Included in the sizeable professional and technical staff of plinyblog, there is a technical manager, who, in order to protect his privacy (and, in this case, secrecy) we will give the fanciful name of “Manny.” Manny is a hard-working, 45 year- old, sociable, bald, male, 6 feet tall, rather unremarkable in appearance with the sole exception of his his eyes. He has occasionally, at the water cooler or in the company cafeteria, privately related to us, tales of the numerous instances in the past, especially in Middle School in Long Island, New York, when he was the unfortunate victim of teasing, and even bullying, because of his exotic eyes. Manny’s eye condition is indeed a unique one, turning, reliably and alternatively, dark and light, every 12 hours. Considering the distance between the technical office and our editorial office, and the particular hours of employment, we can honestly say that, we never noticed this bizarre phenomenon.
Recently, and interestingly, on one occasion, immediately following his singularly routine practice, of unfailingly, viewing every one of the media’s alarming climate change reports, he impulsively and anxiously, opted to relate a personal, previously withheld and furtive secret, to us. As we now recall, it was twelve noon, following a spate of rather alarming media reports on the topic of the Nation’s unnatural incidence of the many, uncontrollable forest fires, floods, tsunamis and abnormal temperature readings.
Manny related to me a bizarre, but assertively true narrative, after startling me with the reservation, that the unauthorized revelation of its mere existence, is a federal crime, and subject to a long term in prison. The revealed facts sounded so gothic and weirdly (science) fictional, that we wonder whether even, an Edgar Allen Poe, or a H.G. Wells, would find them, at all, credible.
The Federal Statute mandating secrecy, he explained, dates back to the days of the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, who obtained the salient facts from his War Secretary John Stanton. Messrs. Lincoln and Stanton, were advised by a mysterious and, apparently foreign, bright- eyed emissary, that the surface of the Moon, had been, since the Paleolithic era, a rich, verdant, fertile planet, occupied by flora and fauna of all kinds, including a large, dominant species of humanoids, possessing an advanced brain and useful opposable thumbs. The reported humanoids were essentially identical in appearance to homo sapiens, (which apparently, appeared much later, on planet Earth with the sole exception of the variant evolution of the Luna humanoid’s eyes, which automatically change to light or dark, in tandem with the 12- hour light and dark, changes of the moon.
The Lunar humanoids, as related, evolved, successfully procreated, developed societies, made significant advances in science, technology and industry; the latter made the daily life of the average humanoid easier, and afforded him leisure time for study or recreation.
After centuries of successful and, notably, profitable, industry and commerce, a strange ominous, dark cloud began developing over the Planet, which evidently did not dissipate, but on the contrary, increasingly grew darker and more forbidding. Concurrently, there appeared to be the beginning of stark changes in the Moon’s formerly consistent climate and uncontrollable fires consuming the previously verdant forests, unusual flooding, frequent storms, hurricanes, and, on occasion, powerful windstorms. Increasingly, humanoids, reportedly, began complaining, in unusually high numbers, of eye irritations, later, headaches, fatigue and dizziness. The Ruling Humanoid Council, called upon its best scientists and medical experts to investigate the changes in the Planetary environment and, as well, the unusual and growing number of instances of humanoid discomfort, and its recent, sudden sensitivity to allergens.
After considerable study, experimentation and cross- professional deliberation, it was the uniform decision of the experts, that it was industrial waste and carbon emissions, released into the lunar atmosphere by industrialists and humanoid inhabitants, that was the cause of all of the planetary ills. A strong warning and serious recommendation, was then issued to have immediate and effective measures taken, most especially by industry, but also by the public, to control and delimit, the quantum of contaminants, notably, carbon, strewn into the Lunar air and surrounding atmosphere.
To make the long, agonizing and tragic narrative short, Manny related that, the combination of industry’s higher priority on profits, and the insufficient interest of the humanoid public, in the dire and existential warnings of the experts took its tragic toll. Previously lush, verdant and fertile, the Moon, soon thereafter, began a relentless deterioration into a colorless, lifeless and windy rock, whose sole ultimate utility is its reflective properties, (a lifeless, orbiting Satellite) in the heliocentric solar system.
As the history of events were recounted by Manny, ultimately, a small, desperate cohort of Martian humanoids, at the last days, and with the aid of a primitive methane gas projectile, desperately set out for the nearest planet, Earth, and unbelievably, made it. When word finally got back, this was followed by a great many other, frantic humanoids, reliably utilizing the identical escape procedure, but, as luck would have it, a reported total of only (approx.) six-hundred, actually made it; millions of others, surely, must have tragically perished. Today Manny related, descendants of the successful refugees, live, work and multiply, peacefully, privately and quite unnoticed, among us.
If, at the supermarket, or perchance at a karaoke club, you happen upon a lunar humanoid, please do not noticeably and impolitely, stare at his eyes.