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Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books, including The End of Nature and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. A former staff writer for The New Yorker, he writes regularly for Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Review of Books, among other publications. In April 2007, he organized the Step It Up National Day of Climate Action, one of the largest global warming protests to date. Most recently, he has co-founder of 350.org, an international grassroots campaign that aims to mobilize a global climate movement united by a common call to action. He is a scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, and lives in Vermont with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, and their daughter.
(6 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 24, 2017 The Movement to Divest from Fossil Fuels Gains Momentum
It's not that the fossil-fuel industry will go bankrupt overnight; its supporters, including Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, will give it all the love they can. But the shift in the Zeitgeist has been dramatic.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 12, 2017 We're not even close to being prepared for the rising waters
For the 10,000 years of human civilization, we've been blessed with a relatively stable climate, and hence flooding has been an exceptional terror. As that blessing comes to an end with our reckless heating of the planet, the exceptional is becoming all too normal, as residents of Houston and South Florida and Puerto Rico found out already this fall.
(7 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 12, 2013 Idle No More, Think Occupy With Deeper Roots
I don't claim to know exactly what's going on with #IdleNoMore, the surging movement of indigenous activists that started late last year in Canada and is now spreading across the continent -- much of the action, from hunger strikes to road and rail blockades, is in scattered and remote places, and even as people around the world plan for solidarity actions on Friday.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 29, 2016 Why Dakota Is the New Keystone
Those heroes on the Standing Rock reservation, sometimes on horseback, have peacefully stood up to police dogs, pepper spray and the bizarre-looking militarized tanks and SWAT teams that are the stuff of modern policing. In coming weeks, activists will respond by gathering at the offices of banks funding the pipeline, and at the offices of the Army Corps of Engineers, for protest and civil disobedience.
(11 comments) SHARE Friday, July 20, 2012 Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
We're in the same position we've been in for a quarter-century: scientific warning followed by political inaction. Among scientists speaking off the record, disgusted candor is the rule. One senior scientist told me, "You know those new cigarette packs, where governments make them put a picture of someone with a hole in their throats? Gas pumps should have something like that."
(8 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 2, 2015 Why the Planet Is Happy That Bernie Sanders Is Running for President
Bernie Sanders isn't really running against Hillary Clinton. He's running against the Koch Brothers, the richest men on earth. They'll spend at least $900 million on the next election, and if Bernie Sanders catches fire they'll spend far more than that--because he's got their number. They know, in their heart of hearts, that there's two of them and hundreds of millions of us, and that's got to be a little scary.
SHARE Wednesday, March 11, 2015 Climate fight won't wait for Paris: vive la resistance
if politicians want to lead, they need to stop new fossil fuel development now. A piece of paper explaining what should happen 20 years from now is easier for them to sell, but atmospheric chemistry is unimpressed. Hilary Clinton, to name one example, says the right things about the dangers of climate change, but she's backed Keystone from the start -- a pointless combination.
(18 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 16, 2018 Big Oil CEOs needed a climate change reality check. The pope delivered
It's odd to have the pope schooling energy executives on the math of carbon. But actually, no odder than NFL quarterbacks schooling politicians on racial injustice, or high school kids schooling a nation on the danger of guns. Good common sense speaks even more loudly when it comes from unexpected corners.
(6 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 4, 2015 The Guardian Divests $1.2 Billion Fund From Fossil Fuels
When the roll of honor for action on climate change is someday called, The Guardian's name will be high on the list. They've taken a bold step in joining the fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground, both through their journalism and their own investments.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, November 24, 2018 A Very Grim Forecast
We're running out of options, and we're running out of decades. Over and over we've gotten scientific wake-up calls, and over and over we've hit the snooze button. If we keep doing that, climate change will no longer be a problem, because calling something a problem implies there's still a solution.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 10, 2014 We Want People to Change Their Minds
Word came recently that both the Philadelphia Quakers and the Unitarian General Assembly have decided to divest from fossil fuels. These historic institutions were helping to transform the political and moral landscape, redefining for our time what's right and wrong. Destroying the climate, they were saying, is incompatible with our evolving ethical sense.
(13 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 9, 2012 Clinton's Environmental Failure
It's been one of Washington's worst-kept secrets that Clinton wants the pipeline approved. And why not? Its builder, TransCanada, hired her old deputy campaign manager as its chief lobbyist and gave lobbying contracts to several of her big bundlers. Her rumored successor is just as involved -- Susan Rice has millions in stock in TransCanada and other Canadian energy companies.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 9, 2015 The Next Decade Will Decide What the World Looks Like for Thousands of Decades to Come
The next decade is decisive because trajectory counts for so much; if we bend it now, we may slide the car to a halt with just the front tires hanging off the cliff. But if we sail on for a few more years, it's pretty clear we're fast and furiously going airborne -- that's what happens when, say, Arctic permafrost starts to melt in earnest, releasing clouds of methane.
(7 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 23, 2017 Is the Democratic party with the resistance? This weekend might tell
Perez is from the ruling wing, the institutional party. He is closely identified with Barack Obama, who he worked for, and Hillary Clinton, who he supported. Ellison is from the movement wing. He is closely identified with Bernie Sanders. Indeed, he was one of the few members of Congress who actively supported his insurgent candidacy.
(4 comments) SHARE Sunday, September 20, 2015 What Exxon Knew About Climate Change
Exxon didn't just "know" about climate change: it conducted some of the original research. In the nineteen-seventies and eighties, the company employed top scientists who worked side by side with university researchers and the Department of Energy, even outfitting one of the company's tankers with special sensors and sending it on a cruise to gather CO2 readings over the ocean.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, July 3, 2015 5 Reasons Environmentalists Distrust Hillary Clinton
The banks backing Keystone, just to give one small example, have been regular and enormous patrons. It's not illegal, any of it, and it's not quite the same as the way the Koch brothers simply purchased the GOP, but it's not far enough away, either. Influence is ... influence.
(13 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 30, 2016 Bill McKibben: The Real Work Begins Nov. 9
Our job is not to elect a savior. Our job is to elect someone we can effectively pressure. And as tough as the work of this election will be--the real work starts on Wednesday, Nov. 9. That's how it seems to me, anyway. There's plenty to be scared of this election season and plenty to hope for. And most of all there's plenty of work to be done.
