The Kids Know – We Live in a Dystopia

We live in a time of uncertainty, fear, and ignorance about the problems facing society, nations, and the planet. We live in a time of instantaneous communication, often leading to distrust, polarization, and superficiality. Science – and especially its derived technologies – has given us immense powers to cause physical and psychological change, destruction, chaos, and even self-annihilation.  Single individuals can now wield immense power, be it for terrorism, ideology, or personal gain.

We no longer have societally-sanctioned rites of passage for citizens, such as the Eleusinian rites practiced in ancient Greece. We constrain and often condemn most means of expanding consciousness and mental well being. We have decreased moral, ethical, and civics education in our public schools due to state legislatures and parents arguing that such education is not ‘appropriate’.

Youth are concerned with the societal and planetary problems and issues which their adult parents seem unable to address. Youth are concerned about the deteriorating state of the planet and of its societies – and very concerned for their own future.

Music, poetry, literature, and drama are effective means of expanding consciousness, presenting realities, and empowering empathy and creativity. Protest songs come immediately to mind. Novels have been especially effective: Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Sinclair’s The Jungle, and Huxley’s not very well known Island.

We are attracted to novels, songs, and theatre addressing these challenges. Young adult novels and films dealing with dystopian as well as utopian systems are particularly popular today.

Media which deal with critical thinking, reality, cognitive liberty, creativity, and empathy are especially needed to help reorient our current states of distrust, fear, uncertainty, and ignorance. Specific examples include Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (followed by his more Utopian Island), Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, and many, many more – including attempts to treat impending dystopia:  State Change – A Chemical Fantasy ( www.statechange.us ) ‘uses’ biochemistry to ‘treat’ empathy deficit disorder (EDD) and ideology paralysis.

Talk with your kids. They read, they know, they fear.

 Andrade IBE 4-2017 Keynote Slides final4reducedpdf

Democracy, Fascism, Trump – and Evil

Diana and I were back in Portland, with Lucien, Peter, Saul, and family – trying to avoid talking politics. I have been working in the Reed College Library, where so much of State Change was written more than a year ago. Lucien, Peter, and I had a lunch discussion in the Reed Student Commons.

 

“Did you see that full page ad, in today’s Times?” Peter asked.

“Not yet, go on,” I said.

“It’s by a group called refusefascism.org , arguing for a month of resistance, ‘reaching a crescendo by the Jan.20, 2017 Inauguration’.”

“Who’s behind it?”

“A few names I recognize: Cornell West, Bill Ayers, Alice Walker. It doesn’t seem to be connected with the Women’s March.”

“There’s been a lot on the web,” Lucien added, “saying don’t rationalize or give Trump the benefit of the doubt, don’t cooperate, don’t back off – protest, make noise, get involved.”

“Remember the poster on the door at Mississippi Pizza the other night?” I asked. “It defined the place as a safe house, a safe place – inclusive and welcoming all.”

“Yes, that’s going on all over Portland,” Peter added.

“And Seattle – all along the West Coast.”

“And Jerry Brown’s taken a very strong position on rights and the environment – California will ignore Federal actions against the environment and human rights.”

“The good news is Trump’s no Hitler,” I suggested. “Hitler wrote a real book, had a real philosophy, had a vision and plan – albeit demented and evil.”

“Didn’t Brooks have a good take on Trump the other day?” Lucien asked.

“Yes,” I said. “I captured his quotes – just a second.” I opened my new rose pink 2 pound MacBook and read:

“[Trump] has no experience being accountable to anybody. …His statements should probably be treated less like policy declarations and more like Snapchat. They exist to win attention at the moment, but then they disappear.”

“Hitler wasn’t accountable to anyone either – if someone got in his way, he just eliminated them,” Peter said.

“He could’ve been taken out,” I said. “I just read a book titled To Kill the Devil – on the many attempts to assassinate Hitler. He had several very close calls.”

“His death would have changed history in a very positive direction,” Peter said.

