In this unit in World History we discussed about the global issue of climate change. We read many articles and heard about many opinions concerning the issue, and even talked about our own opinions toward climate change. We learned about protests concerning this issue, and even read stories about how climate change is affecting people all around the world. All the characters in my monologues have the same opinion, climate change is bad and something needs to be done, but they all have different perspectives. There's a scientist whose opinion is ignored, a boy whose home was destroyed by a hurricane and flood, and a bird who lives next to a factory. I wanted to show how people think differently in different situations, yet still share the same general idea, that climate change is bad.
(The scientist arrives to his home from a meeting in the White House. The year is 2012.)
What do they mean they help the world by created this XL pipeline. They’re ruining the environment, they could kill people. Okay, yes this would create lots of jobs, but people could die making this pipeline and many people will lose their jobs because once the pipeline is finished, it will be doing their work for them. And what if one day there’s a leak in the pipeline, what then? It could happen, and I warned them. 7 billion dollars, why even waste that much money on something that might not even work, stupidity that’s what it is. Use those 7 billion dollars for something that will help your country, the environment. “We’re only considering this plan, we haven’t agreed to it yet” CONSIDERING! They called me to ask for my scientific opinion and I gave it to them loud and clear...maybe a little too loud. Use that money to help for the climate change issues, that’s what I would do. I mean not just the issue of climate change, but the millions of people who have been affected from it. This year, more than 31.7 million people had to leave their homes because of severe floods and storms. Help those families, you have shelter, they don’t. There have been so many hurricanes these days, now I’m not saying that climate change is affecting hurricanes, but when I gathered with some other scientists the other day, we saw a trend. All this talk is making me hungry.
(He pours himself a bowl of cereal and milk).
Then they have the freakin guts to ask me why do I even think climate change could be affecting hurricanes. So I started to explain the basics of how a hurricane works, and of course I explain it like they’re little kids, because that’s what they seemed like, huh, they should leave me to the science, I’ll leave them to the politics, it’s not like they’re doing a good job. Anyway, I explained to them that a hurricane is like a engine, smart right. The temperature between the sea and the air above it is like the fuel for the engine, and the warm air near the surface of the sea, rises to the cold air above it. Once a little bit of the warm air goes up to the cold air, more and more of that warm air begins to go up. That warm air condenses creating clouds that produces and releases warm heat that makes the hurricane process go even quicker. As more of that warm air goes up, the earth since it rotates, helps the mixed cold air and warm air move around, and then everything starts to spin. The warmer the sea, the warmer the air above it gets, and the difference between the cold air and the warm air is bigger, making the hurricane bigger, and then BOOM, they interrupt me. They asked me to explain what I mean. I needed to explain the hurricane process to them for them to understand me. I've been a scientist for 19 years, and never has my work and research, not even my opinions and facts been second guessed, none the less, by people who don’t understand science.
(Takes a bite of his cereal)
I tried to explain to them after the interruption, that we can help with climate change, and agreeing to this pipeline isn't going to help. I told them there are two climate change threats, one is created by human vulnerability to dangerous weather, and the other by human actions. And then POW, they interrupt me again (speaks in a deeper voice trying to sound like the government), “That’s not a fact, it’s your opinion, and we only asked for your opinion on the pipeline, nothing else.” I try to explain to them that humans are the reason for most of this climate change and that most of it could be prevented. And just like that, they kick me out, saying that I’m useless, and I better get my mind straight when I come in for work tomorrow. The only reason I’m going to work tomorrow is because they pay me darn good money.
(Door to his house open).Hi honey was your day better than mine?
The Lost Boy
(A red cross disaster shelter)
Hey mom. I was wondering if I could leave this place and go for a walk outside. I can’t stand it in here, there are too many people, and it smells like dirty old socks because nobody could save any of their things after the...the… incident. I know I’m over reacting, but it’s true, this shelter isn't our home, and I miss home. I just need some fresh air and a walk to clear up my mind. Please! Mom! Please?! Thank you! It’ll be quick, I PROMISE. Bye, I love you too. (Opens door).
Ahhh, it’s nice to be able to breathe, I've been in there for weeks. (A box a couple feet from the boy starts moving) What’s that?! (Lifts box and finds a dog under it) Oh, haha, did you get stuck there buddy. It’s okay, I’ll keep you safe. If you lived with me before, you wouldn't have been safe you know. Hey, you know what? My mom told me that I should probably talk to someone about what’s happened to me, about the incident. She was never specific on who I should talk to, so I’ll talk to you, and you don’t seem to be running away from me, so I know you’ll be listening.
