One of the many - and I mean many - jokes that were made the day President Obama was awarded his Nobel Peace Prize was the fact it was so ironic he should be awarded a peace prize on the day he chose to bomb the moon. Kidding aside, Obama - or in his name NASA - shot a rocket into the moon's south pole in search of ice.
Now quite apart from conjuring up images of French visionary film maker Georges Melies, and his milestone silent sci-fi film, 1902’s Le voyage dans la lune (A Trip To The Moon), the bombing of the moon underlines a very unfunny reality: Earth is running out of potable water. Why else are we looking for a source of water on, of all places, the moon?
And it wasn't coincidence last week that at the same time the U.S. was bombing the moon, some clown was visiting the International Space Station. Guy Laliberté, the founder of the internationally acclaimed Cirque de Soliel, spent millions to tag along with a couple of Soviet rocket jockeys as Canada's first space tourist and millions more to produce an international 14 city televised extravaganza featuring U2 focused on the desperate shape earth is in when it comes to water.
Say what you will about Lalibterté, and there are those who have said quite a bit, more power to the hedonistic multi-millionaire for putting his own money where his mouth is and bringing this deplorable situation to our attention.
Many questioned awarding Obama a Nobel prize last week. Moreover, many now criticize the Nobel Committee for moving so far away from the criteria for the award established by Alfred Nobel. According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize should be awarded to the person who: “during the preceding year...shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".
In recent years, the committee more than recognizing past deeds has awarded the peace prize so that attention will be drawn to issues. Two years ago, former Vice President Al Gore along with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was awarded the Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change".
The more cynical will say Gore was awarded his peace prize for writing and starring in a movie. The not so cynical will say his Nobel was richly deserved. Personally, I think that argument is irrelevant. The real argument is are the efforts of people like Gore and Guy Laliberté having any impact?
A recent international public opinion poll asked people on a scale of 1-10, "how high a priority should your government place on addressing climate change?" Americans don't seem to attach much importance to it, coming in at 4.7 out of 10.
While I didn't go for the laugh today, I like to think of this as a humour blog. Today, however, that poll result is the joke.