The Upside of the Election of @$&#%

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Rather than allow myself to sink into a deep depression following the election of a certain sociopath* (whose name I’d rather not mention for fear of nauseating all the kind people who read this blogpost**), I’ve been looking for any silver linings that might have attached themselves to this catastrophic event.  So far, I’ve found three:

  1. People will have the opportunity to see what happens when Republicans are in control of all three branches of government. If the past is any guide, Republican policies will drive us into a ditch. This time, however, the Republicans will have a hard time blaming Democrats for their failures; they will be held accountable for just about everything.
  2. During Obama’s presidency, rank-and-file Democrats have generally been passive, trusting that Obama will do the right thing most of the time, and feeling that activism has been unnecessary. With @$&#% as president, more progressives will realize the importance of getting involved in politics and fighting back.
  3. Given that @$&#% denies the existence of global warming and has promised to undo Obama’s environmental regulations, the chance that the U.S. government will address global warming—as long as @$&#% is president and Congress is under Republican control—is near zero, and that, of course, is bad news. But here’s the silver lining: When the government refuses to act and the ecological consequences become increasingly apparent, a growing number of individuals will, of necessity, take responsibility for their own ecological footprints. And that’s good news because bringing the planet back from the ecological cliff will take all of us doing our part whichever party is in power. Besides, the more actively we’re involved, the more likely it will be that politicians will have the courage to do the right thing.

*       *       *       *       *       *       *

*  Is @$&#% really a sociopath, or am I exaggerating for comic effect? I don’t have the credentials to say for certain, and I don’t know if http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html has the credentials either, but here’s some of what I found at that website:

Profile of the Sociopath

  • Glibness and Superficial Charm
  • Manipulative and Conning

They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

  • Grandiose Sense of Self

Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”

  • Pathological Lying

Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

  • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt

A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

  • Shallow Emotions

When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

  • Incapacity for Love
  • Need for Stimulation

Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

  • Callousness/Lack of Empathy

Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

  • Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature

Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

  • Irresponsibility/Unreliability

Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

  • Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity

Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

Do you think that profile fits @$&#% to a tee?  I do.

** Henceforth, I shall refer to the unnamed one as @$&#%.

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Environmental Policy: Not Just for Wonks

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GREETINGS, Dear Reader! For several months, I stopped blogging while I prepared my book, It’s Up to Us, for publication on Kindle. And now, I’m happy to announce, the book is on the Amazon website. If you’d care to take a look, you can find it by clicking this link:

http://www.amazon.com/ITS-Unconventional-Examination-Environmental-Predicament-ebook/dp/B0128CEBMA

It’s Up to Us is a book about environmental policy. As a rule, books on that subject don’t attract a broad range of readers. Most people know little—if anything—about environmental policy, and they’d just as soon keep it that way.

At this point in history, however, it’s vital that we all understand some unfortunate facts: (1) the ecosphere is unraveling rapidly; (2) the methods we’ve been employing to correct environmental problems aren’t getting the job done; and (3) in order to prevent a slew of dire consequences from occurring, we must get involved, as individuals, in cleaning up the environmental mess we’ve created. It’s Up to Us discusses those facts. At the same time, it demonstrates that our environmental predicament, while serious, offers us the opportunity to reset our values, break free from the chains of consumerism, and enjoy a life full of simple joys.

Here’s what Herman Daly, the “Father of Ecological Economics,” had to say about It’s Up to Us:

Sally Wengrover, PhD, knows her business, and is careful and thorough in her research. This book is a scholarly tour de force of environmental policy analysis and economics, and I highly recommend it. Sally has an irrepressible sense of humor that enlivens the reading of some of the dry technical material. Some of the widely accepted ideas and policies that good scholarship forces her to cover, however, are so ludicrously and perniciously wrong that their focused consideration cannot be endured for extended periods without damage to one’s brain. So after diving deeply into the high-pressure nonsense of growthism (environmental Kuznetz Curve, geo-engineering, entropy reversal, denial of climate change, etc.), Sally has to be careful in re-surfacing to the normal atmosphere, lest she and her readers get the bends. Her means of controlling decompression is to pause now and then for some moments of purposeful silliness—some nutty rest interludes, but less nutty than the deeply serious junk science (or sometimes good ideas) she has just explained. Some readers will find her playful penchant for antiquated verb forms and pirate talk distracting, while others will enjoy it. But both kinds of readers will be grateful for a very insightful, positive, and honest book.

—HERMAN DALY, Emeritus Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland; author of dozens of journal articles and numerous books, including Beyond Growth and For the Common Good; former World Bank Senior Economist; recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council for Science and the Environment (United States), the Honorary Right Livelihood Award (Sweden), and the Heineken Prize for Environmental Science (Netherlands).

P. S. If you’d like to watch a one-minute animated trailer for the book, please click below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX3d3KpeRhw

As always, thank you, Dear Reader, for giving some of your valuable time and attention to my words.