Bill McKibben, eco writer supreme, on signs of Climate Change.

Via elephant journal
on Apr 2, 2009
get elephant's newsletter

bill mckibben

Bill McKibben—along with Rick Fields, Chogyam Trungpa, Henry David Thoreau, Malcolm Gladwell, Dr. Reggie Ray, Pema Chodron, Michael Pollan—has a voice that’s able to jump out and grab your heart, meet your experience, and change your mind.

Here he—in one paragraph—managed to connect with me about Climate Change, a subject I read about every day, a subject I’m overwhelmed and jaded about…and re-inspire me with a sense of purpose and can-do.

So, I thought I’d pass along his words:


…we screwed up that excuse last November. With the advent of the Obama administration , there was suddenly at least the possibility of real change. It’s populated by people who believe in science, who think about the future instead of obsessing over the past, and who even believe in working with other countries.

But it would be utterly foolish to imagine they can do what they need to do by themselves.

For one thing, the scale of change required is so massive it must frighten even Barack. Look, in the last couple of years the science has been unremittingly dark. We now know that global warming is not a future problem—that it’s crashing over our heads right now. We know that from the evidence around us: the melting Arctic ice, the rapidly dying forests of the north, the spike in methane releases from beneath the tundra. And we know it from our best scientists: James Hansen and his team at NASA have said, unequivocally, that any concentration of carbon in the atmosphere greater than 350 parts per million is not compatible with the planet “on which civilization developed and to which life is adapted.” That’s Not Good News, since the current level is 387 parts per million and rising. That’s Not Good News because it means that we need to move very, very fast—Hansen’s data indicates that if the planet hasn’t stopped burning coalby 2030, we’ll overwhelm the planet’s systems and never get back where we need to go.

So we have a target—350 parts per million—and we have a political process, not only in this country, but internationally. It will culminate…

…for the whole article, go to Planet Green.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


One Response to “Bill McKibben, eco writer supreme, on signs of Climate Change.”

  1. […] actually trying to be of meaningful benefit. With signs of climate change everywhere, with said climate change largely effecting the poor and vulnerable, with the clock ticking…well I’m ready to […]