Everyone knows the Simpsons. The adult cartoon has been around since 1989. They have this uncanny way of predicting things – like in a 1997 episode when they talked about the 9-11 terrorist attacks and in a 2000 episode when Lisa said Trump had been president.
It was the same genius with climate change. The Simpsons saw the rapidly-melting Springfield Glacier, rising temperatures, and flooded lowlands in their fictional town. They experienced the deadly effects of a poorly regulated nuclear plant in episodes like “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish.” Lisa was the champion of science while the others . . . there are still too many of them today.
In a particularly prophetic episode from 2009, Homer and Lisa are watching a snowstorm through their front window.
(Homer) See, Lisa, looks like tomorrow I’ll be shoveling ten feet of global warming.
(Lisa) Global warming can cause weather at both extremes, hot and cold.
(Homer) I see, so you’re saying warming makes it colder. Well aren’t you the Queen of Crazy Land.
Eight years later (2017) President Trump used the same logic when he tweeted:
In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming . . .
Perhaps the Orange Man in the White House is the King of Crazy Land?
We’ve come a long way in spite of the Orange Man and Moscow Mitch.
While the White House has done nothing but remove environmental regulations, drop out of international summits on climate change, shatter endangered species lists, and support greenhouse gas-spewing coal and oil, there’s been a ground swell from the grassroots.
People like you, me, and Lisa Simpson don’t want to see the Earth messed up beyond recognition.
On September 20, 16-year old Greta Thunberg led a march through the streets to advocate for the Earth. Four million people around the globe joined her. She said to the world:
“Our house is on fire. We have come here to tell you change is coming, whether you like it or not.”
Kids carried signs with messages like:
How you live today will affect MY entire future
Make Earth Great Again
I’m sure the dinosaurs thought they had time.
The Orange Man made no comment. He had a dinner party that night in the White House. It doesn’t take much for him to ignore four million kids.
In the meantime, climate change has become a major issue among Democrats in town halls, TV specials, and political debates. According to a recent CBS poll, 71% of Democrats say that climate change is a major priority, second only to health care. Just 20% of Republicans agree.
Mr. Trump claims it’s all a Chinese hoax. So when California agreed with four automobile companies to impose stricter environmental standards than the regulation-depleted Feds, the President said they had no right. He demanded that they follow the weaker standards. Right now California and 22 other states are suing the White House over the issue. Back to litigation – Mr. Trump’s favorite sport. Keep in mind that Andrew Wheeler, the acting head of the EPA, is a former coal lobbyist.
California Governor Gavin Newsom says it’s pure politics. The car companies are prepared to meet stricter standards. But getting 51 miles to the gallon doesn’t work for the President. “It’s all about the oil and gas industry,” Newsom says, “not health, pollution, or the economy.”
People – like the four million kids – are not listening either. For example, Amazon has vowed to be carbon neutral by 2040. IKEA and L’Oreal have also joined the fight against climate change.
UK water companies are rehabilitating degraded nature preserves and plan to plant 11 million trees to be carbon-neutral by 2030.
Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel company, introduced Serve360 to deliver sustainability and social impact goals by 2025.
Where are you? Whether it’s using silicone straws, carrying re-usable shopping bags, reducing (or eliminating) your intake of animal meats, or voting against climate change deniers, you’re part of the solution.
Lisa Simpson would be proud.