SHARE Thursday, September 18, 2014 Two Silences and a Big Loud Noise at the People's Climate March
For 25 years scientists have been explaining with careful precision the depth of our crisis. For 25 years economists and policy wonks have been explaining the various ways out of this crisis. And for 25 years they've been drowned out by the sound of money, a sound that has blocked the ears of our presidents and prime ministers and politburos.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, November 3, 2014 The IPCC is stern on climate change -- but it still underestimates the situation
Breaking the power of the fossil fuel industry won't be easy, especially since it has to happen fast. It has to happen, in fact, before the carbon we've unleashed into the atmosphere breaks the planet. I'm not certain we'll win this fight -- but, thanks to the IPCC, no one will ever be able to say they weren't warned.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 18, 2013 Obama and Climate Change: The Real Story
Should Obama do the right thing on Keystone XL, a decision expected sometime in the next six months, he'll at least be able to tell other world leaders, "See, I've stopped a big project on climate grounds." That could, if he used real diplomatic pressure, help restart the international talks he has let lapse. He's got a few chances left to show some leadership.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, December 1, 2017 Winning Slowly Is the Same as Losing
By 2075 the world will be powered by solar panels and windmills -- free energy is a hard business proposition to beat. But on current trajectories, they'll light up a busted planet. The decisions we make in 2075 won't matter; indeed, the decisions we make in 2025 will matter much less than the ones we make in the next few years. The leverage is now.
(17 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 24, 2017 With the Rise of Trump, Is It Game Over for the Climate Fight?
That galloping momentum of warming scares me. It should scare everyone; for a decade now it has threatened to take this crisis beyond the reach of politics. To catch up with the physics of climate change we'd need a truly stunning commitment to change, an all-out, planet-wide decision to push as hard as we've ever pushed to spread clean energy and shut down the dirty stuff.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 18, 2018 How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet
In 1988, George H. W. Bush, running for President, promised that he would fight "the greenhouse effect with the White House effect." He did not, nor did his successors, nor did their peers in seats of power around the world, and so in the intervening decades what was a theoretical threat has become a fierce daily reality.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, March 15, 2019 A Future Without Fossil Fuels?
Imagine a world in which the greatest driver of climate change -- the unrelenting political power of the fossil-fuel industry -- had begun to shrink. The question, of course, is whether we can reach that new world in time.
SHARE Saturday, August 17, 2019 Don't Burn Trees To Fight Climate Change -- Let Them Grow
The main way in which the world employs trees to fight climate change is by cutting them down and burning them. Across much of Europe, countries and utilities are meeting their carbon-reduction targets by importing wood pellets from the southeastern United States and burning them in place of coal: giant ships keep up a steady flow of wood across the Atlantic.
(7 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 2, 2013 Keystone XL: A Choice Between Big Oil or a Sustainable Planet
With Secretary of State John Kerry half a world away and D.C. focused on the budget fight, the State Department released a new environmental impact statement for the pipeline. Like the last such report, it found that approving an 800,000 barrel-a-day fuse to one of the planet's biggest carbon bombs was "unlikely to have a substantial impact" on the tar sands or the climate.
(8 comments) SHARE Saturday, December 3, 2016 How to save the planet from President Trump
We may have to live in a hot world, but we don't have to live in a jackbooted one, and the more community we can preserve, the more resilient our communities will be. It's hard not to despair -- but then, it wasn't all that easy to be realistically hopeful about our climate even before Trump. This has always been a battle against great odds. They're just steeper now.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 15, 2015 Exxon's climate lie: "No corporation has ever done anything this big or bad"
It seems crucial simply to say, for the record, the truth: this company had the singular capacity to change the course of world history for the better and instead it changed that course for the infinitely worse. In its greed Exxon helped -- more than any other institution -- to kill our planet.
SHARE Friday, August 8, 2014 Stand Up and March: You Are the People's Climate Movement
It's been a nasty year in a lot of ways. We learned in April that the great ice sheets of the Antarctic have begun to melt. We've watched as huge wildfires have spread smoke across the continent. And we've seen the Koch brothers double down on their spending to control our politics. Which means the choice is ours.
(6 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 17, 2019 How to Tell If Beto O'Rourke Is for Real: A Green New Deal and Natural Gas
Texas has the second-largest economy in the country; oil and gas are still the state's largest industries. For employees of those companies, who, in 2018, contributed more money to O'Rourke's campaign than to that of any other member of Congress except Cruz (it's Texas, after all), natural-gas production is a way to extend their livelihoods for a few more decades.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, December 5, 2020 The Climate Debt the U.S. Owes the World
Warm temperatures in the Arctic are disrupting the atmospheric and oceanic currents, which for 10 thousand years reliably drove stable climate patterns. Driven by temperature differentials, atmospheric currents with altered speed and patterns impact climate-for example, the duration and intensity of droughts in North America.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, November 2, 2018 Big Oil is sloshing a crude tsunami across the country
The Colorado initiative is modest to a fault: It wouldn't ban fracking, like New York, but instead merely restrict it to more than 2,500 feet from people's homes and schools. And yet the oil industry has pumped in $38 million so far -- the same amount of money that drew gasps when Beto O'Rourke announced he'd raised it in the last stage of his Senate bid.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 10, 2019 The Climate Movement: What's Next?
At a moment when the climate emergency has become obvious and pressing, we might begin to pivot. If we do, we could progress very far very fast, especially if the climate movement forges alliances with other movements. The extremely rapid fall in the price of renewable energy and electric storage is one indication that the necessary conditions for rapid change are now in place.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 23, 2017 Renewable Energy -- 100 Percent Solution
the Trump administration is threatening to impose massive tariffs on solar panels coming into the United States. This could dramatically drive up the price of new U.S. solar installations, and two-thirds of the new arrays expected to come online over the next five years might never be built. The political battle for renewables will be hard-fought.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 28, 2016 The Clinton Campaign Is Obstructing Change to the Democratic Platform
The Sanders campaign has been about issues, issues, issues. I mean, the guy gives 90-minute speeches every day that are entirely about actual things that need to change. It seems weird in an American political context, which is normally about posturing and spin, but for many of us it's refreshing.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 17, 2019 Bill McKibben: Climate Change Is Scary -- Not the Green New Deal
It's very clear that conservatives have one plan for dealing with the popularity of the Green New Deal: scaring the hell out of people. And it's very clear that they have one big problem: The hell they're building through inaction is a lot scarier than "upgrading all existing buildings."
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 8, 2020 What Can the Coronavirus Teach Us?
Things can go very, very wrong, and very, very quickly. That's precisely what scientists have been telling us for decades now about the climate crisis, and it's what people have learned, from Australia to California, Puerto Rico, and everywhere that flood and fire has broken out.
(4 comments) SHARE Sunday, April 22, 2018 100% Renewable Energy is Within Our Reach
We can't have a working nation or a world if we don't stop the climate from careening out of control. That's been clear for decades now, but what's been less clear is precisely what we should do about it. We have to switch off of coal, oil, and gas, and onto 100% wind, water, and sun energy sources.
