And so we have it. At noon today (PST), we saw the predictable collapse of Democrat resolve to address the most serious crisis of our times.
So what. Big surprise.
The most likely bills were horrifically flawed (don't get me started on the Kerry Lieberman joke, the one where the punchline was my childrens' future). The public demand for truly significant, timely progress on energy and climate simply isn't there. This was never going to happen in the first place.
We can point fingers at Washington, DC, but we should be pointing them at ourselves. We allow our votes to be taken for granted. We equate online activism with real-world pressure. We talk smart of responsible consumption and equitable resource distribution...while in line to purchase new iPhones. We hold hands when we should be holding feet to fire. We self-identify as consumers, not citizens. We elect, time and time again, fellow citizens with no track record of caring about our issues. We believe that Tweeting counts as activism. We make excuses like, "Lesser of two evils" and "Incremental change is better than slipping backward." (To be crystal here, I am including ME in 'we'. I work on these issues every single day, and still I fail in my personal life to be a notable example of resilient living.)
It's not that we don't care. Or don't believe that the earth is warming and action must be taken. We, as a nation, emphatically do.
It's that we haven't yet commited to making meaningful progress, as individuals or as a society. We must remember that every daily action has a reaction (somewhere, some time), and behave like informed citizens who give a damn. We know what to do. We even know how to do it. We know what the future can and should look like. We know how to get there. Everything is in place for a rapid and orderly transition to relocalized, resilient communities.
The 10-10-10 Global Work Party has the potential to be Day One of that transition. Beyond shovels in soil, we can use it to start the political transformations needed right now all over the world. New blood, new values, new determination to do right by this planet. Who knows, maybe even new parties who will leave the old guard behind in the dust of work boots and wheelbarrows.
P.S. Here's a great overview by Joseph Romm at Grist.
A grim outlook for emissions as climate talks limp forwardFinancial overhaul measures rile small banks