Can Sandy Help Jolt America Out of Climate Change Denial?
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The question Hurricane Sandy really raises, then, is how long Big Oil will be allowed to hold the government of the United States hostage. How long will Exxon-Mobil’s business plans take precedence over the wellbeing and indeed survival of our children? Neither of the two presidential candidates provides great inspiration on this point, though Obama is at least willing to talk about the problem, as when he advocates eliminating some taxpayer subsidies to oil companies. (Romney, for his part, thinks Big Oil has not been favored enough by Washington.)
But no president can cross Big Oil in the way that is required to defuse the climate crisis without the help of a powerful and sustained popular movement. If Hurricane Sandy contributes to building such a movement—and McKibben and his fellow activists at 350.org and allied organizations are launching a national tour shortly after Election Day that aims to do just that—America might still avoid the curse of Cassandra by heeding her warnings at last.