JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The volcano and climate change

There’s a joke I’ve always enjoyed.

Man lives on a volcano, and the thing is about to erupt. A bunch of rescue workers hike up to his house. “Sir, you’ve got to leave. The volcano is about to erupt.”

“No,” the man says, “I know God will protect me.”

Well, lava starts to bubble out of the volcano, and is slowly working its way down the slope. A bunch of hikers are scrambling down the hill, running for their lives. They see the man on his porch. “Sir! Sir!” they yell. “The lava! The lava! Get out of here! Come with us!”

“No,” the man says, “I know God will protect me.”

Finally, the house is surrounded by lava. A chopper flies overhead, and lets down a rope ladder. “Sir, grab the ladder!” he hears from a bullhorn. “We’ll save you!”

“No,” the man says, “I know God will protect me.”

Of course, the lava consumes the house, and the man dies. Next thing he knows, he’s facing God in the afterlife. “Hello, it’s me, God,” He says.

“God, I don’t understand,” the man says, dumbfounded. “I thought you would protect me?”

God looks down at the man with disgust. “Man, I sent you the rescue workers, the hikers, the chopper—what the heck more do you expect from me?”

•••

In case you haven’t noticed, this winter was ludicrous. You know how many times it snowed here in New York? Twice. Twice! Weird things are happening everywhere, and if I hear one more science-doesn’t-exist-to-me twist say, “The climate works in cycles!” I’m gonna vomit. Thanks to the likes to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and the GOP and the Fox Crazy Machine, my grandkids will grow up swimming in Buffalo in July. And that’s the best part of this.

Ugh.

I’m just … lost. Nobody cares. Everyone’s distracted. There are things to be done, and nobody is doing them. And the nutjob right-wingers who say everything is God’s plan … well, read the volcano story. Perhaps, in your lingo, this is God telling us to take care of our planet.

Friggin’ damn.