What Does It Mean For Environmentalists The Terms 'Cassandra And Polyanna?'


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Robyn Rothman Profile
Robyn Rothman answered
Cassandra usually refers to someone who "sees" the future, but no one believes him because they thinks he's deluded or disturbed. Pollyanna means someone who is forever optimistic or can find something positive in anything.

In mythology, during the Trojan War, Cassandra was the daughter of the king and queen of Troy. Apollo fell in love with her and gave her the gift of foresight, She rejected him. He was so angry that Apollo cursed her so that she would always tell the truth, but no one would believe her. Today a "cassandra" is someone whose true words are ignored.

Pollyanna was a novel by Eleanor H. Porter. It was about a little girl who found something to be glad about in every situation. We now use the term to describe someone who is a naive optimist who expetcs people to behave decently in spite of evidence to the contrary.

You could say that the scientists and environmentalists who predicted the depletion of oil and global warming were labeled cassandras by those who would not and still don't believe them. The "pollyanna's" are those who still won't believe in the environmental crisis despite all evidence to the contrary. I guess you might say a pollyana is one who figures he can overcome global warming by turning his AC to a higher setting.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
In the 90's in Florida, we were suffering from a lot of drought.  I was really worried.  We didn't have sprinklers in my yard, so trust me, I remember those days well.  Fires sprang to life in medians in the highway, grass gave way to sand, and dust., everyone was fighting about water.

I had a couple of dreams about Cassandra.  Not good ones.  I have been looking online since.  In one dream she was chasing me, and in order to distract her, I said,

"Look at the stars Cassandra, they are waiting for you."

If you feel spooked, so was I.

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