In short, the movement will continue to focus on combating climate change, formerly known as global warming, formerly known as the hockey stick, formerly known as global cooling, formerly known as “we’ll all die of CO2 poisoning by 1988″, etc. The movement is partially motivated in the present by the phrase “keep it in the ground” referring to fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas that must be extracted from the ground.
Democratic Presidential Candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders along with other Democrats have already introduced a bill into Congress for the purpose of banning any future leases for fossil fuel drilling on federal land and water. Given the Republican majority in Congress, it is unlikely the bill will reach the president’s desk, but it does demonstrate the intentions of the green movement to move the nation to “renewable fuels” whether the people or fuels are ready or not.
Said President Obama of the situation, ““I do think that that’s an area where the environmental movement, now that the door’s open, can keep pressing, keep finding a number of ways, whether it’s protests, whether it’s demanding changes in public land policy, whether it’s investor action or stock overseer action.”
Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, has said, “Most of the work on climate and energy over the past several decades has been on the demand side of the equation, making cars and trucks more clean, fighting pollution coming out of smokestacks. And now, there will be an expanded fight to complement that on the supply side, to prevent the extraction of fossil fuels right from the start.”
On the other side of the argument are groups like the American Petroleum Institute (API), who believe innovation and technology are the keys to fighting pollution and climate change. “It may be an inconvenient truth for ‘leave it in the ground’ activists, but fossil fuels and environmental progress are not, and never have been, mutually exclusive,” said the API’s president this week. “The fact is energy development has played and will continue to play a leading role in making the United States the world leader in emissions reductions.”
Lilia Fabry is the owner of MPP Freelance, a writing and web design firm in Houston, TX.