by Dave Jaffe
Nearly four years after backing out of the Paris Climate Accord, the U.S. invited 40 world leaders to a climate summit by issuing the forceful, yet profound message, “Take a joke! Jeez!”
Due to pandemic concerns, the summit was held virtually and live-streamed to the world in order to feature a wide array of international bookcases and questionable décor choices.
The goal: to reestablish the U.S. leadership role in mitigating the climate crisis. This will be no easy task. Skeptics question the sincerity of the U.S. since under the Trump administration, emissions of dangerous gases doubled whenever any of them spoke.
One of the earliest actions of President Biden was to return the U.S. to the Paris Accord, or l’accord de Paris (French for, “Could you make that without butter?”) Our nation’s responsibility for reversing global warming cannot be understated. The U.S. is one the world’s two biggest carbon polluters, just behind the Republic of Tireburnia.
To ensure success of the summit, climate officials from invited countries met early to welcome the returning U.S. representative and confront bitter feelings. A partial transcript of that meeting has been revealed.
(Location: a United Nations conference room.)
FRENCH REPRESENTATIVE: “Shhhh! Shh! She’s coming!”
ARGENTINA REP.: (Giggling) “This is going to be so great.”
GERMANY REP.: “Sit down, all of you! Sit NOW!”
(More giggling, then quiet. Creak of door opening followed by heavy splash of water, bucket hitting ground. Loud cursing. Laughter.)
U.S. REP.: “That’s not funny, you guys! These shoes are new!”
CANADA REP.: “Welcome back, jerk!”
U.S. REP.: “I could’a got hurt!”
NIGERIA REP. “Oh, you mean hurt like 80 percent of climate-poor, energy-vulnerable sub-Saharan nations are being hurt?”
CHINA REP.: “Here we go!”
U.S. REP.: “Oh, man! My briefcase is soaked!”
BRAZIL REP.: “Well, boo-HOO! Why don’t you go let it dry out in our rain forests? Where it DOESN’T rain!”
U.S. REP.: “Why don’t you?”
BRAZIL REP.: “Why don’t you?”
U.S. REP.: “Well, why don’t you?”
AUSTRALIA REP.: “Wanker!”
SWITZERLAND REP.: “OK, let’s everyone just take a breath. Now, let it out. Slowly. Aaaand another. Good!”
U.K. REP.: “Yes, all Keep Calm and Carry On. We just wish to ask you, if it’s not too much of an imposition: those last four years? What was that all about?”
U.S. REP.: “That had nothing to do with me. Nor with 81-million other voters.”
U.K. REP.: “So, you’re all feeling better, now?”
U.S. REP.: “Weeell…”
(Multilingual cursing ensues.)
U.S. REP.: “Look, that’s all water under the bridge. Fresh, clean water!”
JAMAICA REP.: “Tell us, then. How are the nations of the world ever again to trust the United States…mon?”
U.S. REP.: (Snap of briefcase latches.) “I brought presents!”
CHINA REP.: “Not so fast! You want to join again, you gotta go through an initiation! (Sound of a jar unscrewing.) You gotta eat one of these!”
U.S. REP.: “Ewww! That’s…not a bat, right?”
(Chorus of “Chug! Chug! Chug!” is interrupted by public address system.)
PA: “Representatives, the delegate from Russia has arrived.”
CHINA REP.: “There’s your initiation. You talk to him!”
U.S. REP.: (Deep sigh.) “Pass me the bat, instead!”
Humorist Dave Jaffe is the author of the national award-winning book and blog, Sleeping between Giants: Life, If You Could Call It That, With A Terrier.