SHARE Sunday, June 14, 2020 A Guy Named Craig May Soon Have Control Over a Large Swath of Utah
Joe Biden has promised, repeatedly, that, if elected President, he would end new leasing on federal lands for oil, gas, and coal. As he said during a primary debate in March, "No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period."
(8 comments) SHARE Monday, May 21, 2018 Hit Fossil Fuels Where It Hurts -- the Bottom Line
The oil industry is slowly being cornered, like the tobacco industry before it. Just as they once promised to go "Smoke Free," towns across the country are now pledging to go "Fossil Free," banning new fossil-fuel projects and committing to 100 percent renewable energy for all.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, February 3, 2018 We can battle climate change without Washington DC. Here's how
The strategy that's been evolving for US climate action -- and for action in many other parts of the planet -- bypasses the central governments as much as possible. That's because the oil industry is strongest in national capitals -- that's where its money is most toxically powerful. But if frontal attack is therefore hard, its flanks are wide open. This fight is going aggressively local, and fast.
(7 comments) SHARE Monday, August 15, 2016 A World At War
By most of the ways we measure wars, climate change is the real deal: Carbon and methane are seizing physical territory, sowing havoc and panic, racking up casualties, and even destabilizing governments. It's not that global warming is like a world war. It is a world war. it's a world war aimed at us all. And if we lose, we will be as decimated and helpless as the losers in every conflict.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 6, 2016 Embarrassing Photos of Me, Thanks to My Right-Wing Stalkers
All kinds of odd things are appearing on right-wing corners of the web: out-of-context quotations from old books and articles apparently put on display to prove I'm a zealot, and photos from God knows who intended to make me out as a hypocrite (the plastic bags, for instance, and my travel by car, which, you know, burns gas). Mostly, they've just published those creepy videos, to remind me that I'm under surveillance.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 20, 2018 The Resistance to Trump Will Be Local
With the utter hostility to science on display in Washington, we're all working hard to persuade cities and states to uphold the Paris climate accord by committing to 100 percent renewable energy. The bizarreness of the president -- the ugliness of his politics and the poison of his personality -- may prompt many of us to start thinking about the problem of scale in our political life.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, April 17, 2020 How We Can Build a Hardier World After the Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has revealed one particularly shocking thing about our societies and economies: they have been operating on a very thin margin. So if we're thinking about building civilization back in a hardier and more resilient form, we'll have to learn what a more stable footing might look like.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 12, 2020 With the Coronavirus, Hell Is No Other People
The strangest thing about the coronavirus is that we can't help one another through it. We can't lay on hands, we can only wash them: in fact, the way we've been explicitly told to help is to stay away from one another.
(7 comments) SHARE Monday, December 14, 2015 Falling Short on Climate in Paris
We need to build the movement even bigger in the coming years, so that the Paris agreement turns into a floor and not a ceiling for action. We'll be blocking pipelines, fighting new coal mines, urging divestment from fossil fuels -- trying, in short, to keep weakening the mighty industry that still stands in the way of real progress.
(7 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 31, 2012 Sandy forces climate change on US election despite fossil fuel lobby
It's not that our politicians didn't know about climate change: I've watched, for two decades, as the world's best scientists make the annual trek to Capitol Hill to lay out the latest data. It's that, as scary as those charts and graphs were, the fossil fuel industry was scarier still.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 30, 2018 Say hello to Justin Trudeau, the world's newest oil executive
Justin Trudeau's government announced on Tuesday that it would nationalize the Kinder Morgan pipeline running from the tar sands of Alberta to the tidewater of British Columbia. It will fork over at least $4.5bn in Canadian taxpayers' money for the right to own a 60-year-old pipe that springs leaks regularly, and the right to push through a second pipeline on the same route -- a proposal that has provoked strong opposition.
(6 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 23, 2016 Global Warming's Terrifying New Chemistry
It's possible that America's contribution to global warming increased during the Obama years. The methane story is utterly at odds with what we've been telling ourselves, not to mention what we've been telling the rest of the planet. It undercuts the promises we made at the climate talks in Paris. It's a disaster--and one that seems set to spread.
(5 comments) SHARE Friday, October 14, 2011 Obama and the corruption of big oil
Obama had mojo when he knew it wasn't about him, that it was about change. But when you promise change, you have to deliver. His last best opportunity may come with that Keystone Pipeline decision, which he can make entirely by himself, without our inane Congress being able to get in the way.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 30, 2012 Hurricane Sandy has drowned the New York I love
New York is the city I love best, and I'm trying to imagine it from a distance tonight. The lurid, flash-lit instagram images of floating cars in Alphabet City or water pouring out of the East River into Dumbo, the reports of bridges to the Howard Beach submerging and facades falling off apartment houses -- it all stings. It's as horrible in its very different way as watching 9/11.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, January 26, 2018 Three Strategies to Get to a Fossil-Free America
The fossil-fuel industry doesn't hold all the high cards. We'll start playing our own aces for a Fossil-Free United States on January 31, when Bernie Sanders and an all-star lineup brought together by 350.org that includes everyone from indigenous activist Dallas Goldtooth to NAACP organizer Jacqui Patterson to star youth climate organizer Varshini Prakash lay out a coordinated plan for the year ahead.
(6 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 8, 2016 The oceans are heating up. That's a big problem on a blue planet
We have, thanks to them, a vibrant and rising movement to defend the Earth. In North Dakota today, Native Americans are laying their bodies on the line to block a new oil pipeline across the Missouri river. They are calling themselves Water Protectors. We would do well, all of us, to take up the same avocation. Because we live on an ocean planet.
(6 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 15, 2015 We Must Keep Brewing Gale-Force Winds to Shift The Political Landscape
Don't expect President Obama (or President Clinton) to be out in the lead, and don't expect Congress to do a damn thing. The job of movements is to keep brewing up the gale-force winds that shifted our political landscape last week -- and to hope we can do it before hurricane-force winds, drought, flood and sea level rise shift our landscape.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, September 6, 2019 This Climate Strike Is Part of the Disruption We Need
We live on a planet that finds itself rather suddenly in the midst of an enormous physical crisis. Because we burn so much coal and gas and oil, the atmosphere of our world is changing rapidly, and that atmospheric change is producing record heat. July was the hottest month we've ever recorded.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 14, 2018 Irish parliament makes history with vote to divest country fully from fossil fuels
The year began with New York City divesting -- but it's continued with huge wins at universities and in cities around the globe. And better yet, Shell officially noted in its annual report last month that divestment has come to pose a material risk to their business. We're fighting for the zeitgeist -- for the vision of the future. And today anyway, we're winning.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, December 17, 2018 At last, divestment is hitting the fossil fuel industry where it hurts
Divestment by itself is not going to win the climate fight. But by weakening -- reputationally and financially -- those players that are determined to stick to business as usual, it's one crucial part of a broader strategy. The Carbon Tracker initiative in London published the first report laying out the fact that the fossil fuel industry has five times more carbon in its reserves than any climate scientist thinks is safe.
