Mean Joe Green #10: Pessimistic Poetry

  • Published on May 16th, 2008

I am typically an optimistic, hopeful fella. But, a recent look at NRDC’s Bush Record, and a peek at Bush’s Orwellian “Clear Skies Act“, and this recent study on the environmental apathy of US citizens have turned my blue skies gray.

This bout with pessimism led to the poem and morbid cartoon after the break. But, let it be known that writing and art are outlets–we all need outlets or we’ll go MAD!–and I’m feeling optimistic again.

I have faith that Barack Obama will get elected. And that he’ll make a change for the better (it could hardly get worse). The biggest thing I like about Barack is the excitement he brings to our democracy–hopefully enough so that people will become an active part of the political process each day, as opposed to each election cycle. Afterall, that is the worst time to get a feel for what being a part of a democracy is all about. As Mark Twain once said:

“If we would learn what the human race really is at bottom, we need only observe it in election times.”

Note: The following poem and cartoon are a direct result of reading the “Clear Skies Act” and the NRDC Bush Record on air quality, and then wondering: “When will a change ever truly take place?”


More doses of environmental realism

The World at 350–Bill McKibben
Earth Our Sacred Trashcan: Sustainablog–Justin Van Kleeck

About the Author

is an Environmental/Political cartoonist for Planetsave, Elephant Journal, Wend Magazine, Twilight Earth, Ecopolitology, EcoSnobberySucks, and more... Joe also does a kids enviro-toon called Hank D and the Bee on EcoChildsPlay and NaturalPapa. Joe lives in University City, Missouri and spends his free time with his beautiful wife, enthusiastic daughter, and curious toddler of the same name. He also enjoys writing, drawing, painting, walking, biking, skateboarding, gardening, reading, listening to music, playing sports, and watching plays (especially the plays his wife's site-specific theatre company, Onsite Theatre puts on).   Visit Joe's online cartoon gallery at