Penguins and Polar Bears

The Far Middle episode 93’s release date, March 1, coincides with the birthday of the late actor, Robert Conrad. Nick says as a kid he was obsessed with Conrad’s television series The Wild Wild West, as well as Conrad’s series, Baa Baa Black Sheep.

Moving on to this episode’s dedication, Nick honors Mario Lemieux’s 1992-1993 season. It was a season by the Penguins’ Center that embodied athletic achievement, personal endurance, and one “you could make a movie about.” Lemieux’s perseverance that season is, “Motivation for all of us, as we continue to achieve in our endeavors, and as we face life’s unpredictable challenges,” says Nick.

Nick stays on the ice as he moves from Penguin statistics to polar bear statistics. Referencing a study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Nick highlights that the world’s population of polar bears has risen from the 1960s to today, while at the same time, carbon dioxide emissions have also increased. It’s an inconvenient fact that runs counter to the beliefs of the Church of Climate parishioners.

“The dynamic that we see, where an ideology insists on ignoring or suppressing facts and certainties that inconveniently counter its core beliefs, leads to quite damaging consequences, and they stretch beyond polar bears,” explains Nick as he next examines public education leadership not recognizing individual achievers in those education officials’ pursuit of “equal outcomes.”

Nick argues that if our public education leaders are intent on holding back the recognition of high-performing students, not only is our public education system doomed, but so too is our future economic competitiveness, and further, the viability of the U.S. is in serious peril.

Next up is a signature Far Middle trifecta connection, albeit one that illustrates the incompetence of government intervention under the cover of “saving the planet.” Electric vehicles are at the intersection of that trifecta connection.

Nick delves into contradictory federal policies that mandate and subsidize electric vehicles, while on the other hand prohibit the domestic mining of the vital materials for EV battery production, and then at the same time the State Department pledges to help build foreign EV supply chains—effectively offshoring environmental destruction and human rights abuses.

“As bad as it might be in the U.S. with our dysfunctional federal government, it could be much, much worse,” says Nick. “You don’t need to look beyond the Americas to see situations today that are indeed much worse.” This brings the conversation to Colombia where its new president, Gustavo Petro, is another faithful worshiper in the Church of Climate, an ex-guerilla, a 2023 Davos attendee, and at his side is a Minister of Mines and Energy who’s a professor and environmental activist. The path these two are prescribing for Colombia is about to make things much worse for the country’s residents, its economy, and its environmental health.

Leaving Bogotá, Nick heads to New York City to close this episode, connecting to the film Gangs of New York and two of its stars, Daniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson.