The vision Co.Exist has for the world—clean energy, lifting up the developing world, an inclusive and equitable economy (or even a basic income)—was never going to be easy. It moved haltingly under an Obama presidency, and that would have continued under Clinton. The world is full of entrenched interests that want to preserve what they have now with no thought for what it means for the future.
But now those interests have far more power, and the fight for all of them has become exponentially harder. What will become of the Paris agreement, the Keystone and DAPL pipelines, the Fight for 15, or any other vitally important project? We certainly will take steps backward at a time when we cannot afford to do so. Many lives will be ruined, there is no way around that. There is some small solace in the fact that we know that cities are more important and powerful than ever—and their forward-looking policies on energy, transportation, and diversity can continue in the face of an ungenerous and backwards federal government and will be some offset against what is to come. And in the fact that technological progress will continue moving at such a pace that it may outstrip the ability of a reactionary government to stop it.
As I lay in bed last night, I thought seriously that it might be time to shut this site down, because how do our stories about inventions and interventions to make the world better sit in light of a world that clearly isn’t interested in doing that? I don’t have anything inspirational to say about how I changed my mind, about how we must work even harder now (we always had to work as hard as possible) or how this must just inspire us (it is not at all inspiring). I can’t say anything but that there are hard days ahead for everyone, and what else is there to do but to do the work?