Dear Aunt Sophie,
I used to be president-elect but it didn’t work out because a renegade right-wing extremist stole the election from me. However, I’ve risen above any regrets. Things always happen for the best - I’ve become a movie mogul and I’m at Cannes. Cannes!
I’m incredibly satisfied with my new life. I’ve discovered all sorts of things about myself – for example, I had no idea I could act. But I can. I can! I’m a star in a very important Hollywood movie.
I’m not a leading man although my wife thinks I should be. (Did you know “Love Story” was written about us?) In this movie I play myself. It’s about me. It’s also about the environment, which has been dear to my heart for as long as I can remember. Maybe even longer. It was important to me way back when I worked on the tobacco farm. Everyone I knew in those days worried about whether there’d be enough rain, enough sun, you know, the things farmers worry about, and it used to bother me that they weren’t thinking globally.
People tend to think about their own weather and not about anybody else’s. Do you remember how they made fun of me when I came to NY to speak about global warming and it was 8 degrees outside? They didn’t realize that there’s an inverse relationship between weather and climate.
That’s a fact. When it’s cold outside that means there’s global warming. Global warming means cold summers and hot winters and sometimes cold winters and hot summers - you never know what you’re going to get. But I know. One of these days the glaciers will all melt, New York will be under water and there won’t be any place left on Earth where you’ll be able to get a decent egg cream. (I’ve never had one, but apparently you can only get a genuine egg cream in Brooklyn, which won’t be there any more if we don’t stop global warming immediately. One thing I’ve learned is that you can often get people’s attention by threatening to take away their favorite food. It’s a technique my mother used to use when I hadn’t pulled my share of weeds.)
Everyone has to reduce his or her carbon footprint. I’ve reduced mine. I try to stay carbon-neutral. When I take a plane flight I offset my use of jet fuel with a verifiable carbon deficit elsewhere in my life. For example, I walked to a screening at Cannes the other day. I had to fly to get here, but I immediately took action to neutralize it. No one tries harder than I do, but it doesn’t seem to be making any difference. We still have hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, blizzards, you name it. We’re doomed I tell you. And I blame myself. It must be a shortcoming in the way I communicate. I won’t deny it. It must be my fault.
So I’ve made this movie to try to get everyone’s attention, but there are still people who haven’t seen it. How can I get everyone on the planet to see my movie before it’s too late? If they don’t see it we’ll all die! Maybe next week. Or even tomorrow. Help!
I’m afraid everyone on the planet will see your film and cocktail party chatter will be even duller than it is now.
It’s very encouraging that you’ve discovered new ways to reduce your carbon footprint. It is important for people to make the effort. Speaking for myself, I only go to Cannes when I can swim to it. When I’m not there, I look for other ways to save the planet. For example, to conserve fuel I eat only sushi and raw vegetables (now that I think about it, I should probably forego the sushi since energy is required to refrigerate it) and I wash my clothes in a waterfall in the river, which I hope they will clean up soon, but only if it can be done without using any energy. I read by sunlight, and when I’m not busy looking for other ways to save energy (which is a full-time job if you do it right) I let my grandchildren pull me around in a little red wagon so they can experience the thrill of conservation first hand.
But I can tell you’re way more serious about the issue than I am. Keep it up. Exercise that inventiveness you’re so famous for.
And don’t let your cause be derailed by any suggestion that the arctic was ever anything but frozen, either. Everybody knows the tropical fossils recently found in those “scientific” core samples are just evidence of a fleeting aberration that occurred after some pre-Adamite twit despoiled the tundra with his snowmobile, and that immediately upon his death the area reverted to its natural frigid state.
Why can’t people grasp the fact that global warming is a problem with a uniquely human cause? Within fifteen years of David’s popularizing the sling shot Jerusalem’s polar bears were replaced by palm trees, and the dizzying acceleration toward an even more torrid environment only slowed briefly when the Dark Ages cooled the planet for a few centuries.
Mankind’s role in the progression toward catastrophic warming should be clear to anyone with the courage to look, and I’m sure someday we’ll all be grateful to you for forcing us to confront the abyss.
But please forgive me if I don’t see your movie this week. I can’t justify spending the energy to get to the theater.
Good luck and God bless.
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