In the New Yorker, writer and longtime environmental activist Bill McKibben suggests that we are currently in a promising political moment for efforts against climate change, after years of despair and government inaction. This moment was brought about, he writes, by large-scale activism in different parts of the globe, and signs that people across the political spectrum are worried about the issue, not just liberals. Check out an excerpt from McKibben’s article below.
Having followed the issue closely since I wrote my first book about climate change, thirty years ago, I think I can say that we’re in a remarkable moment, when, after years of languishing, climate concern is suddenly and explosively rising to the top of the political agenda. Maybe, though not certainly, it is rising fast enough that we’ll get real action…
Many streams contributed to this tide. Ten years of movement-building, often led by those most at risk, laid a foundation. (The young people of the Sunrise Movement, who have championed the Green New Deal, cut their teeth in the campus fossil-fuel-divestment movement.) Scientists sharpened their analysis. (Last year’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was the first to set a deadline—of 2030—for being fully under way with the fundamental transformation necessary to meet the targets set in the Paris climate accords.) Donald Trump’s foolery heightened apprehensions. (One senses that even some of his most loyal supporters doubt that global warming is a “hoax manufactured by the Chinese.”) And nature itself provided the strongest boost: flood after drought after firestorm, in every corner of the planet, pierced public consciousness. Last November, Americans saw a town called Paradise literally turned into hell within half an hour, and suddenly they had a glimpse of what climate change looks like.
Image via the New Yorker.