The two-plus year battle over the Keystone XL pipeline has illuminated the Obama presidency like no other issue. It offers the president not just a choice of policies, but a choice of friends, worldviews, styles.
“I didn’t particularly want to lead a movement, but I wanted to join one, and so I helped to build it,” writes environmental activist Bill McKibben in his memoir, “Oil and Honey,” an endearing account of his reluctant rise to leadership.
If you take the long view, you’ll see how startlingly, how unexpectedly but regularly things change. Not by magic, but by the incremental effect of countless acts of courage, love and commitment, the small drops that wear away stones and carve new landscapes, and sometimes by torrents of popular will that change the world suddenly.