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bill mckibben last week..

by on June 10, 2010

Obama’s leadership is in question, from many angles.

“The bottom line: if you neglect all the offsets and loopholes, we’re aiming for a 4% reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. Make your blood stir?  Obama’s not proposing real solutions to real problems; he’s ticking off items on a list. He got a health care bill, and just maybe he’ll get an energy bill (though that’s an increasingly slim "maybe").  But we don’t need the bill, we need the thing.

I’m putting this all on Obama, even though it’s clear that he can’t do it by himself. He’d need a movement to make real progress. That’s the tragedy, though: he’s already got a movement. He was elected with millions of us sending him money, knocking on doors, standing in snow banks with signs. He commands a standing army (albeit one that’s growing rusty from disuse and a little demoralized).

And it’s not just here. Across the world, we at were able to organize giant demonstrations last year — 5,200 of them in 181 countries, what Foreign Policy called “the largest ever coordinated global rally of any kind." We did it the way Kennedy did, by rallying people around a hard goal instead of an easy one: 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide which, according to NASA scientists, is the most we can safely have in the atmosphere. Since we’re already past that point — at 390 ppm — we need to work harder than we could ever have imagined. We really do need to get off oil in the coming decade. 

But to have a chance we need a leader. We need someone to stand up and tell it the way it is, and in language so compelling and dramatic it sets us on a new path. On this planet of nearly seven billion, at this moment in history, there’s exactly one person who could play that role. And so far he hasn’t decided.”

Douglass Carmichael MAHB Millennium  Assessment of Human Behavior  Stanford Media X , Stanford Stratgey Studios and  Palo Alto StrategyStudios Book draft  at  Palo Alto tues-thurs cell 206-388-7712 Russian River 707-865-0433

Posted via email from Doug Carmichael reflections


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