These Jo Freeman photos of the Rally and March Against Keystone XL Pipeline in Washington D.C. on Sunday demonstrate “what is to be done” by the left in Obama’s second term.
It is far from clear what Obama’s decision on the pipeline will be. A decision to go ahead would unarguably produce jobs, though for how long is in dispute. It would also likely lessen U.S. dependence on oil from the Middle East and Venezuela. It would certainly strengthen our relations with our major ally and neighbor, Canada. So the preemptive protest against Obama possible decision to support Keystone is well timed.
The attractive faces in the crowd with their creative signs, some witty, some mass produced, make clear that we face a profound problem, potentially critical of a possible decision, but amplifying the most surprising but also sensible points Obama made in his State of the Union Address:
“We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it’s too late.”
The President strengthened the significance and attention paid to this protest possible against himself. He certainly knew this would happen. But the interaction between decision and protest increases the likelihood that the U.S. will take its head out of the sand. We will debate the relative merits of Keystone, whether “carbon free, nuclear free” is possible or even desirable. But Obama will push forward at the very least with executive decisions, using an emerging consensus that “Climate Change: It’s Our Obligation.” “It’s time to cut carbon.”
“Mr. President: Forward ON Climate.” He has little choice, given the pressing realities, his stance on them and the public pushing him.