Is this our situation?

My old friend in south Texas e-mailed this.  I added an illustration.

My smart friends: Is THIS our situation?

1.) Nobody REALLY understands the coronavirus, although everyone agrees that things are going to be bad, and some quite knowledgeable people (as they seem to be) argue that things are going to be MUCH worse than official sources claim.

2.) Nobody REALLY understands the coming economic effects of the pandemic, although everyone agrees that things are going to be bad, and some quite knowledgeable people (as they seem to be) argue that things are going to be MUCH worse than official sources claim.

3.) Nobody REALLY understands accelerating climate change, although everyone agrees that things are going to be bad, and some quite knowledgeable people (as they seem to be) argue that things are going to be MUCH worse than official sources claim.

4.) Nobody REALLY understands the murky 2020 US presidential campaign, although everyone agrees that things are going to be bad, and some quite knowledgeable people (as they seem to be) argue that things are going to be MUCH worse than official sources claim.

It’s dismaying to think I could go on here.

5.) Nobody REALLY understands the current confusing international situation, although everyone agrees that things are going to be bad, and some quite knowledgeable people (as they seem to be) argue that things are going to be MUCH worse than official sources claim.

6.) Nobody REALLY understands what’s up with American education (student debt, testing mania, online education, privatizers, shut schools) although everyone agrees that things are going to be bad, and some quite knowledgeable people (as they seem to be) argue that things are going to be MUCH worse than official sources claim.

Surely I MUST be missing some blue sky somewhere, right?  Let me know.

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5 Responses to “Is this our situation?”

  1. Nikolai Vladivostok Says:

    Blue sky: we got though 1942 so this should be okay.

    Like

    • philebersole Says:

      Well, yes, we did survive World War Two, but just barely and at enormous cost.

      https://www.britannica.com/event/World-War-II/Costs-of-the-war

      The war left Europe in ruins, tens of millions of Europeans dead, some of starvation, with the USSR in control of half of Europe, and left eastern Asia in even worse condition.

      The Axis powers might well have won if the British had not at last listened to Churchill instead of the appeasers and if the Americans had not listened to Roosevelt instead of the isolationists.

      In the context of the time, both the appeasers and the isolationists had reasonable-sounding arguments and the interventionists could well have seemed like alarmists.

      Trying to stop Hitler from remilitarizing the Rhineland in 1936 or threatening war over his reasonable desire to incorporate ethnic Sudeten Germans into the Reich, over a purely hypothetical danger, sounded to many reasonable people like crazy talk.

      In 1931, Winston Churchill was struck by a car while getting out of a taxi on Broadway in New York City. In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt was shot at by an assassin who fatally wounded Mayor Cermak of Chicago appearing on the same podium. Suppose Churchill and FDR had been killed.

      What would the world have been like in 1942, without these two statesmen’s foresight?

      Mother Nature is more fearsome than Adolf Hitler. We have less excuse for ignoring the danger of pandemic disease and catastrophic climate change than our forebears in the 1930s had for ignoring the dangers they faced.

      Like

  2. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    Absolutely right! But understand that some quite knowledgeable people (as they seem to be) argue that things are not going to be as bad as some fear. Nobody wants to interview them.

    The worst-case scenario is just one of many scenarios. And because nobody REALLY understands the situation, we cannot say the worst is any more likely than any other scenario including the best. What is LIKELY to happen will be somewhere between the two extremes. But fear always gets better ratings on TV and generates more votes in the election.

    Like

    • philebersole Says:

      Absolutely right! The coronavirus pandemic may not turn out to be as lethal as some epidemiologists feared. Or it may be worse. Or the next pandemic may be worse.

      A reasonable person hopes for the best, but prepares for the worst. Hope is not a plan.

      In the months ahead, we’ll see which nations were prepared to deal with epidemics and which ones weren’t.

      I hope we Americans and our leaders can learn from that experience. I fear that we won’t.

      Like

      • Fred (Au Natural) Says:

        Well… You cannot prepare for the worst. The definition of worst includes “and there is nothing you can do about it.”

        So I would argue to prepare for the intermediate eventuality plus a safety margin. To the limited degree one can prepare.

        The pr

        Like

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