Sunday, April 20, 2014

We got a lot to talk about!

          As I said in my previous post I want to guide you to exactly where I stand on what I believe are the most important problems facing America today. It is a complicated world and there are multiple issues that will have to be addressed. It will require an organized effort to be successful. Only a shared vision of where we need to go as a nation will result in long term success. As I see things I believe these must be a part of the vision for America going forward

          Climate Change

          Yes, it is real and it is our fault. Despite the far rights efforts to debunk the science with false hoods and scientists who disagree the fact remains that there is an overwhelming consensus among scientists about two things. The level of greenhouse gases or GHGs is rising due to human behavior and the climate is warming because of it. The debate comes in when trying to analyze the effects it will ultimately have on the environment.

Very conservative estimates put the global temperature rise by the end of the century by 2 degrees Celsius and a sea level rise of 2 meters.  Sea level rise of two meters will cause the displacement of tens of millions refugees worldwide. This will not only affect far off place like the Maldives, or Bangladesh or India but this will cause the relocation millions as well as a loss of infrastructure, agriculture and more here at home. Cities like Miami, New Orleans may no longer exist if even the most optimistic views of climate change come true.

The problem is the more we discover about what is currently occurring to our environment the faster and more extreme the changes are. Glaciers, year round snow packs, permafrost and the arctic sea ice are disappearing faster every time we measure them. Though these are major issues to deal with the real unknown is the ice that sits atop Greenland and the Antarctic. There is enough water stored in those two places to raise sea level to apocalyptic levels worldwide. The current position is that the ice should remain there for a long time to come but every time we measure these massive ice sheets are disappearing faster and faster and we honestly do not know where the tipping point is in relationship to the ice sheets long term survival.

Not acting to prevent all the further damage to our environment that we can is an ethics issue. With the knowledge that the scientific community has reached a consensus on the impact that we are having on our environment, lack of action will seem criminal in hindsight if even the most minor of environmental predictions come true. We need to impress upon our leaders that this needs to be of utmost concern. A national effort like that we made to be the first to the moon should be in place as soon as possible. What’s the downside? We create a bunch of jobs and industries that make the planet a better place to live. I could live with being wrong on this. 

Up next: Income Inequality

I'm Back!

Well it’s been a long time, much longer than I had realized when I finally went back and looked. My last post was March 8th 2012, 25 months ago. A lot has happened since then. I graduated college with my Bachelors and started my MBA, started a new career, the government has been shut down, and partisan politics is still alive and well within our government. The reasons behind my absence were many but a big one, and the one I think that frustrates a lot of progressives, is the vile and unmitigated response from the right who will hurl insults and hash up unrelated or past social issues rather than deal with the facts of current issues. One can use evidence, logic, and truths but somehow the right has had the ability to re-frame the argument in such a way that puts progressives on the defensive defending battles already won. You can trust that that will not happen again to this Patriot.    
           One of my biggest frustrations is knowing who to trust when trying to assimilate information on a given subject. As I have mentioned before in previous posts that trusting news outlets to tell you the truth is tricky at best. Media outlets are beholding to their sponsors as well those who use the power of information as a political weapon in today’s partisan winner take all politics. So I decided to do some reading.
        I read books on our founding fathers, George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson to better understand the motivations and actions of these great men as they brought forth a nation unlike any other in history and did something so incredible afterward. They peacefully handed over power to the next set of democratically elected leaders, an unprecedented event in world history. This basic and fundamental process is one that I feel is under attack by the far right and is a source of energy and inspiration to my renewed effort to contribute to the progressive movement in any way I can.
          I read books on the history of the US economy so I could better put into context the current situation and draw from history’s lessons to better evaluate today’s actions and proposed plans. I studied the housing bubble and mortgage crises that spawned the worse financial crisis since the great depresion. I read about the bailout of the big banks and the actions of the Fed and the US Treasury Department and who actually benefited from billions in tax payer money .
          I also read books on the social conditions of the past 40 years to better understand how policy decisions over that time have affected the average American and how they have influenced the erosion of the middle class.
         I’ve read about climate change to try to better break thought the clouds of misinformation and denial the far right likes to spread. I will go into much further detail in subsequent posts but make no mistake it is REAL and human activity IS to blame. To deny this is truth is to endanger the lives of millions of people and ignore what could be the greatest human tragedy in history. We must find the political will and capital to this fight this fight.    
        The authors of these books were men and women with PhD’s in the fields of subjects of which the books were written. Some were people with their boots on the ground in a given situation and some were even Nobel Prize winners. My attempt was to better understand the issues facing us today and to form my own opinion on the issues rather than simply rely on media outlets to hand me one.
         I had always pictured myself as a hard line moderate. It could be because I come from a family with a Republican father and a social progressive Democrat mother. I've always believed that there is much to gain from taking the best both of both sides. That being said with what I have learned over the past two years and applying that knowledge to today’s situations and political environment I can come to only one conclusion. I am a social progressive Democrat and I believe that philosophies and ideas that come from this are in the best interest of the people of the United States of America.

         In my next post I will outline my positions on the subjects that I believe are the most important issues facing America today. I would like to hear your input as to which issues you believe are the most important. To the right is a poll in which you can choose among the biggest issues facing America. Based on those results I will go into further in-depth analysis into those subjects in the order of your choosing.
          As Americans we must engage in this conversation. I invite you to come back and reopen this dialogue. We must work together and continue the work that our fore fathers started some two hundred thirty eight years ago. The ever ongoing process of........ Forming a more perfect union.