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When Winter Comes Can Spring be Far Behind?

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If you are thinking about American President Donald Trump, consider the following two pieces. The first is Lewis Carroll’s prophetic poem, the Walrus and the Carpenter. It starts quite nicely:

“O Oysters, come and walk with us!’

The Walrus did beseech. “

You notice the language of a political campaign in these lines.

“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach: :

the Walrus promised, but it all ends on a sour note:

O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’

But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.”walruscarpenter

The second piece I think you will like is a bit more cheerful. “Why Millennials Will Reject Trump” https://www.project-syndicate.org/…/america-generational-di….

Economist Jeffry Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University, explains why he thinks the Age of Trump is already on the way out. “There are at least three big differences in the politics of the young and old,” he says. First, the young are more socially liberal than the older generations. Second, the young are facing the unprecedented economic challenges of the information revolution. Third, compared to their parents and grandparents, the young are much more aware of climate change and its threats.

Sachs provides some evidence for each of the points. I want to repeat these facts, because they bear on Canadian policy:

“In a June 2015 survey, 60% of 18-29 year-olds said that human activity was causing global warming, compared with just 31% of those 65 and older. A survey released in January found that 38% of American survey respondents 65 and older favored fossil-fuel expansion over renewable energy, compared with only 19% of those 18-29”.

I find these numbers encouraging. There are Canadians who think that Trump’s win has turned the tide against carbon pricing. The the evidence seems to show is that Trump’s regime is just a storm surge, and not the tide of history. As Sachs puts it, “Trump’s political success is a blip, not a turning point.”

And that reminds me of another encouraging piece: in Ode to the West Wind, Percy Bysshe Shelley asks, “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”


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