The Gas of Life: a scary tale

In Children, Climate Change, Life, People, The Big Picture by Kevin Benn0 Comments

If you want to hear a story of the days of long ago
Then gather round, dear children, and I’ll tell you all I know.
It’s all about a magic gas that trees and plants breathe in
To make them strong and healthy and keep our planet green.
You can’t see it, you can’t smell it – it almost isn’t there –
But once it had the power to make brave men spill their beer!

Wonderful, extraordinary, fascinating, queer,
Marvellous, incredible, oh, dear, dear!

In olden times, dear children, when greatgrandpa was a lad,
They told of monsters, trolls and ogres, that ate kiddies who were bad.
If you didn’t say your prayers at night or mind your Ps and Qs
A dragon could come swooping down and light its fiery fuse.
Then when shining knights on horseback had seen the monster slain
There’d be talk of a new beastie and you’d tremble once again!

Wonderful, extraordinary, fascinating, queer,
Marvellous, incredible, oh, dear, dear!

“But what about the magic gas?” your eager voices chime.
Ah, yes, my dears, be patient: all things in good time!
And in good time, the fashion for the fairytales of yore
Had to be updated with more modern scenes of gore…
When viewed from space, the planet Earth is just a little ball,
So with the perfect story you could petrify them all!

Wonderful, extraordinary, fascinating, queer,
Marvellous, incredible, oh, dear, dear!

Well, they hit upon the climate, which just then was growing cold,
And spread clouds of magic gas to make it do as it was told.
And guess what: the cooling stopped, and all the snowmen disappeared,
So Man-Made Global Warming became the monster all men feared;
Nasty, sweaty Global Warming by an evil Greenhouse Gas…
Then the warming went away again; but not the gas, alas!

Wonderful, extraordinary, fascinating, queer,
Marvellous, incredible, oh, dear, dear!

Well, the people got the message – people somehow do –
You cannot fool them all the time, as old Abe Lincoln knew.
Our dear Sun drives the climate, and bursts the trolls as well,
And in all the leafy kitchens there’s a sweet and yummy smell:
The Gas of Life is stewing in Nature’s cooking pot
With just a dash of sunlight to make it nice and hot!

ALTOGETHER NOW!
Wonderful, extraordinary, fascinating, queer,
Marvellous, incredible, OH, DEAR, DEAR!

Kevin Benn is an English actor and schoolteacher who resides in Malmö, Sweden. His students, aged 16, have never experienced Global Warming in their lifetime, yet they are expected to write critically about it in their science exams.

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