Why are the doggone streetlights blazing away in Central Park during the day? That’s a question I’ve been asking for months. I’ve asked the Central Park Conservancy, the NYC Department of Transportation, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal’s office. Crazy, right?
I was re-reading a paper I wrote ten years ago and found it all too relevant to what we’ve been experiencing for the past year in America culminating, for the moment, in the catastrophe that was Election Day here. You may find it helps to explain a few things.
The epigraph for my master’s thesis on the “The Underlying Psychology of Violent Political Conflict” was from Erik Erikson: “There is no time left in which to be as naïve historically as, in all past history, the historians have been psychologically. (Childhood and Society, p. 403.) Let’s all of us, activists, political scientists, everyday decent people, not be so naïve about what just happened and what’s going to happen all too soon.
I’ve been offline for a long time, nearly a year, I know. (Working on a new book and a few other impediments got in the way.) But yesterday’s election makes me want to record my few thoughts here.
I think yesterday’s events are equivalent, probably worse, than those of September 11, 2001 or November 22, 1963 or December 7, 1941. It looks and feels that violent. I remember September 11th vividly. We were right on top of it. I also remember JFK’s assassination and the grim weekend that followed. I wasn’t yet born when Pearl Harbor was attacked but I’ve been to the National Monument and got a sense of the scope of the disaster. Continue reading
The quote in the title of this post is from Jerry Meehl, a top and senior climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. His observation, from an article today by the excellent Justin Gillis of the NY Times, could not be topped for its trenchancy. It is all too on the money. What’s the news? 2015 was the hottest year in the instrumental record, dating to 1880.