Is this new government going to turn me into an anarchist?

I am in a rather grim mood about our future today. I know people think of me as normally balanced and reasonable. But without any real hope, my reasonability is feeling pretty strained.


A year and a half ago, I wrote this article about why I am not an anarchist.

The thrust of it was that I believe that the best argument for a strong Federal government is to provide effective regulation and restraint to those who are destroying the environment. I do not see any other institution that will effectively prevent people from literally trashing the wild places, forests, water supply, oceans, and air. I do not see any other institution with the power to reduce our society’s love affair with producing greenhouse gasses.

With the recent election, I guess it is pretty clear that the new administration and Congress will have no interest in using their power to protect natural areas, curb hazardous practices like fracking, limit or reduce carbon emissions.

I have a growing certainty that we are already past a point of preventing significant effects of climate change, and we keep hurtling down this path to use as much fossil fuels as possible – while we destroy forests and pollute water along the way. Turning away from this path could mitigate, but not prevent climate change – and yet we as a country are determined to ignore the changes needed.


I have sometimes said that I am not an anarchist because I don’t have an optimistic view of people’s motives, compassion, or even really about their ability to see what’s best for their own middle-to-long term future. I don’t think that view has really changed. Most people don’t really think about their impact on those around them, the future generations, or the environment.

Unfortunately, my faith in the federal government to protect us from the destructive actions of others is now destroyed. My main reason for supporting the idea of a strong federal government has been flushed down the toilet. Wild areas will be logged and mined with abandon. We’re going to keep getting more electricity from coal and less from wind and solar. The EPA will be slow to enforce whatever regulations are left, and polluters will feel quite free to dump and spew in whatever way benefits their bottom line.

I am still not optimistic about people’s ability to not destroy the environment, but that no longer seems like much of an argument for a strong federal government. It just seems like a recipe for drought, storms, poisoned water, and flooded cities. And no governmental authority is willing to take the action to stop it.

Here are some articles about where we’re headed on the environment:

4 comments on “Is this new government going to turn me into an anarchist?

  1. Woods Wizard says:

    I think Adrian, environmental issues would have taken a back seat no matter which major party candidate won. In many ways, HRC has already sold her sole to special interests through the Clinton Foundation.

    Should it turn us into anarchists? I would argue no, and here is my reasoning. Ever since the moment of Creation (no matter how you perceive that)the Universe has started going through a series of cycles, as it evolves in a particular direction. Stars and galaxies are born and die, often in a violent explosion. Yet the Universe is constantly evolving toward delta S = 0.

    So it is with politics. Three steps forward, two steps back. When you step back stop, mourn, but then start laying the groundwork for moving forward again. Better times will come.

    If you look at cycles much, much larger than the history of our species, I think you will see that even the Earth will recover from our foolishness (though probably not in the lifetime of our species)unless we turn it into a nuclear cinder.

    So stay strong, my friend. Better times are coming.

  2. Adrian says:

    Thank you for your comments, as always. I do believe in cycles, too, but I think by the time we pull out of the current cycle, we may well have wrecked many unique ecosystems, caused mass extinctions, and created unimaginable human suffering – and that’s not even contemplating a nuclear war.

    Of course the Earth will eventually recover in some way, and create a new diversity of life. It just pains me that we need to inflict so much damage in the meantime because of our thoughtlessness.

  3. Sandra Stark says:

    Breathe deeply and send postcards.It will give you a sense of doing something. Remember there’s a whole millennial generation who are equally worried about this. there will be many people who will work to save our beautiful planet. Really.

    • Adrian says:

      Thanks for the comment. I have been trying to be reasonable and hopeful. Tonight, it doesn’t seem to be working very well.

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