February 8, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Bill McKibben: Ahead of Keystone XL Rally, Fossil Fuel
Divestment Expands Across U.S. Campuses
AARON MATÉ: In recent months, college students at over 200 campuses have begun pushing administrators to divest from fossil fuel companies. On Tuesday, Sterling College in Vermont announced it will soon become the third college in the U.S. to divest its endowment from 200 fossil fuel companies identified by the environmental group 350.org . Unity College in Maine and Hampshire College in Massachusetts were the first two schools to divest.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we’re joined by 350.org’s founder, Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Last June, he wrote an influential article for Rolling Stone called “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.” It went viral.
Welcome back to Democracy Now! You’re just coming from Cooper Union last night, where the place was packed, this historic building where President Lincoln spoke—talking about what?
BILL McKIBBEN: Well, talking about this burgeoning divestment movement. It’s been kind of amazing to watch in the last six weeks as the number of campuses has mushroomed to the point—at 234 campuses now. The Nation said last week that this may be the largest student movement in several decades. In one sense, it came very quickly out of nowhere. In another sense, you know, last year was the hottest year we’ve ever seen in America. We watched the drought, we watched Sandy. I think it’s no surprise, really, that young people are starting to say, “We’ve got to spend another 60, 70 years on this planet. We better do something fast.” And that something means standing up to the fossil fuel industry that’s been in the way of rational change for a quarter-century now.
AMY GOODMAN: What do mean by divest from fossil fuel companies? Which companies are you targeting?
BILL McKIBBEN: We have a list of 200 companies with the largest carbon reserves in the world. The argument that was in that Rolling Stone piece, and in a sort of tour that we did around the country all fall about it, was that these companies now have—this industry has five times as much carbon in its reserves as the most conservative scientists on earth says would be safe to burn. Once you know the numbers, there’s no longer any sort of doubt about how this story comes out: Unless we rewrite the script, if we follow their business plan, the planet tanks.
That’s why there is this upsurge, not only around divestment, but around things like the fight against the Keystone pipeline. You know, we’re going back to Washington for the biggest climate rally probably ever in this country a week from Sunday on the Mall in D.C. It’s—it’s coming up fast, and it’s got to come up fast, this movement, because unlike other problems we face, there’s a time limit on this one. If we don’t get it right soon, then we don’t get it right at all.
AMY GOODMAN: What’s Obama going to do around Keystone XL? He put off the decision, said he would put it off ’til after the election. That’s come. He said now spring. What do you believe will happen?
BILL McKIBBEN: I believe what will happen will depend entirely on what kind of movement we build. My sense of Washington is that when you push, sometimes things happen. It took 1,253 people going to jail, the largest civil disobedience action in 30 years, to slow down this northern portion of the Keystone pipeline. It’s going to take a real effort to stop it. But that real effort is being made by people in all 50 states and by our brothers and sisters in Canada. It’s been exciting to watch over these last 15 months. Something’s building. I’m not certain that it’s building fast enough to catch up with the physics of climate change. But watching those campuses, watching those kids, it’s awfully exciting.
AARON MATÉ: So, Obama has now delayed his decision twice. Do you think that’s linked to these protests that you’ve been involved in?
BILL McKIBBEN: I think everyone—as Van Jones said the other day, this was a done deal 18 months ago. We’ve managed to make it come undone for a while and, in the process, kept 400 million barrels of oil in the ground that would otherwise have gone out. So, that’s, you know, worth going to jail for, but it’s not going to stop global warming. We’ve actually got to start leaving carbon permanently in the ground.
AMY GOODMAN: We only have 10 seconds. What’s the plan for February 17th, this rally in Washington?
BILL McKIBBEN: It’s going to be exciting. And if you go to “forward on climate ,” you’ll find out all the logistical details.
AMY GOODMAN: Bill McKibben, I want to thank you for being with us, co-founder and director of 350.org , author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.
Published on Alternet (http://www.alternet.org)
February 1, 2013 § 1 Comment
November 19, 2012 § 1 Comment
July 28, 2012 § Leave a Comment
We pause to deeply connect with our home
pax christi florida’s spring 2012 retreat led by sister paula gonzalez-
wide-awake energized, long-time activist for our mother
proffered solutions revolve around THE EARTH CHARTER -globally given, universally inclusive, action poised.
we thank our gracious hosts at dayspring episcopal conference center on the north bank of the manatee river just outside bradenton on florida’s gulf coast, “a sacred place . . . to enrich & empower all people in christ.” its pristine 92-acre nature preserve filled us with inspiration & gratitude for the gift of our planet.
all scenes included in this video were given to my lens at dayspring except for sunrise photos from the other side of central florida outside sanford, on the south shore of lake monroe along my regular bike loop.
June 20, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Will there be an opening for us ???
A. it’s not complicated, world leaders
but take a look at what’s ahead if you continue to shutter your windows . . .
B. JOHN VIDAL IN THE GUARDIAN looks at this summit next to its 1992 predecessor
- a not exactly flattering comparison
C. A BRIGHTER VIEW of vision, cooperation, and transformation
D. OFFICIAL UN SITE, RIO+20
. . . believe your own eyes ?
. . . ready to act on what you see ?
