This is An Actual Crisis

From the FFMP archive of statements to Redwood City Council Members, December 2019. This statement was originally made by Carol Cross, and easily applies to a number of crises we see today.

First, Let me add my congratulations to you, Madame Mayor, for becoming mayor. And my thanks to Council Member Bain for your supremely gracious and even-handed tenure as our former mayor.

Guess what? Tonight, I’m not going to talk about Reach Codes – probably to everyone’s relief. Instead, I’m going to tell you about a part of one of the lectures at my church faith’s annual conference this last June.

The minister who was speaking was talking about climate change, and she set out to impersonate Bill Nye, the Science Guy.  If you’ve ever caught him on PBS, you know he’s always in a lab coat and a bow tie.

So she put on a lab coat and a bow tie, and she reenacted a segment he did recently. His props were a globe and a flame thrower. And safety glasses. She didn’t have those, but she asked us to imagine them.

And then she said, “Since this is a religious gathering, I don’t want to offend anyone’s sensibilities. Instead of using the expletives he used, I’m going to wave my arms, and you’re going to say, ‘bleep!!’’

And then she proceeded by impersonating him: “By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on earth could go up another four to eight degrees. What I’m saying is, the planet’s on BLEEP fire!” And then she pretended to do what Bill actually did: he actually set the globe on fire!! 

“There are a lot of things we could do” – and she pretended to point to the sand, fire extinguisher, and blanket that he really had, and continued, “and are any of them free? NO, of course not, you idiots, nothing is free!! Grow the BLEEP up!! You’re not children anymore. I didn’t mind explaining photosynthesis to you when you were twelve, but you’re adults now, and this is an actual crisis. Got it?” And that’s the message. It IS an actual crisis, just a mostly invisible one. And if you have the power to help slow that crisis, why wouldn’t you?

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