“Most of America is rather progressive if not left-wing.”

Yep. Definitely parochial. Did you know that 60 million Americans voted for Mr. Trump, and that he actually won the election? Would you call him progressive?

I cite these facts to hit you over the with a 2x4 about the conservatism of many Americans. You and everybody you socialize with all agree on a strongly progressive agenda. I’m pleased to see that, because I agree that we need radical change in our policies. But my greatest criticism is parochialism: not just yours, but just about everybody. Visit some conservative blogs to get an idea of just how far away from conservative thought you are. For example, try:

If you REALLY want to see how nasty these people are, try engaging some of these people in discussions:

These places are truly scary — and there are a LOT of them. These people are everywhere, and there are tens of millions of them. Overconfidence leads to overreach, and that is precisely what I think is undermining most progressive efforts. We need to pick the battles we can win and make damn sure that we can win them.

The world is a big, complicated, ugly place and your youthful optimism will inevitably lead you to getting burned. I can reduce all my advice to a single word: circumspection.

“Younger people are not being “parochial” when they act on their values and principles and vote for politicians who will support policies and proposals in line with the above views.”

You’re letting your emotions run away from your reasoning skills. Here’s what I actually wrote:

“The younger members of the Democratic Party are quite certain that America is ready for a big change, but they tend to be parochial in their views, not appreciating the amount of voting power that the Trump advocates possess.”

Your reaction has nothing whatever to do with my statement. Take a moment to contemplate the thought processes that you went through to produce your comment.

“I believe you lack a grasp of the fierce urgency of now will I say you’re probably in your 50s and will not have to bother in your lifetime with the worst impacts of climate change.”

Son, I can produce proof that I published warnings about climate change in the spring of 1990. Were you even born by then? I have devoted thousands of hours to teaching people about the science of climate change. I have refuted countless lies from climate science deniers. I have read a great amount of the scientific literature on the stuff as well as the IPCC reports.

Moreover, I have long since altered my lifestyle to address climate change. 25 years ago I bought 40 acres of forest land and I have spent thousands of hours reforesting it, tending the forest, and sequestering the carbon. I have a negative carbon footprint. Do you?

“we understand that it may be 10–15 years before we reach a tipping point and descend further into a state where the planet is utterly unlivable.”

You’re wrong about that. Climate change will most certainly destroy civilization, but not at all in the way you think. No, we will not bake to death, nor will we drown in rising seas. The real threats are nowhere near so dramatic nor so simple. Instead, climate change will fold into a variety of other developments to create geopolitical stresses greater than we have the political maturity to cope with. We’ll nuke ourselves.

“Your pragmatism is wholly inadequate.”

Perhaps you should look up the word ‘pragmatism’. Here’s the relevant definition from the Oxford English Dictionary (you DO know that the OED is the definitive dictionary of the English language, don’t you?):

“The doctrine that the whole ‘meaning’ of a conception expresses itself in practical consequences, either in the shape of conduct to be recommended, or of experiences to be expected, if the conception be true (W. James); or, the method of testing the value of any assertion that claims to be true by its consequences, i.e. by its practical bearing upon human interests and purposes.”

A rough and ready definition of pragmatism is ‘getting things done’. Your idealism feels good, but in end, it ain’t worth shit. What matters is making the world a better place, and you are aiming so high that you’ll surely accomplish absolutely nothing.

I want to remind you again that I have much the same goals you do; indeed, I may well go further than you in a number of areas. But I recognize the difference between a dream and a plan. Dreams are what motivate us, but plans are what we actually do. Dreams can be wild and noble, but plans must be pragmatic.

“So it does not matter if Republicans will obstruct a radical agenda. We have to press them on these issues now or else.”

Look, saluting while the ship is going down doesn’t save anybody. I know for a certainty that civilization will be gone by the year 2200, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to educate people to think things through. I refuse to engage in symbolic but useless action.

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

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