by Ryan Wishart and R. Jamil Jonna (authors are doctoral students in Sociology at the University of Oregon).
Two years ago we went into Power Shift with a lot of hope. The keynote speakers gave passionate addresses praising the youth uprising in the tradition of past social movements. Government figures that spoke pledged to fight alongside the audience assembled.
Looking back its clear we were overly optimistic. Some of what appeared to be the most promising developments remain tragically unattained. The modest steps taken by Lisa Jackson towards enforcing clean air and water laws has left the EPA under siege by lawmakers. Despite the meager resources a very centrist policy agenda, Van Jones came under vicious attack—predictably for the most progressive insights he offered at Power Shift ’09—and stepped down. Hopeful projects, like the creation of a new civilian conservation corps by Ken Salazar, turned out to be a farce all along. As had been predicted before PS09, the few thousand jobs for youth amounted to political cover for Salazar’s handouts to big energy, with fire sales of the public resources opening the door for the extraction of hundreds of millions of tons of coal. Continue reading ‘Power Shift: To Whom and From Whom Pt3′