I've decided I should open a new business. After all, I like to make money just like the next guy and, being an enterprising sort, I can follow trends just like the best of the sheep.
So here is my business plan:
I own an acre of land with a good stand of trees; oaks, poplars, maples, dogwoods, redbuds, and a couple of gorgeous magnolias. I plan on keeping as many of these trees as I can over my lifetime and hope to bequeath this magnificent property to my heirs. These trees house a lot of birds and squirrels, provide shade, provide flood runoff protection, soak up lots of carbon dioxide, are home to some bugs and bats, provide perching access to hawks and doves, etc. Because of "Global Warming," now also called "Climate Change," my trees are an extremely valuable asset to the world.
Now, you need my trees to protect your world that is collapsing (no doubt) from over-development and the dastardly carbon dioxide that is (no doubt) going to kill you and your heirs. In fact, I can convince you of this idea by circulating such information to the public schools and through the media. I will bribe scientists with government money to support my idea. So you will be convinced that you need me to keep these trees. I intend to protect these trees. You can't live without me. I'm now really important to you.
This is the bargain: You, the citizens of Gastonia, pay me to keep these trees. I'll be establishing a payment plan based on your guilty lifestyle, i.e."carbon footprint." I might even set myself up as a non-profit if necessary (a la the Lands Conservancy groups), but for now I am planning to make profits. I'll call your payments "carbon credits." You get a tax deduction for paying me to keep the trees. I get a subsidy from the complicit politicians to maintain the trees. So I get to make money from you and the government. I'll be so rich that I will never have to go on the public dole, so your benefit is doubled as well. It's a win win for everybody, right? I get rich and you get to live.
Furthermore, I plan on expanding my business as my profits grow. With my profits I will buy more land with trees in other areas of the city, county, state, and across the nation, even the world. And, because marketing is imperative, I will use the profits to make a movie about how you will die if you don't support my business. You'll be quaking in your shoes with worry over how you can't live without me. I'll be known as the hero of trees. I'll get a Nobel Peace Prize and an Oscar for my movie. And, the whole time, you can pat yourself on the back for supporting such a noble cause.
So there it is. My new business is announced. I should really copyright or patent this idea, lest some conniving schemer in our midst decides to steal my idea.
Uh oh...stop the presses. I'm a day late and a dollar short with this business plan. Imagine that. My great idea has been in place already for years by one of the greatest con artists who ever lived. Guess I'll have to go back to the drawing boards and think of some other business to pursue. Thanks for your time and kind attention.