By all accounts, it was the President’s pollsters who insisted on this strange talk about the environment. They are desperately afraid that they are losing independents who have come to fear the physical future that climate change is imposing. That means that the school strikers and the divestment campaigners and the pipeline protesters and the marching scientists have carried the debate.

It’s profoundly important that activists keep the pressure on other power centers, too: on state and local governments, and on the financial institutions that keep the fossil-fuel industry afloat.