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Old hobbits die hard: Why pundits poo-poo the Keystone fight, and why they’re wrong

Last week, the political writer Jonathan Chait wrote a short piece for New York magazine titled “The Keystone Fight is a Huge Environmentalist Mistake.” Others have already well rebutted the argument and summarized the debate. What I would add is that Chait has provided us with an excellent example of what I have come to think of as One Ring syndrome. At a very deep level, we would like to think that unpleasantly large and murky political issues can be resolved by a single action or policy — preferably along the lines of throwing the one magic ring that controls all other magic rings back into Mount Doom from whence it was forged.

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On Sept 19, 2023 ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit in New York City, climate activists gathered for a rally and civil disobedience outside Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan as part of the March to End Fossil Fuels wave of actions resulting in multiple arrests. Activists demand Bank of America to “Defund Climate Chaos and Defend Human Rights” Photo: Erik McGregor (CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

Let’s Save Each Other

Let’s Save Each Other

Illustration by Stephanie McMillan. Used with permission