WASHINGTON, DC–A report released Monday by the EPA warns that the threat of global heartwarming looms larger than previously suspected, with disaster awaiting if the mass-production of artificial, touching sentiment is allowed to continue unchecked.
According to the report, the unregulated release of Disney videos, the saturation of airwaves with Family Channel broadcasts, and the contamination of millions of homes with Princess Di collector plates, Precious Moments figurines and other sentimental pollutants have created a crisis situation in the Earth's pathosphere.
Environmental experts warn that these toxins–which include ceramic kitten figurines, Celine Dion CDs, Mary Engelbreit greeting cards, Chicken Soup For The Soul books, and television programs like Touched By An Angel–are causing dramatic increases in the level of dangerous chlorofeelgoodcarbons in the air and are poisoning water tables with polyphenolsaccharides.
The U.S. entertainment industry has been singled out as the top culprit, responsible for nearly 70 percent of planetary heartstring-pulling. Among the U.S. companies listed on the EPA's "dirty dozen" list of the top emotional polluters: Disney, CBS, Hallmark, Dreamworks SKG, Windham Hill Records, Beanie Baby manufacturer Ty, and the Lifetime Network, all of which were cited for what the EPA report termed "abuses of the heart."
"We've found a tenfold increase in heartwarming over the last five centuries, with almost two-thirds taking place in the second half of the 1900s," EPA spokesperson Morris Wyler said. "At the current rate of warming, by 2010, the earth's polar hearts will melt, submerging the entire North American land mass in beautiful tears of joy."
Added Wyler: "Did you see the part in Titanic where Rose threw the Heart Of The Ocean necklace over the side of the boat? It was so wonderful I cried."
Alarmingly, the EPA report noted that the five heart-warmingest years on record have all occurred within the past 10 years. The warmest ever, 1995, coincided with the release of the film The Bridges Of Madison County and Vanessa Williams' Pocahontas theme song "Colors Of The Wind," as well as the tragic, deeply moving paralysis of Christopher Reeve in an equestrian accident.
EPA officials project that this year, with the one-year anniversary of Princess Diana's death, Barbra Streisand's discovery of true love at last, and Olivia Newton-John's courageous battle against breast cancer, will surpass 1995 as the worst yet.
"In the last 12 months, global heartwarming has created a hole 700 miles in diameter in the earth's protective cynicism layer," Wyler said. "That hole, located over Siberia, has grown 15 percent since last month's release of What Dreams May Come alone.
In an effort to address the problem of global heartwarming, U.S. Sen. Mike Dewine (R-OH) has proposed legislation setting strict limits on stirring orchestral passages, close-ups on tear-stained faces, and embossed script typestyles on book covers. The bill–strongly opposed by a host of Hollywood power players, including Steven Spielberg–would also prohibit zoom-in shots of backlit actors staring heavenward in wide-eyed, childlike wonderment.
Environmental experts contend that such legislative measures are not enough.
"No single law will make this problem go away," said James K. Raskin, president of the D.C.-based Environmental Policy Institute. "If we are to truly address this crisis, we need to radically alter the way we laugh and cry, the way we live and love."
"Clearly," Raskin continued, "the threat posed by global heartwarming is not limited to one specific group. It is a problem that touches us all–young and old, children of all ages. If we do not take serious steps to contain it, it will surely spell disaster for the entire family."