2020 Vision

2020 Vision

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    • #5595
      Earl Babbie

      2020 Vision
      This catchy phrase may not be original with me, but I haven’t seen it anywhere.
      I propose that we begin developing a Vision for where we will be with regard to our population/environmental problems by the year 2020: seven years from now. Clearly, we cannot solve our problems by then, but we should be able to establish goals that would mark a substantial change of direction aimed toward solutions.
      For example, the USA cannot solve its overpopulation problem by 2020, but it would be possible for the federal government to establish a policy of population stabilization (and reduction?) and create a program for achieving it. I’m not saying it would be easy, but it could be done.
      What else would be reasonably do-able in seven years?
      What’s your 2020 Vision?

    • #5623
      Sean Rooney

      You don’t really want to hear my 2020 Vision, it’s pretty grim.
      I do like your play on the term.
      The US operates a free wheeling economy in which investors always seek the highest returns.  The highest returns are often associated with activities that degrade the biosphere.  As a result, what we’ve seen happen since 1950 is a vast despoiliation of our environment and an associated loss of biodiversity, the good folks at the EPA notwithstanding.  Many aspects of our economy are quite iterally built to destroy. Pebble Mine anyone?
      The government can enact regulations and set forth policies aimed at minimizing the damage, and have in fact done do on a fairly broad scale.  But it’s too much like trying to control or manage a monster, a beast that only knows one direction and only has one agenda.  A single megaproject like the KXL tar sands oil pipeline can absorb huge numbers of man hours to see they get done right, or not done when they can’t be done right.  Fracking alone has swamped the EPA.
      Obama can be expected to lauch any number of initiatives, some big, some not so big, in the manner of the recent ruling on the efficiency of microwave ovens, but the Congress seems entirely unwilling to coopporate on anything meaningful vis-a-vis emissions.  The EPA continues to struggle to get clean air standards applied to older power plants and its attempts to regulate methane leakage in refineries and other oil facilities have so far come up empty.
      I find it pretty hard not to be pessimistic about our chances that much will be done to curb industry’s excesses in the coming years.  I think it’s the nature of the beast.
      However, we’ll take all we can get and hope for more!

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