Thursday, January 24, 2013

3 Days On: How the President's Climate Push is Shaping Up (and What it Means for Us)

I just read a couple articles that talk about how the president’s push to save the world from climate change is shaping up, three days after he unveiled it in the inauguration.

First of all, it’s going to be “deliberately paced”, and activists are being cautioned to not expect anything before the president is done dealing with immigration reform, gun control, and the budget.

Duh!  Though climate change is by far the most important and urgent issue, ultimately the political issues of the day will force Obama to deal with the budget first, then gun control (while people are still outraged about Sandy Hook), and immigration reform (because if it wasn’t for the immigration issue we’d have had Romney’s inauguration on Monday). I get it, we can’t expect action just yet, BUT we have to start pushing harder than ever so the president will have wind at his back.  And we know the other side will be screaming "Tyranny!" like they always do, but this time our side needs to strap on a pair and stand up to them.  Nonviolently, of course.

The biggest risk that faces the climate movement right now is that people will assume Obama’s gonna take care of it and we’ll go right back to doing nothing. 

But remember how he finished the speech:
You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.
“You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.
“Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.”
Cool.  I'm reminded of something Charles Stuart Parnell, the great Irish Member of Parliament, once said: “The measure of the Land Bill next season will be the measure of your activity and energy this winter…It depends therefore, upon yourselves, and not upon any Commission or any Government.”

Same thing here guys.  If  you want nonexistent climate reforms, don’t engage yourself.  If you want Obama to pull off great reforms, make lots and lots of noise.  And if you want Obama to pull off the changes that are really necessary but seem impossible even to Obama, then learn how nonviolent struggle works and help us take it to a whole ‘nuther level!

We in the climate movement have been so marginalized and ignored for so long, but the president’s going to be giving us an outstanding platform.  Let’s be ready when that day comes!


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