This is a guest post by one of our regular commenters, Graeme No.3
ALICE AND THE UNICORN
By Louis Karrol.
Alice was almost asleep when the green rabbit wearing an unfortunate waistcoat ran past her. She didn’t notice at first that he was green because he was peering at his fob watch and muttering “it’s too late, too late, we are all doomed”; and Alice wondered why. “Excuse me” she said, but the rabbit scuttled off down the forest path. Alice followed him but soon lost sight of him as the path twisted and turned, but could still hear his refrain “we’re all doomed” ahead of her.
But when she came to a junction she was unsure which way to turn, when a voice spoke from above: “right is right but everybody is going left”. Looking up Alice saw a blue cat with a large grin and very tousled hair on its head. The grin grew broader but the cat got less distinct and faded away. Alice looked down the righthand path, but it was overgrown with thorns and was barricaded, while the left hand path looked well tended with primroses growing along one side, so she went that way.
Suddenly she came into a large clearing with a large table in the centre set for a lavish meal. There were only 3 at the table, a jackass braying, a Mad Hatter and a Weasel who was slumped on the table, apparently asleep. There seemed to Alice to be an enormous amount of food on the table, but the Mad Hatter took one look at her and shouted “go away, we’re running out of resources”.
Alice stood there irresolute when an aardvark appeared from under the table and said “ignore them, there’s plenty to eat. They’re just poor at measuring quantities”. “Thank you umm, err, umm” said Alice, who wasn’t sure how to address an aardvark. “Call me Ethel” said the aardvark “do have some cake”. “Thank you” said Alice and took a large slice. The others glared at her, and then began to talk among themselves. The Mad Hatter said “well we are agreed on the necessity for a carbon free society as soon as possible. We must build 32,000 more wind turbines by 2020 or sooner”.
Alice “Why would you do that? They’re so unreliable”
Mad Hatter: “So that we can bring back unicorns to the land”.
Alice: “I thought they were extinct”
Mad Hatter grumpily: ”Yes, it’s all the fault of humans, but thanks to Dr. Frankenmerkel we will regenerate them from some DNA”
Alice: “Isn’t she the one who took electricity away from 600,000 Germans”?
Mad Hatter: “yes, the process uses lots of electricity so the demand sent the price so high that they couldn’t afford it”.
Alice: “What happened to them in the winter? Winters have been so cold recently”.
Mad Hatter: “Who cares? Besides they were using too much”.
Alice: “I bet they bought stoves and burnt wood”.
Mad Hatter: “They’re not allowed to do that, it gives off carbon”.
Alice: “I heard that the national forests are being pillaged for fuel”.
Mad Hatter: “typical germans, no respect for authority. Wouldn’t happen here”.
There was a distant shout of timber and the sound of a falling tree. Then the buzz of chainsaws.
Alice “What about that”
Jackass “Just some foresters working”
The Green Rabbit wailed “Oh, no, not another tree being sacrificed to man’s greed”.
Jackass “Just getting rid of a diseased specimen. Best burnt. It won’t cause much carbon”.
At the sound of this last word the green rabbit ran out of the clearing shouting “doom, doom, we’re all doomed. Its a tipping point”. A voice spoke from above “he’s quite mad you know. You all are”. The Jackass, the Mad Hatter, and the Weasel all shouted “shut up Boris, you aren’t here yet”. The blue cat with the broad smile winked at Alice and slowly faded away.
In the silence that fell Alice asked “Why do you want to bring back unicorns”?
“It’s essential to our plans for a carbon-free society” the 4 said. “we will have lots of green jobs generated just to collect the unicorn farts”.
Mad Hatter “Good heavens, don’t you know anything? So we can burn it and generate carbon free electricity”
Alice “Won’t that generate carbon?”
Mad Hatter “No, it will be recycled by the trees. They will use it to grow, especially ones we spread unicorn manure around”.
Jackass “That’s another lot of green jobs, collecting the manure”.
“We need all the jobs we can get” said a newcomer. “The economy won’t move up until we’ve got many more back into employment”.
Alice ducked down and whispered to Ethel “who’s that?”
Ethel “That’s Osborne Ostrich; don’t give him any money, you’ll never see it again”.
When Alice looked back over the table again she saw an animated though amiable discussion going on. “So, it’s agreed that instead of a 35% rise in electricity charges, we have a 25% now and 25% in a couple of months” said the Jackass.
Alice “But that’s more than 35%; how will people cope?”
Weasel “No problem, just stick it on expenses”.
Alice “ what about the poor people, how will they cope?”
Weasel “They won’t. Lot of damn greasy proles. Better off without them”.
Mad Hatter “There are too many of them for the Earth to sustain”.
Jackass “We must all make sacrifices”.
Alice looked slowly round the table. “All?”
Jackass “Don’t be rude”.
Weasel “Damn hoi poloi, always forgetting their position. Can’t stand them”.
Jackass “Reminds me” and looking round saw the green Rabbit edging back into the clearing. “Bring my head beater to me” he directed the rabbit.
When the head beater arrived the Jackass told him “some of those peasants in the village are getting above themselves. The last time I drove through they waved signs at the car, and boo-ed”.
Head Beater: “It’s that new wind farm planned near the village. They don’t want it because of the noise and the vermin”.
Head Beater: “Those wind turbines kill lots of birds and bats. It brings the rats out to feed on the carcasses”.
Jackass: “Well they will have to learn to avoid the blades”.
Head Beater: “ The bats do avoid them. It’s the turbulence that does for them. Sucks their lungs out so they suffocate”.
Jackass: “No harm in a bat or two missing”.
Weasel: “Tell that to the australian cricket team”.
Jackass: “Well anyway, can’t have the local peasantry being revolting. Speak to them and tell them to shut up”
Head Beater: “ “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”
Jackass: “What, what, what?”
