Wonkette said recently, “The internet’s no good at solving stuff like world hunger, but it’s excellent at shitstorms.” There’s more truth in that than WC would like. But despite the wretched outcome of his wishes for 2010, wishes for 2011, wishes for 2012 and most recently his wishes for 2013, WC will once again set out his wishes for 2014. 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 2014:
- 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 all 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.
- Anthropocentric climate change. Another repeat from 2011, 2012 and 2013: the second great crisis facing humanity is the changes we are forcing on the climate. 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 national government still 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 agendas. Obstructionism didn’t work. President Obama was re-elected. Shutting down the government didn’t work – again. Why not try compromise as an alternative? The recent budget settlement demonstrates it is possible. There’s a long list of critical issues facing Congress. So long as that branch of Congress remains divided, compromise is the only path to resolving those issues.
- Reversing $2 billion tax giveaway to Big Oil. The Republicans gerrymandered themselves into control of the state senate. Governor Sean “Captain Zero” Parnell forced through his absurd tax giveaway, and then promptly introduced a hatchet job of a budget based on the fiscal crisis he created. There’s some hope that the referendum to repeal the tax giveaway will pass, but Big Oil is already ramping up to lobby voters against it. Big Oil will outspend the citizens 10 to 1 in the upcoming campaign, and the lies, distortions and disinformation will be fierce. It will be a true test of citizens versus multinational corporations. WC hopes the referendum passes despite Big Oil’s lies and extortion.
- Senator Mark Begich is re-elected. WC admits Senator Begich isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, and whether it’s his constituency or his natural predilections, he takes some very conservative positions on issues WC cares about a lot. But in Alaska, as everywhere else, you have to temper your idealism with a bit of pragmatism. Mark Begich is so far preferable to any of the crowd of Republican clowns, carpetbaggers and klutzes that the decision is straightforward. Hold you nose if you must, but the alternative – Sullivan, Treadwell or Miller – is so bad that the choice is easy. WC may even break out his checkbook.
So there you have it: once again, five modest, sensible and practical wishes. WC cautions against holding your breath while waiting to see if they come true.
Happy New Year, everyone.