Skip to main content

    McKibben is the man who wrote that article in Rolling Stone warning that fossil fuel industry math is going to cook the planet. They have billions and billions of dollars in fossil fuels still in the ground. If it stays there, that's money they don't make; if they succeed in getting us to buy and burn it, that will push us over the edge on climate change. Way over the edge.

   Albany, NY weekly alternative news Metroland carried an interview with McKibben this week. Calling it a must read is a bit like saying you ought to listen to that smoke detector fire alarm going off in your house if you get a chance....

More below the Orange Omnilepticon.

  The interview in Metroland by Mark Maximov is short enough that excerpting it here is almost a wast of time. Follow the link, find out the reaction to McKibben's article in Rolling Stone, and the effort that's being organized to tackle climate change by targeting those who stand to profit by literally cooking the planet. The "Do the Math Tour" is heading out to spread the word about the critical numbers we can't afford to ignore: how much carbon we can stand to burn, how much warming we're already going to get, and how much time is left to act.

We’re hitting the road to jumpstart a new movement.

It’s simple math: we can burn 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Fossil fuel corporations now have 2,795 gigatons in their reserves, five times the safe amount. And they’re planning to burn it all — unless we rise up to stop them.

This November, Bill McKibben and are hitting the road to build the movement that will change the terrifying math of the climate crisis.

The interview with Maximov has this to say about where McKibben is coming from on this, and why:
The real point of it all, the reason we’re doing it the night after the election no matter who wins, is our sense is that the time has come to stop spending all our effort trying to reach our political leaders and instead reach the people who are really in charge of things, the fossil-fuel industry. I wrote a piece for Rolling Stone this summer that went oddly viral, became one of the most shared pieces. And it laid out the mathematics behind the fact that, really, the fossil-fuel industry is turning into a kind of rogue industry at this point, doing enormous damage. They have in their reserves about five times the amount of carbon than even the most conservative government thinks would be safe to burn. So, as Desmond Tutu says in a video that he put together for this road show, after the fight against apartheid, this is the next great moral issue for the planet, and we need to bring some of the same kinds of tools to bear. One of the things we’ll be doing is trying to launch divestment campaigns on college campuses across America to get those institutions to get rid of their stock in fossil-fuel companies.
While there is bipartisan acceptance in America that the private sector and market forces are wonderful things, the truth is that market forces are driving catastrophic climate change. By the time the consequences become too big to ignore, the highly profitable business of burning fossil fuels will have already pumped too many greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for the damage to be escapable. Market forces simply won't reflect reality fast enough to respond appropriately - but short term financial rewards will be working just fine. (As financiers say about long-term consequences, "IBGYBG - I'll Be Gone, You'll Be Gone.)

Right now our political system and the MSM is tied up solving imaginary problems (the fiscal cliff) while obsessing over Sexy Time and Love Pentagons, and fake scandals (the Benghazi non-coverup). Meanwhile the clock is ticking and vast amounts of money are at stake (profits by some, losses for ALL) so long as fossil fuels continue to be extracted and burned. Calculations show we are already faced with some unavoidable effects - and the scary thing is that past predictions have been wrong on the low side of disaster. Things keep getting worse faster than predicted.

Read the Metroland Interview, take a look at the Rolling Stone article if you haven't seen it yet, and go to to sign up and find out what you can do while there is still time.

Bonus Link. If you want to see some of the most incredibly stunning images of our home planet, along with some of the most horrendous things we're doing to it even now, and why the next ten years are absolutely critical in preserving the only known planet in the universe where humans can live, watch the video Home. It might be the most useful hour and a half you spend. It's a bit slow to get going, but the cumulative impact is palpable - rather like climate change in that regard. (If you'd like a DVD copy, you can get one through Amazon - it's an incredible resource if you want to do educational outreach.)

Originally posted to xaxnar on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 07:24 AM PST.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Climate Change SOS, Climate Hawks, and Community Spotlight.


Bill McKibben, climate change:

1%1 votes
1%1 votes
3%3 votes
15%14 votes
77%71 votes
1%1 votes
1%1 votes

| 92 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site