(Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckl [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
By John Kaufman
Earth (our home) called Gov. W. to chat about Earth Day. Though Earth tried to identify itself, the governor assumed the caller was somebody else. If there is any doubt, this is a work of fiction.
W: Is this Dave or Charlie?
Earth: Neither, governor. This is . . .
W: Both of you? Hey, thanks guys for the endorsement. Or the vote of confidence. Or the good word. Whatever. So you really think I can defeat Bill’s wife?
Earth: I think there’s some confusion . . .
W: Just blame the media. That’s what I do. They’re always trying to get me to say things I don’t want to say. Especially science things. Evolution, global warming. That stuff’s just not on my radar.
Earth: How did your Earth Day go, governor?
W: I’m doing all I can to fight the treehuggers. Did you hear we’re laying off some state scientists? All this science keeps getting in the way of my “American Remodel” shtick but, listen, I’m unintimidated. We’ll dump the state nerds and contract out for some better, friendlier researchers. Got anyone you can recommend?
Earth: So you don’t believe human beings are causing global warming?
W: If earth’s warming, it’s God’s Will and must be a good thing, but of course I told the media that . . . wait, I’ve got it right here: “We can sustain a good economy and a good environment by making sure the wealthy are sustained along with the poor because what matters is that wealth is sustainable because wealth sustains Republican donors and there is no freedom or nature without faith and wealth.” Pretty slick, huh? You throw out a few sustainable’s and the media and enviros eat it up and forget the question. Of course, if you can’t sustain everything, sustaining the economy gets you more money and votes.
Earth: Well, governor, sustainability is pretty much what conservationists and myself are urging. But you’ve said no to high-speed rail, you’re no fan of clean energy and you are gung-ho for metal strip mining and coal. You are backing the sort of resource economy that isn’t healthy nor sustainable.
W: Yea, I’m trying to make you guys proud of me. Maybe it will pay off in the future. At least for me. Though my popularity in the state has taken a bit of a hit. But polls are science, right? I’ll ignore it.
Earth: Governor, let me ask you. Do you accept the law of gravity?
W: Of course. It’s common sense. And it’s in the Bible, too.
Earth: It is?
W: If you drop the Bible, what happens? It falls, don’t it? Ha Ha!
Earth: Speaking of rising and falling, governor, there’s some lines from Job I think might be appropriate for Earth Day. Perhaps you recall them:
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?
W: Whenever I think of Job I think of “job” and then I think of voters and promises and elections. I prefer to speak with the Lord directly.
Earth: Is it possible, governor, that you and most Republicans are not listening to what the earth is teaching people?
W: Wait a second. Who am I talking to?
Earth: Yourself, governor. Mostly yourself.
At which point the conversation was over.