A friend wrote to ask what he and his family should do given the impasse in Congress and the ongoing debacle in Europe. What follows is my response:
I share your concern. And the brief answer to what I am doing is “not much.” But let me explain my position. Continue reading
I have been listening to good friends exchange e-mails recently on a variety of topics that include Obama versus McCain and the realities or otherwise of global warming. What has struck and dismayed me greatly is that there is no search in all of this for common ground. Instead, each is simply lopping bombs from their side over an unbridgeable fence. I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with Fareed Zakaria’s quotation of David Gergen in Newsweek June 16, 2008 in which he says, “With the end of the cold war, we saw a new, destructive kind of partnership and for much of the past decade, we’ve kicked the can down the road on our big problems . . . I have a distinct memory that the World War II generation really put country ahead of party. That is simply not the case with the generation in power now.” As Zakaria says, compromise is hard and we are just not attempting, even among good friends, to work at it- for the sake of the country.
The world is forever changing and the older generation is forever complaning about the younger generation. So what’s new? Or, is there something new in the air? Is the status quo in the process of changing? And is it changing in ways that will hurt those currently at the top? America has had a long run – in modern terms – as the top dog in the world economy. Is that coming to an end? Will it end smoothly? Or will there be an abrupt rupture in which a lot of people of get hurt? Of course, lowering American’s standard of living is not exactly the end of the world although it will be the end of the world as Americans see it. Will Asia take over from where America left off? WIll they build a better world? Or, and this is the “hell”scenario, will our insatiable appetite for carbon-based energy fuel so much global, climate instability that much of the world becomes uninhabitable. These thought float in the back of my head and in the coming weeks and months, I plan to tease out what I think we know about various pieces of this puzzle. Your thoughts are always welcome.