PLAY #283: BREAK-UP (SEPTEMBER 30)

The Arctic.

EXECUTIVE gathers up drilling materials.

Ice starts to break from underneath: EXECUTIVE hops onto another piece of ice.

EXECUTIVE struggles to bundle up drilling materials into a suitcase – some fall out onto the ice.

EXECUTIVE talks to an imaginary camera.

 

EXECUTIVE

It’s not the protestors.

It’s not the safety concerns.

It’s not climate change.

 

It’s the money.

That’s our story.

Drilling in the Arctic has not yielded enough returns.

Thus, it’s time we part ways.

 

Another sheet of ice breaks – EXECUTIVE leaps to another one, dropping some more drilling materials.

 

Part of the problem

The Arctic just isn’t a stable partner

Hardly our fault.

Anyway.

I’ll be outta here.

Peace!

EXECUTIVE leaves.

A great cracking sound, as ice starts to melt.

Drilling material bobs in the water, miraculously, given its weight, but there it is, bobbing away, refusing to disappear.

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PLAY #282: AWAKE (SEPTEMBER 29)

THE SCIENTIST enters, followed by MOURNERS.

THE SCIENTIST presents evidence and places it into a coffin.

 

THE SCIENTIST

We can dig up everything, except for the truth.

I thought that the accumulation of evidence would be enough.

I believed that all the air samples and ice cores and tree rings that we tracked showed conclusively that our climate is being altered irrevocably by human activity in ways that have never before been observed.

I thought that the evidence would speak for itself.

I thought that evidence would get a chance to live.

I thought…

Well…

 

THE SCIENTIST closes the lid of the coffin.

MOURNERS start to bury evidence, sprinkling dirt on top.

PLAY #281: KEEL (SEPTEMBER 28)

THE SCIENTIST stands in front of a picture of the Keeling Curve.

Beside the SCIENTIST, DANCER does yoga.

 

SCIENTIST

Supervised by Dr. Charles Keeling, researchers in Hawaii started to measure the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the air in 1958. Their findings led to this image: the Keeling Curve.

 

LEAGUE OF SCIENTISTS enter during the following, placing small jars on the ground, in a series of stairs, leading up, something like the Keeling Curve.

 

THE SCIENTIST

To adequately measure global increase of parts per million of carbon dioxide, a team of volunteers have been collecting data for years.

 

WHAT’S IN A NAME enters, holding a pole.

 

WHAT’s IN A NAME

Keel, noun, the length of timber or steel along the base of a ship, supporting the framework of the whole.

 

WHAT’S IN A NAME holds up the pole at a diagonal angle.

DANCER does yoga leaning against the pole, making an arch shape.

Meanwhile, SCIENTISTS continue to lay down jars on top of each other, so all three lines start to converge.

 

THE SCIENTIST

The extraordinary work of unsung volunteers has allowed us to gain a more accurate picture of the rate of C02 rise in the atmosphere.

 

WHAT’s IN A NAME

Keel, verb, informal: To Keel Over. To capsize.

 

THE SCIENTIST

And the message of the graph is incredibly clear. The parts per million of C02 in the atmosphere are rising at an unprecedented level. To have 400 parts per million of C02 in the atmosphere is something unheard of in human history.

 

WHAT’S IN A NAME

To collapse.

 

But nothing falls just yet, DANCER, SCIENTISTS, and WHAT’S IN A NAME creating a triangle together, a curve of collaboration that holds position, even as things start to teeter.

 

PLAY #280: THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH THINGS ON THE INTERNET (SEPTEMBER 27)

A data centre.

WORKERS blow up inflatable plastic globes.

Many, many globes fill up the space, which is running out.

CONTROLLER speaks over the LOUD-SPEAKER.

 

CONTROLLER

Keep up the excellent work!

We have had seventy five casquillion shares!

Infinity squared likes!

Ultimo mabillion pings!

Soon, our data centre will outpace the aviation industry in our carbon commitments.

Keep up the excellent work!

 

WORKERS continue to inflate globes, until they disappear from view.

 

PLAY #279: IN DOUBT WE TRUST (SEPTEMBER 26)

A pile of discarded renewable energy technology: solar panels, blades of wind turbines etc.

DENIAL sits on top, taking up a lot of space.

DOUBT enters.

 

DENIAL

What do you want?

 

DOUBT

Taking over.

 

DENIAL

You don’t have a chance.

 

DOUBT

I doubt that.

 

DENIAL

Think you got the chops to push denial out?

 

DOUBT

I don’ t deal in absolutes. That’s my strength. So I can’t say for sure that my success will be complete; but I do doubt the future of denial.

 

DENIAL

Things have been working so well. It’s a firm stance: this is not happening.

 

DOUBT

We have the same ends. My methods are just more subtle.

 

DOUBT sits down beside DENIAL.

 

DENIAL

You’re telling me to leave?

 

DOUBT

Suggesting. You’ll get much employment elsewhere. And don’t fear, we’re part of the same family. Our last name’s are the same: self-interest.

 

DENIAL leaves.

DOUBT relaxes on top of the pile.

 

 

PLAY #278: THE BLOCK (SEPTEMBER 25)

Two canoes hang in mid-air.

GUARDIANS sit in each canoe.

The sound of lapping water.

 

GUARDIAN #1

Didn’t bank on the waiting?

 

GUARDIAN #2

No.

 

GUARDIAN #1

Yeah, there’s not a coal ship every minute.

 

GUARDIAN #2

No.

 

The sound of water lapping.

Water laps.

A bird, far-off in the distance.

Water.

 

GUARDIAN #1

It’s exciting too, though.

 

GUARDIAN #2

Yeah.

 

Water laps, as they wait.

PLAY #277: EMPEROR’S NEW CAR (SEPTEMBER 24)

EMPEROR swings back and forth on a tire swing.

Of course, EMPEROR is too important to be responsible for swinging.

That is the job of PUSHERS, who push EMPEROR back and forth.

EMPEROR sings with delight, holds out a phone to document the moment.

 

PUSHERS talk while EMPEROR is high in the air, punctuating their talk to the rhythm of the swings.

 

PUSHER #1

Think he’ll ever fall?

 

PUSHER #2

We can hope.

 

PUSHER #1

Careful, he’s about to snap.

 

PUSHER #2

I hate being caught on camera.

 

PUSHER #1

Don’t worry: he crops us out.

 

PUSHER #2

Hate that too.

 

PUSHER #1

Sign of the inspector?

 

PUSHER #2

No.

 

PUSHER #1

Shame. Could use a break.

 

PUSHER #2

I hate it though.

 

PUSHER #1

The break?

 

PUSHER #2

The lying. Us pissing off whenever the inspector comes. So it looks like this is the smoothest ride ever, no labor involved, like we’re invisible.

 

PUSHER #1

I like the break. No labor. At least for five minutes.

 

PUSHER #2

One day our differences will tear us apart. Or we’ll just die. One or the other, anyway.

 

PUSHER #1

Yeah.

 

No sign of the inspector, they keep pushing the EMPEROR, who takes photos as the tire swing continues through the air.