Friday, May 30, 2008

The Ant, the Grasshopper and the Senator

Once upon a time, there was a Grasshopper who lived in a field. He saw an Ant passing by with a large nut on his bicycle rack.

"Yo, Ant. Where you off to?"

"I'm bringing this nut to our winter storage area."

"Dude, how can you live in that colony with all the tunnels! An insect has to be outside, breathe, get in touch with nature!"

"I get time to go out and experience nature. But our colony is very efficient. It's warm in the winter, and we conserve our resources."

"Yeah, man, conservation all the way! I totally support government research towards developing new sources of food. I think the new solar-powered plants are going to be huge. We've got to wean ourselves from foreign species. But dude, you gotta try some of this Colombian weed."

"But Grasshopper! All the government research and solar power are going to be wasted as long as you've got everyone traveling these huge distances by themselves. We're going to be reaching the peak of this solar season, and pretty soon energy will be scarce. I hope you're prepared."

"Don't worry, Ant, man! As long as I'm in touch with Nature, nothing bad can happen."

Not long after, the days began to get shorter, and the grass dried up. The Grasshopper began to get hungry, so he wrote a note:

"Dear Senator Antdams: I am hungry, and the grass and leaves are drying up. Please help."

Senator Antdams released a statement: "Many of my colleagues have constituents who need relief from dried-up grasses. They do not have the alternatives of a strong stockpile as we do in the Ant Colony. Therefore I propose that we take the Ant Colony's stockpile and use it to feed the grasshoppers so they can hop around outside."

The Ant complained, "But Senator, that stockpile was supposed to last all winter! If you use up our stockpile we'll go hungry!"

The Senator replied, "Insects are hurting and they need relief. My proposal will give them that relief. What do you propose?"

The Ant replied, "Well, the Grasshoppers have been stingy with us, chasing us away from leaves and grasses. I'm sorely tempted to keep the stockpile and let them die. But we've worked so hard this past summer that I think we have just enough to get us all, ants and grasshoppers, through the winter."

"But - and this is a big but - the grasshopper lifestyle is a mistake we can only afford to make once. The grasshoppers are still planning to spend all next summer wastefully hopping large distances alone and not spending any time stockpiling food. They've got to change their plans and live more sustainably. They've got to commit to more efficient colony living and do more walking. We should not share any of our stockpile with them until they make that commitment."

What do you think, Senator Antdams?

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