There’s no denying it, folks: Climate change is real, and it has catastrophic implications for the future of our planet. The science is indisputable at this point, but with so many politicians and leaders of industry fighting to silence the truth, I don’t have all that much hope in our power to change things for the better. How can we expect to get the whole world to work together at reducing carbon emissions if we can’t even pry a heavyset oaf like me out of a tire swing?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am stuck in a tire swing, and I’ve been stuck in it for the better part of the afternoon. I’m by no means a slender man, and I’d imagine that I probably look like a MoonPie stuffed through a lug nut right about now. My two boys, Dakota and Tucker, have tried just about everything to get me free, but nothing’s worked. And as I’ve been stranded here, feeling hopeless about our inability to yank a husky fella out of a tire, I can’t help but feel even more hopeless about mankind’s capacity to stop the seas from rising.
Saving our world from the ravages of climate change will require global cooperation on an unprecedented scale, which seems like a pipe dream when you consider the barriers of geopolitical hostilities and the dependence of developing countries on cheap, dirty fuels for survival and economic growth. There’s just no way that hundreds of nations will unite behind an aggressive course of action to slow carbon emissions when two boys can’t even manage to work together to get their old man out of a tire swing.
And as I’ve been stranded here, feeling hopeless about our inability to yank a husky fella out of a tire, I can’t help but feel even more hopeless about mankind’s capacity to stop the seas from rising.
Dakota was trying to grease me out one way with a stick of butter, while Tucker was trying to wedge me out the other way with a snow shovel. But since they didn’t coordinate their efforts, now I’ve got a shovel stuck in here against my ribs and some butter-hungry ants crawling all over my skin, and there’s no one here to shoo the ants away because the boys ran off to play their computer game. It’s a goddamn farce, if you ask me, and it bodes poorly for the future of our planet.
The implications are harrowing. I will probably get a fairly nasty rash around my waist, and the neighbor kids will almost certainly have some fun at my expense, whether that entails merely giggling and calling me a “fat fuck” or doing something more mean-spirited such as lighting up my large, vulnerable rear with paintballs. If we as a society are willing to suffer such outrages, what chance do we stand of averting the impending drought, economic collapse, cataclysmic poverty, environmental ruin, and internecine strife brought on by climate change?
My present predicament has taught me that the only thing we have a right to be optimistic about is mankind’s capacity to manufacture sturdy rope.
Hence, here is what we may grimly conclude: Perhaps I could have my boys call the fire department to come cut me out of this tire with the Jaws of Life, but sadly there are no Jaws of Life for climate change. We are dangling in a tire swing of our own creation for the brief remaining time of our species’ existence, imprisoned within an inescapable ring of human-generated greenhouse gasses, our feet kicking pitifully in the air as the oceans swallow the continents and drown us all alive.
And if this current debacle of mine can offer a parallel glimpse into what this experience will be like, let me assure you in no uncertain terms that our humiliating, self-inflicted demise will truly and profoundly suck. And judging from our response to my crisis today, there’s nothing we can do about it.