On the one hand, the world is telling the United States that without its leadership there can be no effective global action on climate change. On the other hand, the U.S. political process remains captive to the machinations of a handful of Republican anarchists whose only goal is to obstruct, delay, and deny.
Anarchists force social change by attacking the ability of institutions to provide social order. The Republican Party is seeking change (or no change) by willfully refusing to play its part in the democratic process. They have no plan other than being opposed to everything. Climate change is but one of the many problems being held hostage to these shenanigans.
I hope that the worst case scenarios of climate change do not unfold. I really do. But if the worst or even the near worst happens, then I hope that history is unsparing in its condemnation of the foolish actions of a foolish few who had the chance to do something and who in their hubris decided that nothing was better than something, that failure was better than success, that the next election was more important than the next generation.
This essay first appeared in PlanetRestart.org.