“It’s Life, Jim, But Not As We Know It” is a poem that I wrote in hurry, ironically whilst rushing to catch a plane to make my own small contribution to global warming. Even worse, I was coming up with couplets and phrases whilst sitting in the gridlock of the M25! I’m not blasé about the perils of climate change and I support, financially and politically, organisations that campaign to raise awareness of the issues and try to bring about changes to government policy.
It is difficult, however, for individuals to grasp the enormity of the issue and feel that their behaviour makes a difference, whilst governments seem to move with glacial (no pun intended) slowness towards consensus and positive action. And of course, recession doesn’t help either in motivating nations and corporations to set aside vested interests and pursue environmentalism rather than profit. At the time of writing, I have to say I veer towards the pessimistic about our chances of avoiding some kind of environmental catastrophe. I hope these verses, which are meant as satire, ring true but do not become a self-fulfilling prophecy!
It’s Life Jim, But Not As We Know It
Cleanse the world of nature
Yes, bring it to the boil!
All those trees and floral things
Would be much more use as oil.
We don’t need useless shrubbery
And we have no time for rivers
And the very thought of green belt
Is enough to give me shivers.
Oh they say the world is warming
But I think that’s just a farce
To stop us building motorways
To fill with lovely cars.
Let truckers truck in peace, I say,
Give them freedom to pollute
And why preserve wild animals
When you can keep them in a zoo?
Profit. That’s what matters.
Pile it high in every bank.
And if the dolphins struggle
We can make them swim in tanks.
Wind farms are for losers,
And solar makes me laugh.
The only reserves that matter
Are the ones of natural gas.
Ships and trains and aeroplanes
Are what makes the world go round
And when there’s nothing left to spoil
We can all live underground
That’s what I used to think
In the time before The Storms
But nowadays I can’t deny
It’s gotten rather warm.
They always called it progress
At least that’s what we believed,
But because of all the toxic fumes
There’s no air left to breath.
And we can’t grow any vegetables
Because the soil is full of lead
And we can’t find solace in the seas
Because all the fish are dead.
Coral reefs and rainforest
Are very much past tense
Like all the bright and beautiful things
That only now make sense.
We tried to build a rocket
To flee towards the stars
But all our ‘boldly going’
Couldn’t even get past Mars.
I say ‘we’ and ‘they’ from habit
But now I’m the only one
And when the pod runs out of air
The humans will be gone.
By Andrew Dodd