Despite the wretched outcome of his wishes for 2010, wishes for 2011, and wishes for 2012, WC will once again set out his wishes for 2013. While it is tempting to moderate those wishes, WC is not inclined to lower his expectations in the hope of greater success. So here they are: WC’s wishes for 2013:
- Overpopulation. Yes. Still at the top of the list. The root of much is what is wrong and going wrong on this tired, over-crowded and badly abused planet. Back in 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 and the Latter Day Saints’ crazed obsession with large families would be two obvious 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 children is a sin by whatever definitions they use.
- Another repeat from 2011: the 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? The Arctic Ocean will soon be ice-free. 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 grandchildren?” 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. It’s past time to act. Why not now?
- Our government remains broken. For the first time since the prelude to the Civil War, a political party has set its agenda as obstructing everything a president proposes. Up until the recent past, the “loyal opposition” meant cooperating with the guy who, you know, won the election. No longer. WC wishes that the Republican-controlled House would, just this once, place the interests of the nation above their own failed agenda and compromise. Obstructionism didn’t work. President Obama was re-elected. Why not try compromise as an alternative?
- Closer to home, the Republicans have gerrymandered themselves into control of the state senate. Governor Sean “Captain Zero” Parnell is in a position to force through his pet $2 billion tax giveaway to Big Oil. That’s on top of the existing state subsidies of 60-75% of the cost of oil field development. While WC has faint hope that common sense will prevail, it’s extremely likely that some form of change to the current oil and gas tax laws will occur. But if Captain Zero must give Big Oil a break, at least tie the break to the specific avowed problem: insufficient crude in the Trans Alaska Pipeline. Give a credit to the existing tax for crude actually in the pipeline above a 500,000 barrel a day base. Captain Zero needs to understand that simply lowering taxes will only benefit the shareholders; it won’t trigger new exploration.
So there you have it: once again, four modest, sensible and practical wishes. WC cautions against holding your breath while waiting to see if they come true.
Happy New Year, everyone.