Please don’t let this become an Earth Day reality in 29 years…
“Good morning class. I’m Mrs. Abernathy. I’ll be leading today’s Earth Day walk. For our anticipated adventure, the roving bands of marauders have agreed to a twenty-four hour cease fire. Never lose hope in the generosity of mankind to do what is best for each other. We also promised them fifty gallons of water and a box of vegetables as added assurance.
“Before we exit the Habicube, we’ll learn the names of the twenty animal species that inhabit Earth. Then Ms. Jackson will teach you how to clear your oxygen masks under duress. I anticipate no need for this knowledge, but my motto is “be prepared.” Under no circumstances should you remove your oxygen masks. The atmosphere is the equivalent to sucking on a tailpipe now that there aren’t trees to filter the air. You may want to ask Mr. Wilson to explain the history between the quest for fossil fuels and money which was made from trees, and the destruction of the environments in which those trees grew.
“I assume your parents have checked you for cuts and abrasions or you wouldn’t be able to participate today. Remember what we learned about the former creature known as a shark and their sense for blood? Coyotes also have an acute sense of smell. Coyotes are carnivores, but don’t panic! Most coyotes are well fed with one of the only other mammal species in existence, rats. Rats won’t eat you, usually. Be mindful of any tears or gaps in your survival suits. We don’t want to lose anyone out there.
“Don’t be afraid of the mountains of plastic. There are exceptions marked by plastic caution tape. Those areas contain sinkholes from former mining practices that have been filled in with plastic. If you fall in, we will not find you. Also, the rats tend to be the size of coyotes in those areas. Avoid them.
“Notice the variety of plastic substances. Be one with plastic for it’s now part of you and is presently flowing through your blood stream in ever increasing quantities. Barbie and Ken can now be considered relatives.
“Children, don’t move in excess as to cause sweating. Water limits have been dropped to forty-eight ounces per day. Don’t chance dehydration. Most important, do not touch anything that glows!
“Oxygen masks will filter out the smell from the waste depository area formerly known as the ocean. If you must connect to the earth through smell and flowers, I believe Mr. Henderson coaxed a single rose to bloom at the Habigreenhouse. Technically, we won’t be able to touch earth. Anything resembling native soil was destroyed long ago. Again, visit Mr. Henderson. He has the closest thing to soil.
“We’ll observe the flora in what is now considered its natural state. Do not be fooled children. Nothing growing out there is natural. Since genetic modification, we don’t actually know what to call the green things out there. I’ll refer to all sort of plant matter as mutants.
“Acid rain will weaken your Habisuits. We’ve checked the weather and were given an all clear from hurricanes for at least the next two days.
“Upon our return to the Habicube, prepare for full body scans to detect mosquitoes and spiders. Spiders have become increasingly larger. Therefore, spiders are easier to spot than the disease riddled mosquitoes.
“Cleanliness is a must after removing your suits. Spit on your washcloths. Face first, then arm pits. Nether regions last, please.
“For those of you who want protein for dinner, cockroach baskets will be available at the door. The larger cockroaches are tougher. Aim for anything smaller than your fist. Questions?”
“Will we see gorillas?”
“Polar bears or penguins?”
“Tigers and elephants?”
“No. Remember the list of twenty animals we learned this morning.”
“No trees, no birds. Coyotes, rats, and gargantuan bugs, that’s it. Now let’s go out there and have a wonderful Earth Day. Remember, if it starts to rain, run, but don’t sweat.”
There are nine Vaquita (porpoise) left in the Gulf of California. The last two Northern White Rhinos (females) live under the watch of armed guards. Happy Earth Day 2021.