…If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.
Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response.
You just know Dr. King had to be smiling from above when 400,000 concerned citizens took to the streets in New York City on September 21, 2014 to demand climate justice from the world’s leaders. You just know that had he not been murdered in 1968, he would have been among that proud crowd.
Despite the unfavorable outcome of the 2014 midterm elections, it’s clear that the voices of those who marched in the streets of New York are being heard. As Frederick Douglass famously observed, “Power concedes nothing without a demand”–and the demands of climate activists are forcing those in power to concede.
Granted, some in power continue to embrace arrogance, lies, denial, insanity. The forces of hubris on Capitol Hill are fixated on forcing the Keystone XL pipeline into existence. Despite their aggressive efforts, they won’t be successful–because of the things they don’t know.
They don’t know the intensity of those of us who recognize that this pipeline represents profits for a few at the expense of the many.
They don’t know the commitment that so many of us have put into making sure that this sick and evil idea never becomes a reality.
They don’t know that those of us opposed to this filth and perversion known as the Keystone XL pipeline have pledged our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to protect our sacred climate, our sacred earth, our sacred atmosphere–because sometimes, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to fight those whose avarice would prevent any future events for humanity.
They don’t know that those of us who do know what’s at stake will stop this pipeline by any means necessary.
Those of us who do know what’s at stake recognize the great irony of life: that sometimes, to have peace, one must wage war–in this case, a political and cultural war against the forces of climate-change denial. Even some of the adversaries on the battlefield of this war know that with every day that passes, and with every storm that comes, they’re losing ground. As Doug Craig observes:
Those of us who watched Rand Paul on Bill Maher’s Real Time Friday night got a glimpse into how the Republicans may try to dance around the climate change issue in the future. Without admitting global warming is real and human-caused, Paul deftly presented himself as open to taking responsible action to prevent the problem from worsening by ‘deregulating alternative sources of energy.’
Paul said, ‘We need more energy, and maybe cleaner energy will supplant less clean energy over time-and it already is-but I don’t think that shutting down dramatically one form of energy is a good idea for an economy.’
While saying he’s not against some regulations, such as on carbon emissions and clean water, Paul said he plans on introducing legislation ‘in the next month or so’ that would cut regulation of alternative fuels.
‘I’m for trying to get the government out of the way of converting your trucks from diesel to natural gas, or from gasoline to ethanol,’ he said. ‘And try to let the marketplace take care of this, because some of these fuels are actually cheaper, too, and if they’re cheaper then people will go for a cheaper alternative that also is cleaner for the environment.’
The junior senator from Kentucky admitted that there is ‘abundant evidence that carbon is increasing and has been increasing,’ before adding, ‘All that I ask for is that the solution has to be a balanced solution, and that you have to account for jobs, and jobs lost by regulation. And I’m not against regulation, I think the environment has been cleaned up dramatically through regulations on emissions as well as clean water over the last forty or fifty years.’
Make no mistake: the forces of denial will be politically and culturally crushed. Some of them know it, though they’ll never admit it. The mother who loves her child is more powerful than all of David Koch’s money. The farmer who cares for his land is more powerful than all of Rupert Murdoch’s media entities. The concerned voter who fears for his future is more powerful than the politician who doesn’t give a damn about it.
We will win this fight against this perverse pipeline because we have to, because we must. This is a fight for our very lives against a terrible enemy. We will resist that enemy with every ounce of strength in our bodies.
This will be remembered as the ultimate triumph of love over hate, compassion over selfishness, caring over callousness. TransCanada cannot break us. Fox News cannot stop us. We’ve come too far to go back.
Our enemies underestimated our strength. They don’t know that they have awakened so many sleeping giants. They don’t know that we will never stop fighting until we win and they lose.
We will wage this war because we love peace, and know that the enemies of peace for our children and grandchildren must be conquered on the political and cultural battlefield.
We will be proud to be veterans of this war.
We will be proud to have beaten back the forces of fossil-fuel darkness.
We will be proud to have won the future…and we will absolutely win it.