Dec 09 2007
Six Metres and Rising
A play in one act
(Generously submitted to Currents by friend and creative genius Mr. Earnest Canuck)
DAVID SUZUKI, an environmentalist.
STEPHEN HARPER, a politician.
WEN JIABAO, another politician.
KING CANUTE, another.
GLOBAL CLIMATE, an entity, played by a hot woman.
KYOTO, a dog.
CURTAIN. A Vancouver beach in winter. DAVID SUZUKI, wearing only a thong, performs labourious Tai Chi exercises, puffing out his cheeks. Enter STEPHEN HARPER, carrying a laptop.
HARPER: What kind of activity are you carrying out there, David Suzuki?
SUZUKI: Capping, pant, my emissions of greenhouse, pant, gasses, Prime, pant, Minister.
HARPER: Really? And this capping, is it the manner of thing done by cool people, statistically?
SUZUKI (angrily): Yes…!
HARPER (thoughtfully): I should have capped my emissions when I was a schoolboy. Statistically, I might have reduced the percentile of days spent with my underwear around my neck. Statistically. (Sits, opens laptop.) Hey, Suzuki…? What’s 450 million years old and two miles thick?
SUZUKI: Your government’s heartless indifference, maybe, to future generations? Ha, ha!
HARPER: Ha, ha! Ha. Um, no, though. Let me refer to the punchline here. It was the ice sheet in Ordovician times, when atmospheric carbon dioxide was ten times higher than –
(Enter GLOBAL CLIMATE, pursued by KING CANUTE. WEN JIABAO reluctantly trails in after them.)
GLOBAL CLIMATE: Micronations! Crop failure! SUVs! Sustainable! Carbon trading! Sustainability! Fossil fuels! Flossing!
KING CANUTE (imploringly): Why were you so hot for me, Global Climate, and now you’re so cold? Please! Baby! Can’t we go through the highs and lows together? Don’t go changing, just to please me –
WEN JIABAO: All right, King Canute, that’s enough. You’ll never lower her tube top’s see level. It’s futile! Now get the hell out of here.
CANUTE: I’ll turn her back someday. You’ll see. (Slinks offstage.)
CLIMATE (sadly): King Canute consensus oilsands inconvenient truthiness? (Suddenly enraged) Mean temperature! Ice calves! Sequester! Monbiot! Monbiot!
SUZUKI: So, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. How are you?
JIABAO: Harper, Suzuki, hello. Frankly, I’m a little tired of dealing with this Global Climate bi —
HARPER: Bit of a policy challenge, with a range of costs and opportunities, you’re saying, Wen? I feel you. That is, I empathize with you. I’m feeling you.
JIABAO: I was saying, she’s not my problem. Also, she’s a skank.
CLIMATE: Protocol! Sweet light crude! Protocol!
JIABAO: Whatever. She’s quite aware what she’s going through. You all stay away from my house, all right? (Exit. He shouts from offstage.) Climate changes! It’s what she does!
HARPER: So. Um. Ms. Climate. Would you care for a light massage? Several studies have shown it might be medicinally beneficial. Within a margin of error. Statistically.
CLIMATE: Recycling incentive biosphere solar panel?
SUZUKI: Damn you, Harper! Just because this country has one per cent of the world’s weather, doesn’t mean you can fiddle with Global Climate, you, you… pollutant…
HARPER: David, I would ask you to reduce your face-punching anger by a few degrees, now. Over the next predictive time period, I mean… voluntarily…
SUZUKI: Despoiler! Climate flirter!
(HARPER and SUZUKI begin to wrestle and stagger offstage, pursued by the agitated CLIMATE.)
CLIMATE: Community gardens organic bicycle. Healing spiritual dialogue circle! Dialogue! Deniers! Exxon! Monbiot!
(Exit. Enter KYOTO.)
KYOTO: As we have seen tonight, friends, climate is a thing that affects us all. In these troubled times, we can no longer deny that each of us has some emissions. Globular warmening is no longer just a recipe, but a scientishly-acknowledged truism. Our duty to the planet and to future generations is clear: we must fossilize our remaining fuel resources. And wherever sea-level communities are threatened by changing climaxes, kibble must be provided, friends, as much kibble as the developed world can spare, lest overheated dogs lead us straight into environmental catastrophe. I may be just a small dog in a big atmosphere, my fellow citizens, but believe me: I was named for a treaty, and I know.