Chasing Waterfalls

There’s going to be a professional reading of my new play “Lysistrata and the Temple of Gaia”! I’m very excited to hear it performed. It’s going to happen on April 24th at 2 pm at The Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 151 Bloor West (one block west of Spadina). Please come.

As readers of this page will know, the play is an eco-sex comedy, sub-titled “Apocolyptus Interuptus”. (Eco-sex is the next big thing) and it answers the age old “Are we going to make it?” Are we going to survive the impacts of global warming which include violent storms, killer droughts, ocean acidification and species extinction which might, in the most extreme projections, include ourselves.


What has always interested me is not the problem, but that we’re not doing anything about the problem. At least not anything on the scale necessary to avert serious damage to our climate. Why?

If we were all in a canoe headed for Niagara Falls it would be easy. We’d say, “Ah! We’re headed for Niagara Falls! We’re going to drown! Paddle!” and I feel confident everyone in the canoe would paddle (even the Koch Brothers). But that’s not where we are. We’re all in a canoe but the waterfall is thirty, forty, fifty years in the future. I won’t be around, so why paddle? My kids will be retired. Why should they paddle?


But then the metaphor of a waterfall doesn’t reflect the way this problem is emerging. The river is going to drop, yes, but very slowly. The ice will melt slowly. The water will rise slowly. The coral will dissolve slowly. The atmosphere will warm slowly. True – there will be violent storms, but the storms will only happen occasionally in any one place despite being much more frequent and deadly around the planet. The problem with this kind of scenario is that everyone gets used to the changes.   And we’ll be encouraged to get used to them because the cost of doing something about them will, over time, get more and more expensive if not impossible. I mean, putting a sea wall around Manhattan? Maybe. Putting a sea wall around Florida? Impossible.


So the problem isn’t the problem. We could solve the problem in a flash if we wanted to. The problem is we don’t think it’s a problem which is funny (or farcical) except that millions of people are going to die because of our inaction and millions more will have their lives just plain miserable with attendant social disruption globally etc. etc. That is a tragedy.

A comedy about a tragedy. That was what Aristophanes wrote in 411 BC and what I have written two thousand, four hundred and twenty-seven years later. Come out and see it. Let’s change the story.

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