Susan and Nate went to hear the writer Thomas Friedman speak at Wait Chapel (Jon is overwhelmed with Threepenny Opera preparations). Friedman's message was sober - basically that change in the climate, the growth of an American-style middle class in other regions, and global overpopulation doom the U.S. to a very unpleasant future with a lower standard of living unless our political system figures out how to overcome its current gridlock - but he is an animated and intelligent speaker who can get a point across. His solution to all of these problems is technological - develop new, cheap, clean sources of energy - and he proposes that the major (possibly the only) role of government in getting from here to there is getting the price of energy right via appropriate taxes. He noted that Kyoto and Copenhagen and UN reports are all very well and good, but that price matters so much that without getting this right the necessary innovation will be slow in coming and will likely come from other countries, not the U.S. Because Susan is a regular reader of the New York Times she was already familiar with most of Friedman's best lines, but she did learn a new one - Friedman's guilty wish that the U.S. could become "China for one day" so that the government could set energy prices at an appropriate level so its citizens could just get on with the innovation.
Jon and Susan are professors at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. Jon is in the Department of Theatre and Dance. He has lived in Winston-Salem for 25+ years. Susan is in Biology, and has lived in Winston-Salem for 5+ years. Jon's neighborhood is Sherwood Forest; Susan's neighborhood is Ashley Forest. Maurice, who lives in the District of Columbia, serves as occasional capital correspondent.
"The reality is the reality."--Pedro Martinez
"It's only gonna get funner."--Roy "Doc" Halladay
"I believe in a relatively equal society, supported by institutions that limit extremes of wealth and poverty. I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it."--Paul Krugman
"Nobody is going to come out of this looking good."--Maggie Christman