Outline and Summary of a two act play about preparing for a climate changing world

Actors

ECONOMO—representing managers and shareholders of major corporations and supporters  

ENVIRO– representing a large group of environmental organizations and supporters.

MOTHER EARTH– representing herself. 

Scene 1

The Curtain opens with the two men, Economo and Enviro in a heated discussion about how they should be preparing for the looming threat of a potentially disastrous climate changing world.

Enviro: We’ve been at this for almost an hour and we are not getting anywhere because you won’t listen to reason.

Economo:  Whoa! You’re the one who won’t listen to reason.  You and your tree-hugging buddies have gone down the rabbit hole and don’t have a clue about what the real world is all about.

Enviro. I’m not down the rabbit hole. You and your powerful friends are down the rabbit hole.  You don’t want to admit that the reason climate change is threatening to end our future is because of the economic systems you have introduced.  Profits, profits, it’s all about profits—every day and every minute of the day. You think the real world is a collection of resources for you guys to pilfer. But you are running out of things to pilfer.

Economo. If we hadn’t worked our tails off to develop the systems that you and your friends have benefited from you wouldn’t even be here. You seem to believe that we can deal with a climate changing world without an economy. How do you want us to make a living, sitting on a corner singing songs or selling pencils in a can? Get real.

(The conversation goes on and on like this.  The audience is hearing the same things they have heard time and time again, wondering why they are still here and hoping for some beer and pretzels at the end.)

Scene 2

The curtain opens. Economo and Enviro continue to throw barbs at one another. Then Mother Earth enters the room. They both look at her warily. 

Economo. Who are you?

Enviro. Yah, who are you and who invited you?

Mother Earth. I’m Mother Earth. I invited myself because I heard you having a discussion about me, or should I say a fight about me. At first I thought it would be interesting but I keep hearing the same things I’ve heard before over and over. Quite frankly, I’m getting bored. I thought you could use some help.

Economo. We could use some help,

Enviro.  Agreed. 

Mother Earth. Okay, so let’s get back to the basics. What you have been asked to do because of the recent science predictions is to find a way to prepare for the climate changing world that is closing in on you.  Furthermore you have been asked by your groups to find some kind of common ground you can adopt to work together for the future.

Enviro and Economo.  Agreed. 

 Mother Earth. Enviro, I’m assuming you believe your future world will need an economy. Right?

Enviro. Right, but not his economic system.

Mother Earth. Enviro, don’t get ahead of yourself. I’m also assuming that you see the need for Earth and its ecosystems.

Enviro.   Right

Mother Earth. Good.  We seem to be making some progress. Economo, I’m assuming that you see the need for someone or something to care for Earth’s natural resources… the resources that any economy depends upon.

Economo. (Nods his head in agreement.}

Enviro. So in our climate changing future we need both economic systems and systems to care for the environment. But what does this mean in practice?

Mother Earth. Enviro, I’ll get to that in a moment.  One more thing.  I’m also assuming that despite any difference you might have, you both recognize that you share something else in common.  You and all other humans depend upon Earth and its resources for your personal survival. I can see you are  both shaking your heads in agreement.

Mother Earth continues…So you now have an agreement on some basics.  You have a common ground.

Enviro again What about practice?   How do we act on all of this in practice?

(Mother Earth rolls her eyes, sighs, looks out at the audience and says in a low,  somewhat discouraged  voice…”Men”.)

 Mother Earth. Think back to what you have agreed to.  You have agreed that you depend upon My Earth for your continued existence.  So Whatever you do in terms of your systems, it must also benefit My Earth.

Enviro. I agree. But what about…

Mother Earth, Yes, Enviro, practice.  You can’t just start with your present situation and try to figure out what your future will be.  It is too much of a Hail Mary Pass. Think football…not rabbit holes.

Economo and Enviro. Football?

Mother Earth. Yes, football. Start by imagining yourselves on the same football team playing in a game. Because you depend upon Earth, the only way you can win is to ensure that you and Earth win together. As always, the field has very clear sidelines to identify the boundaries.  Think of them as the well-established limits to growth in terms of future growth.

And, oh yes, I’m also in the game. If you go outside these sidelines I’m going to blow the whistle and issue penalties.  You will notice it getting much hotter. But if you take actions that benefit you and My Earth, I’ll stay close to you and help. It is in my nature. I’ve been doing it for two million years.

Gotta go…but one last thing.  Knock off the rabbit hole crap. Try to listen to one another.

(Mother Earth exits stage left).  

(There is a long pause.)  

Enviro.  Did you get all of that?

Economo.  I’m not sure. But we’d better get it or we will be in deep trouble.

The curtain falls and the members of the audience get up quietly and think their way out of the theater…

 

Mike Bell

Comox Valley Climate Change Network