Just after putting last week’s blog post to bed, I pulled up the New York Times on my phone to read that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin “in a Reversal, Agrees to Climate and Tax Package“. Like many, I had given up all hope that this year’s US Congress would pass any meaningful climate change legislation. And then, suddenly, there was an agreement, in principle at least, on a bill to address climate change. Yes, we still need to see this bill through votes in the senate and house and finally signed by the president, but it sounds like it is going to happen.
What changed? I don’t think it was one thing. Rather as Bill McKibben (see https://billmckibben.substack.com/zeitgeist-matters) put it:
most of all it was, I think, the widespread public scorn. Somehow it began to break through to Manchin that the only thing history would ever remember about him is that he blocked action on the worst crisis humans have ever faced.
It was all of us, coming together, in so many ways, over so many years, and via so many forums and venues, to say “we need action, real action, on climate change, and we need it now”. It was the columns, like this one, the protests,the books, the prayers, the podcasts, the blog posts, the news articles, the votes, the voting with our wallets, the small and big changes that we have all been part of that finally made the difference. And you only have yourselves to thank!.
So let me be the first to say it: THANK YOU! We did it!
Mind you, the journey is not over. We haven’t really won. The planet isn’t quite saved. Future generations are not quite in the safe zone. But we have moved the needle in the United States a significant amount. So please, don’t stop. Don’t stop doing what you have been doing: leading by example, voting your conscience, lowering your carbon footprint, keeping your grandchildren, the poor, and future generations in mind as you pressure those in power to continue to address climate change and climate justice. Keep up the good fight.
Working together, we can help take care of our common home.