SHARE Friday, May 8, 2020 Big Oil's Reign Is Finally Weakening
Exxon's scientists discovered -- before it was publicly an issue -- that climate change was real and dangerous, and when Exxon's executives decided to join with others in the industry to cover up that truth.
(7 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 19, 2019 Why Should You Climate Strike This Friday, September 20?
A year ago, inspired by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, young people around the world began climate striking. In May, when 1.4 million kids around the world walked out of school, they asked for adults to join them next time. That next time is September 20 (in a few countries September 27), and it is shaping up to be the biggest day of climate action in the planet's history.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 2, 2020 What Facebook and the Oil Industry Have in Common
Why the oil companies don't just become solar companies? They don't for the same reason that Facebook doesn't behave decently: an oil company's core business is digging stuff up and burning it, just as Facebook's is to keep people glued to their screens.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 24, 2015 With Clinton and the Pope on board, the climate movement has wind in its sails
The pope's powerful encyclical last summer is a reminder to every politician of exactly which way the wind is now blowing. That wind is in the sails of the climate movement now, and so there will be more days like this to come. Whether they come in time to slow the planet's careening new physics is an open question, but at last the political and financial climate has begun to change almost as fast as the physical one.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, October 17, 2016 Donald Trump Isn't the Only Enemy on the Ballot
Trump is such an idiot that he's easy to spot; it looks as if there will be enough antibodies to protect the body politic from his poison. But forces like the Koch brothers are more insidious. They're what daily, undramatically diminishes our democracy. They're what turn people off to politics, convert them to cynicism (which I suspect is the Kochs' real goal).
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 11, 2019 Joe Biden is stuck in the past when it comes to climate change
In the early days of the Obama years, when we knew far less about the chemistry of methane, it was a perhaps-defensible plan; in 2019 it's embarrassing, the equivalent of idling your muscle car outside the Earth Day picnic. There is no "middle ground" on climate change -- there's only meeting the demands of physics and chemistry (and justice), or watching the temperature soar.
SHARE Tuesday, October 20, 2015 Exxon Knew Everything There Was to Know About Climate Change by the Mid-1980s -- and Denied It
We know now that behind the scenes Exxon understood precisely what was going on, in public they feigned ignorance or worse. CEO Lee Raymond described global warming as "projections are based on completely unproven climate models, or, more often, on sheer speculation," and insisted -- in a key presentation to China's leading officials in 1997 -- that the globe was probably cooling.
SHARE Saturday, March 21, 2020 The Coronavirus and the Climate Movement
The result of heating the Earth will be an ongoing, accelerating series of disasters, eventually overwhelming our ability to cope. The pace of those events has been increasing in recent years, and our ability to keep them at something like a manageable level depends on the speed with which we transition off of gas, oil, and coal.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 21, 2020 What Will It Take to Cool the Planet?
topping new infrastructure is possible -- it's basically a battle with the fossil-fuel industry, which, as I've been pointing out, is losing financial muscle with each passing week.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, March 27, 2020 The Nature of Crisis
With climate change, we had effective warning in the late nineteen-eighties and early nineties. At that time, we could have made somewhat disruptive efforts to cut carbon emissions by a percent or two a year. But we didn't, and nor did any other country, for the same reason: the oil companies didn't want "the numbers" (in this case, the profits) to change.
(6 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 12, 2014 The Big Climate Deal: What It Is and What It Isn't
It isn't a way for Obama to get off the hook on things like the Keystone pipeline. If he's serious about meeting these kinds of targets, then we need serious steps; the surest sign this is a talking point, not a serious commitment, would be to approve new pipelines or authorize new drilling. If you pledge sobriety and then buy a keg of beer, people are going to wonder.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, November 7, 2015 Exxon, Keystone, and the Turn Against Fossil Fuels
For years, the fossil-fuel industry has labored to sell the idea that a transition to renewable energy would necessarily be painfully slow -- that it would take decades before anything fundamental started to shift. Inevitability was their shield, but no longer. If we wanted to transform our energy supply, we clearly could, though it would require an enormous global effort.
(6 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 23, 2016 How to Stop the Fossil Fuel Industry From Wrecking Our World
If you can't do fossil fuel, after all, you have to do something else -- sun, wind, conservation. This has to be our response to the living-dead future that the fossil fuel industry and its allied politicians imagine for our beleaguered world: no new fossil fuel infrastructure. None. The climate math is just too obvious.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, June 5, 2020 If Trump Goes Even Lower, We'd Better Be Prepared
Events are now moving at high speed in this country -- every day, President Trump and his crew gallop past new lines, so that the morning's flagrant usurpation is legitimized by the evening's even more outrageous improvisation.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, December 25, 2020 It's Not Science Fiction
The prolific science-fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, who is at heart an optimist, opens his newest novel, The Ministry for the Future, with a long set piece as bleak as it is plausible.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, November 19, 2016 Donald Trump is Betting Against all Odds on Climate Change
This year has been the hottest year recorded in modern history, smashing the record set in 2015, which smashed the record set in 2014. The extra heat has begun to steadily raise sea levels, to the point where some coastal U.S. cities already flood at high tide even in calm weather. Global sea ice levels are at record lows, and the oceans are 30 percent more acidic. And that's just so far.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 3, 2017 Trump's Stupid and Reckless Climate Decision
People say, if all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. We should be so lucky. President Trump has a hammer, but all he'll use it for is to smash things that others have built, as the world looks on in wonder and in fear.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 7, 2020 Trump Was Role-Playing Churchill -- What a Colossal Flop
Courage, but also language, is Trump's enemy: he's cursed with a limited vocabulary, and uses the same few words over and over. Dictators organize their domestic order with force and violence and live in constant fear for their own lives and grasp on power, so they understand this all too well." Indeed.
SHARE Thursday, June 18, 2020 How Public Opinion Changes for the Better
You could feel the Zeitgeist shifting these past days, as culturally powerful parts of our society decided that the future lies with the protesters demanding accountability for America's past and safety from its present authorities.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 9, 2020 Will the Coronavirus Kill the Oil Industry?
