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The climate movement tends to talk about “theories of change” rather than “theories of power.” But if you think about power — who has it, what are its mechanisms, how can it be used — then government looms large. Government is more than one-third of the economy; its judicial and regulatory apparatus touches everything; the private sector depends almost entirely on the infrastructure of the public sector; and during times of crisis the state is private industry’s life-support system.
When pondering mechanisms that the climate movement might use to maximize its impact in the short time still available, consider this: The federal government could,without any new laws, significantly restrict both the supply of, and demand for, fossil fuels. In other words, if the climate movement is serious about controlling Big Carbon it needs to get serious about Big Government.