The Final Warning Spork Part 8: Special Edition (Part 1)

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The title’s a bit confusing this week because it’s now Thursday and we’ve not yet gotten the second chapter sporked, so in the interest of timeliness I’m posting this now and the second chapter later, which will be part 8 part 2. Anyway, inside me and Alesand spork chapter 31 of Maximum Ride: The Final Warning.

Apparently their briefing had not mentioned the talking dog. Even Akila seemed surprised, cocking her head to one side and looking at Total.

We kids just sat there, since we were, unfortunately, all too used to hearing Total talk.

EmotedLlama: Even JPatterson knows how irritating Total is, and he just doesn’t care.

Alesand: There’s that “we kids” again. Max could have said “the flock and I” but that’s what you get when a geezer pretends to be a teen girl.

“A sandwich would be nice,” Nudge said, breaking the silence.

“Yes, of course,” said Melanie Bone, recovering from her shock.

Twenty minutes later, we were scarfing down sandwiches and watching a PowerPoint presentation about global warming.

EmotedLlama: Oh, boy.

Alesand: That’s what scientists do when confronted with the discovery of a talking dog! Eat sandwhiches and watch power points about global warming!

EmotedLlama: I didn’t even realize that, but yeah, it seems that a dog with a human brain and vocal cords and speech cability would be a pretty big deal.

“Global warming is probably the most significant disaster modern society has had to face,” said Sue-Ann Wong.

Alesand: Don’t worry nuclear war. You still receive a silver medal! And deadly plagues will receive a shiny bronze medal!

“Clearly she hasn’t seen this season’s platform wedges.” Total sniffed. I nudged him with my elbow.

EmotedLlama: *Sobs*

Alesand: Instead of nudging him, how about tossing him into the ocean? The scientists obviously don’t give a damn about him.

“If mankind continues with its current energy-use habits, there’s a probability that sea levels could rise by up to twenty feet within a hundred years,” Emily Robertson added.

“So we’ll all have beach houses?” Gazzy asked. “Cool!”

EmotedLlama: This doesn’t read like a cheesy PSA at all.

Alesand: Despite making this claim, they don’t explain how exactly this will cause the ocean to rise.

Paul Carey shook his head. “Not cool. It means that most countries will lose a lot of coastal land, plus the wildlife and ecosystems that flourish there. Many states and countries will be smaller, which means more people moving inland. We would lose big parts of Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, and a lot of the eastern seaboard. They would be mostly under water. So tens of millions of people would be displaced, needing new homes, new jobs.”

EmotedLlama: Is it just me, or do Sue-Ann Wong, Emily Robertson, and Paul Carey all sound like the exact same person?

Alesand: They might as well be.

Huh. Was it really that bad? Maybe they were overreacting. I mean, how could it possibly be that bad if the earth was one degree warmer? It just seemed as if the whole world would become like Hawaii or the Bahamas. Fabulous places. Wouldn’t we be able to grow more food if there were more warmer places? How much wheat were we harvesting in Siberia?

EmotedLlama: Ten bucks says Max reverses this position by the end of the novel and it’s made a big deal of because GLOBAL WARMING. Also, when did anyone tell you the earth would be one degree warmer?

Alesand: I believe actual scientists have said it was becoming a teensy bit warmer than that. And due to this teensy increase, drought is becoming a slight bit of a problem. Instead of 56 million tons of wheat, Russia’s Siberia only produced 38 million tons. So much for it all being a frozen wasteland, eh Max?

EmotedLlama: Oh, JPatterson, your lack of research is pathetic.

Alesand: Even more pathetic is that the research I just did only took around 5 minutes.

EmotedLlama: Seriously, this isn’t difficult stuff.

Alesand: Remember audience, Google is your friend!

“What the heck is global warming?” Iggy asked.

“Basically, it’s a buildup of certain gases, like carbon dioxide, in our atmosphere,” said Melanie. “The earth’s atmosphere traps them there, and they act like a blanket. It’s making the average temperature of the oceans and the air slowly rise.”

Alesand: The kids are suppossed to be tech savvy yet they don’t know what global warming is?

EmotedLlama: What they know and don’t know is so random.

Alesand: They know pop culture yet no science. *facepalm* This is why they should have taken up the government’s offer for schooling! Obviously Jeb and Martinez are not teaching them what they need to know.

EmotedLlama: Apparently Jeb thought pop culture was more important in saving the world than more useful knowledge.

Alesand: Max and the gang are definitely not autodidacts.

EmotedLlama: After looking up that word, no, they definitely are not.

Alesand: They must be spoonfed and with tiny spoons at that!

“A gas blanket,” said Iggy. “Well, you should know all about that, Gaz.”

The Gasman grinned, in no way embarrassed.

EmotedLlama: You know, it’s really impressive just how few times the reason for Gazzy’s name is brought up. JPatterson sure does give his characters meaningful traits.

Alesand: Are these kids ever given real names? Actual first and last names? Esp. the last names. What’s keeping them from accidental inbreeding? The only one with a full name, Maximum Ride, sounds like she should be doing porno! Maximum Ride! As her namesake, she’ll be giving you guys (and also gals) the Maximum Ride!

EmotedLlama: Ookay then.

“It would be nice if the world were a little warmer,” Nudge said. “I hate cold weather.”

