International Writers Magazine: Save the Planet?
twenty years ago, Michael Caine, the greatly talented British
film star featured in a B rate movie called Water
filmed on the island of St Lucia camouflaged as Cascara,
one of the remaining British colonies in the Caribbean.
The cast was made
up of several other superb comedians such as the late and much loved
Leonard Rossiter, renowned for the television series Dry Rot,
who is the naive British Foreign Office official sent out from London
to shut down the island, as well as Brenda Vaccaro posing
as a Guatemalan night club hostess married to the islands British
governor (Caine). Last but not least is a mention of the talented and
again late Dick Shawn as the goofy sex starved film actor, who is with
a television film crew that are on the island to shoot an oil company
commercial. During their activities they accidentally trigger off an
old oil well that is loaded with designer water. The storyline was pretty
clever and although not entirely related to world ecological problems,
the events that followed the discovery of the precious liquid could
well be applied to what is in store for all of us in the future fight
to save this planet.
Once word gets out that the equivalent of bubbly Perrier has been discovered
the different greed factions of various nations take over vying for
the lucrative booty that will be obtained once the liquid is bottled
and placed on the market. Britains Margaret Thatcher nearly castrates
Rossiter for trying to get rid of Cascara whilst Caine strikes
a deal with the American Oil Company to share part of the profits with
the pot-smoking islanders who are mostly unemployed and couldnt
care less anyway. In the meantime, whilst word gets back to the Champs
de Elysse in Paris and a ruthless bunch of French Foreign Legion mercenaries
are sent out to blow up the well, Fidel Castros lot from Cuba
try to start an independence revolution of their own. Caine eventually
takes over the well with a strange lot of freedom fighters made up of
ex-Beatle pop stars whilst both Britain and the US send in the troops
to stop the rebellion. It is all good mayhem fun but the underlying
punch line which could be construed as the serious note is the avaricious
greed of todays nations fighting over a commodity, in this case
designer water. This could easily be applied to todays raging
wars and is no different to those nations that are hell bent in controlling
the energy sources such as oil and gas. Strike a chord?
But lets get back to water, the real kind.
A recent report by a British economist, Sir Nicholas Stern regarding
the effect of climatic changes to the world economy would be disastrous
if something was not done to remedy the problem. The planet is cooking
and among other changes, its water supply is looking for new premises.
Tony Blair, British Prime Minister and Al Gore, ex-VP of the United
States have quickly jumped on the bandwagon to warn us all that we,
the people are a doomed lot unless we do something about. Apart from
this outburst of a new music score on an old symphony, so whats
new? Somewhere in the report it states that global warming is going
to cause dry rot in some parts of the planet and hyper mildew in others.
Translated into English this means desserts and floods, what I would
call the topsy-turvy redistribution of the earths water supplies.
Take a look at the facts so far. The Tsunami in the Indian Ocean and
Katrina in the Caribbean are two obvious cases that drew
world attention of what happens when water goes wild and how they brought
all kinds of economic problems, not to speak of the dramatic human toll.
But elsewhere on the planet, numerous freak storms and other upheavals
have created similar although smaller havoc in some of the most remote
and unsuspecting places scattered across the globe. Just in my small
parish alone, a few weeks ago villages that had never before experienced
a downpour were suddenly disrupted by gallons of unsuspecting rain water
that caused the onslaught of sleepy rivers to suddenly go berserk and
drag everything they found in their paths down to the sea. Images of
cars in surrealistic copulating positions piled up against
overturned trees on the sidewalks whilst hundreds of frantic residents
were seeking shelter wherever they could find it. If we switched the
television over to international news, similar scenes were shown in
other parts of Europe all happening at the same time.
Returning to Al Gore, he has even produced some sort of a movie (I havent
seen it) that shows frightening scenes of the Kilimanjaro before
and after with half its white roof top completely
disappeared. Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck would turn over in their graves
if they saw it. Similar pictures of the ice caps in the Artic sent the
same message. Any third grade student in chemistry knows that ice turns
into water if you heat it.
So what the hell are we going to do about it? As an old Spanish saying
goes, whos going to put the bell around the cats neck?
How do we stop this avalanche of planet abuse when most of us in the
developed world are so used to present day consumerism that we more
or less takes for granted the daily flushing of toilets, flowing of
taps whilst we shower, not to mention the washing and dish-washing machines
that the old misses uses on a routine basis? The first thing
to take into consideration is the simple equation of cause and effect.
Sure, we are pumping shit for use of a better word into
the atmosphere thanks to industry, cars, air-conditioning apparatus
and a plethora of other gas guzzling machines which warms up those lovely
blue skies. We all know this. We also know that the new
heat generated begins to melt the ice in those remote cold
spots of the earth. Any fool knows that! Everyone with two cents of
a brain knows what is going on. But again, I ask what can be done about
We have other minor problems going on such as the War on
Terrorism, the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and if you look into
the democratic part of the world, politicians everywhere, and I mean
everywhere, are far too interested in partisan squabbles involving territorial
gains and are just not interested in world climatic changes. Besides,
they dont create voters!
I go back to my old Michael Caine film. The residents of the fictitious
island of Cascara eventually take their case to the United
Nations. With pop stars George Harrison and Ringo Star they sing a little
rock song asking for the islands independence. It is granted and
they all return happy as Larry back to the island only to find the well
blown up and whats left of the effervescent water gushing out
all over the place. The end result is always the same. We humans screw
up the system, yet again.
Once again, say after me, what can we simple poor mortals do about
the worlds dramatic and apocalyptic climate and water problem?
Ill tell you what. Absolutely nothing, chum! Nothing!
© James Skinner. November 2006.
James in the Honorary Consul in Vigo Spain. He is not an optimist
some empty military cartridges fell out onto the floor
all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibiltiy
- no liability accepted by hackwriters.com or affiliates.