“Death is a very effective means,” I suggested, “if it’s accomplished early enough that the victim doesn’t become a martyr.”

“If the death is perceived as ‘accidental’ rather than as an assassination, then martyrdom is an unlikely outcome.”

We all nodded in agreement.

Lucien had to go to his soccer game. Peter and I walked through the Chemistry Building, looking for the box of chemical waste he deposited on the second floor now some 18 months ago. It was gone.

I went back to the library – there was work to do.

 

 

 

Treating Trump? State Change II?

We needed to talk. We needed self-therapy. Jay was depressed. Bill was despondent. I was in tears thinking of my granddaughters and the billions of others who would need to survive on an increasingly destroyed planet.

Diana and I were in Monterey for several weeks, escaping Salt Lake City’s cold and its winter air inversions and polluted air. Thanks, gods, for Skype.

Bill and Jay were at the Roasting Company, in a second floor secluded corner. I was in a corner of Book Works Cafe in Pacific Grove. We decided earlier to give Trump the benefit of our doubts – for a few weeks. That time was now over.

 

“It’s all over the Net now,” Bill started. “Tillerson is the international oil dealmaker par excellence – and knows Putin well. As Trump’s new Secretary of State he could lift the economic sanctions on Russia, allowing a whole new level of deals for Siberian oil.”

“And thus for creaming the planet,” Jay groaned. “… our worst fears – the worst scenario imaginable.”

“Yes, horrible for the planet – both physically and humanistically,” I added. “Cheap Siberian oil, with the backing of Russia and the USA, could flood the market, economically devastating the Middle East, Nigeria, and Canada.”

“And the Secretary of State orchestrates the whole transformation – from deals to production, sales, and economic devastation.”

“A new world order,” Bill said. “Exactly what Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bolton, and Bush wanted – but via oil rather than war.”

“Dollars for ISIS and Al Qaeda dry up. Saudi Arabia goes under – or gets transformed via a new Arab ‘Spring’ – also Iran.”

“Another Nobel Peace Prize!” Jay noted.

“Not a bad plan,” I smiled, “were it not for the death of the Planet as a side effect.”

“But as global warming isn’t really real, it isn’t a concern for climate deniers and agnostics – certainly not for Trump, Putin, or even Tillerson.”

“The melting of the tundra, the massive release of ancient trapped methane, the leaks and fires due to tundra-disrupted oil pipelines – all collateral damage on the way to a new world order, controlled by powerful white guys, of European ancestry.”

“Hitler would have loved it, assuming Germany’s chemical industry played a leading role.”

 
We looked at each other, via Skype.

 
“I’m not sure Ananda’s Chocolates are up to the task,” Bill offered. “We tried that – and many of those we treated are back, their old ideologies and prejudices intact.”

“Agreed. We have to use more effective, more permanent, means – but perhaps we can use Ananda’s approach as a ‘cover’,” I suggested. “Not MDMA; something more powerful, more effective.”

“You do mean lethal, don’t you?” Jay asked. “Assassination?”

“That’s real exorcising of evil,” Bill smiled, “but without drones.”

“And it shouldn’t be instantaneous. It should play out over several days, perhaps appear like a bad pathogen,” Jay suggested. “That way there might be publicity, incitement of fear, concern for God’s wrath, etc.”

“Diana and I saw another Sherlock Holmes video the other night, where he was apparently afflicted with Sumatran River Virus – death in three days.”

“Viral chocolates, with a little LSD thrown in – to facilitate visions, hallucinations.”

“I think we have a plan,” I concluded. “Treating Trump – Exorcizing Evil.”

 

 

Trump 2016 Election: State Change now even more important

The harmless team was at The Roasting Company – doing our 2016 election mourning over good coffee.

“Jesus, I’m depressed,” Bill said.

“There’s no question I am,” Jay said. “I even considered fully losing it early this morning.”