Since the coronavirus took over our global conversation, the Trump Administration has also granted the oil industry the favor of dramatically reducing the mileage standards that the Obama Administration had imposed during the 2009 financial bailout.
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 5, 2016 The Mercury Doesn't Lie: We've Hit a Troubling Climate Change Milestone
There is legislation pending in the House and Senate that would end new fossil fuel extraction on America's public lands. Senator Sanders has backed the law unequivocally; Secretary Clinton seemed to endorse it, and then last week seemed to waffle. Donald Trump has concentrated on the length of his fingers.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, October 30, 2015 Imagine If Exxon Had Told the Truth on Climate Change
Of all the lies that Exxon leaders told about climate change, none may quite top the 1997 insistence that "it is highly unlikely that the temperature in the middle of the next century will be significantly affected whether policies are enacted now or 20 years from now." Exxon scientists knew that was wrong, and so did pretty much everyone else.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 14, 2019 We've run out of elections to waste -- this is the last chance to make a difference on climate change
A decade is an eternity in climate time now. We've wasted three decades since scientists first raised the warning that's guaranteed that we'll have massive increases in temperature. It means we've run out of decades to waste, and hence of elections to waste. Every election matters; it registers who we are at a certain moment in history, and it sets the course of the next few years. But this election will matter forever.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 13, 2017 Stop talking right now about the threat of climate change. It's here; it's happening
Leaving aside the earthquake, every one of these events jibes with what scientists and environmentalists have spent 30 fruitless years telling us to expect from global warming. (There's actually fairly convincing evidence that climate change is triggering more seismic activity, but there's no need to egg the pudding.)
SHARE Tuesday, January 26, 2016 The Zika virus foreshadows our dystopian climate future
Spread by mosquitoes whose range inexorably expands as the climate warms, Zika causes mild flu-like symptoms. But pregnant women bitten by the wrong mosquito are liable to give birth to babies with shrunken heads. Brazil last year recorded 4,000 cases of this "microcephaly." As of today, authorities in Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, El Salvador and Venezuela were urging women to avoid getting pregnant.
SHARE Tuesday, August 30, 2016 After 525 years, it's time to actually listen to Native Americans
The Army Corps of Engineers might back off. The president might decide, as he did with Keystone, that this pipeline would "exacerbate" climate change and hence should be reviewed more carefully. We might, after five centuries, actually listen to the only people who've ever successfully inhabited this continent for the long term.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, August 21, 2020 Will Kamala Harris Act Boldly on Climate Change?
We're in the Kamala Harris era now, and so far, so good. Given the very real possibility that she'll be at or near the pinnacle of our politics for somewhere between four and 16 years, it's worth asking how she will handle the gravest crisis that looms over our planet.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 29, 2017 America's deportation squads want to expel our neighbours. We are saying no
Many of us have spent part of the past couple weeks trying to win the freedom of three of our neighbors -- Kike Balcazar, Zully Palacios and Alex Carrillo. They are undocumented immigrants, who came here to work on our farms, and were detained by the (aptly named) Ice, or Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, in New Hampshire, awaiting deportation.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 7, 2017 Democrats shouldn't squander their one advantage
The Bernie Sanders energy won't disappear -- it's already powering the new civil rights movement and the fight for climate justice. But it will disappear from the Democratic Party if the party doesn't seize the opportunity that Ellison offers. It won't be the fault of the Russians or the FBI. And it may not come again.
SHARE Thursday, May 28, 2020 Are We Past the Peak of Big Oil's Power?
The coronavirus crisis has both obscured and illuminated one of the most seismic developments on our planet in many decades: it's now clear that the power of the fossil-fuel industry has decisively passed its zenith. In the past few weeks, events have shown it to be waning, where for a century and a half it has waxed.
SHARE Sunday, September 15, 2019 Let's Make Friday the Biggest Day of Climate Action in Global History
Donald Trump has bellowed his climate denialism so loudly that it's begun to disconcert everyone who is not in his cult. Surveys show that he's more out of touch with Americans on the environment than on any other issue. If and when Trump goes, climate denialism as a powerful political force may well go with him.
SHARE Wednesday, May 6, 2020 Response: Planet of the Humans Documentary
I am used to ceaseless harassment and attack from the fossil fuel industry, and I've done my best to ignore a lifetime of death threats from right-wing extremists. It does hurt more to be attacked by others who think of themselves as environmentalists. I have spent much of the last ten years doing my best to enlarge the environmental movement in every way I can think of, and to support others in their work;
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 9, 2017 Trump's Pipeline and America's Shame
In this standoff, we have confronted our oldest and one of our most shameful stories. That shame will deepen now -- which may, once Trump is gone, allow us to move closer to real reconciliation. At any rate, we owe a great debt to the protesters, who have acted with a dignity conspicuously lacking in the Oval Office.
SHARE Thursday, May 10, 2018 Always Connect
We will always need the perspective of outsiders, of unsocialized, uncredentialed non-experts, in order to see what plainly needs to be seen. Carson, Jacobs, Goodall, and Waters were and are geniuses, extraordinary spirits, remarkable souls -- just the kind of people rarely produced by the normal order of things.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 11, 2018 Up Against Big Oil in the Midterms
Every election cycle brings wins and losses. But every election cycle also brings us two years further down the path of irrevocable climate change. That's why even a mixed result can seem bruising.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 25, 2020 Stuck in the Past on the Climate
If you want to know why young people increasingly despair that the rest of us will leave them without a habitable world, consider the case of Lee Raymond.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, June 9, 2020 Making a Planet Worth Saving
Climate change and police brutality are directly linked together, because the communities who are most impacted and vulnerable to police brutality are also the same communities that are most vulnerable to climate change.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 10, 2018 Donald Trump is costing us one precious thing: time
Climate change comes with a time limit. We don't have four years to waste ignoring it, not when Arctic sea ice is reaching new lows and temperatures are breaking records. Even if a new president someday takes up climate seriously, the carbon we're spewing now will still be in the atmosphere to haunt us over geological time. Time is the trouble.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, September 8, 2014 McKibben to Obama: Fracking May Be Worse Than Burning Coal
The importance of this debate has grown the more we've learned about methane -- and one of the things we've learned is how fast it acts. Unlike CO2, which can last in the atmosphere for a century or more, methane disappears relatively quickly. Which means that its power at trapping heat is concentrated in a very short burst. It's time to stop searching for a bridge and simply take the leap.
SHARE Thursday, January 12, 2017 Rex Tillerson is big oil personified. The damage he can do is immense
The disgrace is the long, slow reveal by investigative reporters that Exxon knew all about climate change as early as the late 1970s. In a rational world, Congress would be grilling Rex Tillerson about the company's conduct, not preparing to hand him the country's plum unelected job.
