2012 in Review: Examining WC’s Wishes for 2012

Once again, WC opened the year with wishes for the upcoming months. And once again, WC’s wishes and hopes were mostly dashed. But with just a week or so left in 2012, let’s look at the specifics (Predictions in bold face; outcomes indented below):

1. Overpopulation. Among the crises facing the planet is human overpopulation. During 2011, we rolled the odometer over to an estimated  7 billion. To a deplorable extent, especially in the Western world, the rate of population growth is a function of religious teachings. The Catholic church’s and the Latter Day Saints’ crazed obsession with large families would be two examples. When religious dogma have counter-survival effects, it’s past time to change them. WC calls on those latter day saints and infallible pontiffs to have a revelation: that further growth of human populations is terrible, and must be controlled, that more than two chldren is a sin by whatever definitions they use.

Not. Zilch, zero, nothing. Another 180,000,000 babies were born in 2012, more or less. More than half of them will never have enough food to eat. The closest thing to good news is that we didn’t elect as president someone who thinks their god wants them to breed big families.

2. A second great crisis facing humanity is anthropocentric climate change. The way things are going, to paraphrase Pratchett and Gaiman, we are going to scourge all intelligent life from the planet, leaving nothing but dust, cockroaches and fundamentalists. The time for denying man-caused climate change is past. Can we at least shift the debate about how to deal with it? And can all the global warming-denying politicians who have sold their small, dark, crabbed souls to the fossil fuels industry have a look in the mirror and ask themselves, “Do I care about my gtandchildren?” There will come a day when fossil fuel lobbyists and the politicians they have purchased will be held in the same contempt as Congressmen who defended slavery, or claimed tobacco was harmless. Why not now?

Not. Zilch, zero, nothing. The single glimmer of good news was some movement by U.S. energy consumers from coal to natural gas, an accident of the fracking epidemic. But fracking carries its own, very serious environmental consequences. Some wind turbines are installed, but the tax credit that encouraged them appears to be a victim of the fiscal cliff. More importantly, the climate change deniers haven’t shut up. Did WC mention we set a new record for minimal sea ice in the Arctic Ocean in 2012?

3. The health care crisis facing facing America threatens to sink the economy of our country. The Affordable Care Act remains the only half-way comprehensive solution presented. The need for health care is not going to magically vanish if Medicare and Medicaid are repealed. Passing a reduced amount of money out as vouchers isn’t going to reduce spending or lower costs. It is absolutely clear that traditional capitalist solutions are an abject failure in controlling costs. We’ve been trying it for the last 50 years and it has gotten us where we are. The neocons have to come up with  specific, functional proposals to fix a real crisis, or shut up. Not more of the same. Real solutions.

Maybe. A mixed result. The Affordable Care Act was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, to the horror of the Act’s critics and gnashing and wailing of Fox News. But the SCOTUS gutted some critical Medicaid provisions, and the largely Republican governors are slow-rolling the health care exchanges that would help implement the law. They don’t have a good reason. They just don’t want President Obama’s law to work.

4. Despite the Republican presidential wannabes’ lies, distortions and self-deception, President Barack Obama as a national leader is vastly superior to Mitt Romney and all the Not-Mitts. Despite the protracted and concerted efforts of the Republicans to blow up the economy rather than allow him to effect reasonable repairs, the economy has improved. He has done more to slap down Islamofacsist terrorism than his predecessor managed with two land wars in Asia, up to and including the assassination of bin Laden and the liberation of Libya. He has gotten us out of George W. Bush’s disastrous, ill-conceived and unnecessary war in Iraq. He has stopped and repudiated the use of torture as an instrument of national policy. He has enacted the first real health care reform in the United States since Medicare. He has saved the plutocrats from their own greed and folly. And he has done all this is the face of an unscrupulous U.S. House that would tear the country to shreds if it had its way. Re-elect him. And while we are at it, pitch the Teabaggers out of the U.S House.

 Maybe. President Obama was re-elected, whatever Dick Morris may think. Integrity still matters. Yes, the House is still dominated by teabaggers who refuse to come to grips with reality. Or learn from their mistakes.

So it’s another disappointing year. As was the case for 2011, none of WC’s wishes came completely true, but as of year end perhaps two are partially so. Two failed completely. Better than 2010, but still a disappointment to WC. Maybe next year.