I'd be remiss if I didn't say anything about the fact that when I got up today there was a new president. And (it seems so far) a president totally different from the last one. It still hasn't really sunk in. The president of the U.S.A. is now someone who in his speeches regularly expresses concepts that are important to me, and who says he'll address them in exactly or almost exactly the same way I think they should be addressed. The 2000 election was the first in which I was old enough to vote, so my political life up to this point has been dominated by the Bush administration. Eight years of backpeddling on environmental and social issues, of cynicism and arrogance, the mire of Iraq and the tarnishing of not just America's image but what it's supposed to stand for as well. It feels like we've been dragging our feet, trying really, really hard not to enter the 21st century, or at least to make it look as much like the last one as possible. Guns and blowing stuff up are in, science and smart people are out. America is poised to enter a long, steady decline mirroring the degradation of the global environment.
Now, maybe, all that is set to change. I've never had the privilege of voting for the winner before. It felt good, and it feels really good to finally have a president who seems to get it. He embraces technology, its role in society and its potential for improving our lives, the environment and the economy. A presidential ecogeek -- can it really be? He seems set to work for peace and prosperity around the globe. Where Bush started wars, maybe, just maybe, Obama will end them. Maybe, just maybe, America will start to give more attention to developing nations and help bring people out of poverty without destroying their environment. Maybe global warming will be addressed in a meaningful way. Maybe alternative energy and forms of transportation will start to come up to scale and change the way we live. Maybe biodiversity will be safeguarded. It's a lot to hope for, but we can hope now, can't we? Maybe America and the world can change for the better. Maybe the future can be better than the present. I hope the future holds a lot of positive change, and I hope to do my part, however small.