An environmental citizen today has to be concerned not just with such things as dirty water, hot oceans, and cruelly treated animals, but with the First Amendment. A healthy democracy is necessary for government to do its job addressing the problems we all face. Ignoring the fact that journalists represent the people tears connective tissue: the commitment to the whole that an American President is chosen to manifest. It is in the sense of a people made from everyone who happens to be here that we enjoy our freedoms. No citizen who wishes to be free of environmental disaster can afford to neglect the emotional energy that drives this cleavage with the American past, with our traditional source of pride, our Constitution. No would-be healer of divisions can ignore the opportunity to revive the spirit of civic duty that this moment presents, if many can be helped to recognize its meaning.
At the same time as this event, CSPAN was broadcasting without comment the Global Climate Action Summit held this summer in San Francisco. The lucky viewer who found the broadcast of this event saw something different. Not only was the forum packed with good news about how a climate-healthy economy could be quickly developed, but it demonstrated a culture of reason and a shared sense of constructive purpose. The viewer witnessed social fabric – national and international – being created through the acceptance and development of responsibility. Former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, now the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, explained that cities and others have taken America’s Pledge, (https://www.americaspledgeonclimate.com/), and are remaining faithful to the purpose of the Paris Accord. In a time of radical deregulation (See http://www.trunity.com/ec-blog/the-great-undoing), and the Administration’s withdrawal from Paris, America is still reducing greenhouse gas reductions. When protesters briefly took over the Moscone Center and prevented Bloomberg from speaking, shouting that the air is not for sale, he waited politely, and then agreed with them, and joked that in America you can have environmentalists protesting an environmental conference.