THE VAULT

Poor You
April 9, 2007 by The Colonel

Poor families. One less thing to care about.

Here at Slantmouth, we try not to go over the same thing again and again. We prefer things to feel as though we’re moving forward, rather than skipping on forever like some broken record of current events. Being the undying advocates for change that we are, we would hope that it wouldn’t be long before the people would wise up and start to fix all that is wrong with the world, but as usual, this just isn’t the case.

Global warming once again reared its head last week, unleashing a devastating two-pronged attack on those who can defend against it least: the poor. A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that unless drastic changes are made, the world faces increased hunger and water shortages in the poorest countries. From within an air conditioned hall in Brussels, Belgium, Rajendra Pachauri said, “(Coming to agreement on these findings) has been a complex exercise. It was like the world’s worst game of Boggle.”

The good news didn’t stop at the poor. Massive floods and avalanches were expected for Asia, and widespread extinctions are predicted unless nations adjust to climate change and stop its progress soon. “For the first time we are not just arm-waving with models,” said Martin Perry, who conducted negotiations. “Although having some hot girls around was helpful in the past, it was just a distraction. I mean, we’ve got a room full of scientists here, they really don’t get out much.”

Still, although it appears that the entire world is doomed, those already living in poverty will get hit hardest of all. In America, even the change of the seasons affects the homeless. The trash bag and cardboard box mini-condos of the winter become the impromptu queen-sized box mattresses with matching trash bag sheets of summer. But surge the summer heat, or plunge the winter’s cold by an additional 20 degrees, and we’re talking about countless deaths. And while no one would really notice or care except the staff here at Slantmouth, this doesn’t make it right.

If we think back to Katrina and the horrors that the U.S. witnessed then, we get a mere sampling of what is at stake here. The problem is this simple fact: those who would be affected most are poor. Politicians and Presidents like to act as though they care about the less fortunate, but if that were true, they wouldn’t spend so much time bombing them into the ground. They would spend less time lobbying for pay raises and tax cuts for the rich, and more time trying to make sure that kids don’t go hungry, or at very least live on something more than Diet Coke and Twinkies.

Kanye West famously said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” and while that may be true (by all accounts, almost certainly is), we think he may have missed the point. It’s not so much that politicians don’t care about black people, it’s that they don’t care about poor people. We used to think that Mother Nature hates us, but now we know it’s that rich white guys do.

~The Colonel