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Death Threats Are the Price You Pay for Environmental Activism

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Bill McKibben



Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
The most important story you are likely to read this month--and perhaps for many months to come--is a profile of author and environmental activist Bill McKibben in the current issue of Time magazine.
Why is the article so important? It provides two chunks of information that neatly sum up the challenge we face with global climate change. Part of the challenge, believe or not, involves death threats.
Climate change is, to borrow a phrase from Saddam Hussein, "the mother of all issues." If we don't get that one right, all other issues are not going to matter. And that's because we won't have an earth capable of supporting much in the way of life.
The McKibben article, on the surface, is about his efforts to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, which would move oil-sands crude from Canada to refineries in the United States. But it goes much deeper than that, providing two pieces of jaw-dropping information that give us about all we really need to know about the battle over climate change.
The first comes after reporter Bryan Walsh tells us about McKibben's 2006 efforts to organize a demonstration calling for carbon cuts. Writes Walsh:

Soon after, McKibben learned from NASA climatologist James Hansen about new research indicating that the world needed to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide at 350 parts per million (p.p.m.) to avoid dangerous climate change. (We're already at 392 p.p.m. and counting.) Atmospheric carbon concentration hardly makes for catchy protest slogans, but McKibben saw the number 350 as a clarion call, comprehensible to a global audience without translation. His Internet-savvy friends helped him take the idea worldwide. In October 2009, 350.org organized more than 15,000 rallies in 180 countries. It was likely the biggest mass rally in history.

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
 

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 a phrase from Saddam Hussein, "the mother of... by Daniel Geery on Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 10:36:28 AM