The Grumpy Naturalist

Are You Evolved? : 90 second read

This week I heard about an old man —Let’s call him Exhibit A, the miserly millionaire—who recently bought a Tesla. It was only because petrol prices had soared so high where he lives that going green is simply good economics.

Where I live in Qatar —Make this, Exhibit B—I’ve seen no Teslas on the roads, although I’ve read there are plans afoot to make their usage a reality. In the land powered by natural gas, where petrol prices count amongst the cheapest in the world, it’s to be expected, I suppose.

And as Jeff Bezos —Indeed, our Exhibit C—preps to play astronaut, shooting himself into outer space, because he can, I have to ask this question: Aren’t there honestly, more pressing needs for the planet?

So, with responses to climate change varying in speed and motivation: taking the Exhibits above as examples, the premise of a new Netflix series intrigues me. Instead of hybrid cars, the show is about hybrid humans. No, that’s not a typo. The characters say, and repeat throughout the episodes:

Deer, deer

“The people were bad, thinking only of themselves. They used up all the resources.”

“The water wasn’t blue before* from all the bad stuff people put in it, and into the air.”

Photo credit: Marta Wave

*In the tale, ‘before’ was before all babies started being born imbued with animal features. In varying degrees though. Some have deer ears and antlers, like the main character. Others are a talking mole befriended by a girl with a pig’s snout and ears to match. Her adoptive mother, a full-fledged human adult, calls her ‘Pigtail’ as a pet name to supplement her given one, Wendy. And Yes, it does have a Neverland feel to it. Particularly the scenes with the Animal Army—comprised of human teens encamped in an abandoned amusement park rebelling against their parents (who naturally, live in fear of, and hunt hybrid kids). And there’s “the virus”. A mysterious disease that resembles today’s corona variants in how widespread and deadly they are and the absence of any known cure. Except unlike covid, wherever the “Sick” is present, purple flowers soon appear. Human is turned against human in the madness to survive, whilst the hybrids are immune.

In summary : callous, self-centred and undeserving humans (basically everyone), are being eradicated only to be replaced by a breed of environmentally-sensitive creatures. We’re told it’s these that/who will restore the world, and bring about a new order.

You can forget about Teslas, it’s too late. In this new age there are no cars (… Although I can’t see how the coal-fired locomotives in the series make any sense.) Bottomline, whether its Creation or Evolution dogma that floats your boat, the premise and the dark truth of the tale —or tail, if you will— is clear:

Change or die, people.

We’ve reached a tipping point. Ignore the signs at your own peril. Repent or perish.

So, shall we stop making exhibits of ourselves? You know, in how we only deign to change if it’s convenient and act like that’s OK behaviour; to not merely pay lip service to doing the right thing; and to stop showing off with meaningless stunts.

What if we start to actually care? —Who knows, we might actually, do something meaningful.

Weighing in on Netflix’s Sweet Tooth : Do we all deserve to die?

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