Who would have thought that the two most important climate developments of 2010 would, on the surface, have nothing to do with climate change? First, on Tuesday, Republican Scott Brown won the election in Massachusetts to fill Senator Kennedy’s former seat and became the “41st vote” against not only health care, but cap-and-trade legislation in Congress.
Today, in an even more important development, the Supreme Court overturned two precedents and swept aside a “century-old understanding” to allow corporate spending in elections. In the words of Barack Obama,
“With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”
That doesn’t sound good at all, does it? In a time when anti-corporate/anti-big bank fervor has never been higher, I think this decision is a watershed moment: not only a sign of how powerful our opposition is, but also an opportunity for the climate movement to think hard about how to tap into American’s mistrust of big-business and corporations to further a clean energy and climate agenda.
What do you think? Are we targeting big coal and big oil enough? Is an oppositional strategy the wrong way forward? How can we counter what will be a massive influx of special interest money in the 2010 elections? Or is this all a bunch of malarkey and we should really just go back to changing light bulbs?