Climate Change: Every Social Movement Needs an Enemy

As near as I can tell, the leading speaker in articulating the narrative of climate change is Bill McKibben of www.350.org. In a recent piece in Rolling Stone magazine he lays out a compelling numbers driven account of global warming and its cause. He then puts on his social activist hat:

…the paths we have tried to tackle global warming have so far produced only gradual, halting shifts. A rapid, transformative change would require building a movement, and movements require enemies. As John F. Kennedy put it, “The civil rights movement should thank God for Bull Connor. He’s helped it as much as Abraham Lincoln.” And enemies are what climate change has lacked.

But what all these climate numbers make painfully, usefully clear is that the planet does indeed have an enemy – one far more committed to action than governments or individuals. Given this hard math, we need to view the fossil-fuel industry in a new light. It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization.

From naming the enemy McKibben goes on to address what can be done. The how of it is his work at www.350.org. I find few articles I would call “must reads;” this is one.

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