We are always looks for weird climate connections, and this one is a doozy. In a short, lively monologue, Marvin Bloom shares his climate change reading of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, well the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. There was a famine and a successful adaptation plan. Pharaoh sure liked it, but was it a just plan?
Have a listen (full transcript below).
Hi, This is Marvin, Marvin Bloom, and this is your moment with Marvin
So Joseph is one of the youngest kids in a large blended family. His father Jacob, who changes his name to Israel has at least four sexual partners, I mean wives, I mean I don’t understand that lifestyle at all. Anyway there is a lot of tension in the family about inheritance rights; who’s gonna get all the stuff?
Since Joesph is the favorite son, and a bit of a brat, his brothers get rid of him. They ship him off to Egypt where he becomes a slave. He then gets in trouble, does jail time and ultimately becomes 2nd in command of the whole kingdom. And then he saves his family from starvation.
And that is the part that is interesting to me—the climate part of it. You see Pharaoh was having weird dreams. They hauled Joseph out of prison to interpret them. It was his thing. He said there would be 7 years of amazing weather with huge harvests. Then he warned of 7 years afterwards of horrible drought, famine, and potential starvation. He predicted temporary climate change AND he came up with an adaptation plan.
He suggested that Pharaoh grow as much grain as possible and stash it away in storage for a rainy day, well, many days with no rain. Then when the people are hungry and needy, there is food for them. And it was a successful plan. The famine hit and Pharaoh had mountains of food to feed a starving nation.
It was an effective plan, but it was not a just plan. It wasn’t fair. There is no such thing as a free lunch. In order to get Pharaoh’s grain, people had to sell everything they had and give it to the ruler. This turned Pharaoh into the ultimate 1% leading to oppression and slavery.
So what lesson do I get from this? In coming up with solutions to address the physical needs of people in a time of climate change, we need to calculate how the plan affects people’s right. Because climate change is a human rights issue.
This is Marvin and this has been your moment with Marvin.
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