The other day I received an online survey asking “What do you think about avos?” It said that if I took the time to answer the survey I would be in the running for a bumper supply of the all green fruit.

While I’m no fan of surveys I am extremely partial to avos, and promptly clicked onto the site. I was severely disappointed. “You are too late. The survey date has lapsed,” it said. I felt deceived, cheated, annoyed. I had responded to the call the second the email had appeared. How much earlier could I have been?

I tried to contact the group behind the survey to protest but no one responded and the banner stating the date had lapsed kept popping up with taunting regularity each time I tried to click anew.

This is how the children of the world will feel about global warming and climate change. They’ll click on the survey “What do you think about planet Earth?” the moment their little digits have sufficiently developed to hit the keys, and a banner will pop up stating they’re too late; that they have missed out on the bumper delivery of the fruits of the Earth.

So then what? As Mark Twain said: “There is not sadder sight than a young pessimist.” But hey, why should we worry about the air they breathe, the water they drink or the food they eat when we can reap slap-up profits from oil and shale gas, and whoop it up in 4x4s and trips round the globe? Seize the day, as they say.

I guess there’s no sadder sight than an older pessimist either. So what are we to do when the governments of the world keep on meeting and talking and swapping family photos while the polar bears are sweating and methane is leaking into our ground water? We laugh. We’ve been laughing for years.

Google ‘global warming jokes’ or ‘grinning planet’ and you’ll be rest assured that the time for jokes hasn’t lapsed. On these and other sites, apart from learning how to smile again, you can also buy oil spill kits, gas masks and find out how to use global warming to meet women:

If you meet a woman, start talking about global warming. It’s a real icebreaker.

Global warming is a rich repository and American comedians and talk show hosts like Jay Leon and David Letterman have been cracking jokes about it since George Bush’s day.

President Bush says he’s really going to buckle down now and fight global warming. As a matter of fact, he announced today he’s sending 20 000 troops to the sun. – David Letterman

“According to a new UN report, the global warming outlook is much worse than originally predicted. Which is pretty bad when they originally predicted it would destroy the planet.” – Jay Leno

Even farmers and Eskimos, both of whom have a lot of stake in the global warming game, are getting in on the fun:

The first conclusive proof of global warming recently happened when a farmer in Iowa went out to check his crops and found 150 acres of popped popcorn.

If you live in an igloo, what’s the worst thing about global warming? No privacy.

Climate jokes are also universal, no one is spared, as Jay Leno’s quip attests:

“Climate experts say we should tell villagers in developing countries to reduce the amount of cooking smoke they generate to help fix global warming. You know, it’s as if these people don’t hate us enough already. I mean, they live in mud huts, they have thatch roofs, their clothes are made of straw. And we pull up in a bunch of 4x4s saying, ‘Hey, you want to cut the smoke out there’”.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling far less pessimistic now, even after my avo let down. And to make matters better I’ve just driven past a man with a bumper sticker on his scooter that reads: Let’s make love, not emissions. Sexy.