“Remember those last pages of State Change,” I cautioned. “Those who are old and ready, and those who are considering checking out, can have an especially important set of opportunities. They can go way beyond distributing Ananda’s Chocolates to our entire hit list – our 29 ideologues. Most were reelected.”

“You mean really take them out, don’t you?” Jay asked. “Or at least make them undesirable for further service.”

“Why not? All they’ll do in Congress is do more damage. They’ll make many others suffer for their distorted ideologies.”

“We could just plant some illegal drugs on them,” Bill suggested.

“That might do it. Or do – or get done – some serious investigative reporting exposing their financial connections and other shenanigans.”

“Most of them – especially Gowdy and Chaffetz – love conspiracy theories and witch hunts. We could give them a taste of their own tactics – develop some paranoid fantasies in them.”

“I thought State Change would be somewhat obsolete after this election, because Hillary would make it, we’d likely take the Senate, the Supreme Court would be modernized, and the state would begin to change,” I said.

“So much for wishful thinking,” Jay said. “There was a piece in The Guardian this morning, by Thomas Frank, …”

“The guy who wrote ‘What’s the Matter with Kansas‘, right?” Bill asked.

“Yep, and he has a new one Listen Liberal; the piece in the paper is like Liberals put Trump in the White House.”

“Ouch.”

“Anyway, State Change is even more important and valuable now that Trump will soon be thrashing around in the White House,” I said.

“My Australian and Canadian friends are incredulous,” Bill said.

“I’ve started to add overseas audiences to my Tweet destinations now, because Europe is so concerned. A major Madrid paper, El Paix, had columns today titled The Crazy is in Charge of the Asylum – and another The Suicide of Democracy.”

“It’s time to up the action,” Bill said.

“I think so,” said Jay. “I’m ready for some serious activism.”

“Let’s think this through and meet again right after Thanksgiving.”

 

 

Rubio, Trump, and Fathers’ Day – Tom’s Mass and Catholic Youth

Bill, Jay, and I were celebrating their identical August birthday dates at the Roasting Company – on a warm, clear but semi-dirty air day.

 

“Bill said you wrote Rubio a Father’s Day letter?” Jay asked.

“I did, and submitted it to the Miami paper and Buzzfeed. Miami Herald didn’t pick it up but it is at BuzzFeed.”

https://www.buzzfeed.com/joeandrade/rubio-running-fatherly-advice-2ezak

“What did you advise him?” Jay continued.

“Look at the BuzzFeed link. Advices number 1 – 5 are still very valid and relevant; only Advice #6  (Run, Marco, run) is now outdated – he’s running.”

“But Trump may take him down,” Bill said.

“Yes, hopefully. Patrick Murphy, currently in the House  representing Florida 18, is coming on strong.”

“If Rubio takes your advice, he might win,” Jay said.

“I hope not,” Bill added. “For all the reasons in State Change.”

“He’s unlikely to take my advice,” I said. “He’s too young, naive, arrogant – unless one of his kids sees the letter and really gets to him.”

“Or Jeanette,” Bill said.

“Yes, or Jeanette.”

We sipped our coffees and tea (Jay) silently for a few minutes.

“Did you get to Tom’s memorial Mass?” Bill asked. “I didn’t.”

“Yes, it was at St. Ambrose’s – a beautiful church with an incredible organ and sound system.”

“I thought you didn’t like organ music,” Jay said.

“Normally not, but this sound was really incredible, majestic, spiritual. The priests mentioned Tom towards the end – they recognized several people, as well as Tom. Carrie told me they’ll have a memorial – recognition – event later in the year. I’ll keep you posted.”

“And did you hear about the new Pope Francis High School – in Springfield, Mass?” Bill asked. “Two existing schools merged – the students recommended the new name. Some of the older parishioners were very critical, according to the USA Today story, today.”

“As long as the kids – the youth – get it, we may muddle through the mess created by all those adults – even Catholic youth,” Jay said.

“Why not a letter to the school paper, encouraging the kids to read State Change, and its take on Francis and the Encyclical?”

“I’m on it,” I said.

