It is always fun to ask a question for which there is no real answer. If I had to answer I'd say that only they had that kind of power. All the rest is theater. Those of you whom have read my past diaries know that I see the "system" as something real, capable of being influenced by human activity but certainly not being controlled by that activity. I like to make metaphors with another system, of which this system is a part. That system is the evolution of the Earth System of which biological evolution is a part.
If we look at biological evolution through the eyes of the most modern students of this very complex systemic set of changes, the nature of complex systems becomes the only tool for understanding. Single events even single species are not the way it works. Ecosystems prevail and they are a big factor in what "survives". Climate and geology are factors. What Darwin was able to see is but a reductionist snippet of a system.
So read on below and we we can try to answer the unanswerable question I posed.
Human activity has evolved at a rate unlike any other factor in the Earth System. Within the system of human activities there is a very complex system that involves the banks, big oil, and especially, technology. I have a book coauthored with Jim Coffman that explains a lot of this. We are not so arrogant as to think we can come up with a whole explanation.
I am writing this diary because I seem to have been seeing increasing numbers of negative statements about President Obama among his supporters on Facebook. At first impulse, I am inclined to agree with them, but when I think for a while I realize how foolish this is. Oh yes, he does the things they identify as "helping" the banks and big oil, but do his actions have the consequences they attribute to them?
Be careful. This is a difficult chicken and egg question that can be answered glibly but with little accuracy if it is. The biggest failing of any approach that assigns that kind of power to the actions of one person or a group of people is the misunderstanding of causality in a highly complex system like the one we have but outlined here. The question really might be posed more usefully by asking how the use of Obama in filling the needs of the system differs from any other choice? Some are saying that Obama has softened the appearance of the assault on the Earth System's in better ways than someone like Romney would. We will never know. The thing we do know is that the system grinds on making the future for our kids and theirs and so on more bleak by the day.
No need to say more here. If you understand what I mean by "systems" this should be perfectly obvious. If you don't....well, sorry but you are probably going to look for scapegoats among the humans out there and there are plenty of them.