It has been pointed out numerous times how odd it is to hold global climate negotiations in Doha, Qatar. It is, after all, the country with the world’s highest per-capita carbon emissions. Electricity there is actually free — seriously, FREE. Are we celebrating these excesses? Calling attention to them? Did it just seem like a fun place to gather and give ourselves vigorous handjobs? Here at EnvironRant these questions inspired us to come up with some other seemingly inappropriate choices for major events. Enjoy.
1. UN Security Council meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea
Look, where better than the worst fucking place in the world to discuss the high-level fate of said world? If the nuclear holocaust ever does go down, I’d say the likely origin is split between here and Tehran (though we’re not ruling you out, somewhere in the Israeli desert); let’s nip that shit in the bud and bring the leaders of the free world in right now. They can stay at the Worst Building in the World.
2. White House correspondents dinner at Fox News headquarters
Let’s move the celebration of those who make up a key faction of the fourth estate by covering the president and his administration to the single biggest joke of a mainstream media outlet in the country! This would be fun.
3. Olympic Games in Kabul, Afghanistan
This is a country that has made fantastic use of its sporting venues in the past, so this is a logical choice. Remember when football stadiums were repurposed for public executions under the Taliban? So that’s uplifting. Someone start bribing the IOC! Wait, sorry, I meant PETITIONING the IOC. Right.
4. Republican National Convention in socialized France
Europe somehow has become a Tea Party bogeyman, with all its thinly disguised evil Marxism and so on. Let’s move the GOP’s nominating celebration to Toulouse or some shit, just to see how they all enjoy wonderful rapid train systems and free emergency care for when they choke on truffle oil and a 1989 Bordeaux.
5. World Conference on Lung Cancer inside a coal mine in Bulgaria
You thought I was going to go for Philip Morris headquarters or something, didn’t you. Well, joke’s on you, and STOP TRYING TO DO MY JOB. You’ll only fail. Anyway, this seems like a fun idea — all the cancer researchers can spend a few days in a coal mine and actually have lung cancer by the time they leave. Everyone wins. Oh, and Bulgaria because Bulgaria is hilarious.
This almost reads like satire. Here’s what Jonathan Pershing, a senior negotiator for the United States at the climate talks in Doha, Qatar, had to say as the meetings got under way: “Those who don’t know what the US is doing may not be informed of the scale and extent of the effort, but it’s enormous.”
BOOM. All you assholes out there who think the U.S. is still leading the 4 Degrees of Catastrophic Warming charge are just flat-out cray cray. Our efforts have been ENORMOUS. Gigantic. Gargantuan. Monstrous. Fucking inhumanly big. Off the goddamn charts.
Never mind the ongoing all-of-the-above, let’s burn it all energy policy. Never mind the president’s signature on a bill exempting US airlines from an EU emissions reduction scheme. Never mind the current track toward surpassing Saudi Arabia in oil production by 2020. Seriously, ignore all that. Just look at me, right here. Eyes front. FUCKING LOOK AT ME. Good.
I guess the point of the US delegation playing up its paltry “enormous” efforts at emissions reductions is a negotiating strategy or something: we’ve already done a lot, so we shouldn’t have to sacrifice as much. I don’t know. Doha is kind of a joke anyway. Remember how three years ago everyone was super pumped for Copenhagen, and then we all got depressed when fuck all came of it? We’re not even bothering anymore, just pretending we’ve made “enormous” progress so no one notices the continued lack of any at all.
From the Washington Post: UN climate report shows gap between talk and action growing as emissions rise.
The Talk-Action Gap: A Play in One Act
Scene 1: An empty stage, slowly filling with smoke. Talk and Action stand on opposite sides, yelling.
TALK: Action? Where are you buddy? Getting a bit hard to see in here.
ACTION: Oh hey, Talk! How’s it going man?
TALK: Um, good I guess. You?
ACTION: Great. What’s with the smoke, do you think?
TALK: Rising emissions. Bummer, huh?
ACTION: Dude, CO2 is invisible.
TALK: Dramatic license?
ACTION: Ah. Well, good stuff then.
TALK: So, I have no idea where you are anymore. Will I be seeing you any time soon?
ACTION: Who knows, buddy? I’m off to the Maldives for a vacation. Gotta get that one in quick, amirite??
TALK: You’re kind of a dick, Action.
ACTION: Sorry man, can’t hear you!
Last week, President Obama held a post-election press conference, where he finally touched on his unwavering “belief” in climate change, and his coming huge push for action. Wait, sorry — actually he said that he wouldn’t do shit about it if it might possibly threaten job growth and so on, and hinted that no one in Washington has any desire at all to confront the thing that will destroy the world. We sat down with the president (what are the odds, right?) to find out more.
