All in all, this is a good discussion of a number of issues, but I do object to one component of the essay: its argument that anger is beneficial:

“..there’s nothing inherently bad about anger itself. It’s a completely rational response to the way things are right now…”

No, anger is not rational. It’s an emotion, not a rational line of reasoning. Anger at the current situation is certainly understandable, and lesser minds need anger for motivation. But anger is indeed inherently bad, justifiable only when it is not allowed to intrude into decision-making. To put it another way, I am pleased that Greta Thunberg expresses her anger at the screw job that the world’s leaders have done to the younger generation. I am especially pleased that young people the world over are rising up in anger at this situation. That’s good — but it’s not a solution. Ms. Thunberg is wise enough to refrain from recommending solutions; her message is precisely targeted at the lack of action, nothing more.

Anger is the only way to get lazy people off their butts and start talking about what to do, but anger is of no value whatsoever in actually solving the problem. My own preferred solution is a revenue-neutral escalating carbon tax. Can you imagine people screaming “What do we want? A revenue-neutral escalating carbon tax! When do we want it? As rapidly as economically feasible!”

“If you’re paying attention to what’s going on in the world and you aren’t some combination of angry and terrified, there’s probably something wrong with you.”

That may be true of some people, but in my case, I’ve been around the block a few million times and I’ve seen a lot of evil and I am no longer angered by the presence of evil. Instead, I wearily roll up my sleeves and say, “OK, let’s see what we can do to start cleaning up this ugly mess.”

Master of Science, Physics, 1975. Computer Game Designer. Interactive Storytelling.

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