“Cheers,” Jay said. We finished our drinks, toasting Tom, Pope Francis, and Springfield’s Catholic youth.

Manzanita, Neahkahnee, and Arthur Koestler

July 21, Manzanita – during and after Neahkahnee hike – and Arthur Koestler

Peter, Lucien, and I were in Manzanita for the annual family gathering. The weather was perfect – sunny, low 70’s, very light wind. This place and time is not conducive to thinking about global warming and planetary perils!

While in Portland I experienced one of the better cannabis medicinal shops – Farma on Hawthorne. I bought an oil salve for my bruised toe – the victim of a dropped wine bottle a week earlier.

Peter and Lucien did their vap experiments. I did, too – and this time did feel a bit giddy.

 

“What’s that large black book you’ve been reading?” Peter asked.

“One I should have read and used a long time ago. I should have referred to it in State Change,” I said. “It’s Janus – A Summing Up, a sort of final autobiography by Arthur Koestler, from 1978.”

“So,” Lucien asked. “Who’s he?”

“Very interesting thinker – in the Aldous Huxley mold. He became a sort of neuro-biologist and was very interested in the evolution of the brain – in why we have a phenomenal neocortex that’s often over-ruled by our primitive reptilian emotional impulses.”

“And then what?”

“He actually suggested treating people to help suppress their reptilian inadequacy.”

“With drugs?”

“Not exactly. The neurochemistry of neurotransmitters and neurodrugs wasn’t really available to him then – best to ‘hear’ him for yourself. Here’s some quotes from Janus:

 

…the most important date in the history and prehistory of the human race … 6 August 1945. …mankind … [now has] to live with the prospect of its extinction as a species.

…The most striking indication of the pathology of our species is the contrast between its unique technological achievements and its equally unique incompetence in the conduct of its social affairs. … Russian roulette is a game which cannot be played for long.

homo sapiens is not a reasonable being. … an aberrant biological species.

… the trouble with our species is not an excess of aggression, but an excess capacity for fanatical devotion. … Man’s deadliest weapon is language…susceptible to being hypnotized by slogans… Without words there would be no poetry – and no war.

…we are concerned with a cure for the paranoid streak in what we call ‘normal people’ … to reinforce man’s critical faculties, counteract misplaced devotion and that militant enthusiasm, both murderous and suicidal, which is reflected … daily.

…society … must be immunized against the hypnotic effects of propaganda and thought-control….It can only be done by ‘tampering’ with human nature itself to correct its endemic schizophysiological disposition. History tells us that nothing less will do.

…we are a mentally sick race, and as such deaf to persuasion. … Nature has let us down. God seems to have left the receiver off the hook, and time is running out. [We need] to concoct elixir vitae, … the transformation of homo maniacus into homo sapiens.

 

Homo maniacus – I like that,” Peter smiled. “Sounds like Trump and Cruz to me.”

“I like ‘must be immunized against’ and ‘elixir vitae’,” Lucien added. “Sounds like Ananda’s Chocolate to me!”

“Can I borrow Janus? I can look at it over the weekend and return it to you in Portland.” Peter said.

“Sure. I’ll do more homework on Koestler. For now look at his Wikipedia entry. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of his work and writings much earlier.”

“He really belongs in State Change – maybe your next book?” Lucien asked.

“For sure,” I said.

Midwest Book Review, Diane Donovan, Aug., 2016

Reviewed by D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer

Midwest Book Review (Aug., 2016)

 

State Change – A Chemical Fantasy

Joe Andrade

Andrade Self-Publishing

978-1-4951-9851-9

Price: $0.00 (Free) – only available online. Bound book copies available from author, for free, to qualified reviewers and libraries.

Website: www.statechange.us

 

Novels typically do not contain manifestos – but State Change incorporates both. In a future world gone mad (a world akin to our own), the very boundaries of social and political process are tested as humanity’s trials and errors demand that traditional leadership be rebuilt and replaced.