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 23, 2020 What Joe Biden's Climate Plan Really Signals
Assuming that Trump exits next year, and that high-level climate denial goes with him, that pressure will do what pressure does: finally start to make things pop.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 3, 2020 It's a New World, Each and Every Day
Every once in a while, it's worth stepping back and reminding ourselves what's actually going on, silently, every hour of every day. And what's going on is that we're radically remaking our planet, in the course of a human lifetime. Hell, in the course of a human adolescence.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 12, 2016 Why Bernie's Message Will Endure
Clinton could decide to ignore the promises her team made. It will be up to the movement to enforce these promises -- but we're good at doing that, in no small part thanks to the lessons in relentlessness we've learned from Bernie. If she backslides once in office, the words of her platform will be printed on every sign and banner we carry for the next four years.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 13, 2013 The Fossil Fuel Resistance
After decades of scant organized response to climate change, a powerful movement is quickly emerging around the country and around the world, building on the work of scattered front-line organizers who've been fighting the fossil-fuel industry for decades. It has no great charismatic leader and no central organization; it battles on a thousand fronts. But taken together, it's now big enough to matter, and it's growing fast.
SHARE Thursday, April 15, 2021 No More Halfsies on Climate
We're reaching the endgame on the climate crisis, as news from both poles made clear this week. We're in a desperate race against the destruction of the planet's life-support systems. So nobody gets cut any slack.
SHARE Sunday, August 23, 2015 Picturing the End of Fossil Fuels
Even without understanding the science of climate change -- the horror that the carbon from that digger and that drill rig is driving -- you have a visceral sense that they're in the wrong moment, the wrong mood. The fight against Arctic oil and German coal will be long and hard.
SHARE Saturday, February 20, 2016 It's Not Just What Exxon Did, It's What It's Doing
As bad as Exxon has been in the past, what it's doing now -- entirely legally -- is helping push the planet over the edge and into the biggest crisis in the entire span of the human story. What we need from Exxon is what they'll never give: a pledge to keep most of their reserves underground, an end to new exploration, and a promise to stay away from the political system.
SHARE Sunday, November 20, 2016 Trump's dilemma: to please his friends by trashing the Paris climate deal, or not?
It's entirely possible Trump will send the Paris accords to the Senate for some kind of show vote, letting the entire Republican party take the heat for its climate-denying views. This would demonstrate weakness of a particularly childish sort -- the coat-holding boy who goads everyone else into a fight and steps back to watch.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 29, 2021 Slow-Walking the Climate Crisis
Big Oil and its allies in government and the financial world are doing with the climate crisis -- in fact, at this point, it's the heart of the problem.
SHARE Thursday, April 30, 2020 How to Combat Climate Depression
Young people are far more aware of the science behind climate change than their elders are, and they know what it means. They understand that if we can't check the rise in temperatures soon, we will see an ongoing series of crises.
SHARE Friday, May 28, 2021 Big Oil's Bad, Bad Day
In what may be the most cataclysmic day so far for the traditional fossil-fuel industry, a remarkable set of shareholder votes and court rulings have scrambled the future of three of the world's largest oil companiess.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 12, 2017 College students should resist -- not silence -- their political foes
Everyone involved needs to take it for the serious task it is, understanding that emotion is as much an enemy as a friend for activists. There's no easy version of activism, any more than there is of physics or French or the other tasks college students seriously engage in. In fact, protest is probably a subject, like first aid or how to use the fire extinguisher, that college freshmen should learn.
SHARE Thursday, July 29, 2021 No, Alberta, Don't Be Sad. We Love You. Really.
Lay aside for the moment the devastation caused by mining the sludgy tar sands for oil. There's no way that a country with less than one percent of the world's population can lay claim to more than a quarter of the atmosphere. Alberta started feeling pressure with the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have run from the tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 18, 2019 If the world ran on sun, it wouldn't fight over oil
No one will ever fight a war over access to sunshine -- what would a country do, set up enormous walls to shade everyone else's panels? Fossil fuels are concentrated in a few places, giving those who live atop them enormous power; renewable energy can be found everywhere, the birthright of all humans. A world that runs on sun and wind is a world that can relax.
(5 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 21, 2016 Let's give up the climate change charade: Exxon won't change its stripes
The Exxons of the world are not going to change their stripes, not voluntarily. It will be time for state treasurers and religious groups to join those students and frontline communities and climate scientists who are saying "No more." It will be time -- past time -- to get serious, divest and break free of fossil fuels once and for all.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, July 31, 2020 How Hot Will the Future Feel?
The level of damage that comes from rising temperatures -- let's call it applied climatology -- is not as telling, ultimately, as our collective ability to respond to that damage
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 8, 2021 It's Not the Heat, It's the Damage
We understand about how much the temperature is going to rise if we keep pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This has been the central scientific preoccupation for more than three decades, translating gigatons of carbon and methane into degrees of warming, and researchers have got it more or less right
SHARE Sunday, April 20, 2014 Bill McKibben: We Need to Win Not Delay the Keystone XL Pipeline Decision
The climate fight can't be delayed. We need to keep building the movement, and we need to keep putting heat on leaders like President Obama until we win, not delay, the decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. Yesterday's DC decision just reinforces the message that if we stand together we will make a decisive difference.
SHARE Monday, August 23, 2021 Are We Finally Ready to Tackle the Other Greenhouse Gas?
I've long felt that one of my great failings as a climate communicator has come in trying to get across the dangers posed by methane, the second most damaging greenhouse gas, after carbon dioxide. Despite long years of many people trying to underscore the risks of methane, our go-to shorthand for climate pollution remains "carbon."
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, January 27, 2017 A Bad Day For The Environment, With Many More To Come
There is a new day dawning, and we're sure as hell not going to use any of that sunlight for energy. Instead, it's clear that we're about to witness the steady demolition, or attempted demolition, of the environmental protections that have been put in place over the past five decades.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 2, 2013 It's Time To Stop Investing In The Fossil Fuel Industry
The fossil fuel industry should be turned into an energy industry: we have to take the hundred million dollars a day that Exxon spends on finding new oil, and have them spend it on solar panels instead. Which is why, for now, we have to divest those stocks.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 26, 2020 How Banks Could Bail Us Out of the Climate Crisis
Five of the six largest American banks have said that they won't fund oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a project that Trump is desperate to have underway before he leaves office.
SHARE Sunday, August 30, 2020 We've Run out of Presidential Terms to Waste
The working definition of the ongoing brain seizure that is 2020 is either that Coloradans are being told by state authorities to install smoke-resistant "safe rooms" in their houses, or that Californians now must weigh what kind of mask to wear.
