Dear Aunt Sophie,
I’m desperate, just desperate about global warming. I’m hoping that for once, for the good of the country – forget the country – for the good of the whole planet – you’ll take off your red state blinders and join me on this one. I mean, this is a real emergency!
Because, you see, if we don’t do something about global warming all sorts of terrible things are going to happen. These hurricanes are just the beginning. There will be floods, blizzards, tornadoes, earthquakes and bad karma on a scale you can’t even imagine if we don’t stop being the world’s biggest energy hog. The science is very clear – it’s the American people who are causing this. If Bush doesn’t sign the Kyoto agreement tomorrow and overnight it to wherever it is they keep it, we’re all doomed.
When I was a little girl we never had hurricanes. Or if we did they were small ones. Who ever heard of category 5? And now category 5 is all over the news. Don’t you see – there’s a reason for that. The reason is there are so many category 5 hurricanes now that they can never stop talking about them. They want people to understand how important it is for us to sign that agreement, but does Bush listen? Is the Pope Jewish?
I’m really getting desperate. I may have to take time off from accepting awards to do some serious educating about Kyoto. I’m sure they’ll invite me back to Harvard if I say I want them to. I feel real personal responsibility for this. It’s like America is responsible for all the fossil fuels that are being burned and it’s up to me to tell everybody that it’s wrong to keep doing it. What will people do when all of a sudden they can’t recharge their Blackberries? You can’t build windmills overnight, you know. There’s a lot of planning that goes into it. For one thing, you have to find a place to put them where no one can see them. And with all the overbuilding that’s going on, it’s getting pretty hard to find a place where there aren’t any people. I guess they’ll just have to put them where my friends can’t see them. But anyway, we should be using renewable sources of power. That means they never get used up. I don’t really know an awful lot about that, but I do know one thing – Bush hasn’t signed Kyoto so these category 5 hurricanes are his fault.
This is really tearing me up. I just renewed my Valium prescription because I can’t stand to live in a country that is so blind to its own destiny and the needs of the rest of humanity.
Please, Aunt Sophie, just this once, do the right thing. Please.
Quick – the smelling salts! Global warming worries me, too. In fact when I get up in the morning the first thing I think about is the poor termites munching their way through my neighbors’ houses. What are they going to eat when the next big storm floats our whole congressional district down the Bronx River?
OK, I lied. Actually, upon awakening I am much more likely to think about rich liberals gnawing their way through our Constitution in the name of fairness, the pursuit of happiness, privacy and, yes, global warming.
Now, before all your hair falls out, take a deep breath. Smell the ocean? That’s because the air is so much cleaner than it used to be, even without Kyoto. And while you’re blissing out olfactorily, open your eyes and savor the unobstructed view to the west. No sheets flapping on your clothesline? That’s because your house, like mine, has a clothes dryer, even though I seem to recall that not very long ago you wanted those of us who do not live between you and the Pacific to dry our wash al fresco, á la Molly Bloom.
I hate to be the bearer of unsettling news, but the dinosaurs did not die out due to urban sprawl nor did they perish from Alar ingestion or second-hand smoke. When the rivers of Egypt ran red, and Pharaoh’s slaves were picking locust parts out of his falafel, it was not due to his chariot’s failure to meet emission standards.
Yes, Babs, it has all happened before. There has been lousy weather ever since Eve bit the apple. In 1928 when a category 5 hurricane slammed into Florida people blamed it on the publication of Lady Chatterly’s Lover. Seven years later the Moscow subway opened, causing another cat 5 to swamp the Sunshine State. By 1938, when yet another category 5 scored a direct hit on Long Island, people began to realize that unless Bush signed the Kyoto agreement there would be no end of monster storms. (For some reason it never dawned on them that the storm might be a by-product of a culture that could produce the hit song “Flat Foot Floogie with a Floy Floy”.)
While it’s true there have been more hurricanes than usual in the past couple of years, science will ultimately show that superheated air emanating from Hollywood is the cause. The final proof will come when Johnny Depp, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Gwenyth Paltrow and Alec Baldwin relocate, taking their climate with them.
If you’re really committed to saving the world from the consequences of global warming take the bus to your next gala. Until you’re ready to do that don’t expect anyone to think of you as anything other than a category 5 nitwit.
Good luck and God bless.
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