Beijing, CHINA: For many, the news that Chinese multimillionaire Chen Guangbiao was selling cans of pristine air in China followed with laughs usually leading to a reference to Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs. Some, however, could take the opportunity to make this environmental satire into reality.
The world watched in awe as it learned that Chinese multimillionaire Chen Guangbiao was selling cans of “pure air” at 5 yuan (80 cents) in Beijing, a city that had recorded extremely high levels of PM2.5.
PM2.5 refers to particulate matter 2.5 micrometers in diameter. The World Health Organization had deemed a PM2.5 of 20 to be acceptable, while a reading of over 300 was deemed hazardous. Beijing’s air quality was found to be at 755 on January 12.
The pure air in the cans are filled by employees swinging their hands three times to push the air into the can. When there is enough air, a microchip with a sensor will make the cap close automatically,
While Chen Guangbiao’s cans of air are allegedly in jest, the idea has been hinted at repeatedly in media satire, Mel Brook’s Spaceballs being the best known. However, the same could very well have been said about bottled water before it became a staple for any supermarket and retail store, which paints a very bleak picture of world pollution, indeed.
So bleak that beverage producers The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, and Nestlé have begun the process of buying the patent for canned and bottled air, and the microchip that helps seal them.
“There isn’t a plausible business model yet as to how any of these companies could streamline production of air for sale,” explained business analyst Lisa Dronowski. “The main thing right now is gaining the rights to the product so that planning finds won’t go to waste in the first place.”
Opponents of the bidding war for air rights have come forward in droves. They fear that canned and bottled air could lead to the privatization of more natural resources, much like bottled water did.
“Everyone saw those commercials for Poland Spring with a guy walking through the woods to get to a natural water spring,” stated eco-nut William Blugget, “but I bet if I really tried to walk to ‘the’ Poland Spring, I’d probably be walking into armed guards in pumping plant.”
A publicist for major corporations responded, “It is absolutely possible that CEOs of Nestlé stand in line on the side of a road in Maine to fill up jugs of water to sell to the general public. Yes, it is slightly possible that they hire people with large tankers to park next to the road and suck every drop of water out of the spring each month, but we’re only going to call that ‘slightly possible.’”
It is believed that the patent for air could reach into the billions in a bidding war. When asked about this, Chen Guangbiao would not comment, due to an unstoppable fit of laughter. Laughter that expelled enough air to garner a pretty penny.