 

But how do rulers and leaders evolve beyond preset assumptions which are contributing to the fall of mankind? Replacements take time and are likely to arrive contaminated by the same perceptions as their predecessors. There’s only one quick solution: change the mindsets of existing world leaders through chemistry. This approach is not only in the public interest. It’s in the interest of humanity’s survival.

 

This is the basic concept of this quasi-novel, in a nutshell. It’s time to sit back and enjoy the ride through the process (and ultimately, the call to action) that blends the forms of a novel and a social statement in State Change.

 

In the opening act, the state of the nation is deteriorating, the planet is falling apart, and change must happen if humanity is to survive. “The Challenge” opens with the narrator’s introduction to political interests and the basic foundations of the concept of “State Change”, which are built and explored throughout the events that transpire.

 

How can revolutions be engineered? How do belief systems evolve, and how do social and political circles support them? What are the failings of education and awareness when faced with entrenched dogma and blind ideologies?

 

Even though the word ‘fantasy’ is in this book’s subtitle, readers shouldn’t expect work of traditional fantasy or entertainment here. State Change is about how real change occurs at its most fundamental levels, the barriers to realization and effective evolution, and the efforts of individuals to transcend the juggernaut of political ineffectiveness. As such, it’s a serious work that blends ideology with a dose of fiction that revolves around Utah protagonists and their daring attempts to not just change, but transform the world into something better.

 

State Change is no light production. It demands a higher level of thought, political and social interest from its readers, and not a little acceptance of some radical ideas about chemistry’s applications in the name of lasting solutions that belays the usual intention of a novel to entertain in some manner.

 

There’s a solid coverage of history along the way, analysis of political process, and the growing conviction of a myriad of characters who envision a new world evolving from the virtual end of civilization as we know it. As chapters rush through a mix of familiar-sounding modern dilemmas and futuristic concerns, they come steeped in much research and explanation and thus require slow reading and time for contemplation as they present a satisfying blend of complex activist and scientific concerns with characters concerned about changing the world in the best possible way.

 

There is no competitor to State Change. It stands in a class by itself (one perhaps occupied by Huxley, Vonnegut, and other authors of classics on social change) in presenting a different kind of futuristic possibility that rises from the ashes of the Koch Brothers and other political special interests familiar in today’s world.

 

Discriminating fiction readers with a penchant for more than entertainment will relish its approach, diversity, and complex observations on the processes and challenges of mental enhancement.

 

Author Fake Interview – Book Review

Book Review Press Release (for immediate release)

State Change – A Chemical Fantasy

By Joe Andrade

491 pp. Andrade Self-Publishing

Free at www.statechange.us

An ‘interview’ with the author:

 

Academic Activist Advocates Illegal Politics

 

‘We cannot elect mental adolescents to public office,’ says Joe Andrade, author of a provocative new novel State Change – A Chemical Fantasy.

He corrects me: “It’s a semi-novel. Two thirds of it is fact.”

Andrade is a University of Utah retired engineering professor – now involved in local and national politics.

I ask – What do you mean by mental adolescents?

“I don’t want to disparage adolescents – they’re great, exciting kids. But they’re too young to be elected to political office.”

I’m confused: If they’re too young to run, how can they be elected?

Andrade looked annoyed. “They’re adults, so they ran, and we elected them. But they have the brain development of pre-adolescents. They need mental enhancement – treatment – to do their job.”

You mean education, I asked.

“That would help, but most never got a decent education. Most were brain-washed early by simple-minded, often highly religious, parents. So they became simple-minded adults – and we elected some of them, many of them, to high office.”

And, what is mental enhancement?

“Well, they won’t voluntarily submit to serious education – they can’t listen to anything except their own ideologies. They exist in echo chambers. So they have to be treated.”

I ask: And what is this ‘treatment’?

“You have to read the book,” Andrade said, smiling. “They need to have a revelation to break free of their ideological moorings – and begin to evolve to mental adulthood.”

Is that possible? Is it legitimate? I ask.

