November 14, 2002
By David Albrecht
ANNOUNCES DELISTING OF HOMO SAPIENS; PLANETARY DOWNSIZING
BEAUTIFUL ZION MEDIA CENTER (CNN/REUTERS) - In a policy shift
not wholly unexpected by observers, God today announced that
human beings would no longer be considered for special protection
under the Endangered Dominant Species Act. At the same press
conference, He also announced a major change in long-term
population strategy and introduced the leader of his new Earth
management team. "Some may think these changes cruel,"
the Deity stated, "but I'm confident that in the long
run, this restructuring will better prepare Earth for competition
in the new galactic economy."
Under the new rules, delisting means that humanity as a whole
will be ineligible for Divine Intervention in the face of
extreme weather, famine, economic collapse, epidemic disease,
terrorism and social disintegration. "Manna will not fall
from Heaven, the sea shall not be stilled, and I will not
be there to wipe all the tears from your eyes," He stated,
adding that "If you're in the mood for deus ex machina,
read some Aristophanes."
God's new get-tough attitude was shared by several members
of his executive board. Among them was St. Francis of Assisi,
who lingered after the conference to speak with journalists.
"Frankly, there are still a number of us up here who are really
pissed off about the passenger pigeon and ivory-billed woodpecker
'incidents.'" said the saint, drawing quotes in the air to
make his point. "And I haven't even begun to discuss the 20th
Century. I mean, Jesus Christ, you'd think that World Wars
I and II, the Holocaust, Rwanda, Chernobyl, Bhopal and the
melting of the North Pole would wake up at least a few human
beings! Apparently not. We're dealing with a chronically underperforming
asset, and it's time for a new broom." Experts noted that
Francis' opinion, though somewhat further right than mainstream
Heavenly Opinion, was not unusual.
God Himself struck a somewhat more conciliatory tone during
the conference. But while going out of His way to express
empathy for the civilization soon to be obliterated, He also
stuck to His guns: "What you need to understand is the big
picture. We can't let the demands of one interesting, but
in absolute terms poorly adapted, economically insignificant
and probably terminal species of hominid take precedence over
the progress of an entire solar neighborhood. You can't imagine
what that would do to our profit picture."
ABC's Cokie Roberts quizzed the Lord on whether He'd faced
comparable extinction-level decisions in the past. God stated
only that "letting that meteor take out the dinosaurs" had
been far more difficult. Pressed by columnist Ann Coulter
as to whether oral sex in the Oval Office between former President
Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky had
in any way influenced His decision, God snorted dismissively
before exclaiming "Next question, please!"
While God spoke, others struggled to make their opinions
known. Former economist Julian Simon, now laboring in Hell,
had been expected to weigh in with a strong dissent. However,
since Simon is currently employed at the Garden of Eternal
Growth, he has spent the years since his death attempting
to catch up with the weeding and watering schedules for May
8th, 1654 AD and had no time to write his rebuttal. Speaking
from Purgatory, the late Herbert Hoover could only repeat
his belief that the economy was "fundamentally sound." And
elder statesman and former president Richard Nixon, like Simon
a resident of Hell, was too busy being tortured to death for
eternity by a mob of enraged Cambodian peasants to comment
by press time.
The Lord devoted the final 15 minutes of his press conference
to introducing the new head of His Earth Guidance Team, Thomas
Malthus. Malthus, former English cleric and author, as well
as newly minted CEO of Darwinian, Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Mysterious Ways, Inc., has risen further and faster than
anyone in Heaven's executive structure in recent memory. But
even though his last post was the relatively junior position
of Comptroller at Tertullian.com, Malthus seemed entirely
at ease with big-time media attention. He professed his excitement
at "working so closely with the only Chairman of the Board
who's not from Hoboken, New Jersey," to the delight of the
assembled reporters. The duo's closeness, long a topic of
Heavenly gossip, seemed borne out by the relaxed atmosphere
onstage. The repartee at the rostrum "seemed suffused with
flashes of genuine mutual admiration," according to reporter
Describing contemporary Earth as "a relative disappointment,"
Malthus said he still considers it "an area of fantastic potential,"
though one mired in a top-heavy, inefficient and profoundly
anthropocentric corporate culture. He also noted that much
of his division's groundwork has already been laid. "I mean,
just look at what's already been done for us as we at Darwinian
prepare to take on the job - soaring population, disappearing
topsoil, rising temperatures, crumbling fisheries and a bottomless
pit of consumer demand - not that bottomless pit, but you
know what I mean!" said Malthus.
Asked if population downsizing would require any major political
or economic changes on Earth before the final layoff program
began, Malthus shook his head. "No, not really. The way I
see it, the longer consumer demand and population growth can
be sustained, the shorter, more efficient and more cost-effective
your rightsizing period becomes. Once the structural adjustments
are made, we're looking at a lag of only a few thousand years
before beginning to realize the planet's true biotic potential."
Added The Lord, "It's great to be able to look forward to
real diversity and dynamic change just a few millennia down
the road. These are exciting times to be working on Earth."