22 April 2007

Bill Maher: The Birds, the Bees, and Earth Day

New Rule: From now on Earth Day really must be a year round thing. And in honor of this Earth Day, starting Monday supermarket clerks must stop putting the big bottle of detergent with a handle on it in a plastic bag. I don't mean to tell you how to do your job, but you see that handle you just lifted the detergent with?

I can use that same handle to carry the detergent to my car. And stop putting my liquor in a smaller paper sack before you put it in the big paper sack with my other stuff. What, are you afraid my groceries will think less of me if they see I've been drinking? Trust me, the broccoli doesn't care, and the condoms already know.

Here's a quote from Albert Einstein: "if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man." Well, guess what? The bees are disappearing. In massive numbers. All around the world. And if you think I'm being alarmist and that, "Oh, they'll figure out some way to pollinate the plants..." No, they've tried. For a lot of what we eat, only bees work. And they're not working. They're gone. It's called Colony Collapse Disorder, when the hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, and all that's left are a few queens and some immature workers -- like when a party winds down at Elton John's house. Also, if your stinger stays up more than 48 hours, call your doctor.

But I think we're the ones suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder. Because although nobody really knows for sure what's killing the bees, it's not al-Qaeda, and it's not God doing some of his Old Testament shtick, and it's not Winnie the Pooh. It's us. It could be from pesticides, or genetically modified food, or global warming, or the high-fructose corn syrup we started to feed them. Recently it was discovered that bees won't fly near cell phones -- the electromagnetic signals they emit might screw up the bees navigation system, knocking them out of the sky. So thanks guy in line at Starbucks, you just killed us. It's nature's way of saying, "Can you hear me now?"

Last week I asked: If it solved global warming, would you give up the TV remote and go back to carting your fat ass over to the television set every time you wanted to change the channel. If that was the case in America, I think Americans would watch one channel forever. If it comes down to the cell phone vs. the bee, will we choose to literally blather ourselves to death? Will we continue to tell ourselves that we don't have to solve environmental problems -- we can just adapt: build sea walls instead of stopping the ice caps from melting. Don't save the creatures of the earth and oceans, just learn to eat the slime and jellyfish that nothing can kill, like Chinese restaurants are already doing.

Maybe you don't need to talk on your cell phone all the time. Maybe you don't' need a bag when you buy a keychain. Americans throw out 100 billion plastic bags a year, and they all take a thousand years to decompose. Your children's children's children's children will never know you but they'll know you once bought batteries at the 99 cent store because the bag will still be caught in the tree. Except there won't be trees. Sunday is Earth Day. Please educate someone about the birds and the bees, because without bees, humans become the canary in the coal mine, and we make bad canaries because we're already such sheep.


doug said...

Well Reid the only good news is that homosexuality is alive and well in the plant world too- except they have got one up on the humans as same sex plants can also reproduce! Some plants can even revret between the sexes (i.e. males become females and vice versa) and better yet some plants do away with sex altogther and reproduce on their own. Still others just multiply through the roots and don't rely too much on seeds to reproduce. Soooooo you see plants may well be smarter than humans - well at least they are better at adaptation and don't let sex fuck everything up (pun intended!). So while the bees provide many plants with an invaluable service and no doubt some species would dissappear forever along with the bees. I'd say its safe to say we're not dead just yet. Having said that its high time humans started realizing that by fucking with nature we really are rolling the dice with our own future.

Reid Dalgleish said...

Exactly Doug. Whether the bees could be another one of the 'canaries in the coal mine', the point is that we really have to collectively start changing the way we perceive ourselves in the natural world. We are SO not above or removed from it; we are in fact so entrenched in the biosphere and natural systems of the planet there's no way of escaping it no matter how much we might like to. We have to think a lot more seriously about the consequences of our actions. I think as we learn more about how the planetary systems work and interact, this reality is becoming harder and harder to ignore.