Many of the same campuses and college endowments who were pressured back then to sever their financial ties to South Africa will be asked to do the same with the fossil fuel industry. McKibben also suggested that the next time ten thousand activists gather on a climate issue, it won't be at the White House, but at Exxon/Mobil's corporate headquarters in Dallas.
The tour will make only two of its stops below the Mason-Dixon Line, in Durham and Atlanta. It won't get within 600 miles of Mr. Tillerson's Exxon/Mobil HQ. For many oil-patch campuses, it's not so much that the schools are invested in fossil fuel companies, but the other way around. Oklahoma State University's T. Boone Pickens Stadium is not on the itinerary, nor is Wichita State's Charles Koch Arena. In other words, not all campuses will receive this message well.
In its dress rehearsal, the show had some ragged edges. But then again, McKibben isn't trying to draft an army to watch a Broadway production, he's trying to draft an army to keep Broadway from going under water.
And if you're modeling your incipient movement after the South African apartheid struggle, future shows might benefit from some audience diversity.
Apart from video appearance s by Archbishop Tutu and Greenpeace's Kumi Naidoo, and a brief speech from an ethnic Indian Vermont state legislator, the crowd appeared to this observer to be, like Vermont itself, nearly all white.
Whatever its color, however, the crowd was ready to be led. McKibben, acknowledging that he was "twice the age" of his audience and his staff, looked up to the task.
This article originally appeared at The Daily Climate, the climate change news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.