A letter from Earth

A letter from Earth: I’m giving you record temperatures and wild floods. TAKE A HINT!!

Opinion by Rex Huppke, USA TODAY  

As a well-sourced member of the national news media, I have received the following statement from planet Earth regarding climate change and what people who don’t believe in climate change would call “recent, totally normal weather anomalies.”

In the public interest, I’m sharing the statement in full.

A letter from Earth regarding recent record-high temperatures and flooding

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Dear bipedal creatures who live on me:

Earth here. You know, the wildly unique planet that had just the right mix of conditions to allow human life. The big, blue marble that birthed ya! The place with the pretty mountains and big oceans and trees and really cool fjords and stuff.

The Minneapolis skyline, as viewed from the Mississippi River, is enveloped in wildfire smoke during an air quality alert on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis skyline, as viewed from the Mississippi River, is enveloped in wildfire smoke during an air quality alert on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, in Minneapolis.© Kerem Yücel/Minnesota Public Radio via AP

 

Just wanted to pop in for a sec and see if you’ve noticed a few subtle changes in me lately, ones that might … oh, I don’t know … maybe persuade you to dial back the whole “recklessly destroying me” thing.

I mean, I know you all are busy driving large SUVs on me and filling my oceans with plastic and whatnot – and hey, I am NOT being judgmental – but I would appreciate it if you’d maybe take a moment and think: “Hey, is Earth trying to tell us something?”

You think I wanted a bunch of Canadian wildfires?

Like all those wildfires in Canada right now. You know, the ones that have already given Chicago and New York City some of the worst air quality in the world a couple times this summer? Yeah, I didn’t do that for kicks. My warming climate is causing droughts and record heat. Add in the bonus lightning that comes with higher temperatures and you’ve got forest flambé.

You think I want to burn down my own forests? I worked hard on those things. It’s like growing a nice beard and then having a bunch of people who live on your face come along and set it on fire. Not cool, guys.

Look, I don’t want to sound angry. We’ve managed to coexist a long time, but can you maybe start reading the room/planet a little better?

Blame climate change: Canada wildfires are messing up our beautiful American air. We must invade immediately.

Have you ever stopped to think: Hmm, maybe all this face-melting heat is Earth trying to tell me something?

On Monday, more than 80 million of you American humans faced excessive heat warnings or advisories. It reached 128 degrees in Death Valley on Sunday, and what did some of do? YOU DROVE THERE SO YOU COULD TAKE PICTURES NEXT TO A GIANT THERMOMETER THAT WAS EFFECTIVELY SCREAMING: “YOU’RE ALL GOING TO DIE”!!!

A woman stands near a digital display of an unofficial heat reading at Furnace Creek Visitor Center during a heat wave in Death Valley National Park in Death Valley, California, on July 16, 2023. California's famous Death Valley, one of the hottest places on Earth, reached 128 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday.

A woman stands near a digital display of an unofficial heat reading at Furnace Creek Visitor Center during a heat wave in Death Valley National Park in Death Valley, California, on July 16, 2023. California’s famous Death Valley, one of the hottest places on Earth, reached 128 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday.© RONDA CHURCHILL, AFP via Getty Images

 

Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell. It’s just … like I don’t know how many more ways I can tell you to be responsible with me. I thought seeing a few giant chunks of ice break off the polar ice caps and crash into the already rising ocean might jar you all enough to think: “OK, maybe I don’t need to drive my Hummer to a store that’s two blocks away.”

C’mon, humans. The signs of climate change are literally EVERYWHERE.

So now I’m giving you face-melting heat. I’ve got oceans around the United Kingdom and Europe running about 9 degrees warmer than normal. I dumped a ridiculous amount of rain on Vermont and caused all kinds of flooding.

These words were published in The Washington Post last week: “The world is hotter than it’s been in thousands of years, and it’s as if every alarm bell on Earth were ringing.”

THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU WITH ALL THE FLOODS AND THE BEACH EROSION AND THE COOK-EGGS-ON-THE-SIDEWALK HEAT AND WHATNOT! WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO DO, SINK FLORIDA? (OK, maybe sinking Florida isn’t the best example to deter your behavior.)

A climate change protestor stands next to a digital display of an unofficial heat reading at Furnace Creek Visitor Center during a heat wave in Death Valley National Park in Death Valley, California, on July 16, 2023.

A climate change protestor stands next to a digital display of an unofficial heat reading at Furnace Creek Visitor Center during a heat wave in Death Valley National Park in Death Valley, California, on July 16, 2023.© RONDA CHURCHILL, AFP via Getty Images

 

Have you ever tried living in a volcano. I’m guessing not. Get your heads out of your tails!

Anyway, next time someone says climate change isn’t real, ask them if they can grow gills, or tell them to go stand in a bonfire for a few minutes and decide whether it’s hospitable.

Do voters care about climate change? Climate change isn’t a top issue for Democrats or Republicans. Record heat should change that.

I’m honestly running out of patience with you humans. You don’t see the bears or deer or dogs or birds f—ing up my climate or treating me like some low-rent flop house.

A boy wearing a rainbow umbrella wipes his sweat as he visits the Forbidden City on a sweltering day in Beijing, Friday, July 7, 2023. Earth's average temperature set a new unofficial record high on Thursday, the third such milestone in a week that already rated as the hottest on record.

A boy wearing a rainbow umbrella wipes his sweat as he visits the Forbidden City on a sweltering day in Beijing, Friday, July 7, 2023. Earth’s average temperature set a new unofficial record high on Thursday, the third such milestone in a week that already rated as the hottest on record.© Andy Wong, AP

 

And where else do you think you’re gonna go, the moon? I’ve seen the billionaires you think will take you there, and I’m not loving your chances.

So c’mon, be reasonable surface dwellers and start recognizing the signs and showing me a little respect. Your time is very much running out.

Whatever happens, you won’t be able to say I didn’t warn you.

Sincerely,

— Earth

P.S. Stop drilling into me so much. That freakin’ hurts.