This article was originally published on Humorality, on April 19, 2010.
Volcanologists sick and tired of all the Star Trek jokes
A gathering of officials from more than fifty nations has given provisional approval to a plan that will eliminate all active volcanoes from the earth within fifteen years. Environmentalists hailed the decision as a bold step forward in reducing air pollution, although some groups said the recommendations didn’t go far enough in “purging every speck of dust from the planet.”
The meeting came at a time of increased volcanic activity, especially with the recent eruption of a major mountain in Iceland. Albert Core, the conference’s keynote speaker, found the earth’s rumblings troubling. “It’s ridiculous what’s going on with all these volcanoes. Everywhere you look, another one is blowing up in your face. They don’t even have normal names. Eyjafjallajökull? Pinatubo? Fuji? At least the hurricane people know how to give reasonable Western names to their storms.”
“The earth’s environment is far too delicate to leave in the hands of Mother Nature,” said Sarah Greenpeace, one of the attendees from Canada. “Volcanoes are just one of her many failings. She has long shown her contempt for her own home planet. She never even applied that bottle of sunscreen we sent her last year.”
The meeting, which opened in Paris with a private screening of Joe Versus the Volcano, drew science ministers and other governmental representatives from as far away as Zimbabwe, a country not known to have any volcanoes. “But we let them in,” said Pierre Sangfroid, director of the Put a Cork In It Institute for Volcanic Studies, which sponsored the event. “It was either them or the United States, a country that still uses light bulbs. It just makes me sick.”
The agreement goes into effect in 2011, with Japan having the honor of shutting down the first active volcano. Yet despite the aggressive volcano retirement schedule, some signatories doubted the scheme would fulfill the long-term benefits to Earth or its human inhabitants. “Volcanoes take hundreds of lives every year,” said Wilhelm Brandenburg, Germany’s representative at the summit. “Frankly, I see those numbers going up, not down, what with all the young virgins we will need to keep throwing into these mountains year in and year out.”