You gotta give it to Bill McKibben: he has political instincts! So if you missed this little piece, here’s your second chance. It’ll give you nice snapshots to both the Waxman and Jeffords bills (the ones we need to support for all we’re worth) and it wraps these pointers in the simple honest truth. Now that national climate legislation is inevitable, “the temptation will be to simply pass something, most likely the “feeble” McCain-Lieberman bill. In fact:
“If the Democrats manage to pick up one or both houses of Congress in November’s election, there will be a real chance to actually pass a law. That’s an opportunity. And that’s also an enormous danger, because if we lock into the wrong plan now, it may be years before we revisit the issue again. And years are what we don’t have.”
One wag called this speech the “lost reel” of An Inconvenient Truth. Whatever you want to call it, you have to admit that Gore’s invocation of the “Nuclear Freeze” movement, and his call for a carbon emissions freeze, were pleasing to the ear. But the real news, at least as far as we’re concerned, was in Gore’s Big Rhetorical Climax, where he stepped out of the climate sandbox and made the connections:
“In rising to meet this challenge, we too will find self-renewal and transcendence and a new capacity for vision to see other crises in our time that cry out for solutions: 20 million HIV/AIDS orphans in Africa alone, civil wars fought by children, genocides and famines, the rape and pillage of our oceans and forests, an extinction crisis that threatens the web of life, and tens of millions of our fellow humans dying every year from easily preventable diseases. And, by rising to meet the climate crisis, we will find the vision and moral authority to see them not as political problems but as moral imperatives.”
That’s the hope all right.