jeudi, juin 22, 2006

An Open Dialogue

Scientist 1: Global Warming is obviously the greatest threat to humanity since Nuclear Winter.
Scientist 2: Which never happened. And never could have happened. And was a giant pseudo-scientific farce designed to propagandize people into political reactionism.
Scientist 1: You just spoke out in favor of Global Warming! I hate you, goddamn selfish conservative anti-environment/pro-pollution idustrial capitalist bastard. Nothing you say has any value, and when you speak at Universities, people should throw pies on you to illustrate that your ridiculous ideas do not even merit an intellectual response.
Scientist 2: I believe that global warming is a reality.
Scientist 1: Oh, then welcome to the fold. I have some lobbyist friends who can get government funding for your research.
Scientist 2: Global warming has been happening slowly and steadily for the last 8,000 years. It caused the renaissance. It ended the most recent Ice Age. It seems to be part and parcel of a planetary climate system in which the only constant is change. The question is, what can we calmly do to better manage our role in a system so variable and complex as nature? There is ample evidence that in some ways, things are getting better, not worse. Which is NOT to say we shouldn't seek improvements and minimize our impact. I just really don't think panic or hate speech is the answer.
Scientist 1: [frustrated sigh] You are blinded by your hatred of Mother Earth! You have your head in the sand. Global Warming is a reality; and until you wake up and smell the greenhouse gasses, the planet will continue to sink into oblivion. We will all drown, or starve, or freeze, and with our dying breath we will gasp: "Why did we not stop all this senseless, hateful consumerism?"
Scientist 2: In the ONE scientific part of what you just said, you actually quoted what I just said! Please forgive my attempts to have a rational scientific discussion, I was distracted by my argument. I realize there's no sex appeal in calm rationality. . . Let's see . . . um . . . You came here to collect your exhorbitant appearance fee in a fossile fuel burning private jet, you hypocritical son of a bitch!
Scientist 1: Oh, sure--right to the character assassination! You hate mongers are all the same--
Scientist 2: What about the Private Jet?
Scientist 1: You pander to your ignorant, red neck, homophobic political base--
Scientist 2: What about the jet?
Scientist 1: And you sit there with your Big Mac and your SUV while the rainforest falls all around you!
Scientist 2: Answer the question!
Scientist 1: I mourn for the Earth. I hurt inside. I spend my waking hours going from state to state--
Scientist 2: IN A PRIVATE JET!
Scientist 1: getting the message out. And at night I wet my pillow with tears for the destruction we humans have wrought! We've cut down all the trees! We've poisoned the oceans! We are destroying the future! Why do you hate my children?
Scientist 2: Listen, you tree hugging, dope smoking, hippie whack job: If your tofu breath hasn't sent the ozone layer running for cover by now, then nothing ever will. And let me tell you something . . . I . . . uh . .
Scientist 1: What--c'mon, you were doing really well there. Don't stop now.
Scientist 2: I'm sorry, I just can't get into it. I'm trying, I really am, I just . . . I don't drive an SUV. I get fifty miles per gallon in my diesel Jetta with fuel my friend makes from soybeans.
Scientist 1: Wow. My Subaru outback only gets 20 miles to the galon. But there's a lot of room for bumper stickers, and it's still better than your gigantic SUV.
Scientist 2: I just said, I don't have an SUV.
Scientist 1: Of course you do, and so do half the Democrat senators I support on my popular vitriolic blog. But it just isn't right demonizing people who care.
Scientist 2: It just isn't right demonizing people who care.
Scientist1: And you obviously don't care.
Scientist 2: You obviously don't care.
Scientist 1: Stop copying me.
Scientist 2: Stop copying me.
Scientist 1: Seriously, don't.
Scientist 2: Seriously d--
Scientist 1: KNOCK IT OFF! Why do you have to be so damn childish?
Scientist 2: Sorry. I was just trying to be antagonistic. I keep feeling this urge to say something detached and analytical, and I get all muddled. I guess I'm just old school. I was only bought by the conservatives a couple of weeks ago. Until then I was a real scientist.
Scientist 1: Hey, it's alright. I was new at this once, too. We come from different places. I want to save the world; you still want to analyze it. But we're scienticians now, commentators. You know, pundits. Propaganda is the only middle ground we have.
Scientist 2: And it's "the only way we can BOTH appear victorious with our extremist constituencies." I know. But what if I don't want to be "victorious?" What if I just want to keep science from being railroaded by politicians?
Scientist 1: That's crazy talk and you know it. Politics is the only way to get money from a caretaker government. And sensationalism is the--
Scientist 2: "only way to create the ignorant public outcry that pushes politicians to throw money around in a desperate attempt to keep their jobs." I've read the manual. [takes a deep breath and sighs] O.K. Can we start over at the beginning?
Scientist 1: Fine, but we have to hurry it up. Someone is talking about putting up a windfarm in the harbor, and I have to put a stop to it. It's really gonna mess up my view and drive property values down. Ready? Here we go: All the evidence, without exception, indicates very clearly that Global Warming, the latest tool of Crooked Capitalist Bastards, is going to destroy the Earth TONIGHT after the Eleven O'clock news!
Scientist 2: WRONG! It is a complete myth foisted upon environmentalist whacko lapdogs who need to feel like they're involved in some higher cause because their Godless lifestyle leaves them feeling empty! You won't be happy until the government tells everybody what color to paint their mandatory Yugo! Well, let me tell you something, mister long haired, dreadlocked, left wing . . .

[Fade to black.]