Say, I was wondering – does anyone feel like apologizing to environmentalists in general right about now?
They’ve only been warning us for fifty or sixty years. They’ve been telling us about pollution and recycling and greenhouse gases and delicate ecosystems, and in return, by and large, they’ve been either ridiculed or ignored.
Sometimes the scientific kind of environmentalists get awarded the Nobel Prize, to kind of get everyone to quit ridiculing them. Take this guy seriously – he knows what he’s talking about, the scientific community says.
So then our televisions start ridiculing the Nobel Prize.
The Nobel Prize!
Tree huggin’ bunny kissers – I remember being highly amused by that phrase when I heard it in the eighties. Isn’t that funny, how it reduces the concept of environmentalism to an absurdity?
What would it take to convince us that we’re really and truly causing irreparable harm to the environment? Is the Gulf of Mexico really not enough?
Even if it is, it’s a little late. Like realizing that you shouldn’t leave your keys in the car right after it gets stolen.
You know, I would have thought that the Great Pacific Garbage patch would be enough to convince everybody, but it’s been growing to small continent size in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for years. I rarely see anything about it in the news at all.
It’s exactly what it sounds like, a swirling gyre of floating plastic, collecting in the largest ocean on the planet like toys in a swimming pool after a kid’s birthday party. There’s another one growing in the Atlantic Ocean now.
That’s our garbage. That’s the stuff we chucked out of our windows while we were pointing and laughing at environmentalists. Here, go ahead and have a look.
I remember when George Carlin suggested that plastic might be the meaning of life. He said, maybe Mother Nature needed plastic, didn’t know how to make it. Created us.
Well, we were right on top of that one.
Now Mother Nature’s got all the plastic she could ever need, all of our water bottles and disposable razors and bouncy balls – they’ll be floating there for thousands of years – that really is our legacy. Catch a fish in the area and cut it open, you’ll find plastic inside. Pellets of it in the stomach, in the gills, embedded in the flesh.
Are you a Christian? Muslin, Jewish, religious at all? Because those are God’s creatures swimming around out there, and guess that’s not His plastic. That’s ours. Yours and mine.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to apologize. The only problem is, it barely matters.
Because most people really and truly don’t care. There are very few places left in the world where you can point your eyeballs and not see a glaring example of how much we deserve to get flushed down the toilet. Just watch how people toss their cigarettes out the window while they’re driving down the road – screw everybody.
I have some bad news for you – the environmental scientists have pretty much given up. I don’t think they’re working on convincing us the house is on fire, they’re just trying to find a way to keep themselves safe while it burns.
I don’t blame them. Even the guys who sent some emails about exaggerating the problem – I really feel for them. It’s like, the house was on fire and nobody believed them, so they said, “Okay, let’s tell them there’s a bomb in every single room, and army ants are attacking. Anything to get their attention.”
What did we do? We said, see – these isolated scientist emails prove that all environmentalists are full of crap. Who wants to have a tire-burning party?
It’s funny how we are so quick to dismiss them. Hundreds of thousands of scientific research papers, and then a couple of emails are the three notes in the symphony we can suddenly hear.
You know what Stephen Hawking says about environmentalism? He says it’s too late, we have to get the hell out of here, find a new planet.
That’s the smartest guy in the world talking. He and his smart pals think we should get the hell out of here, and something we should all ask ourselves is this: Given the fact that we’ve been ridiculing and/or ignoring these brilliant scientists for decades, and given the fact that we’ve continued having an unbelievably obnoxious Garbage Party the whole time, what do you think the odds are that they’re going to take any of us with them?
Why would they?
Here’s what they’ll say: Good news, everyone. We found a new planet and we figured out how to get there. You wait here while we go check it for monsters, and then we’re totally going to come back and pick you up.
Like Nelson’s dad from the Simpsons, who went out for smokes one day and never came back.
Yes, it seems pretty obvious that it’s time to start apologizing to the environmentalists, but I’ll tell you – I don’t think it’s going to do us any good.