Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
My betting career, such as it is, is marked with humiliating failure. I liked San Diego State to win this year’s NCAA tournament, loved Penn State in the 2009 Rose Bowl, and have bet more than one 20th place finisher in the Kentucky Derby. I may also have put money on the Washington Generals once or twice.
So please forgive me for bragging, but I don’t get to do this much: I finally won a bet.
Regular Salon readers may recall that, when Donald Trump began pretending to run for president a few months ago, I staked my entire savings account — a muscular $184.27 — on the proposition that he would ultimately back out, long before a single primary ballot was cast. I was hardly, to be sure, the only political observer to realize that Trump — an accomplished media manipulator and veteran of two previous fake presidential campaigns — was full of it, but I’m pretty sure I was the only one to put his life savings up. And I held my ground even when Trump’s over-the-top antics momentarily propelled him to the top of some GOP polls. And now he’s out, and my money is safe.
My condolences to Jeffrey Stafford, the Salon reader who won our contest and who would have been eligible to receive my $184.27 if Trump had actually run. But don’t despair, Jeffrey: The Donald seems to do this every 12 years, so you’ll have another chance in 2024.
I can think of no better way to close this contest — and our short national nightmare — than with a clip from my last appearance on “Hardball,” back in early April, when Trump was riding something called “birtherism” to surprising polling success. I tried to tell Chris Matthews why it was a temporary phenomenon that said far more about the state of the GOP field than about Trump’s “seriousness,” but….eh, just watch for yourself. The fun really starts in the last minute or so:
Steve Kornacki writes about politics for Salon. Reach him by email at SKornacki@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @SteveKornackiMore Steve Kornacki.
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.