Amoeba’s Lorica: The Coalden Calf

expendabilityA work of fiction. Any resemblance to living persons is for satirical purposes, or is coincidental. With apologies to the author(s) and editor(s) of Exodus ch. 32.

Bill M.: “What the hell is that?!?

Will B.: “A coal fire. What’s it look like?”

Phil A.: “It’s January. We’re in New York. We’re freezing! Deal with it.”

Bill:You’re burning fossil carbon!!

Phil: “Yeah. Like that private jet that took you to the ‘carbon victory’ conference.”

Bill: “That was 5% algal-based Jet A. You didn’t really expect me to swim to Paris, did you?”

Will: “Right. And while you’re gallivanting around in Gay Paree, celebrating the removal of fossil fuels from [ahem] most of the economy in the blessed name of …”

Phil: “… and hangin’ with bikini babes on the Riviera for all we know, ’cause the Internet and phone networks are all but useless now …”

Will: “… we’re damned near getting lynched over here! ‘Where’s your damned Moses gone? Is this the promised land he’s led us to? A place where we’re cold and hungry and stuck where we are, with all these stupid real people??’

Bill: “I’ve told you not to let them call me Moses!”

Phil: “Got news for you. We need Mo’, Bill.”

Bill:Aargh … Wait. What are you telling me? Is that a … a … Cadillac that I see those people dancing around?”

Will: “Yeah. Like Phil said …”

Phil: “The crowd was getting nasty. We had to make some, ah, arrangements.”

Bill: “It … runs?!?

Phil: “Yes, they do.”


Will: “They. We’ve got lots of them scattered around. And a lot of the staff are serving as acolytes … ah, taxi drivers. The people wanted mobility, and with Facebook down and out, they told us directly, up close and personal. Several of us got broken noses, and it was fixing to get a lot worse before we hauled the cars out of storage and started running them.”

Bill: “Where’d you get the gasoline?!?

Phil: “From the ISIS jihadists who own the wells and refineries. Who else? Like I said, we had to cut some deals. And you’d be amazed how many folks will sell their ‘rights’ for a little bit of food and energy. In case you hadn’t noticed all the women in chadors out there. Including Nancy.”

Bill: “But Nancy’s gay!

Phil: “Not any more she ain’t. And she won’t thank you for telling any stories.”

Will: “At least the coal is domestic. But that’s not saying dealing with the mine owners was any less nasty.”

Phil: “We got ‘I told you so’ every five minutes during the negotiations. We were sick of it after an hour. The negotiations went on for a week.”

Bill:But this is horrible!! A total sellout of the cause! Of the planet!! What have you done?!?

Phil and Will: “Stayed alive?

Bill: “Is it any use asking what happened to the electrical grid?”

Phil: “Total meltdown, as you’ve guessed. Nukes couldn’t keep up.”

Will: “And even if we had the manufacturing capacity to produce enough windmills and solar panels to make up the difference in the time available – with all the birders in the world forming human chains around the wind farms to block the erection of any new windmills – we don’t have the materials to build them. Or the batteries needed to store any excess juice for when the wind’s not blowing and the sun’s not shining.”

Bill: “Well, fine! I’m going out there, gentlemen, and I’m going to take a sledgehammer to that jalopy of yours, and I’m going to grind it to dust, mix that dust with the water of the East River, and make all of them damned fools out there drink it. Starting with you wusses. We are going to get our carbon footprints back in line with what’s necessary, and we’re going to start right this minute! Damn you!”

Will: “OK, boss. If you think it will help.”

Phil: “The jihadists were wondering how come we didn’t have any martyrs to our cause. Yet.”

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