12.30.2016 02:43 PM

2016 bad? Just wait. 2017 will be worse. 

It wasn’t all bad. Daisy celebrated ten years with amazing clients and colleagues, I got a big new book deal, SFH was back with a new record on the way, the kids all achieved great things at school, everyone was healthy – and we got to work for a presidential candidate who was experienced, competent, decent, brave and principled. It was such an honour to volunteer for Hillary Clinton (who got three million more votes, by the way). 

But make no mistake: I believe the election of the Unpresident will affect everyone, and not for the good. Chaos, corruption, cruelty: all of those things (and war, and more) await us in 2017. It will be bad. It will be very bad. 

Since the first week of November, I have pinballed between horror and despair. And, for the first time in my life, I actually fear for the future that awaits my kids. That all may seem too pessimistic, but it’s what I truly feel. 

I hope I’m wrong. But I don’t think I am. 


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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    God works in mysterious ways but boy, does he or she have his or her work cut out for him or her in 2017.

    I’m keeping the faith that we all don’t blow up in the next four years.

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    pat says:

    I think we’re all fucked. looking through time I see collapse, and civilization, and collapse, and another civilization. We see ourselves as rational civilized people, but we aren’t. We’re just dogs who bark fancy, love propaganda when it soothes the self, and live in a moment with no recognition for our past – none. This year sucked!

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    Iris Mclean says:

    People around the world are scared shitless.

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    rww says:

    “It will be bad. It will be very bad.”

    -Yes it will be bigly bad, maybe even big league bad, the most awesome bad.

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    Kevin Laddle says:

    Dark days are truly upon. I’m scared for myself, I’m scared for the LGBTQIA community, I’m scared for women, I’m scared for immigrants, I’m scared for People of Colour. I’m just plain scared. The election of Drumpf represents a monumental failure of American democracy. I still cannot entirely believe they will let this con-man take power. Who would have thought, fascism coming to America in the form of a giant orange cheeto named Fuckface Von Clownstick.

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    Kevin says:

    Interesting opinion piece in today’s Guardian. They did an end-of-year series on reasons to be hopeful. Deborah Orr writes that we have the golden opportunity to study and understand this domineering, exploitative, unstable and superficially charismatic personality type (Trump, natch). She proposes that that’s a good thing. She’s exactly right, but she’s also missing an extremely important piece of the puzzle: Trump isn’t containable in a lab to be studied, he’s in a position to do unimaginable things.

    Still, she makes an intriguing (and scary) point: that scientific evidence is mounting that ethical choices are consequences of the processing of information through an adequately developed mind.

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    Miles Lunn says:

    I too fear things will get worse before getting better, but usually when things go wrong people do eventually learn, only it often means a lot of collateral damage along the way. That being said on my personal life I am still optimstic even if pessimistic globally. It seems unfortunately people never learn from history and every generation has to first hand see the negatives of authoritarianism before they go against it. It’s ironic that the rise of right wing populism is occurring right around the time when the remaining people from the 30s and 40s are dying off so it seems those who didn’t experience it forget sadly.

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    MississaugaPeter says:

    I hope to give my thanks again to the Virgin Mary at Fatima (100th anniversary) so I am optimistic.

    The real danger is not Trump, but …


    “The committee now expects three rate hikes in 2017, two or three in 2018 and three in 2019.”

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      P. Brenn says:

      I’m with you on the Virgin Mary at Fatima and interest rates –

      Trump is in a powerful seat but his republican linemates will lock him down somewhat – bigger issue is debt around world , the lack of opportunity for many, countries, US cities on verge of bankruptcy , underfunded pension plans – then there is thugs/dictators in Russia , some Middle eastearn countires , China and North Korea – yuck

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    billg says:

    I really cant see how things could get worse.
    Genocide in Syria while we all watched and went on with our lives.
    ISIS atrocities live in front of our eyes.
    China and Russia and North Korea all realizing there is a global power vacuum and wanting more of it for themselves.
    Child poverty and starvation still doesn’t get headlines but a gorilla getting shot in a zoo goes viral for a week.
    A large majority of people who read this web page and post comments have jobs, pensions, shelter, food, clothing and don’t freeze in the winter, so, if a democratic vote result is the worst thing to happen in 2016 then we really have lost our way as a society.

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      P. Brenn says:

      sad but all true

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      Kevin says:

      Very true. But don’t mourn, organize. There are things just plain folks can do to help most of those problems. Help out with language classes to help Syrian refugees integrate. Pitch in at a family literacy group to help people break out of the poverty cycle (and toss an occasional bag of lentils into the food bank bin for the short term benefit). Join an interfaith group to help promote understanding between religions and cultures. Not sure what to do about a global power vacuum, that seems a bit too big for local positive action to affect. But every little bit is a contribution.

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    Al in Cranbrook says:

    Sums it all up pretty good IMO…


    Obama has been an unmitigated disaster, the worst POTUS in living memory. And now he’s engaging in a scorched earth run in his last days of office.

