Ocean Champions is the only political voice for ocean health. We take a non-partisan approach in working with
the U.S. Congress to ensure ocean health through electoral and legislative action.

Calamity and Woe. That’s Hot

Posted by: Mike Mishler

I am, for the most part, a glass half empty kind of guy. Why? Because when I go to the movies the tallest guy in the theater sits in front of me, and the people behind me won’t stop talking. At the gas pump, the grocery store, or ATM I am inevitably stuck behind the person who must have been in a coma for the last 30 years and has no idea how to pump his own gas, bag his own groceries, or enter a PIN number to get his money. On top of that, it seems as though the guy in the coma has been running our economy, fighting the fight against global warming and waging a war against, well everyone. (Guys in comas can be pretty cranky.) On top of that with the economy tanking there’s a story about bank executives drawing $1.6 billion in bonuses. I’m pretty sure that’s a total and not per executive, but I’ll have to read the piece again.

But today as I was reading about the race between whether the Colorado River will dry up, or become too toxic from shale oil, and uranium production to use, it dawned on me that it was time to turn that frown upside down and get a new outlook on life. So I stood on my head for twenty minutes until the headache made me pass out.

After I woke up, still feeling dizzy and slightly euphoric, I realized that pessimism is the new “hot” thing and that like any fad it will grow and grow until the country is engulfed in a frenzy of pessimism. I can see it now. Banks and industries will compete with housing and energy to show how bad things truly are. Economists will predict even worse times to come and claim they saw it coming when they were just babies. Universities will offer (Masters of Business and Depression Administration (MBDA). Pundits, in a show of “you think that’s bad-ism,” will vie for ratings by predicting even more depressing conditions. Of course eventually the bubble will burst and we’ll find out that in spite of the experts we are actually optimistic about things.

But before that day, when we gladly stick our heads back in . . . let’s say the sand, we have an opportunity to look at the way things are and maybe, make some changes. So let’s look at the bright side of being down.

Soon I will have no television.
Not having cable or a satellite, the soon to come switch to digital TV gives me the opportunity to turn off my TV and do something better with my time. So instead of watching another show produced by Ashton Kutcher that involves people being stupid for prizes and the chance to be on TV, maybe I’ll have more time to something useful.

I have a job.
Well okay, I have two jobs, one allows me to work with preserving history and the other allows me to contribute to a cause I believe in, (Duh!) Although neither pays me enough to hang out with bank executives on their private planes as they haul bailout money from D.C. to secret vaults on Fantasy Island,I do love my jobs, and I don’t have to worry about the odd federal indictment or developing an addiction to massage oil.

Turns out not all politicians are crooks.
Hard to believe but its true, I found while doing research for Ocean Champions that there are actually politicians at all levels of government who want to make our country a better place. I won’t name them because, the list is too long and unless there’s a scandal involving them you wouldn’t read the list anyway but, if you start with the Ocean Champions list of candidates, you may find that even if you don’t agree with everything position he or she takes they seem to be good people. (Disclaimer: In the event of a scandal involving any politician I will of course claim that I meant other politicians and not that one who was obviously a crook who I never trusted.)

When the going get tough. . . Blah, blah, blah.
There are signs that some good things are happening. Locally there’s the Save Trestles movement that demonstrates that community activism can work. Also, there is the story of the Mission Bay Aquatics Center’s conversion to solar power. The conversion, took place while other upgrades were being done and will help lower the operating costs of the center as well as provide additional power to the grid.

Nationally, well, let’s see. We’ll soon have a new administration led by a man who doesn’t act as though he learned everything he needed to know in kindergarten and again we have more people in Congress and the Senate who can find the oceans on a map, people who seem to understand that clean resources are better than dead and polluted ones.

Encouraging words. Shh!
Maybe, now that things seem so bad, we can get to work on new solutions and do something crazy like build more sustainable infrastructure or lead the world in clean energy solutions instead acting like Scrooge.
So chin up, and remember these words of holiday inspiration.
Just put one foot in front of the other.

Happy Holidays


Date Posted: December 22, 2008 @ 7:49 pm


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Ocean Champions is the only political voice for ocean health. We take a non-partisan approach in working with the U.S. Congress to ensure ocean health through electoral and legislative action.

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