George Carlin: The planet is fine

Haven’t we done enough. We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s gonna save something now. Save the trees. Save the bees. Save the whales. Save those snails. And the greatest arrogance of all, save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet? We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another and we’re gonna save the fucking planet? I’m getting tired of that shit, tired of that shit, tired. I’m tired of fucking Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists. These white, bourgeois, liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet, they don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced.

Narrow, unenlightened self interest doesn’t impress me. Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The people are fucked. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. You ever think about the arithmetic? Planet has been here four and a half billion years and we’ve been here what, a hundred thousand, maybe two hundred thousand. And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion, and we have the conceit to think that somehow we’re a threat. That somehow we’re gonna put into jeopardy this beautiful little blue green ball that’s just a floating around the sun. The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles, hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, world wide floods, tidal waves, world wide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages, and we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference. The planet isn’t going anywhere. We are! We’re going away. Pack your shit folks. We’re going away and we won’t leave much of a trace either. Thank god for that. Maybe a little Styrofoam. Maybe. The planet will be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance. You want to know how the planet’s doing? Ask those people in Pompeii who are frozen into position, from volcanic ash, how the planet’s doing. Want to know if the planet’s alright just ask those people in Mexico City, or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble if they feel like a threat to a planet this week.

The planet will be here for a long, long, long time after we’re gone. And it will heal itself. It will cleanse itself, because that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover. The earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm, the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place – it wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it, needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old philosophical question, why are we here? Plastic, assholes.

— George Carlin

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