Will wonders never cease?
Apparently some political heavy hitters have been reading this blog! You won't believe who gave me a call last night.
About six o'clock my time the land line rang. I didn't recognize the area code on the caller ID so I almost didn't answer. But some little voice in my head urged me to find out who it was. I picked up.
"Professor Mobus, this is Barack Obama. I hope I'm not calling at a bad time."
The voice really did sound like the President's. But I had to suggest this wasn't a very funny gag.
"I get that a lot when I call people. But it really is me."
"OK," I said hesitantly, "but what do you want with me?" My mind was vectoring in on a speculation of what he (if he was he) wanted. I guessed someone must have told him about my several criticism in this blog. I was right.
"Look, I know you haven't been very happy with me and my administration," the Obama voice said with what sounded pretty sincere. "When Axel (his chief of staff) told me about your blog I was, at first, pretty upset about some of the things you wrote." He paused. "I have really been trying to do the right thing."
I tried to choose my words carefully. "Mr. President, I believe you have been concerned about doing the right thing, I really do, but..."
He cut in. "Here is the deal. I was upset at first, but I started reading some of your other writings, especially this subject you call biophysical economics. I had never heard of anything like this."
"Yes," I replied, "I suspected that your decisions were based on a lack of the really big picture. I can't fault you for not knowing everything, I suppose, but I do think that the president of the United States would be relentlessly looking deeper and get his advisers to dig deeper and not leave their assumptions to ideology."
There was a long thoughtful pause.
"I guess I have to agree," he said at last. "But in my defense, that is actually why I am calling you. I want to get better advice, I guess. And this biophysical stuff is very intriguing. Already from what I've read on your blog I can see that there really are deeper causes to the economic situation than most of us had imagined. I'm starting to get it."
"Mr. President I am delighted to hear that."
"Would you be willing to come to Washington to provide more education on this view of economics? I think my people and I could really stand to learn something new."
"Sir, I am at your service, of course. But may I suggest that you really need some real experts on the subject. I am not really the best person to help you out there. May I suggest...," and I reeled off a list of names of the biophysical (and ecological) economists who I consider to be top experts. Charlie Hall, naturally, led the list.
Then I continued to encourage him to get a hold of these folks and get on with looking at the REAL problems with the economy so that they could begin to look for options (I didn't say solutions, because we all know we are not talking about solving the problems to re-establish business as usual).
He thanked me and said he would still appreciate meeting to discuss some of the other things I had talked about in the blog. He mentioned systems science and my heart skipped a beat. "Wow!" I thought. But I reiterated that I would be at his service. We hung up, and I continued working on dinner.
And then I woke up. It was just after midnight. Boy. Some dreams seem so real. If only.