EnvironRant: Thanks for your time Mr. President.
President Obama: No problem. Congress can’t get anything done even now, so I’ve got time to spare most days. Who are you again?
ER: Just some guy, doesn’t matter. So, could you explain your position on climate change action again?
BO: Sure. I believe in climate change. I believe the climate is changing. Humans are responsible. It is not a hoax. The seas are rising, acidifying. I believe something needs to be done to save the world for our children.
ER: That’s great. Just curious though — can we maybe stop discussing a series of facts with mountains of scientific evidence as a question of belief? It would save me some time on yelling “fuck” a lot online.
BO: The science is solid. I believe the science is solid.
ER: Fuck. Okay, let’s move on. You say something needs to be done: great, what will you do?
BO: Well, it can’t be at the expense of American families. I won’t go for that.
ER: Yeah, you mentioned that before. Why won’t you go for that? I mean, pretty much every family will end up screwed pretty soon without action, and especially poorer families around the world. So… maybe table the whole “economy must grow” thing for a bit?
BO: We need to lift this country out of tough economic times. We need the rich to pay a bit more. These are things that we can deal with right now.
ER: Um, okay? I think we’re off topic here. So, you’ll do nothing at all on climate change?
BO: I believe the science is solid on climate change, and that we should do something about it for our children. But people are hurting. If action on climate will hurt those people more, I won’t go for that.
ER: Okay, let’s do a hypothetical. Godzilla has just walked up out of the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll give him Boston this time, just ’cause New York always gets the monsters. It will cost a lot of money to send basically the entire military over there to try and stop him from destroying the city and moving inland, raping and pillaging as he goes.
BO: Raping and pillaging? Isn’t that the vikings?
ER: What are you, racist? The point is, do you go stop Godzilla?
BO: That’s a tough question. I believe the science is real on Godzilla. I believe –
ER: Wait, what?
BO: — that when our citizens are threatened we need to help them. I would dispatch FEMA to the site. But if sending the military meant an increase in taxes on the middle class? I won’t go for that.
ER: Okay. You won’t go for stopping Godzilla if it means hurting the middle class. FEMA is on its way though, so we’re all good. Got it. Let’s try another. North Korea has somehow made missiles that really work, and launches 20 of them at America’s 20 biggest cities. Maybe not including Phoenix, ’cause who gives a shit, but you get the idea. What do you do?
BO: I believe that North Korea is real.
ER: Great. I’m excited about that.
BO: These nuclear missiles heading our way are a real threat. They are not a hoax.
ER: I’m glad you’re getting into the hypothetical, but they kind of are.
BO: I would love to help the people who might be affected by these missiles, but if it means cutting into our gains in job growth, or making it tough for middle class families to get by? I don’t think anyone in Congress will go for that. I won’t go for that.
ER: Okay, so, so far we have destroyed America’s 20 biggest cities plus Boston (it’s 21st! Thanks Wikipedia!). But we have totally saved the middle class from any increase in taxes, which I’m sure will be appreciated by whoever in the country survives the coming holocaust of Godzilla plus North Korean nukes. Any last thoughts on dealing with climate change, Mr. President?
BO: I believe in climate change.
Two things for me to yell about today. First, President Obama answered a question about climate change yesterday during his press conference. Good news! He said he believes in it! Which somehow is still a thing!
Jesus. He said we haven’t done enough about climate change (I know, right?), and he’s got just the thing: talk about it and junk! “So what I’m going to be doing over the next several weeks, the next several months is having a conversation, a wide-ranging conversation with scientists, engineers, and elected officials.” Oh good. Because we haven’t had those conversations outside of the White House for TWO FUCKING DECADES.
And it gets better. Obama went on to basically tell everyone that dealing with climate change is a non-starter in Washington, because of all the other terrible crap that people think is more important. And the worst part is that though I am positive he understands this issue pretty well, he doesn’t just blame others for that inevitable continuation of inaction, he owns that shit like he’s still running for something. “If the message somehow is that we’re going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don’t think anyone’s going to go for that. I won’t go for that.”
Dude. THAT IS EXACTLY THE MESSAGE. “Growth” is a thing that needs to be left behind, conceptually. And you are in the prime position to do that, because you have nothing left to deal with, no more terrible Romneys sniping at you from the opposite debate lectern. But no, your answer is “yes, climate change is terrible and let’s do something about it, but we can’t do anything about it at all, so we won’t.” Fuck.
And then second, which I won’t linger on long, is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s op-ed in the New York Daily News claiming leadership on climate change. Great stuff, governor. Take charge and junk. Except, you know, wait for the GIANT STORM THAT CRIPPLES YOUR STATE before doing so.