May 24, 2012 § Leave a Comment
HOME: has to be the definitive statement on global warming. thank you YANN ARTHUS-BERTRAND & team. and thanks julia mader of RASAYANA COVE our unique healing ashram here in florida who finally just brought the placid-shattering documentary to my attention during a recent retreat.
after watching this preview click HERE to to take in the full 1.5-hour extravaganza. if you’re like me, it’ll take you more than a single sitting to take it all in. i advise you give it all the time it’s asking. and need i add, it’s best @ full-resolution, full-screen, and turn up those ancillary speakers!
going on 3 yrs now since its release; where’ve i been??
devastating, of course, but doesn’t just leave you there; simply too late to be a pessimist! as they put it. music – aerials – narration – silences all of highest caliber and orchestration together, nothing less than what our miraculous, embattled mother planet deserves. ties in everything you’ve already heard about our number one global crisis- and then some! talk about moved by mother!
the film appeared on june 5, 2009, world environment day, the first film ever to be released simultaneously in theaters – on tv – dvd – internet, free in 5 continents and 14 languages, the director giving up all copyright rights. YOU’LL WANT TO READ THE FILM’S WIKIPEDIA ENTRY
May 6, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Exposing deniers as the dying corp deperados they are
for the rest of us it’s abundantly clear: together’s found our strength & hope
thank you bill & co!
April 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Puts it together for the next 350.org global event 5/5/12
one succinct map to get us going
March 31, 2012 § 1 Comment
. . . Earth Hour!
let’s do it!
8:30 – 9:30 tonight, local time, around the globe
December 4, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Not alone in investing little hope in durban’s outcome
( save for the blessed, ubiquitous 99 ) . . .
DURBAN, South Africa (AP) — Yvo de Boer said he left his job as the U.N.’s top climate official in frustration 18 months ago, believing the process of negotiating a meaningful climate agreement was failing. His opinion hasn’t changed.
“I still have the same view of the process that led me to leave the process,” he told The Associated Press Sunday. “I’m still deeply concerned about where it’s going, or rather where it’s not going, about the lack of progress.”
For three years until 2010, the Dutch civil servant was the leading voice on global warming on the world stage. He appeared constantly in public to advocate green policies, traveled endlessly for private meetings with top leaders and labored with negotiators seeking ways to finesse snags in drafting agreements.
In the end he felt he “wasn’t really able to contribute as I should be to the process,” he said.
Today he can take a long view on his years as a Dutch negotiator in the 1990s and later as a senior U.N. official with access to the highest levels of government, business and civil society. He is able to voice criticisms he was reluctant to air when he was actively shepherding climate diplomacy.
Negotiators live “in a separate universe,” and the ongoing talks are “like a log that’s drifted away,” he said. Then, drawing another metaphor from his rich reservoir, he called the annual 194-nation conferences “a bit of a mouse wheel.”
De Boer spoke to the AP on the sidelines of the latest round of talks in this South African port city, which he is attending as a consultant for the international accounting firm KPMG.
Elsewhere in Durban Sunday, the South African host of the talks called for divine help at a climate change church service organized by the South African Council of Churches.
“We needed to pray for (an) acceptable, balanced outcome, that has a sense of urgency,” said Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who as South Africa’s foreign minister is president of the Durban round of negotiations. Priests laid their hands on her head in blessing during the service.
De Boer said world leaders have failed to become deeply engaged in efforts to reach an international accord to control greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming. In recent years, their inattention has been compounded by their preoccupation with the economic and Eurozone crises.
Negotiators have been at the job so long — since the 1992 climate convention — that they have lost touch with the real world, he said. But it wasn’t their fault.
“I completely understand that it is very difficult for a negotiator to move if you haven’t been given a political sense of direction and the political space to move,” he said, chatting on a hilltop terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Rather than act in their own national interests, many leaders look to see what others are willing — or unwilling — to concede.
“You’ve got a bunch of international leaders sitting 85 stories up on the edge of a building saying to each other, you jump first and I’ll follow. And there is understandably a reluctance to be the first one to jump,” he said.
The 2009 Copenhagen summit was a breaking point. Expectations soared that the conference would produce an accord setting firm rules for bringing down global carbon emissions. When delegates fell short, hopes remained high that President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, most of Europe’s heads of government and more than 100 other top leaders would save the day at the last minute.
De Boer said he spent the last 24 hours of the summit in “a very small and very smelly room” with about 20 prime ministers and presidents, but the time was not ripe for the hoped-for international treaty.
Obama still hoped to push domestic legislation through the Senate, and any prior commitment to a U.N. treaty would have killed his chances. The bill died anyway. China and India, too, were not ready in Copenhagen to accept internationally binding limits on their emissions.
Many Americans, he said, have still not bought into the “green story,” he said. In the meantime, the U.S. is losing a competitive edge against China, which is investing heavily to shift the course of its economy — from which it will benefit regardless of the global warming issue, he said.
Despite their failures, De Boer said he thought most leaders sincerely want a deal on climate change.
“I do not see the negotiating process being able to rise to that challenge, being capable of delivering on that,” he said. “I believe the sincerity on the part of world leaders is there, but it’s almost as though they do not have control of the process that’s suppose to take them there.”