The web is full of references to a Mahatma Gandhi quote:
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
This line gives solace to people working on obscure or seemingly hopeless endeavors, wondering if the entrenched incumbent systems will ever give way.
After reading Andrew Leonard's latest post to "How the World Works," about a ridiculous US Chamber of Commerce advertisement trying to scare people away from supporting a relatively mild carbon regulation (the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill) (PDF), however, it strikes me that the reverse is true for those entrenched incumbents.
For those in power unwilling to accept change, the pathway is:
First they fight you, then they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then you lose.
As Leonard's post demonstrates, as we work against the powers-that-be that seek to avoid any effort to head off climate disaster, we've now moved solidly into the second stage of this path.