Is there a second planet earth?
To the editor:
Today is Earth Day, April 22, 2017. Without question this is the worst Earth Day in history. Every aspect of sane environmental policy is under attack by people who must have another planet they are planning to move to by the end of this century. A Norman Rockwell planet where the children are happy, the housewives in aprons awaiting the return of their husbands from working a hard day in the coal mines and a roast turkey in the oven. A planet without the next DDT being sprayed in their back yard and lacking a political system that behaves more like mercenaries for corporate hire than representatives of their constituency. A second planet where no one gets sick and the skies are always sunny and clear.
That must be the plan for most Americans – to move to that planet once things start getting out of hand on this one. There cannot be any other explanation. Sadly, I’m still bullish on this planet and our collective humanity coming up with a viable plan to keep it livable, but then again I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer. Surely those Americans understand that their children and grandchildren, on this alternative planet they are moving to, will not be impacted by weather systems that are totally beyond repair. There will be no such thing as sea level rise on Earth #2. There will not be any named tropical storms in April, nor hundreds of tornadoes in March tearing their pristine suburbs to shreds. The coal they burn there will be white, not dark and filthy like the coal we mine and burn on this planet.
I want directions to this second planet. What airport do we depart from, what’s the cost of flying there with our two sons, their wives and girlfriends and our new grandson, Theo? Based on what has happened these last 100 days of environmental horror it must be pretty inexpensive to get to. This planet, the one we are still stuck on for the moment, is going to get very, very expensive. Not by the measure you typically use, not by money, but by the sheer cost of survival. That’s the irony.
With the EPA on its knees, the Corporations poised to turn America into the next unbreathable China, the Endangered Species Act itself endangered and a host of other measures too innumerable to count, I know that the politicians and their blind followers have this second planet on hold out there somewhere, just beyond the view of the Hubble telescope. If there is not a second planet the only logical conclusion is that we have entered into an era of collective insanity. We are, like some opiate addict, drinking the Kool Aid of our own demise. We are the communal junkies of our own lies. We are determined to kill our future children with the poison of short term gain.
That’s why I’m asking those of you who know where this other planet is to get back to me with directions to it. Message me. Text me. Help me get to Earth #2 where the climate is stable and the Sunday dinner is always roast beef with lots of gravy and mashed potatoes. Surely, by the votes you cast and the untruths you swear to, you know where this second planet is hiding. I don’t. But like everyone else, I want my family, your family, everyone’s family to be able to get there once this planet descends into chaos. Because unless we change course, chaos is the destination we will arrive at by this centuries end. Coastal cities around the world will be flooded, climate refugees will be pouring across borders by the tens of millions, soldiers will be told to shoot to kill and it will be anything but a Normal Rockwell painting. As I said, this is the worst Earth Day of my life. There is hope, but like truth itself, hope is getting harder and harder to hang on to. Happy Earth Day to all of you who are holding on to the belief that we can reverse our course and collectively decide to save the only planet we have, Earth #1.