Monday, July 18, 2005

Looking "Way Ahead"

Dear Morning Edition,

I just heard the announcer say that NPR was looking “ahead, WAY ahead, to the 2006 Congressional Elections”. This really offends me. If NPR has been absorbed into the mentality that reality works on individual 2-year election cycles or even 5-year business cycles, then we are in deep trouble. The only way that we are going to develop the society that we want to have, in the world that we want to live in, is if we start understanding that looking way ahead means looking at least 7 GENERATIONS. Given that a generation is 22 years, I’m talking 154 years. And I’m serious.

What kind of a world are we going to have in 2159? How many Hurricanes per year are we going to see in the Atlantic? What will the average temperature be? How much Depleted Uranium will be in the environment?

And if this sounds ridiculous, think about the past. What decisions were being made in 1851 that we still deal with today? How about the Denny Party landing at Alki Point in Washington State? Don’t forget about the opening of the first YMCA in Boston. Or the founding of The New York Times and Reuters.

I do believe that NPR should look “WAY ahead”. I just have a different definition of just what that means. Yes, the next Congressional Elections are important. But we can’t lose sight of the big picture, which includes the need to decide whether we want Peace or Perpetual World War. Whether we want to successfully deal with the End of Oil, or whether we want to return to the technology and mentality of the Middle Ages. Whether we want to conquer the diseases that plague our world, or let those diseases kill millions of our brothers and sisters around the world. Whether we want to focus on how our ideologies make us different and incompatible, or whether we will focus on the fact that we are all on this closed environment on a single planet.

Anyway, that single phrase got my mind churning, and I thought I would sound off on why.