“It is possible – good chocolate helps. But it’s not ‘legitimate’. That’s why you titled this interview ‘… advocates illegal politics’.”

And who are these elected adults who are functioning as mental adolescents?

“There are hundreds, but we selected 29 special ones to treat – all politically powerful, mentally constrained adults. They are simplists.”

Wikipedia came to my rescue, saying simplism is the trait of oversimplifying things by ignoring complexity and complications. Didn’t Einstein say something about simplism?

“Einstein said ‘Science should be as simple as possible – but not simpler’ – but that applies to everything, not just to science.”

I was getting it. I asked: it’s looking at the world from the mental perspective of an eight year old, more or less?

“That’s it. It includes most of the Ayn Rand crowd, primitive Libertarians, Tea Party folks, and lots of Trump supporters.”

Can’t you be a bit more specific. Help me out!

“Only three women, evangelicals, are treated in State Change. We also treat 15 Congress members, several Supreme Court Justices – the ones that still live and work in the 19th century – a few Presidential Candidates, and some plutocrats – including the Brothers Koch.”

Do you treat Trump?

“He’s number 30 in the book, but we chose to not treat him.”

And why not?

“There’s nothing there to treat!” Andrade chuckled. “He’s so simple-minded we thought it would be a waste of effort – and our special chocolate.”

Chocolate?

“Just read the book.”

Who is ‘we’?

“It’s me and five close friends. We call ourselves the harmless team. We selected the 29 and treated them all earlier this year and in late 2015.”

You treated them all – with chocolate? I asked. He looked at me annoyingly, again.

“One of them is a phenomenal organic chemist. Just read the book. It’s free, on line, easy to read.”

Why is it free?

“Well, most of the 29 ideologues we treat would love to get back at me. If it’s free they can’t argue that I’m benefiting from exposing their mental incapacities.”

Interesting. Will you talk or argue with our readers? How can they contact you?

“By going to www.statechange.us . They can read the book there, download it, and see the Chosen 29 (and their Twitter addresses). They can also ask questions there as well.”

Is there a real book – I mean a printed version?

“I had a few copies printed – for reviewers and interviewers. You can have one, if you like.”

Is the book very long?

“No, but this interview is now too long. I’m 75 – and need a bathroom. Just read the book!”

And Mr. Andrade excused himself and left the room, looking for a bathroom.

I’m reading the book. It is interesting.

 

 

Salt Lake City

June 16, 2016

for immediate release

801-706-6747

andradejoey@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why the Increase in MDMA ‘Problems’?

I was on the phone with Lucien and Peter, who were at a coffee shop in Portland.

“My Google Alert on ‘Ecstasy’ shows more issues, problems with street Ecstasy,” Peter reported.

“Yes, I’ve also seen some reports on more ER admissions and even deaths,” Lucien added.

“I’ve seen them, too,” I said.

“The Chinese?” Peter asked.

“Have you been listening to Trump? The Chinese aren’t responsible for everything, but they are connected.”

“So you’ve dome some homework?” Lucien asked.

“Yes. I came across a UK psychopharmacologist, a Valerie Curran with University College, London. She was on the BBC recently warning users about high dose Ecstasy.”

“And?” Peter asked.

“Patience!” I said. “She was almost immediately criticized, even vilified, by the drug control crowd for advising users to cut current pills in half, because street pills in UK and rest of Europe may now have 200 mg or more of pure MDMA.”

“That doesn’t make sense,” Peter said. “Why would dealers use excess drug?”

“Good question. Apparently there’s a new precursor readily available – from China, of course – that makes it easier and cheaper to produce MDMA. So there’s now sort of a competition to produce, provide more potent pills.”

“Why?”

“It may be a macho thing – kind of a pissing contest between producers or dealers?” Lucien asked.

“That’s been suggested. But there’s probably another – a better – reason.”

“Go on,” Peter said.

