No 1939 Posted by fw, April 20, 2017
“This is a real conversation that took place a few days ago although, of course, the words that I report here can’t be exactly what we said. The protagonists are me and an acquaintance of mine. Imagine us holding glasses while at a party.” —Ugo Bardi, Cassandra’s Legacy
Ugo Bardi teaches physical chemistry at the University of Florence, in Italy. He is interested in resource depletion, system dynamics modeling, climate science and renewable energy.
Ugo’s very short story, reposted below, may leave you wondering what you would have said/not said in his/her place.
The subtitle, above, in quotes, is from the Comments section of Ugo’s post, contributed by a reader who chooses to remain “Anonymous”. Her/His full witty comment appears at the end of this repost, below. To read the story and all comments on Ugo’s website, click on the following linked title.
This is a real conversation that took place a few days ago although, of course, the words that I report here can’t be exactly what we said. The protagonists are me and an acquaintance of mine. Imagine us holding glasses while at a party.
Her: Ugo, did you hear what Trump is doing? He wants to destroy the climate data!
Me: I heard something about that.
Her. But it is awful! How can they allow him to do that? Destroying the work of the climate scientists!
Me. You know this joke about Trump? The one that goes, “What happens when Donald Trump takes Viagra?”
Her. Ugo, you keep joking all the time. But don’t you work in this field? Why don’t you tell me what you are really thinking about climate change?
Me (looking somber). It is a long story.
Her. Seriously, I want to know what you think.
Her. Absolutely. Tell me what’s going on.
Me (after having taken a deep breath). The situation is out of control. The amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are larger than any value seen in the past 10 million years and it keeps rising. The icecaps are melting, droughts are destroying agriculture in the tropical regions, extreme weather phenomena are on the rise. Temperatures are rising and the commitments to keep the increase below two degrees are insufficient. In addition, we are in the middle of a mass extinction, destroying the fertile soil, poisoning everything, running out of mineral resources, and the planet is overpopulated.
Her. I read that we’ll soon be able to colonize other planets, is that true?
She walks away, glass in hand.
Comment by Anonymous April 19, 2017 at 5:36 PM
Those determined cocktail dissipatives*, always rubbing shoulders and looking for opportunities for more growth, consumption, reproduction, and hierarchical standing (and going to Mars). Reality is uninhabited by humans. You are going to be very lonely in Reality.
[*dissipative – adj. commonly used in science – e.g., a dissipative force – but in this case, refers to an occurrence in a social encounter that causes two people to lessen their conversation to the point of separating]
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