We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Night of the Living Dead, Climate Change-Style
Although I have posted articles by authors who have been very critical of McKibben for ultimately serving the interests of fossil fuel corporations, I find little to criticize in this article and much to be praised. Regarding the former, I think he places much too positive a spin on activists ending the reign of fossil fuels. Notice that he sees this battle waged by local activists going on over this entire century which I find much too late to prevent climate destabilization. (I'm not certain that we have not already passed climatic tipping points.) However I see value in this article because he provides details on what activists are up against when they take on the fossil-fuel industry and why the latter's projects continue to be approved by regulatory authorities in spite of the opposition of scientists.
Perhaps it is McKibben's lack of urgency as well as his more benign strategies that provokes critics who see McKibben benefiting from a well-funded career that rather ineffectually opposes the fossil fuel industry.