Jonathan J. Halperin
Jonathan J. Halperin
Designing Research, Communications
and Strategies for Sustainability

2014 A Happy New Year

I am comforted by the awareness that changes we dismiss today as inconceivable are often viewed by historians as having been inevitable.

A Happy New Year might thus include news of the following momentous changes.

  • Following in the reconciliation footsteps of Nelson Mandela, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and his former Vice President Riek Machar reach an accord to prevent this newest of nations from sliding into tribal anarchy.
  • Noting that even Al Queda can apologize and take responsibility for being in the wrong for allowing one of its own to attack a hospital in Sanna, Yemen, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney apologize to the American people, admitting that they were in fact grievously wrong about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
  • In a surprise announcement in Davos, CEOs Paul Pohlman (Unilever), Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs), Larry Page (Google), Mark Parker (Nike), Sam Walsh (Rio Tinto) and Norbert Reithofer (BMW) confirm rumors that beginning in 2016 they will base executive pay, including their own, not only on financial performance but also on sustainability achievements.
  • Following copy-cat revelations in China and Brazil from whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden, the permanent members of the UN Security Council announce that they have begun implementation of a global intelligence gathering consortium to combat terrorism; and in a stunning move Republican leadership in the Senate vows to push for quick passage in the U.S.
  • Finding common purpose in sustaining the long-term vibrancy of American democracy, Bill Koch, Bill Gates, George Soros, and Robert Reich (Board Chair of Common Cause) call for an end to all private funding for U.S. political campaigns.
  • Recognizing the immensity of the self-inflicted economic damage that ripples through the economy from hunger and poverty, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi announce a determined bi-partisan effort to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour.
  • In an equally unexpected outpouring of bipartisan concern for the future of the country, House and Senate leaders pass of a carefully constructed carbon tax that is progressive, avoids stranding assets, and creates a truly level playing field; the US Chamber of Commerce and ExxonMobil push for passage, arguing that a stable climate is essential for long-term business investment.
  • In response to questions posed to President Putin at the Sochi Olympics, he admits knowing next to nothing about the other twenty thousand prisoners he released along with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the members of Pussy Riot.
  • In a continued effort to introduce competition in the energy sector, House Energy Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) and his fellow Michigan Representative, Democrat, John Dingell, propose legislation to repeal the Price-Anderson act, which indemnifies the nuclear power industry for any losses exceeding $12.6 billion.
  • And in a stunning announcement cheered by consumers around the world Samsung, Apple, Google and Microsoft agreed to provide their unique mobile applications and services via a common platform and with fully compatible plugs, cords, and charging devices.

Hope springs eternal. Happy New Year!

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