SHARE Tuesday, April 27, 2021 Biden's Earth Day Climate Pledge for 2030 Will Define His Presidency
Biden's Administration, after committing to delivering a hundred million vaccine doses in its first hundred days, managed to double the goal and then some. That strategy is politically savvy, especially coming on the heels of a President who did precisely the opposite at every opportunity.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 19, 2015 Bill McKibben's Letter to the Future
This letter to the future by Bill McKibben is part of the Letters to the Future campaign, a national effort to encourage people from all walks of life to write six generations into the future about climate change. The campaign puts a spotlight on the importance of world leaders agreeing to a global climate treaty at COP21 in Paris.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, June 25, 2018 Some rare good climate news: the fossil fuel industry is weaker than ever
There's been reason this month for hope -- reason, at least, to think that the basic trajectory of the world away from coal and gas and oil is firmly underway. From Wall Street came welcome word that market perceptions haven't really changed: even in the age of Trump, the fossil fuel industry has gone from the world's surest bet to an increasingly challenged enterprise.
(13 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 24, 2019 To stop global catastrophe, we must believe in humans again
The reason we don't have a solution to climate change has less to do with the greed of the great, unengineered unwashed than with the greed of the almost unbelievably small percentage of people at the top of the energy heap. Let's operate on the assumption that human beings are not grossly defective. That we're capable of acting together to do remarkable things.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 4, 2011 New pipeline to challenge Obama's promises
There's real worry that the fix is in, especially since recently released WikiLeaks documents show American officials working with the tar sands companies to develop a strategy to "spin" reporters and win favorable press coverage. Still -- the ultimate decision will rest with President Obama. Hence the sit-ins. And the buttons.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, January 9, 2012 Armed With Naivete
...Congress's approval rating is now at 9%, which is another way of saying that everyone who's not a lobbyist hates them and what they're doing...
(6 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Bill McKibben: Not Me. Us.
Younger people and poorer people may sense an urgent need for change. I mean, we've just broken the planet's temperature record two years in a row. If you think that we need a leader who will push to change the way we see the world then it makes perfect sense to imagine Bernie as the realistic candidate, the one who will get things done.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 25, 2021 Do We Actually Need More Gas Stations?
The latest front in the fight against fossil fuels -- so far, one confined to a couple of California towns -- concerns what might be the most iconic element of the American commercial landscape: the gas station.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 3, 2021 Automakers Start to Figure Out the Climate Future
Many of the changes needed to get us on the right climate path are going to meet with resistance, but it's beginning to look as if getting people to accept electric vehicles may not be one of them.
SHARE Friday, March 24, 2017 No Keystone XL live strategy session
Every new pipeline, frack well and coal port is being fought and fought hard. You've heard of some of these fights, like the Dakota Access pipeline, but there are now hundreds of them across the world. Keystone jump-started a whole new phase of the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
SHARE Friday, June 25, 2021 It's Not the Heat -- It's the Humanity
We're not collections of constructs or ideas or images or demographics but collections of arteries and organs and muscles, and those are designed to operate within a finite range of temperatures.
SHARE Wednesday, July 7, 2021 The World Speeds Up -- and We Slow Down
The heat has moved to the Northwest and to Canada, where a heat dome is rewriting the record book, day after day, with temperatures that take cities from Portland to Calgary into uncharted territory.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, May 6, 2016 It's Time to Turn Up the Heat on Those Who Are Wrecking Planet Earth
From one end of the planet to the other, people are taking greater risks this month. In one of the biggest coordinated civil disobedience actions the world has ever seen, frontline communities and climate scientists and indigenous people and faith leaders and just plain people who actually give a damn will be sitting down and sitting in and standing pat.
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 1, 2017 The job at hand
The losses we've suffered just in the past week, as the new EPA head started gutting water and air protections, makes me think of the earlier generations of activists who worked so hard to get these laws enacted. Last night I wanted to shout at the TV when, instead of mentioning climate change, Trump boasted about approving new pipelines.
SHARE Friday, May 14, 2021 It's Time to Kick Gas
Despite the pandemic lockdown, 2020 saw the largest single increase in methane in the atmosphere since we started taking measurements, in the 1980's.
SHARE Friday, April 4, 2014 Exxon Mobil's response to climate change is consummate arrogance
Exxon Mobil said that government restrictions that would force it to keep its reserves in the ground were "highly unlikely," and that they would not only dig them all up and burn them, but would continue to search for more gas and oil -- a search that currently consumes about $100 million of its investors' money every single day.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, December 8, 2018 How The Iconic 1968 Earthrise Photo Changed Our Relationship To The Planet
Fifty years is barely a blip in the vastness of astronomical time, but Earth now looks quite different when seen from space. In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer sea ice that once covered the Arctic is now half gone. Some of the islands of the Pacific have begun to disappear below rising seas. The great forests that covered South America and Africa are shrunken and ragged.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, December 5, 2016 The victory at Standing Rock could mark a turning point
This was not just one tribe: this was pretty much all of native North America. The flags of more than 200 Indian nations lined the rough dirt entrance road. Other Americans, drawn in part by a sense of shame at this part of our heritage, flooded in to help -- when the announcement came today, there were thousands of military veterans on hand.
(6 comments) SHARE Friday, November 6, 2015 350.org -- President Obama Rejects Keystone XL. We Win.
We just made history together. 4 years to the day after we surrounded the White House, President Obama has rejected the Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline!
This is huge.
A head of state has never rejected a major fossil fuel project because of its climate impacts before.
SHARE Tuesday, November 29, 2016 Standing Rock is the civil rights issue of our time -- let's act accordingly
Representatives of more 200 Indian nations have gathered at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in an effort to prevent construction of an oil pipeline that threatens the tribe's water supply, not to mention the planet's climate. It's a remarkable encampment, perhaps the greatest show of indigenous unity in the continent's history.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 6, 2021 Climate Anxiety Makes Good Sense
Even as we begin to emerge from the stress of the pandemic year, mental-health professionals are noting a steady uptick in a different form of anxiety -- the worry over climate change and the future that it will bring.
SHARE Thursday, December 4, 2014 Stepping Down But Continuing Fight for Climate Justice
Unless that end to coal and oil and gas comes swiftly, the damage from global warming will overwhelm us. Winning too slowly is the same as losing, so we have a crucial series of fights ahead: divestment, fracking, Keystone, and many others that we don't yet know about.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 25, 2017 Citizens Must Hold Government Accountable on Climate
One way of dealing with those unpleasant climate truths is to stop paying attention. A spokesman for the White House said last week that the federal government was no longer going to "waste money" on climate research. Money to maintain even existing climate satellites is disappearing. NASA has been told to stop worrying about our home planet and focus on Mars.
