1. Isaiah Berlin; “The Sense of Reality”; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; New York, NHY; 1966; p. 52.
2. Washington Post; “Sea level rise could be even worse than we’ve been led to expect”; 5/30/19.
3. Bill McKibben; “Falter, Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”; Henry Holt and Company; New York, NY; 2019; p. 62.
4. Ibid., p. 70.
5. “Green New Deal Resolution”; 2/7/19.
6. Joseph Stiglitz; “People, Power, and Profits”; W.W. Norton & Company; New York, NY; 2019; p. 23.
7. Stiglitz, p.p. 19-20.
8. Ibid., p. 18.
9. McKibben, p.p. 90-91.
10. Ibid., p. 91.
12. Financial Times, 4/18/13.
a. This is the key distinction between liberal market societies and command societies. In “The Worldly Philosophers,” the economic historian, Robert Heilbroner (1998) wrote, “The lords gave orders and production waxed and waned accordingly. Where no order were given life went on in its established groove. There would be nothing for any economist to do for several centuries (and no studies of the market) – until this great self-reproducing, self-sufficient world erupted into the bustling, scurrying, free-for-all of the eighteenth century.” Key to this dynamic is groups doing things for their independent reasons, causing changes that government, representing the interests of society, should deal with.
This description also suggests the respective vulnerabilities of liberal and authoritarian societies. Liberal societies can destroy themselves in chaos, if groups can’t be brought along to arrive at a consensus, for example the Weimar Republic. * Modern authoritarian societies will tax the capabilities of the supreme leader (“It all depends on me.”), fail to adapt to new circumstances, and be overwhelmed by change, for example the former Soviet Union.
Why does truth matter in liberal societies? A 12/15/18 Vox article quotes Yale Philosopher, Jason Stanley, “Freedom requires truth (so it is possible to reach a consensus about the appropriate action), and so to smash freedom you must smash truth.”
add: In this excellent article, NY Times columnist, Thomas Friedman essentially says that the Democrats should pull a new American deal together.
* Wei…what? The Weimar Republic was Germany’s government in the interwar period between 1919-1933, when the society faced the problems of military defeat, inflation and economic depression. Weitz (2007) notes, “Weimar Germany conjures up fears of what can happen when there is simply no societal consensus (this word appears three times here) on how to move forward…” It would be such a pity to discover, too late, that everyone is in the same climate boat.
13. Adam Gopnik; “A Thousand Small Sanities”; Basic Books; New York, NY; 2019; p. 96.
14. Seattle Times; “Washington state voters reject carbon-free initiative”; 11/6/18.
15. Vox; “A closer look at Washington’s superb new 100% clean electricity bill”; 4/18/19.
16. State of Washington Department of Commerce; “Fuel Mix Disclosure”; 2017.
The Koch Foundation is now sponsoring PBS’s informative science program, “Nova” and has funded The David H. Koch Hall of Fossils at the Smithsonian Museum, that presents every dinosaur fossil, “…in the context of the Earth’s past climates and its present crisis.” Washington Post 5/26/19. Does this symbolize a commitment by Koch to substantially more clean energy, or is it only to mollify developing public opinion?
17. U.S. Energy Information Administration; “Domestic Energy Production”; 2017.
18. Vox; 4/18/19.
19. Ibid., 4/18/19.