Change is driven by the young, not us grizzled elders

Recently I wrote in this space about how humans are born into this world unfinished, requiring a long childhood to learn the norms and practices of their particular community. For the community to thrive, what we pass on to our children must change in step with societal changes. This unparalleled ability to change, as psychologist Alison Gopnik tells us, “is the most distinctive and unchanging thing about us, allowing us to thrive no matter what challenging circumstances we had to face over our long evolutionary history.”1 But societal change isn’t driven by our grizzled elders but by our children. As sociologists like Tressie Cottom tell …

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Youth Protest Bank of America Funding Fossil Fuels

Bedford, N.H.—On Saturday evening a group of high school activists from the 350NH Youth Team and members of Extinction Rebellion met at the Bank of America in Bedford to protest the bank’s involvement in funding the fossil fuel industry. Speakers urged for the end to the money pipeline from banks and other firms that keeps the fossil fuel industry afloat even as our society has increasingly recognized the environmental costs of fossil fuels. The event was both virtual with a Zoom call run by youth team members and in-person where participants drew in chalk along the sidewalk near the bank. Nikhil Chavda, sophomore at Coe …

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The Plutocrats Cry, People Cheer

“Outrageous,” screeched the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It doesn’t feel fair,” whimpered a top corporate executive. The wailing by those who run corporate America is not for the plight of the workaday families who’ve seen their incomes stagnate and even plummet to zero during the past months of the coronavirus pandemic. Rather, this chorus of woe comes from powerful plutocratic interests that have been enjoying windfall profits. Why? Because, they cry, that meanie in the White House, Joe Biden, intends to jack up their corporate tax rate. But wait didn’t Trump and the GOP Congress slash the corporate share of our nation’s upkeep nearly in …

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Are CEOs Really “Worth” Millions of Dollars?

These days, the haughty rich in our country have developed such an arrogant sense of self-entitlement that they’ve gone from being merely irritating to infuriating. Unsurprisingly, their plutocratic greed and rigging of the system has generated a political backlash, including a widely-popular push to tax the massive stashes of wealth the upper-upper class has amassed by stiffing the middle class and poor. Alarmed by this uprising, the rich have launched a major effort to defuse public anger—not by altering their own behavior, but by a semantical twist. Interestingly, since “The Rich” has become such a negative phrase, it is being dropped from the vocabularies of …

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New Hampshire’s Environment and Energy Resources

by Rob Werner and Peter Somssich While New Hampshire is not rich in home-grown energy resources, our environmental beauty and clean natural environment is admired around the country. How can our future energy needs as a state be met in harmony with our attractive natural environment while addressing the climate crisis? In a 1999 book entitled Natural Capitalism, Paul Hawken and others identified the enormous value in environmental services provided to all of us by our natural environment free of charge. If we had to pay nature’s services to clean up dirty air, filter out pollution from our soil, treat our water until it is …

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The Source of Our Discontent

Conservative media and politicians whip their audiences into a frenzy, crying that the sky is falling: that we are losing our birthright as a nation because “hordes” of dark-skinned “aliens” are invading our country. They accuse liberals of being godless heathens for questioning the “natural order” of things in terms of who should be in charge, what it means to be a man or a woman, who we can love, the list goes on and on. In a word, these instigators are fueling moral panic, pitting us one against another, making us ever more polarized as a nation. Tressie McMillan Cottom, a sociologist and prominent …

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