Thursday, April 26, 2018

If We Only Had a Brain

At a recent performance, the star of the show, planet earth, stood front and center. One recurring theme of climate change is that, though we are individually very intelligent, that intelligence is often not expressed collectively. We are, collectively, faced with a choice, to adapt now to reduce climate change's impact later, or be forced to adapt much more later on, as changing climate wreaks increasing havoc with our lives. Our courage, generosity and resourcefulness are on full display any time disaster strikes, amply demonstrated during last year's hurricane season. At those times, we display a powerful, heroic sense of teamwork and unity. Why don't we exercise these admirable traits to shift now, collectively and as individuals, away from those carbon-based fuels that serve present needs but endanger the future?

To highlight this vexing lack of collective intelligence, Climate Cabaret has "climate-adapted" the wonderful 1939 lyrics by Yip Harburg in The Wizard of Oz.

If We Only Had a Brain
The carbonated version
(Adapted by Stephen Hiltner, from the original lyrics by Yip Harburg)

We could while away the hours,
Conferrin' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain.
Had we listened to the warnings
We’d have conquered global warming
If we only had a brain.

We’d be givin’ back to nature,
And tell the legislature
To stop being so insane.
Solar panels we’d be linkin’
Of the future we’d be thinkin’
If we only had a brain.

Oh I, can’t tell you why our cities are near the shore.
No one will remember what was there before.
If they all flood, we’ll build some more.

Oh, the oceans wouldn’t be risin’
And continents downsizin’--
A future full of pain.
We’d have listened to Al’s story,
Taken heed of allegory,

If we only had a brain.

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