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Articles in "The Road to Resilience"

The conventions are over and our next president will be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  A few years ago, it looked like we were going to have a very humdrum choice of the two ruling family establishment candidates, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

Picture this scenario.  The presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party is lagging in the polls before the nominating convention.  Another candidate that might attract more votes lags behind in elected delegates but can take the nomination if the superdelegates vote for him.

Those of you that have read my column for some time remember that my primary subject has always been transitioning our society away from a fossil fuel-based economy bent on infinite growth.  One of the reasons for transition is that the ever-growing use of fossil fuels is creating a change in our climate that threatens the existence of the world we know.

Both the Republicans and the Democrats have been challenged this election year by a populist insurrection.  Many of us bristle as the pundits throw Trump and Sanders supporters into the same bag.   After all, the motives and intentions of the two factions seem to be as different as night and day. 

Although there will be much more to consider as the election saga unfolds this week, I want to talk about a local project that will make our community here more secure and resilient regardless of election results in November.

First off, the article in the last issue, “Politics Among The Billionaires,” was wrongfully attributed to me.  It was written by Ward Carson.
As we approach the end of the 2016 primary season, we find the likely candidates of both parties to have the highest unfavorability ratings since such polls have been taken.  Trump at 57% and Clinton at 55% top the charts.

Imagine yourself as a billionaire in 1981.  Ronald Reagan has just been elected.  You’ve parked one of your billions in Treasury bonds—a solid, conservative investment backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government.

The current trends for employment seem to be heading toward a train wreck.   There is a strong push to lower labor costs as more and more work is being outsourced to lower wage labor pools around the world.  In fact, slavery seems to be on the comeback.  Free trade agreements, although not advertised as such, have lower labor costs as a main goal among others.

As we get embroiled in the fever of the presidential election campaign season, it is important to get some perspective on what is really happening right now and what we should best be doing. 

A guest article this week by Ward Carson:
I’ve always appreciated the value of a trust fund.  My friend Jim has one.  He deserves it I suppose; his father was a millionaire.  He’s always lived free and easy.   His fund has treated him well.

The Democratic Caucus for Washington State is coming up on Saturday, March 26th.  The doors open at 9am and the Caucus begins at 10am at the O Space.  The goal is to finish by noon, and please plan on staying until the end to be sure that your vote counts.

When Bernie Sanders entered the presidential race, he proposed universal health care as a basic human right.  This has been envisaged as a single payer health care system, that is, a system in which the many private health insurance providers we now have would be replaced by a single, public payer, as it is currently done in Medicare.

As the Sanders campaign becomes more and more credible, the pundits, rightly, are scrutinizing the viability and popularity of his campaign promises.   That is all well and good.  It is true that such changes need to be well considered and thought out.

The differences between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are becoming apparent.  Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats have had some good debates that have clarified their positions on specific issues. I am disregarding O’Malley at this point because, as appealing as he is, he is not seriously in contention right now.

I am tired of having to consider voting for the lesser of two evils.  That said, I will be working as hard as I can to convince all of you to get behind Bernie Sanders.  Here are my reasons:

Throughout the time I’ve been writing this column, I’ve tried to point out ways in which we as individuals and as a community could become more resilient to changes that are and will be occurring in our world.

In January of 2012, I wrote a summary in that I was surprised to hear that a recent study found Vashon Island was the most liberal city in the US.  It was the first time I have ever seen Vashon singled out in a national context for anything.  My second thought was that I, probably like most of you, suspected as much.

In January of 2012, I wrote a summary in this column of the decision at the Durban UN Climate Conference to kick the can down the road with a promise to produce a binding agreement at the 2015 conference that would take affect in 2020.  Previous  to Durban, in Copenhagen, the world agreed that global warming must be limited to 2 degrees Celsius. 

I’ve often said that we live in extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures.  Although I don’t like to get into political races in this column, what is happening now is truly extraordinary and deserves some attention.

I still haven’t gotten any conservative takers for a mutually respectful, ongoing discussion of common ground for political action.  In my previous column, I mentioned that I was sick and tired of the mutual demonizing by liberals and conservatives, when, in the end, we all have basically the same human wants and needs.

I want to look at the big, broken political picture again this week, but I promise that there are definite actions you can take, here and now, to help fix it. As you are probably aware, some of us see a climate crisis while others see too much regulation, some of us see an insufficient safety net while others see a spoiled populace, some see insufficient taxation while others see excessive spending.

I want to look at the big, broken political picture again this week, but I promise that there are definite actions you can take, here and now, to help fix it. As you are probably aware, some of us see a climate crisis while others see too much regulation, some of us see an insufficient safety net while others see a spoiled populace, some see insufficient taxation while others see excessive spending.

Recently, on the Facebook site, Future Water Vashon, Michael Laurie, local home energy consultant and green systems proponent, posted an account of his visit to the building inspector at the King County Department of Public Health to discuss the legality of compost toilet/graywater systems for onsite sewage disposal.

The most distressing aspect of trying to cope with the physical, economic, and political crises we face in the world today is our inability to act because of complete polarization of our body politic in the US.  Riding storm-tossed seas in a leaky boat, we are arguing about whether we should paint our oars red or blue.