    If the world is in peril, it has very little to do with Trump, and everything to do with his predecessor’s incompetence, ideological fantasies, and gutless obfuscation that set an unseemly table for whomever was cursed with having to clean up his mess.

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    Bill Templeman says:

    There are several huge problems emerging in 2017 that all leaders, including Trump, will have to deal with and for which none, including Trump, have published success strategies;

    1) Catastrophic climate change will continue and accelerate. Key resources such as water will increasingly become root causes of conflict.
    2) Environmentally caused migrations will accelerate as much of the middle east and north Africa become less habitable.
    3) Automation and robotics will continue to reshape manufacturing around the world, resulting in fewer jobs, while populist, right-wing governments crush the labour movement, such as it isn’t
    4) The underlying structure of the global economy will continue to deliver huge rewards to the top 1% while the rest of us languish in a post-employment labour pool, resulting in more populist, right-wing governments being elected, more blame being dumped on government social safety nets, which in turn will make the problem worse
    5) A small percentage of those without hope will continue to choose radical fundamentalism as a way to retaliate

    Governments of the Left and the Right are equally unprepared to address these challenges.

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      Al in Cranbrook says:

      “Catastrophic” climate change??? Really, Bill??? Where??? Here in the E. Kootenays we, along with the rest of southern BC, are experiencing probably the most miserable, cold, snow laden winter since ’96/’97. The temperature hasn’t risen above freezing here for about three weeks now, and it isn’t in the forecast for any time soon, either…but it has hit -24 C several times, and is supposed to again in the coming week. Not to mention blizzards all the way into Arizona. All I ask is that for the love of God puuleeeezzee don’t tell me global warming is the cause of this crap weather!!!

      The Antarctic is gaining ice cover, albeit the one relatively small area that has lost some just happens to sit atop a active geological zone that’s cranking up heat from below. There’s nothing out of historical sync with Arctic ice cover, either, that can’t be accounted for by natural variability. Both frequency and severity of tornadoes and hurricanes are down over the last several decades. Satellite temperature monitoring has confirmed no significant change in global temperature for 19 years, albeit it did record one of the sharpest drops in temperature this last summer. As for NASA, they set about to “adjust” the temperature record for the last century, and…Bob’s your uncle…by gosh we have a global warming trend!!! Who’d have guessed!!! A congressional committee was so impressed, in fact, that they asked NASA for their data…which, naturally, was refused. Go figure. Trust me, Bill, I’m not making this shit up, because nobody can make up shit like this!

      Whatever. I find this endless garbage so intellectually insulting now that I have to turn it off. When I’m watching some nature show, and they mention “climate change” as inevitably to blame for whatever the hell it is they happen to be talking about, you name it, it’s to blame for it, I change the channel right now. Fed up with all of it.

      On the other hand…


      Huh…who’d have thought the Sun is the greatest influence of global climate, eh?

      …you know, besides your average ten year old?

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        Tim Sullivan says:

        So, it’s unseasonably or uncharacteristically cold where you are, Al in Cranbrook, and the expression “climate change” means nothing to you?

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          Al in Cranbrook says:

          No, it’s relentlessly GD cold outside, just like happens in this country every so often pretty much since Christ was a kid! IOW, damned little has changed, and I could go for some global warming right about now!

          You tell me: When, in the history of the last several hundred million years was the climate not changing? Hell, try just the last 10,000 or 12,000 years since that mile thick layer of ice that covered Canada finally melted! We’ve had at least six mini-ice ages just since then, the latest version ending in the 18th century…you know, when glaciers actually started to recede. Again. You know, cyclically speaking.

          Here’s an irony for you to ponder…

          We do enter yet another mini-ice age, as predicted both by the current state of solar activity and cyclical history, people will consider elevated atmospheric CO2 a God sent blessing! Why? Because it will help to offset the kind of famine that resulted last time across Europe through shortened growing seasons, and thus reduced crop production. Sufficient CO2 levels mean faster growing times, increased vegetation mass, and greater crop yields…as any greenhouse operator will attest to. During the last cold spell CO2 levels were at about 250 ppm, which is borderline starvation levels for plant life. We’ve already seen that at 350 to 400 ppm, vegetation, as proven by satellite imagery, over the last several decades has increased globally by 14%…to the point that it’s even now starting to push back along the margins of the Sahara. Check out yields for all the major commercial crops across the US for 2016…records set for most, if not all, of them! But that doesn’t neatly fit the narrative, so let’s not go down that road, eh? Besides, the “models” predicted we’d all be burning in hell by now anyway, certainly we’d be starving to death from massive global famines…those of us who weren’t already offed by massively destructive tornadoes and hurricanes, while plagues of locusts were eating what was left of our collective lunches for us!

          How much bloody stupid idiocy does it take before people finally give their heads a shake and start thinking with their own GD brains!!!

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            doconnor says:

            This temperature chart covering the last 20,000 years should put the recent changes in perspective relative to the end of the ice age.


