Alumni Column – Life in Catatonia

Peter Sears '60

We Catatonians are angry, very, very angry. We have been demonstrating at Group of 7 meetings for years now, and guess what–now it’s a group of 20. Where do these governments get off cooperating like that? What are they trying to achieve? They say they want to stimulate the world economy. Translation: they are going to burn up more and more of the world’s resources, and intensify the pollution that is already out of control.

Hermann Kahn once observed that it isn’t the poor who pollute the planet, it is the rich. And now we find that China and India want to join the ranks of the rich. That is 2.5 billion people seeking to destroy the earth. How can we make this madness stop?

We Catatonians have a ten-point program to deal with this problem.

More demonstrations. They get media

attention and they are fun.

Flagellation. We need to set an example.

Harass scientists. They spend too much money and tend to speed up economic growth.

Train more attorneys. That will slow everything down.

Don’t eat meat. Shrink the methane cloud.

Don’t eat plant life. We need oxygen.

Don’t eat fish. Save our oceans.

Survive on soporific drugs.

Don’t drive, don’t fly, don’t sail – just walk.

Don’t do anything.

If you follow this program there are certain advantages and disadvantages. Starting with the main disadvantage: the program tends to immobilize you, and governments like to tax things that cannot or will not be moved. The tax money goes to stimulating the economy, so there is a paradox to deal with.

The main advantage is if you stick to the program, you will gradually do less, learn less and know less and thereby be increasingly eligible for jobs that have high conflict of interest standards.

If you and the rest of the world adopted this program, things would be put in better balance. Threatened species will make a comeback and the world will be natural and green again. For example, in India, the vulture population is declining – our ten-point program may save them.