By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 06/29/08
I’ve never been a great fan of the comedian George Carlin. His politics were dubious and his take on religion was an unmitigated attack on anyone of faith. That combined with more than his share of expletives made listening to an uncensored routine by him in his later years unbearable. Those objections aside, he did provide his share of laughs over the years.
Many from my generation will recall his role as the Hippy-Dippy Weatherman from routines on The Tonight Show. One of my favorite lines from that role was his weather forecast, “Tonight's forecast: Dark. Continued dark throughout most of the evening, with some widely-scattered light towards morning.”
Always the master of new insights to the obvious, he brilliantly captured the illogic of human theory regarding some of the most elementary truths of life. One that he nailed precisely was the radical environmental movement, and he revealed the illogic of the movement in a fashion only he could.
Quoting from his routine, Carlin said, “Let me tell you about endangered species, all right? Saving endangered species is just one more arrogant attempt by humans to control nature. It's arrogant meddling. It's what got us in trouble in the first place. Doesn't anybody understand that? Interfering with nature. Over 90% of all the species that have ever lived on this planet, ever lived, are gone. They're extinct. We didn't kill them all. They just disappeared. That's what nature does. We're so self-important. Everybody is 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. What?
“I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren't enough bicycle paths, people trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. There is nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The people are (bleep). The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. It's been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We've only been engaged in heavy industry for a little more than 200 years.
“Two hundred years versus four and a half billion, and we have the conceit to think that somehow we’re a threat, that somehow we’re going to put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that's just a-floatin’ around the sun? The planet has been through a lot worse than us, been through all kinds of things worse than us, been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sunspots, 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.”
That’s the inimitable George Carlin putting into perspective the arrogance of man, while at the same time, trying to maintain that we’re all simply products of nature.
When you think about it, the ideologies are all wrong here. Those who are most adamant from a secular perspective that we all evolved from the primordial slime with a few proteins adapting to form our world and humankind are the ones who think we can control nature. While those of us who believe that we were created by God seem to be the ones mostly cognizant of the fact that we are part of nature and we’re not omniscient and omnipotent and can’t control it. What a perplexing dichotomy! You would think the ideologies would be swapped.
Now let’s apply the radical lunacy Carlin identified to a real-life scenario, and voila, we have the 2008 Democratic National Convention! Vowing to make the convention the “greenest” in history, they’ve struggled to find the necessary accoutrements to make the convention environmentally friendly and politically correct. To pull this off, the DNC hired an official “Director of Greening,” longtime environmental activist Andrea Robinson.
They need the balloons to be biodegradable, as well as everything else used in the convention. Ms. Robinson hired an Official Carbon Adviser, who will measure the greenhouse-gas emissions of every placard, every plane trip, every appetizer prepared and every discarded coffee cup.
They’ve ruled out fried food, and every meal must include “at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and while.” They’ve also stipulated that 70% of the ingredients should be organic, or grown locally to cut down on shipping emissions.
I have a sneaky, uneasy feeling that this is what we can expect if these clowns ever completely run the country.
It’s really too bad Carlin graduated from mortality when he did: he could have had a lifetime of new comedy routines from just this one event!