Local Left-wing Climate Denial and Climate Defeatism
I live in the Bay Area and am active in some local groups nominally committed to fighting climate change. California’s state government has stated its commitment to climate action and has recently passed a raft of measures that certainly express good intentions with regard to reducing emissions, though lack specific and binding mechanisms to achieve those goals. Local activists seem to want to maintain a certain level of ignorance about state policy and politics, though some of them, I have heard, slip away to lobby state government. There is no direct “street” pressure on state government to do more on climate other than a general “anti-fossil fuel” message, which in Sacramento politics is at least the stated intention of many Democratic lawmakers. As I noted a recent piece of mine critical of the climate movement’s genteel approach to climate action, climate action is defined as saying “NO” to various fossil fuel industry practices (fracking, oil trains, and now coal trains) but leaving out mention of the fundamental switch, from fossil to non-fossil energy sources and government’s role therein. How to stop in the most realistic and shortest time-frame California’s fossil fuel addictions in the areas of transport, heating and electricity generation are left mostly on a different “track” than the anti-fossil fuel industry message and the local dangers of oil or coal trains that captivate local activists. There is no public dialogue about further-going policies between Sacramento and the climate movement that involve HOW to transition to a non-fossil fuel dependent society; this is seemingly left to insiders or self-selected or hired policy wonks with the time and means to lobby government.