Thursday, June 10, 2010

151. Global summit determines fate

Recently there was a Summit held somewhere inside the Andromeda Galaxy and attended by some of the most influential figures in the history of the world. The Summit was convened to decide the fate of the human species. Among those in attendance were Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Gandhi, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Zeus and Buddha. Representing the earthly species were a cow, chicken and dolphin. The meeting was presided over by the Almighty God, and I was lucky to get my hands on parts of the transcript.
Almighty God: I hereby call this Summit to session to determine the fate of human beings on planet Earth. We’ve all read the report depicting human activity over the last two thousand years. Would someone please provide a quick review?
Gandhi: I will, Sir Almighty. Over the past two thousand years, human beings, who once foraged peacefully around the African continent, have been working steadily to destroy planet Earth and its biosphere. On its own species, it has engaged in wars, slavery, terrorism and genocide. It turns out that human beings will fight over almost anything—most notably religion and the Earth’s natural resources. Human beings are also destroying ecosystems at an alarming pace. Species are going extinct faster than at any other time in history—about 120,000 per year. The cruelest engage in factory farming, canned hunts and slaughter of baby seals. Should I continue?
Almighty God: Please do.
Gandhi: Human beings have also been polluting the air and water to the point that more than a billion people do not have clean drinking water. Glaciers are melting, rain forests are disappearing and there has been an increase in the frequency of extreme weather. Undeterred, the human population keeps growing at an environmentally and economically unsustainable rate—globally adding a net of 200,000 people per day. Human beings act as if they’ve never heard of Thomas Malthus.
Almighty God: What about government and economic systems?
Gandhi: Human beings have struggled to develop an uncorrupt form of government, one that acts in the interest of their people and is free from the influence of money. American capitalism is poisoned with greed and corporate manipulation. Many other governments, such as communist China, are ruled by heavy-handed totalitarian regimes that continue to commit human rights violations. Nazi Germany committed some of the worst crimes in the history of humanity. Countries in Africa kill each other over diamonds. Would you like to hear more?
Almighty God: No, to recount the atrocities of every corrupt government over the last two thousand years might take awhile. What are people doing about it; doesn’t anyone care about what is happening? What about the “power of the people”?
Buddha: I’ll take this one, Sir Almighty. About two billion are too poor or too ignorant to make a difference as they spend their days at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  Another billion really just don’t care, they are willing to waste their days without ever offering a deep thought about anything. Another two billion are working two to three jobs to make ends meet and even if they understand the issues, they have no time or energy to do anything about it. Another billion understand the issues, but are perfectly happy living their middle class lives. They donate a couple hundred bucks each year to clear their conscious and let other people worry about it. Finally, a few hundred million know exactly what is going on, but they are responsible for the exploitation and spend most of their time working to preserve their wealth.
Almighty God: I see. At this point, I think we should take comments from the floor. What about morality and religion?
Jesus: Many Christians engage in what is called cafeteria religion—they pick and choose what to believe based on what best fits their life-style. Basically they do what they want and then find a way to justify it. Others seem to have a propensity for anger and violence, as evidenced by the Crusades and Inquisition. I think some Christians in America are more worried about their guns being taken away than they are about providing healthcare to poor Americans.
Mohammad: Guns? That is the least of my problems. I have extremists stalking cartoonists and flying planes into buildings. I appreciate that they pray to me five times a day, but the mistreatment of women makes me sick.
Jesus: Five times a day! I see my followers only a few times a year and the only time I hear from them is when they hope to win the lottery or when their favorite football team lines up for a game-winning field goal.
Sir Isaac Newton: I was myself a devout Christian when I lived, but we know now that praying doesn’t solve problems. Science solves problems and human beings have all the science they need. Yet, many still dismiss the Big Bang, evolution and global warning as “theories.”
Zeus: Aren’t they just theories, no more plausible than say the belief that Greek Gods exist?
Sir Isaac Newton: I know it’s confusing to some; scientific theories arise only after there is a near consensus reached by scientists working in the field. Scientific observations to the contrary are all that is needed to disprove a scientific theory.
California Cow: Not to change the subject, but you should rejoice that you are not an animal. They take away my calves and then have the nerve to run those ridiculous happy cow commercials. They still haven’t figured out that what they are drinking is the breast milk of a cow—seasoned with antibiotics and growth hormones. I guess I am happier than those that live on factory farms who are forced to gorge on corn before being led to slaughter. Have you seen the video from that Ohio farm?
Mor Chicken: Lett’s not git starrted on factory farmms. Thay pack us so tight thaat we want to kill each otheer and trim our beaks so wee don’t. Not easi to talk with haf a beak. They kill 8-9 billion of us per year.
Japanese Dolphin. Speaking of videos, have you seen the inhumane butchery perpetuated by the Japanese on my species as depicted in the documentary, The Cove?
Charles Darwin: I know, it’s bad, but can’t we give them a second chance; maybe they are not yet completely evolved.
Almighty God: This is their second chance; I initiated a sin-cleansing flood upon the Earth a couple of thousand of years ago. They have not learned from their mistakes.
Charles Darwin: Aren’t human beings created in your image?
Almighty God: Don’t push it Mr. Darwin, you’re responsible for much of this mess. People were just fine believing in a variety of gods and spirits until you came along.
Charles Darwin: Trust me, people still believe. And aren’t there some good people on Earth?
Almighty God: Absolutely, there are lots of socially-conscious people that work very hard to improve the lives of others. However, in general, humans do not do enough and most of what they do is self-serving. For example, many people feel good about themselves or believe themselves to be environmentalists simply because they recycle their aluminum cans each month. While the premise that every little bit makes a difference is true, it is also a crutch for those unwilling to really examine their lives and the impact it has on the other sentiment beings that share planet Earth. Human beings have been unable to get past their smugness and make the personal sacrifices necessary to sustain their existence on Earth.
Mother Nature: Not to be rude, but can we wrap this up, I’ve got my hands full with those idiots who are trying to solve the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. These people are more worried about money and political impact of the spill than they are about cleaning up the oil that is polluting the sea and killing animals. If anyone wants his or her life back, it’s me. Before human beings, my biggest concern was an errant asteroid.
Almightly God: Let’s vote then, all those that believe that planet Earth would be a better place without human beings signify by saying “aye.”
All: Aye
Almighty God: So be it. The Summit has ruled that human beings have acted with reckless disregard toward each other, other species and the environment. By this motion, human beings must cease and desist all activity on Earth and vacate the planet immediately. It is so ordered.

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