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            Al in Cranbrook says:

            Beat me to it, Gord!

            Note the ruins of Gobekli Tepe, positively dated to 9000 BC, at least 5000 years earlier than the Sumerians. This discovery tossed a fairly significant wrench into the accepted scientific fact (or maybe I should say, “consensus”) that modern civilization first started in the area of the Euphrates. circa 4000 BC. Clearly, whomever built these monuments…and there are many of them still unearthed…were relatively technologically advanced. One of the discoveries about these ruins that defies explanation is that they were deliberately buried, as opposed to merely disappearing under the sand of time in the same manner as did the Sphinx.

            Which is to say, science got it all wrong.


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            doconnor says:

            Even your graph admits a large, if not unpresidented, warming in recent decades. Do you have a explaination for it? Changes in the sun isn’t enough to explain it.

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            Al in Cranbrook says:

            Key words – not unprecedented.

            Fact is, nothing happening with climate now that has not happened before…numerous times…and that can’t be accounted for by normal variability.

            What’s going on with solar activity currently is, and should be, a concern. There are longer cycles of this activity than just eleven years. And historically, each time the Sun goes into a minimum phase for one of these lengthy cycles, our planets dips into a mini-ice age. Prolonged cold can have very serious consequences.

            Take a few minutes to read the article first posted regarding the findings and predictions of the two Russian scientists.

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            doconnor says:

            There being rapid changes in the past doesn’t mean we aren’t causing this rapid change.

            The sun spot is just one of half a dozen theories about the cause of the little ice age. There are others, including human tiggered changes in CO2. Even if it does cause a few decades of cooling, it doesn’t mean we haven’t triggered centuries of warming.

            Of course the ultimate test of whether your a denier because global warming exposes the fact that free-market capitalism is flawed, is to ask yourself, “If it was true what should we do about it?”

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            doconnor says:

            If you have an explaination for the warming since the industrial revolution that is better supported by better evidence, I would consider it, but I get denial that is warming, then denial that the warming is caused by greenhouse gases, then denial that trying the reduce our emission will make an difference.

            I do not deny that projecting the effects of climate change is difficult and error prone. That doesn’t mean it isn’t real. They didn’t know that the warming over the last 10 years would be absorbed by the deep ocean, just as they didn’t know the artic ice would melt as fast as it has.

            How many of these 190 computer models where wrong because underestimated the effects?

            Antartic ice cap melting was not predicted by climate models, but the fact its surface area is increasing suggests it is starting to flow out into the ocean and a sigificant melting event may have been trigger that will occour over the next several thousand years.

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            doconnor says:

            “You mean the 0.8 degree increase since 1880? Probably the same cause as the Medieval Warm Period: increased solar radiation and decreased volcanic activity.”

            The warming at a lot more rapid then the Medieval Warm Period. Its the most rapid in 10,000 years by the wattsup chart.

            “Even the IPCC had to drop the infamous Hockey Stick when it became to embarrassing to continue to defend it.”

            The Hockey Stick graph was a bunch over overlapping lines. Only one of them was called into question. If you look at the last 1,000 years of the wattsup chart you can see the hockey stick.

            “Antartic ice cap melting was not predicted by climate models, ”

            “It wasn’t? Where was all this sea level rise supposed to come from, then?”

            Greenland and thermal expantion. Who said sea level rise hasn’t been happening as projected? It went up 19cm in the 20th century.

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    Bill Templeman says:

    Dear Gord & Al: Truly you two are our very own Alt-Right Ideological Tag Team. The WWE might be interested. Can you wrestle? Nevermind, they have coaches who will help you fake it. Now to your rebuttal to my post of 01/01 at 3:24 pm — When I was young and foolish, I would spend a few minutes finding links to reputable science sites written by well-credentialed researchers working at major universities that refuted your nonsense. And you would rebut with links to basement-made WordPress sites written by individuals with no declared credentials; these sites displayed rambling articles full of unsubstantiated opinions, sloppy grammar, misunderstood statistics, stock photos of icebergs and questionable spelling. Like C- term papers. Anyway, that was then and this is now; I am not going to waste any more time debating in your Mad Hatter world, where facts can be created or ignored at whim and 2 + 2 = whatever suits you. All I can do is re-state the opinion that all world leaders will be grappling with these 5 points in 2017 and none so far have articulated effective coping strategies.

    1) Catastrophic climate change
    2) Environmentally caused mass migrations
    3) Disruptive automation & job displacement
    4) Widening economic disparity within national economies
    5) Radical fundamentalism from Mosul to Montana

    With the carnage in Istanbul yesterday, it appears that #5 is continuing its deadly progression in 2017. And the effective response is? Here’s one answer. Gotta love the article’s title: Marshall Plans, Not Martial Plans …http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/02/opinion/marshall-plans-not-martial-plans.html?em_pos=large&emc=edit_ty_20170102&nl=opinion-today&nlid=70399521&ref=headline&te=1&_r=0

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