Saturday, December 31, 2016

Farewell 2016, Fidel Castro, democracy, and rational polity

Well, it’s been a real car crash of a year.  To anyone who ever says “it can’t get any worse”, this is a wry reminder that it can always get worse.

Electoral outcomes that were all disastrous for the environment, voted for by people who are angry and disenfranchised, and thus fodder for any demagogue that promises a solution without having any real answers, or intention of carrying out what they promise anyway.
Habitat destruction continuing rampant – the single greatest threat to biodiversity, as it has been for a long time.

In fifty years, when too few of those alive will have reliable memory of these times, they will ask “what were they doing in the years 2000 to 2020, when they had a golden opportunity to fix things, with relatively little cost?”  All you can say is that venal, self-interested people persuaded whole electorates that first, there was no problem; then: we don’t know enough about it, or it’s not really a problem, or we can’t do anything about it, or we can live with it.

Vale Fidel Castro, who gave the world a shining example on how to improve health and education outcomes for the whole country (not just an elite) with scant resources.  And to all those who whinged that he was a dictator: look at those outcomes, then look at health, education and poverty in the USA, and how much worse they are and will be.  Then look at the US version of democracy:  with just a small nudge from Russia (with help from their stooge Wikileaks) you get an unethical, dangerous liar as president.

Things can always get worse before they get better.  But as just one person, the very least you can do is vote wisely, act ethically, and do whatever you can locally to help global outcomes.