SXSWi: Building a Worldwide Climate Movement

Bill McKibben Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy, spoke. He apologized for just having a talk, no slides or electrons of any sort.

He talked about how we used to measure things in parts per million of carbon in the air. The planet is finely balanced and even a few parts per million make a big change. The situation has grown worse and worse until we are now in a period of fear. Rapid melting of arctic sea ice was the thing that really brought the whole problem to the stage of fear.

The data is off the charts. We are in literal hot water at this point. He described water pouring off glaciers like Niagara Falls. The stakes are a rise of 5 or 6 meters in sea level.

If we take the stress of the system by stopping pouring carbon into the system, we can bring it down to a safe level. We need to get to the safe zone quickly.

We need to shake off the inertia and stop letting money interst create the leadership. There hasn’t been the needed coordinated political movement we need. He is trying to get such a movement going. This launched a nationwide event. 1400 demonstrations. There’s now a bill to reduce carbon emisions 70% by 2050. Screw in the new light bulb and then screw in the new Senator.

Launching now: Hope to focus public opinion on tough target: 350 Parts Per Million. They need help and creativity in an open source fashion. They need hundreds and thousands of ways to make 350 real in the real world. Do anything to draw attention to this number. He’s asking for your help. Send him ideas. Take action. Quickly.

He opened it up for questions.


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