For a moment last fall, it felt like the “post-hope” era was coming to an end. Protesters in Egypt and Tunisia had won nonviolent revolutions, Occupy Wall Street offered us our own national rallying cry against the deep structural inequity threatening our democracy, and over 1,200 Americans took part in the biggest act of civil disobedience in the history of environmentalism. Maybe we’d all finally get off the internet and start directly confronting those things we’d been waiting for President Obama to fix for us since January 2009.
But then, as quickly as it began, it started to feel like it was over. Egypt’s revolution turned sour. Obama started waffling on Keystone. Occupy encampments all but disappeared. The Republican primaries came around and we watched in bemused horror as one climate-change-denying corporate stooge after the next pranced and preened for the opportunity to duke it out on live TV with our very own Disappointment in Chief.
Well, here’s the good news. Occupy is trying to make a comeback -- and those of us who are concerned about the climate have an opportunity to push the issue into the spotlight, a chance that we largely missed the last time around.