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June 26, 2006
On George Carlin & Al Gore
At first glance, George Carlin and Al Gore don't seem to have a lot in common, but I think they do. About 15 years ago, Carlin recorded a hilarious routine called "The Planet Is Fine." Go here to read the full text, but here's an excerpt:
We're so self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet. Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great.
The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles ... hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages ... And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn't going anywhere. WE ARE!
We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away. And we won't leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam ... The planet'll be here and we'll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.
The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed.
Carlin's point was that the environmentalist slogan should have been changed from "Save the Planet" to "Save Our Own Asses." Last week that idea was driven home a lot further when I saw the film "An Inconvenient Truth," the new documentary that chronicles Al Gore's mission to make people aware of the real consequences that humans are beginning to witness after decades of short-sighted treatment of the Earth's atmosphere.
There are no tree huggers, no pleas to be kind to Mother Nature. Gore simply shows -- using a nice blend of humor and facts -- how global warming, melting ice caps, and rising CO2 levels are having a real effect on people's lives -- and how things will only get worse for humans if we continue to ignore the changes taking place.
See "An Inconvenient Truth." Keep an open mind. Decide for yourself how important this issue is.
Or at least take 90 minutes to learn how a future generation may be shaken off the Earth like a bad case of fleas.
Here's a trailer for the movie at YouTube:
And here's Gore being interviewed by David Letterman:
Again, see the movie. Keep an open mind. And decide for yourself how important it is.
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Bob Baker is an author, speaker, teacher, indie musician and former music magazine editor dedicated to showing musicians of all kinds how to get exposure, connect with fans, sell more music, and increase their incomes.
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