Thinking about the trajectories historical events take us on can be uplifting and dispiriting. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village in 1911 that killed 146 people (mostly women) …
Thinking about the trajectories historical events take us on can be uplifting and dispiriting. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village in 1911 that killed 146 people (mostly women) lead to the Sullivan-Hoey Fire Prevention Law.
Jim Crow laws and the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till led to voting rights laws and a more egalitarian sensibility.
We can now openly acknowledge (at least in some states) the depth of our historical bigotry and the negative health affects of racial injustice.
Ralph Nader was once vilified for promoting auto safety. Seat belts and airbags are now saving thousands of lives every year. Doctors were once used to promote cigarettes, helping to addict thousands.
Now we have the amended 1985 Clean Indoor Air Act which prohibits smoking in public spaces.
Think about the path from the discovery of CO2’s impact on the Earth’s energy balance, to Inhofe bringing a snowball onto the Senate floor, to the IRA bill just passed dedicating $400 billion to climate action. Today disinformation and uncertainty are rampant.
Extremism and tribalism are flourishing. Wars and famines and pandemics are becoming the norm.
Will these lead us to a more united, peaceful, and healthy world? How many generations will that take?
You can’t be certain where the approval of the controversial Willow Project will take us, but you can be certain that its approval puts our climate at greater risk and that climate advocates will move boldly to make sure its approval is challenged.
Looking forward in time, it’s hard to see where events will take us.
Looking back in time, it’s almost comical how wrong most of our predictions have been. At least there’s some consolation in that.