BREAKING: young people arrested in Mitch McConnell’s office. Kentuckians need a Green New Deal. https://t.co/4XesRVXZr6— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) February 25, 2019
A kerfuffle of sorts occurred over a Sunrise Movement video featuring a confrontation of adolescent protesters with Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, which in the truncated version makes the Senator appear condescending and a little hectoring, and in the extended release version still seems kind of awkward even when people try to find ways to remind us that Dianne Feinstein has been really great sometimes and that child activists are necessarily attention-getting and emotion-provoking. And as a good little card-carrying Democrat, one of my first impulses was a full-body cringe: "Why the fuck are activists camping out on Democrats--our folks are the good guys!"
Except I know why--Republicans are not listening to a word and aren't good for a damn. Dianne Feinstein can tell us she won her last election, probably isn't figuring for another one, and that those kids aren't the folks who elected her. But those kids are the people their parents elected her for, and if her safe-seat behind does not understand what they need her to do, let my old-enough pundit ass explain--it is time to go balls to the wall regarding climate change, because we (meaning people with the power) never went hard enough before. It's one thing to patiently explain to kids why there's a thing about legislation that will be voted on and can even pass and all that, and it's another thing to know this process isn't cutting it, and if it means recommitting to go harder and talk more expressively and directly about the crisis we will experience as the climate problem grows worse, then that is the kind of allyship the climate issue deserves. The above video reminds us though, that the Republicans, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are on a whole other level regarding their response to climate activists--they don't mind seeing them arrested. They would prefer that to offending their donors, or maybe, they just can't be bothered to value human lives over dollar signs.
But playing at who is better feels inadequate in the face of the problem we're facing. I've addressed on this blog before about the extremes of weather we're already facing in terms of wildfires and droughts vs. floods and blizzards. even if I've failed to do so regularly lately because of the sheer volume of so much other fuckery. But let me get this straight, the situation regarding the environment is probably worse than we've been thinking, and the most optimistic and radical-sounding (to moderate ears) ideas about what to do are probably still conservative in the face of what we need to accomplish. Disaster threatens to come from a cloudless and clear-blue sky.
We've got to suck every ounce of humorless, joyless, plane and car-grabbing, cow fart-monitoring right-wing accusations up, and holler back. Fuck you, diesel-powered denialists, and get railed, you running-coal shit-signifying smoke throwing annoying fuckshits. We're seeing species dying before our very eyes, even mammals, and you won't even discuss modifying a minimal part of your lifestyle? Just even reducing meat consumption, travel, or adapting to different energy sources to some degree (which we could all do to a degree, and not really even feel constrained). We could certainly do better regarding dumping toxic wastes in delicate and vital ecosystems, and consider renewables like wind and solar as the real future of energy.
Knowing all that is necessary and possible, people need to demand more from our leaders. That doesn't just mean challenging opponents (or defeating them entirely so they can no longer contribute to the prolonged anti-environmental fuckery) but changing the paradigm in which we discuss climate change, and no longer giving credence or quarter to denialism. They need to be shamed. Their sources of fossil fuel funding need to be discovered and dried up.
I'd love it if institutions like Sunrise Movement focused a little bit more on the McConnell kinds of fuckery, than the Feinstein kinds of not so much fuckery as just not being highly motivated just enough. But I understand their urgency, and I will support their goals, even if I hope they stay strategic, and don't frag possible friends in the midst of holding feet to the fire.