Others, myself included, worry that the current organization of this market economy to benefit the interests of capitalists, with its blind, utopian faith in the price mechanism, is likely to head in precisely the direction that the economic historian Karl Polanyi predicted in 1944. An institutional arrangement organized around a “self-adjusting market,” he warned, “could not exist for any length of time without annihilating the human and natural substance of society; it would have physically destroyed man and transformed his surroundings into a wilderness.”
There, too, lived Seger, an athletic kid with blond hair and blue eyes. I remember one year splitting time with him at quarterback on our Pop Warner football team, the little guys with good hands who conveyed the ball to bigger guys, who then tried to run through, or over, the opposing team. Later, in sixth grade, we’d hung out with two neighborhood girls, meeting after school, loitering, trying out the first rehearsals of sexual attraction. He took the lead, with the confidence of one with older siblings. The louder and funnier and more kinetic he was, the more I struck a pose of dumb bewilderment.
In Florida, city planners and environmental scientists have considered converting miles of public land into retention basins to hold back floods. In Louisiana, the total costs of building new levees, gates, dams and manmade barrier islands is projected at over $50 billion . Rather than responding to floods as they occur, more communities are being proactive. That means having difficult conversations on relocation and resources years in advance—and yes, fighting climate change. As Spanger-Siegfried says, rising sea levels are not partisan—they impact people regardless of politics.