Jun 022017
 

You know about the rabbits and the foxes, don’t you, about how there were lots and lots of rabbits in Rabbitland, until along came a couple of foxes, one of each sex, as it happens, and they thought the local rabbits were delicious. They ate and they ate, and they mated too, and their offspring ate and ate and mated too until there were hardly any rabbits left, only a few streetwise, canny ones that nobody wanted to eat, because they were skinny from running and/or lying low. So guess what happened to the foxes. Those that didn’t run away eventually died, undernourished as they were for lack of rabbits.

Imagine the yelps of joy that rang out right across Rabbitland, when the last fox vanished. The surviving skinny rabbits came out of their warrens, gobbled down great big tufts of grass, ran great big circles of delight, and gobbled some more.

So there’s hope for humanity too. By the time we have basically consumed, burnt or poisoned most of the planet’s species, its waters, soil and air, Mr Trump and his imperial court will be ready. He will have collected a pair (hopefully one of each sex) of all the animals he knows of, and Ivanka will expeditiously drive them all into the imperial space Arc – that shouldn’t take too much time. When all the animals are in the Arc, when the emaciated imperial guard has played the imperial march for the last time, and when Mr Trump and his court have duly waved their last goodbyes to the haggard press from the threshold of the spacecraft, the doors to the Arc will shut close. A few moments later, the Arc will zip off into space, bound for Mars.

On a rather more malevolent note, I would just love to be a fly on the wall in the imperial living quarters on Mars, as the family members discover one after the other that the omnipotence of money will only get you so far on a cold, inhospitable and above all uninhabited planet.

Meanwhile, back on Tellus, those of us who are still around will come out from under the ground, bringing the school textbooks, microscopes, gardening tools and encyclopedias we have treasured in secret for years. We will try to locate, nurture or bring back to life, dying species – be they plants, snakes, fishes, birds or mammals – and, not least, one another.

Wouldn’t that be nice? I see you are shaking your head. No? It would be nice, you say, but…

Yes, BUT! It is true that the best of us will act as outlined even against all odds, and it is true that many of us, maybe even a majority, would gladly do so if given half a chance. However, alas, there will always be, not only another Mr Trump, but any number of mini-Trumps who insist on having more, being more than everybody else. I put it to you that ours is a very strange and ethically complex species.