“That’s what I’ll say to them” explained the head beater.
Jackass: “Good man, now off you go”.
Alice: “Are there many demonstrations against wind farms?”
Mad Hatter: “Never in London or anywhere there aren’t any”.
Jackass: “I haven’t heard any in Parliament”.
Weasel: “It would be gilding the lily to say there was anybody in the House against them”.
Alice: “What about people living near wind turbines?”
Jackass: “Who cares about them. Noisy bastards. Every time I go into the country there’s a group of them waving placards and protesting about wind turbines.”
Weasel “They’re just troublemakers. Probably paid by the tobacco or oil companies”.
Alice: “Is it about the noise they make?”
Jackass: “Noise? Just a gentle rustle like counting banknotes. They’re probably just jealous that they don’t have one”.
Alice: “I think you all must own some”.
Jackass: “No I don’t, but my father in law has lots. How about you three?”
Mad Hatter: “Put them all in the wife’s name”.
Weasel: “Not I, although the odd one or two might have been overlooked”.
Osborne Ostrich: “No, and I’ve never been bothered by the noise they make on the lands of my sisters, my cousins nor my aunts. Of course they’re not sited near their houses, no sensible person would want them near their house, would they?”
Alice: “I saw on the net that there are over 200 groups in Germany against wind farms, and more in the UK, like the Caithness wind farm forum or SPOT, STORM and SEAG.
Jackass: “Little girl, do your parents know you access such sites? They should stop you”.
Weasel: “We must control what people are allowed to see, else they might think things that we don’t want them to think”.
Mad Hatter “That’s why we are bringing in such legislation and other controls. Just temporary measures until we have a totally carbon free society”.
Alice “Oh yes, the return of the unicorns”.
The Mad Hatter “Yes, once we have them we will have a carbon free society. We will go back to living like our ancestors did 10,000 years ago, but this time we won’t kill off all the unicorns”.
Alice “Why did our ancestors do that?”
Mad Hatter “They ate them because they were starving”.
Alice “Wouldn’t we starve also if we go back to living like that? After all there are a lot more people alive now”.
Mad Hatter smiled a strangely disturbing smile. “Don’t worry about it, we have plans. Once we are back in the Stone Age with plenty of unicorn farts and pixie dust we are bound to have lots of food”.
Alice “pixie dust?”
Mad Hatter “It’s for polishing the solar panels. Don’t you know anything?”
Alice “I should have realized that solar panels would be used. Very handy when the turbines aren’t working, at least in daytime”.
The Weasel sat up and observed “Solar panels give us free energy. My party ahem, ahem, The Grand Party which I have the honour to lead is keen on solar panels. Once in power we will make them compulsory on every building, and on every person”.
Alice “they only work during the day, and only when the sun shines. They’re no more use than wind turbines if you want to have electricity available all the time”.
Mad Hatter “People will get Smart Meters so they’ll get electricity only when it’s available.
Alice “And what if it isn’t available? Neither method delivers much in winter”.
Weasel “Well people will have to do without for a bit. Do them good”.
Alice “But the pensioners will freeze to death. Only last winter they say 3,000 did. My Grandmother thought she would freeze to death when the power was off for just one day. What happens if it is off for a whole month”.
Osborne Ostrich “Another expenditure reduction unit once we cancel her pension and winter fuel allowance”.
Alice “But Grandpa won’t be able to keep the house warm on his own”.
Osborne Ostrich “Excellent. Another expenditure reduction”.
Alice “You’re nothing but murderers”
Weasel “Young girl, you are being rude to your betters”
The Jackass stood up and pounded the table. Alice peeked to see if she should looked shocked, but to no avail. A large Old Etonian tie was around his waist and the broad bit fell down covering anything of interest.
The Jackass saw her looking and went slightly pink. “What are you thinking of?”
Alice “I was just wondering how you’d handle a tied election”.
The Jackass went red with fury, but the green rabbit came back shouting “the Red Queen is coming, the Red Queen comes”.
Looking at Alice the rabbit said “She’ll chop off your head, there’ll be blood and gore everywhere. I love gore. The future will be full of gore”.
A voice spoke from above “he’s quite mad you know. You all are”
Before anybody could retort the Red Queen billowed into the circle. She seemed to be in a good mood.
Red Queen: “Where’s this rude little sceptic?”
Alice: “Here, your majesty”. And curtseyed.
Red Queen: “What a polite little girl. I won’t have your head cut off, I’ll just play Griddump with you. If you lose I’ll have your head cut off”.
Alice: “How do you play Griddump?”
”You take a whirligig” said the Red Queen, pointing towards a flock of flamingoes, “and hit the red millionquid through those hoops until you get to the target, which we call the delingpole. But before you must drive a blue millionquid into each corner hole, then you aristotle on the hypotenuse, avoiding the delingpole.
Alice looked and decided that the millionquid were the coloured hedgehogs but couldn’t see the delingpole. “Where is the delingpole?”
Red Queen: “It’s invisible and moves around a bit. If you hit it you will lose your head. A lot of my opponents hit it just when they are winning”.
Alice noticed that the flamingoes had flown away, and some of the hedgehogs had wandered off. “What happens if your whirligig isn’t there, or the millionquids are missing?”
Red Queen: “Then you lose a turn and your head, whichever comes first”
Alice “Well, that sounds just like the Energy Policy. Using an unreliable method which is not always available, you send millionquids down holes, and you go off on a roundabout way towards a target you can’t see. And regardless if you’re right or wrong you wind up dead”.
The Red Queen bellowed “Off with her head” but then Alice woke up.
Alice: “Silly me, It was just a dream. I should have realized that people couldn’t be that stupid”.