“In some European countries the possession of a pill or two is often ignored. So if you’re a small scale user – or dealer – you can have just a few pills on you which can supply many normal doses – you just break up the pill.”

“But if you don’t know – or you’re already partly stoned?…”

“Right – if you take the full pill, which can be 200 or even 300 or more mg, then you have a serious overdose.”

“Especially if you’re a woman, small, or have a bad liver.”

“Yep. This has all hit the media,” I continued, “because the 2016 Global Drug Survey was just released – I’ll send you the link, but here’s a short summary:

2016 is the worst time to be using MDMA in a generation: Increase in use of both MDMA and cocaine over the last 3 years. Concerns over high dose MDMA pills leading to increased risk of acute harm. 4-fold increase in British female clubbers seeking emergency medical treatment in last 3 years. Women 2-3 times more likely to seek emergency treatment than men. UK users take more MDMA in a night than anyone else (almost half a gram). Most people use less than 10 times per year. Less is more (more fun with less MDMA).”

“Has the recommended or optimum dose changed?” Peter asked.

“Not really,” I answered, “although Adam Winstock, who does the Global Drug Survey, has suggested that 80 mg may be the optimum dose for ‘the pleasurable effects of energy, euphoria and empathy.’ So Ananda’s 100 mg is still appropriate for our ex-patients.”

“If only we’d known about the Chinese precursor – the new synthesis approach – Tom could have made much more. There are so many needy patients,” Lucien said.

“We each still have a small personal stock,” I said. “Dispense it wisely.”

We then changed the subject – and discussed our collective plans for the family 2016 Oregon coast reunion.

 https://www.globaldrugsurvey.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/GDS2016-Press-Release-1.pdf

 

Mia Love Learns about Climate Change

Back to Coffee Noir – this time only Bill and I. Jay was on a Southern Utah gig.

“She really did listen to four guys all discuss climate change and the need for immediate action?” Bill asked.

“Yes, she did,” I said. “And all four strongly recommended a carbon tax – now.”

“Isn’t she anti all taxes and fees?”

“Yes. She did rattle off, in response to some questions, the standard tea party free market-creativity-innovation gospel she’s so used to saying, but she did have to listen to four excellent speakers with a largely consistent message.”

“This was at a Town Hall meeting for her District 4 constituents, right?” Bill asked.

“Yes – earlier this week. I’m in her District, even though I ran in 2 back in 2012.”

“You mentioned there was an electric car guy on the panel?”

“Actually an electric truck guy – with Via Motors and Nikola Motors. Both companies are new – and were new news to me.”

“Nikola as in Tesla, I assume?”

“Yep. One good surprise was a guy with conservative, Libertarian credentials. He’d been high up in the Cato Institute for over 20 years. But he’d had a recent revelation!”

“Without Ananda’s help?” Bill smiled. “But maybe Mia was somewhat receptive due to her earlier Ananda Chocolates experience?”

“Possibly. She was at Mike Lee’s Christmas Party at the State Capitol – I was pretty liberal with Ananda’s goodies there. Mia got some for sure – and perhaps actually took one or more.”

“Cool. And what about this Libertarian with a revelation?”

“His name is Jerry Taylor; he’s for getting fossil fuels out of the economy quickly, but not via government regulation. He wants the free market unleashed, but empowered by a carbon tax.”

“Interesting angle,” Bill said.

“Yes, but USU’s Davies held firm – he said we need it all. The situation is so urgent we need strong regulation, a strong carbon tax-empowered free market, and lots of Federal, State, and local leadership.”

“And he had incredible slides, didn’t he?” Bill asked.

“Yes, as usual. He gives a great talk. So Congresswoman Mia heard it all.”

“Did you thank her with some chocolates?”

“No, but I did give Heinberg’s Post Carbon Institute book:  ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth, to her office manager. Hopefully she’ll see it -it’s a huge book.”

“I understand the District 4 Citizens’ Climate Lobby folks have been communicating with her and her staff. I’m sure they’ll continue.”

“For sure,” I said. “They’re already following up.”