Nationalists in the Trump administration are right. We should withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
This would be a real victory. America, after all, is on its own planet.
Before Earth asks us to step up and help protect it, it should take stock of its own contributions. There is, frankly, a lot of waste there. It has flourished too long without cuts, and now it is time to pay the piper.
If there is one thing I have learned from “Planet Earth,” it is that Earth has a lot of areas where it could tighten its belt before asking me to lower my emissions.
Look at the wanton extravagance of the planet. Pandas. Mosquitoes. Butterflies. Elephant seals. Birds, some garishly colored, waking me up in the morning by shouting come-ons at one another. Armored beetles. Arctic foxes. I ask you. Who needs all this?
Gibbons. Naked mole rats. Those monkeys with bulbous noses who look like J. Pierpont Morgan and those other monkeys with buttocks in obscene hues. Those things in the ocean that look like they’re wearing headlamps. When was the last time we used any of this? Do we really need it? Does it spark joy?
Absurd big birds in black and white tuxedos. Demanding bears in white fur coats who insist they need floating ice to survive. Maybe they should ditch those luxury garments and try to live like the rest of us. And don’t get me started on coral reefs, fragile palaces of underwater porcelain that certain fish INSIST are the only possible place they can live. Toughen up, fish.
We have horses. Why do we need zebras? We should go through the ape house and ask ourselves if some of these monkeys are not too small to be useful. For instance, marmosets. Everything about electric eels is excessive.
What are armadillos good for but bothering drivers? What are dolphins good for but interfering with tuna fishing? Spotted owls are just protesters in disguise who move their habitats from place to place preventing necessary infrastructure projects.
Do we need mushrooms AND baobabs AND cougars AND rhinos? The Trump boys have been doing their best to eliminate waste in at least one of these areas, but we could do with even more.
Earth is full of freeloaders and parasites and bloodsuckers: the stinking corpse flower. Epiphytes. Flukes. Ticks. The vampire bat. The leech. It should take a good look at itself before it asks us for support.
Maybe it doesn’t need all this land. Has it considered that? Maybe it could have a little more ocean. Maybe that would make it thriftier and more efficient.
Right now, it’s embarrassing to look at. Deserts. Whole giant expanses of nothing but hot sand. Ice floes, really? Does Earth think it is an expensive cocktail?
Forests? What are they but fire hazards?
Marshes are just breeding grounds for alligators, who would devour everything we hold dear and end the American way of life if they got their way.
Tundra. Taiga. Permafrost. Is all this necessary, or is some of it just there for aesthetic purposes? Vast expanses of grassland. Lava fields. Bogs. Mesas. Big rocks. Little rocks. I would guess that we could cut back in some of these areas. Maybe starting with the ice, which takes a lot of effort to maintain.
Think of all the destruction that these features have been responsible for. Glaciers are always devouring hikers. Mount Everest kills climbers every single year. And don’t forget that time an iceberg took down a whole ocean liner full of passengers. It is time we put an end to these dangerous eco-terrorists. It is time the Earth cut back.
Some people whine, “Think about the children.” Look at the budget that was just submitted to Congress. Does it look like we care about children?
Why should we do anything nice for the children? Or worse, the grandchildren? Why would you ever allow yourself to be even slightly inconvenienced on behalf of people you may never meet who will definitely have cooler cellphones than you? Sounds like a fool’s bargain. Well, we have been too lenient on grandchildren before. No more are they getting nice things at our expense. That deficit ends now.
Time to put America first. America is its own thing; one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Our polar bears are safe in zoos. If we run out of them we can make more using CGI.
Extreme heat? Maybe elsewhere, but not here, in America, where Jim Inhofe was able to bring a “snowball” to the floor of Congress. America is impervious to volcanoes and floods and hurricanes. We will shield ourselves with prayer and new improved data sets that show that these things do not exist.
Just in case, we can build a bigger wall. We are not part of a fragile blue marble hurtling through space. That is other people. The world exists only when my eyes are open. When I close them, I alone am the world.
“Planet Earth” has been taking advantage of America for too long.
Alexandra Petri is a Washington Post columnist.