“Yeah,” said Gazzy. “No more jackets, no more frostbite, no more car wrecks on icy roads. People would save money by not heating their houses. We could wear shorts all the time.”

That’s what I was talking about!

Alesand: Why are they whining about this? They never wore warm clothes. They scavenge their food. They live outdoors. They could also fly south for the winter.

Emily smiled. “If it were really like that, it might not be too bad,” she said. “Though I like cold weather and I would miss skiing. But the problem is that one little change in the earth’s temperature causes all sorts of other changes. Like falling dominoes.”

“Besides the catastrophic loss of land all over the world, even a slight temperature rise causes more extreme weather everywhere,” Paul explained. “We already have more hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and rainfall just because the earth’s temperature has risen barely more than a degree in the last hundred years. On the other hand, we have more droughts and more wildfires as well.”

EmotedLlama: It’s all just very silly to have this shallow explanation of global warming mixed into a kids’ action book.

Alesand: Esp. since the scientists are asking for help from Max and the flock. They would be better off asking Captain Planet and the Planeteers for help. They might be useless heroes, but they would do an infinitely better job than Max’s flock. Plus, at least the C. Planet gang is experienced with dealing with global warming.

EmotedLlama: Getting unqualified children to help you: makes perfect sense!

Alesand: Unqualified spoiled whiney brats at that.

The slide show had pictures of Indonesia after its tsunami, and the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. We saw pictures of deserts where there had once been crops, and lots of dead cattle and horses and fish whose water had dried up. But hadn’t stuff like that happened in every century? The earth had never been totally calm and perfect. There were hurricanes and floods and droughts thousands of years ago, before all this global warming stuff.

EmotedLlama: But don’t voice these thoughts or anything. That’s definitely not allowed at this global warming explanation meeting.

Alesand: Max, Emily and Paul already explained that there was an increase of such destructive phenomenon. Weren’t you listening?

“The rising temperature affects crops and plants everywhere,” said Brigid Dwyer. “Trees are germinating an average of ten days earlier. Plants everywhere are blooming earlier. Plants that need cooler weather are slowly moving northward. Plants that thrive in warmer temperatures are more widespread than ever.”

Again, I wasn’t sure why this was a problem. Ten days was a tiny amount of time.

EmotedLlama: THEN SAY SOMETHING YOU SNOT.

Alesand: 10 days of what Max? Global Warming is becoming quite a problem. Ask how you can help these scientists. If you can’t help them, then leave so this book will end faster.

“And that’s bad because . . . ?” Total put his paws on the table. “Can I have a Coke or something?”

“Don’t give him soda,” I said quickly. “He’ll be hiccuping all night.”

“We don’t have any soda,” said Michael apologetically, as Total glared at me. “Just water, milk, tea, or coffee.”

EmotedLlama: Well, that was a pointless diversion.

Alesand: Why haven’t they fed that mutt to sharks yet?

EmotedLlama: No idea.

“It’s a problem because plants affect animals, and animals affect plants, and the whole system goes out of balance,” Melanie explained.

“It’s the ciiirrrcle of liiiiifffe,” Iggy sang.

Alesand: He had to lose just his vision. Why couldn’t he lose his voice instead!?

“Scientists estimate that at least two hundred sixty different species are already responding to global warming by changing their migration and reproduction patterns,” Sue-Ann said. “The loss of plant and animal life can’t be calculated.”

Fang had been silent this whole time. Now he spoke.

“But what does this have to do with us?”

Which was, of course, the important question.

EmotedLlama: Why do I get the impression that this will never be adequately answered?

Alesand: Why did the scientists ask for THEM?! They could have asked anybody else for help. Capt. Planet and the Planeteers, Mr. T and the A Team, Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo, Uncle Buck! ANYBODY ELSE BUT THE FLOCK!!

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5 responses »

  1. EMILY LIKES COLD WEATHER AND WOULD MISS SKIING! THAT’S IMPORTANT, OBVIOUSLY. I AM SO GLAD THAT I KNOW THIS NOW.

    What teenager would willingly refer to zirself as a kid? :/ Don’t people at that age usually want to be seen as mature and adult?

    Also, Total’s existence is seriously depressing me. Why…just…why? :'(

    • Patterson is a sadist and likes to keep that mutt in the story. A great author would have a regular dog. A good author would have a dog that speaks in a barely intelligible manner. An average author would have the talking dog killed or at least removed from the story as soon as possible. A bad author would at least have the dog violently killed. Patterson is thus below a bad author. He keeps the talking dog alive and inserts it into the story whenever possible.

      • You are 100% right…though calling Patterson an actual “author” is a bit of a stretch. :P I think of him more as a trained monkey with a typewriter.

  2. You’re right, this really does read like a bad PSA. “Gee, global warming really is a bad thing after all! Thanks for warning us!”

    For the first time in his life, Fang is asks a useful question. What — exactly — do the scientists expect a group of kids to do about it? I mean, besides being teenagers and all, they’re pretty screwed up. They’ve basically been cut off from society for most of their lives. They can barely sit through a two-minute lecture without getting distracted. I would not want to be depending on these kids to save the world.

  3. It’s strange that JP is going on and on about saving the environment, and yet he’s typing out these three-page chapters, creating unnecessary breaks, and wasting so many trees that he doesn’t need to waste. What a hypocrite!

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