Bill McKibben: Get Angry at Corruption in Congress


Here’s environmentalist Bill McKibben at his best, pointing out that we should shelve the resentment and cynicism that we feel for corruption in Congress, and start to show how we truly feel: Angry. He writes, “We’ve reached the point where we’re unfazed by things that should shake us to the core.”

According to James Hansen, the government’s premier climate scientist, tapping Canada’s tar sands for the Keystone pipeline would, in the end, essentially mean “game over for the climate.” So how could Speaker of the House John Boehner insist that the Keystone approval decision be sped up? Well, he’s gotten $1,111,080 from the fossil-fuel industry during his tenure. His Senate counterpart Mitch McConnell, who shepherded the bill through his chamber, has raked in $1,277,208 in the course of his tenure in Washington.

McKibben refers to cynicism as “a sucker’s game.” Until we demonstrate how truly outraged we are, we’ll get exactly the degree of change we deserve: none. As Frederick Douglass reminds us, “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”



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