Roger Marolt: Don’t say ‘Macbeth’ |

Roger Marolt: Don’t say ‘Macbeth’

If this pandemic is a dress rehearsal for global warming, scalp your tickets. The early reviews are out and all thumbs are down. The script rambles indiscriminately. The story is dominated by antagonists and fools. The casting is bad. The directing is worse. Even the lighting is dim. The only positive thing one can say is that it will eventually end.

It all comes down to masks in this pathetic story. Half the characters wear them and half don’t. The mildly interesting irony in the plot is that that those in disguise live in the real world while the bare-faced reside in fantasyland. You can’t think too hard about this twist, there is no way to make sense of it.

I only wish this was a drama being played out in the Wheeler Opera House. I could walk out then. I would not wait for the intermission.

At least The Virus has two things going against it. The first is that we will eventually develop a vaccine to halt its spread. The second is, if we don’t, the disease will run its natural course, cause herd immunity, and fade into the fantastic orange sunset. Sure, this could be several years away and claim millions of lives in the interim, but, rest assured, the human race will survive Covid-19.

On the other hand, global warming, as of this writing, doesn’t have much in its way. Its existence is due to a nasty paradox. That is, it is left up to the very thing causing it to cure it. The solution is a u-turn on the Interstate. It is not cliche to say we are our own worst enemy — us burning and cows passing gases.

Consider the mask issue with coronavirus a preview of things to come. The country is about evenly split over whether or not to use them to save lives, the economy, and peace of mind. It’s a push me pull you game. For every action there is an opposite one of equal force. One person deliberately puts a mask on and another scornfully tears one off because of it. This polarity of unalterable political allegiance plays out similarly with global warming — one person buys an electric plug-in and another reacts by purchasing a bigger pick-up. “Science” and “Hoax’ are the head and tail of a coin deciding who punts first.

With the pandemic we have some degree of individual control over the direct effects the bug might have on us. We can wear masks. We can avoid crowds. We can stay clear of others’ personal spaces. We can, eventually, get a vaccination.

We don’t have such personal control with global warming. There is nothing I can do by myself to give me a margin of protection from its effects. We are fully dependent on each other for a good outcome. How frightening is that? It’s all or nothing. Has the world ever worked as one to thwart a global threat? Hunger? Poverty? Maybe smallpox in the good ‘ol days. As the world gets bigger, the odds will assuredly get smaller for this possibility happening again.

I read the other day that our entire country is systemically depressed. What a surprise. On top of the the virus, the southeast is bombarded with hurricanes and flooding. The west is drought stricken and scourged with fire. Even here in Fat City the forest fire haze has gotten me down below where I already was from the lockdown. Some are predicting smoke season becoming an annual thing in our mountains.

If you are looking at the fish bowl as half-full, remind yourself every morning that we are one day closer to getting through the pandemic. If you decide to dwell on the fact that the bowl is half-empty and needs cleaning, check the color of the coral and remind yourself that each new day our global climate is a little less conducive to supporting all kinds of life.

If we don’t have the patience for quarantine, where are we going to get the stamina for conservation?

The calamity of climate change is as real as are coronavirus deaths, but also subtle enough to more easily be ignored or outright denied. That forest was eventually going to burn. That glacier has been retreating for centuries. Dry spells are just part of nature. Heat stroke mostly gets the elderly. Putrid air affects young people hardly at all. Whatever happens, don’t yell “fire” in the theater. All the exits are blocked.

Roger Marolt is stretching his neck in homage to the ostrich. Email at

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