppe imod, tror jeg. Den intuitivt velvillige tanke, som skal overvindes før politisk handling kan udleves. Det er op ad bakke.

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