Year 2, Month 10, Day 14: Actually, He’d Rather Be Wrong

Deborah Erdley writes sympathetically in the Pittsburgh Tribune about a recent visit from Bill McKibben:

McKibben, who penned “The End of Nature” in 1989, one of the first books on the threat of climate change, acknowledged his growing fears and hopes for the future as he spoke to a group of several hundred college activists from across the nation at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s national conference on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Ticking off events ranging from summer’s Texas wildfires to a 129-degree daytime temperature record in Pakistan to floods that devastated New England following record rainfall last month, McKibben told the group gathered in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown, that climate change is “pinching harder and faster” than anyone imagined 20 years ago.

“You guys are incredibly important. … You may be more important than you know,” McKibben said, noting that seven college students helped him start, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009.

It’s fun to skewer morons. It’s also fun to give praise where and when it’s due. Sent October 10:

Bill McKibben’s long advocacy on behalf of our collective future has never been as relevant as it is today. As global climate change continues to trigger new extremes in weather all over the planet, the necessity for our civilization to reduce atmospheric CO2 can no longer be denied.

And yet constructive approaches to this emergency are rejected and mocked by a substantial portion of our citizenship; even the existence of the climate crisis is disputed by professional denialists in the pay of the oil and coal industries. Their voices, amplified by the mass media, have given cover to politicians who wish to avoid disturbing a lucrative status quo.

Our government’s inability to respond points to a systemic failure: the political system is prevented from focusing on genuine problems by the short-sightedness of its corporate masters. Bill McKibben is one of the few contemporary thinkers to make these connections explicit. Thank you for a carefully crafted and sympathetic article on a man whom future generations will regard as a hero of our times.

Warren Senders

14 Oct 2011, 11:43am
by Guru Amembal



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