An excellent post from Steady City (quoting David Roberts), which relates directly to my recent post on the Forward on Climate rally. Regarding the Revkin pieces that Steady City and Roberts address: I highly doubt that a single person who was out there protesting the Keystone pipeline, or etc, (myself included) disagrees that a multifaceted Apollo-level effort to truly address the energy issue would be lovely (if not immediately required), or that other sources of energy (like Nigerian oil) may also be problematic, or that cutting existing energy waste is a good idea. Do we have a current effort equal to the task? No. Are any of these reasons to not protest the Keystone pipeline? Of course not. If anything, the opposite is true. Revkin’s reactions reflect a failure of vision. (Also, I’m glad he recognizes the perils of an energy oligarchy and costs of extraction, but his conclusion that he “would rather have the oil that we do use coming increasingly from responsibly managed and regulated sources here than the ends of the Earth and countries where oil wealth benefits few and the costs of extraction are borne by many” badly obscures a number of things including the reality that we have those problems at home as well.)
David Roberts responds to Andy Revkin’s piece in the New York Times calling the Keystone fight “counterproductive”. I think it’s one of the most important pieces of writing on the climate movement so far this year:
If you want to argue that activists shouldn’t focus on Keystone, you can’t just establish that rallying around and/or blocking Keystone won’t reduce carbon emissions much. So what? Why not try it? Something’s better than nothing, after all. Even if it’s a total waste of time, that may be unproductive, but it’s not counterproductive.
There are benefits to an activated, impassioned constituency and the social and political machinery that brings them together in large numbers. It’s what the right has: an intense core, fighting on behalf of the status quo (using the status quo’s money), that has captured one of America’s two political parties. It’s what the fight against…
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