My old home was destroyed by a stupid hurricane. I don’t even have a new home, not yet at least. I have nothing left either. I wish I were like you, you don’t have to wear clothes. I have three pairs of clothes, I've been wearing this pair for six days now, and I have no clean underwear left. You know, it’s only me and my mom. I’m an only child, and my dad was never found after the hurricane. There was a flood too, which is why we haven’t gone back yet to go through our… well it’s not a home anymore, so I guess I could say… uhhhhh….. property? Yeah yeah that’s a good word to use, property. I've never had a dog before. My parents always told me it was a lot of work, but you’re a good dog, you’re a good boy! (The boy rubs the dogs stomach)
I want people to understand that even though climate change is bad, for example hurricanes, the results of it are equally as bad. They've never been affected by it, and they say the government doesn't do anything about it. Well guess what, they don’t do anything either. All they do is march up and down streets, yelling and screaming hoping that their actions and demands will get them what they want. It makes them seem like spoiled brats. You know what buddy, after college, I’m going to start my own organization. One that raises money for the people affected by disasters, or any type of climate change. I’m going to organize marches, but ones that have meaning. We’re going to march until something is done. Yeah that’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to change the world, I’m going to change peoples lives!
Anyway back to the disaster. My mom and I were hiding in our attic, my dad wasn't with us though because when we went up to the attic, we heard a woman scream. My dad decided to go see what was the matter. He said he’d be right back… he promised… he promised (Tears start coming down the boys face). My parents prepared for the hurricane for days. They brought blankets and clothes and food up to the attic, so my mom and I stayed up there for three days, until we heard our neighbor outside our house. The blinds were closed the entire time, so we never knew what it really looked like outside. The water was right under the window of the attic. How crazy is that?! Our neighbor said that we wouldn't get help for two more days because of all the damage, there was no way to get to us. He had a canoe, and told us he was leaving to stay somewhere more safe out of the city where there was no damage and that we should tag along. We weren't allowed to take too much, or the canoe would sink. Heh my dad always told me that you can never take too much, guess my dad wasn't the brightest man (Boy looks down to the ground, then back to the dog).
Are you really listening? (Dog barks) Haha. I still don’t understand though. The weather was beautiful all week before the hurricane, and it’s like it came out of no where. Some of the houses on my street were just gone, destroyed, disappeared… gone. I’m going to call you Buddy, because right now, you’re my friend, you and my mom are all I have left. You know, I haven’t talked to anyone about the incident, not even my mom. We try to talk about anything but that, because talking about just reminds us of all we have lost. Oh, that’s my mom. C’mon Buddy, my mom’s calling me and I want you to meet her. You must be hungry, c’mon boy! (The dark barks and follows boy).
Life in a Dark Hole
(Two birds sitting on a tree branch next to a factory)
Hey Jack, do you want to move. The smoke is making me sick. I know if we move we’ll fly right into the smoke, I’m not stupid. What I’m saying is that we’d be around less smoke on the other side of the factory. I know mom is not here, I can see that. Not being able to fly shouldn't be an excuse Jack. Mom doesn't have to teach us how to fly, how hard can it be. Just flap your wings up and down, and BOOM, you fly. No, I’m not going to go first, you try first! It was my idea to go to a more comfortable place, so that means you go first. What do you mean it’s not a good excuse, it’s a great excuse. Look, the reason mom leaves so much and so far is because the worms and bugs are all gone and dead here because of all the bad chemicals this thing produces in the air and ground. Don’t you want to finally be able to eat well, and fly yourself to any place you want. I want to be free and not stuck here, especially with a whiny bird. It’s hard to tweet when we’re here because when I open my beak, all the smoke goes into my tiny body. Smoke surrounds us 24/7. I don’t even know why mom decided to lay the eggs here. What do you mean she was in a hurry. Ugh, sometimes it’s difficult to talk to you, did you know that. Of course you didn't.
We need to get out of here, not just for ourselves, but for other animals. Remember last week, we saw those two squirrels come under the fence and up this tree? Do you remember what happened to them Jack? They suffocated! That smoke killed them. Either there’s too much, or there’s something in that smoke that is dangerous, who knows, it could be both those things. It’s a miracle we’re still alive! All the animals have to be warned to not come near this area. Think of it, we’d be heroes for saving so many lives! Heroes!
Okay how about this. We can either die because of the smoke, or trying to go to safety. No Jack, that was great reasoning! We’ll come back for mom, don’t worry. It’s time for us to start a life where the sun shines bright and the sky isn't dark. We need a break from this dark hole, and how do you know that you can’t fly if you haven’t tried yet. Please Jack! Think of it like this. When mom sees that we taught ourselves to fly, she’d be so proud of us and you’ll still be mommy’s little bird, don’t worry. You’ll do it? Yes! Fine I’ll do it on your condition, together. Ready, on three. One, two, three….
Below is a video of my third monologue, "Life in a Dark Hole".