In this time of mourning and fear, Americans are reconsidering
what parts of our national agenda are truly important to us. In
Grist Magazine, environmental writer Keith Schneider
interviews environmental activists, writers, and leaders, and finds
a mood of cautious optimism. Many believe that this time of
introspection may bring unique opportunities for the progressive
Ben Beach of Wilderness Society believes that 'there's a good chance that we'll see a new national resolve to use energy more efficiently and develop sources that are not vulnerable to mad acts of terrorists.' James Kunstler, noted lecturer and author, hopes that people will now be compelled to live more locally. Unique coalitions are also forming to invest in improving the nation's transportation systems and relieving congestion.
Progressive leaders speculate that the will to build a more just and environmentally safe future may have even been strengthened since the attacks. Author Bill McKibben points out that the United States, having called on other nations for support, can no longer ignore invitations to participate with their allies in international environmental treaties.
Many would agree with Bob Schaeffer that 'the terror attacks have been a grim reminder of the importance of the public sector in preserving the services the nation most values.' Still, it is now more important than ever that environmental and progressive groups keep their focus and push their agendas even harder.