SHARE Tuesday, August 17, 2021 The U.N. Climate Panel Tries to Cut Through the Smog Inbox+++
We all live in two worlds: a physical one and a social one. The new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is ostensibly about the physical world. It states, clearly and forcefully that humans are wrecking that physical world. Setting it on fire.
SHARE Friday, December 18, 2020 Our Stuff Weighs More Than All Living Things on the Planet
2020 was the year in which the weight of "human-made mass" -- all the stuff we've built and accumulated -- exceeded the weight of biomass on the planet. The weight of living things remains relatively static, year to year, but the weight of man-made objects is doubling every 20 years.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 16, 2021 Build Nothing New That Ultimately Leads to a Flame
The first principle of fighting the climate crisis is simple: stop lighting coal, oil, gas, and trees on fire, as soon as possible. A second ground rule, corollary to the first: definitely don't build anything new that connects to a flame.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 21, 2013 Leaderless Movements For A New Planet
There are plenty of others who will arise in new moments, which is a good thing, since the physics of climate change means that the movement has to win some critical victories in the next few years but also last for generations. Rooftop by rooftop, we're aiming for a different world, one that runs on the renewable power that people produce themselves in their communities.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, February 25, 2013 The Case for Fossil-Fuel Divestment
With Washington blocked, campuses are suddenly a front line in the climate fight -- a place to stand up to a status quo that is wrecking the planet. The campaign to demand divestment from fossil fuel stock emerged from nowhere in late fall to suddenly become the largest student movement in decades. It's where the action all of a sudden is.
SHARE Thursday, February 18, 2021 The Enormous Risk of Atmospheric Hacking
Sometime in the next two weeks, an independent advisory committee is expected to issue a recommendation on a request from a team of Harvard scientists to fly a balloon from Kiruna, in Sweden's Lapland region. It's an ominous moment in the planet's history -- and one we should back away from.
(6 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Glaciers and Arctic ice are vanishing. Time to get radical before it's too late
The biggest physical features on the planet are now changing in ways they haven't since long before the dawn of human history. On the most distant poles, and on the highest peaks, we see almost unfathomable shifts. The only question is whether a similar shift is possible in our politics. Planet Earth is miles outside its comfort zone; how many of us will go beyond ours?
SHARE Thursday, March 4, 2021 From NIMBY to Please in My Back Yard
The pandemic has driven a lot of people outdoors: reports show that park visits are up around the world and parking lots at hiking trails are packed. Time in nature reduces stress, cuts healing times, and enhances the functioning of the immune system.
SHARE Sunday, May 13, 2012 The Koch-Stone XL Pipeline
House leaders are busily trying to fasten automatic approval of the Keystone Pipeline, the biggest straw into the pipelines yet, onto a must-pass transportation bill. And the real power behind the drive for tar sands oil: the Koch Brothers.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 9, 2021 Joe Biden's Solar Plan and the Prescience of Jimmy Carter
he Biden Administration's announcement of a plan that could set the country on a course to generate 45 percent of its electricity from solar panels by mid-century might someday be remembered as one of those moments that mattered.
SHARE Monday, November 2, 2015 TransCanada asks for KXL application "suspension"
This is -- make no mistake -- a massive victory for people power. You emailed, you phoned, you marched, and in record numbers you went to jail. That's what it took to persuade the arrogant oil industry they simply couldn't prevail in their plan to pump the world's filthiest oil across the heart of the continent.
SHARE Friday, January 29, 2016 A Mosquito Net Descends Across the Americas
Sometime in the last 10 days, a mosquito net has descended across the Americas. It is unlikely to cause armed conflict between great powers, but unless we are very lucky, the new divisions it creates are likely to linger, truncating and deforming relationships, and changing the way that rising generations view the world in which they live.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 19, 2012 Obama's Denial of Keystone Permit Was a Welcome Win Against Big Oil
When the president denied the permit for Keystone XL on Wednesday, he didn't just turn the usual balance of power upside down, he turned the conventional wisdom more or less on its head. There's in fact one reason to build the pipeline -- to make even more money for the richest industry on earth.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, October 29, 2013 Speech by Sophie Prize Winner Bill McKibben
The world's governments have all agreed that a rise of two degrees is the most that can be tolerated. It's doubtless too high a number: if one degree melts the Arctic, it's folly to see what two degrees will do. Our current trajectory heads us for a rise of 4 or 5 degrees. How to win the change we need, if reason alone will not prevail? Sometimes, we've found, we need to spend our bodies and go to jail in order to be heard.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, May 5, 2019 Notes from a Remarkable Political Moment for Climate Change
Political reality is always important, but in this case there's something more crucial -- call it just plain reality. It dictates that every step we take from here on -- pay heed to the underlying science, above all to the shrinking time we have left to make any real difference. After 30 years of standing still, baby steps won't do us a bit of good, and a misstep may cost us our last chance.
(7 comments) SHARE Sunday, May 26, 2013 Keystone: What We Know
Analysts said earlier this spring that in the wake of the KXL battle it's likely every new pipeline will face a battle. Tarsands barons like the Koch brothers still have all the money, and they've still got the odds in their favor. But the smart money has lost a few IQ points.
SHARE Sunday, December 13, 2020 Where We Stand on Climate
This month marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate summit; we've more or less survived the Trump Administration, with an incoming Administration promising a new approach; and we're less than a year away from what will be the next great global climate meeting, in Glasgow, Scotland.
SHARE Monday, August 31, 2015 The Turning Point Towards a Low-Carbon Future
We're suddenly and decisively, in a one-way transition to a renewable future and the only question -- perhaps the most important question humans have ever faced -- is whether we can make that transition fast enough to save the planet.
SHARE Thursday, March 18, 2021 H.R. 1 Is About Climate, Too
H.R. 1, known as the For the People Act, is all about mail-in ballots and early voting and automatic registration -- about making sure that every citizen gets to take part in our democracy.
SHARE Saturday, January 9, 2021 Our Best Chance to Slow Global Warming Comes in the Next Nine Years
2050 has now emerged as the consensus target for many countries to go carbon-neutral. That date won't mark the end of the climate crisis, but it's useful as a final deadline for the transition to a new economic and energy regime that respects the physical limits of the planet.
SHARE Saturday, April 9, 2016 It's Time to Break Free From Fossil Fuels
The transition to renewable energy is coming sooner and faster than anyone thought. Ninety percent of the new electricity generation installed last year was renewable, leading to two years running of flat -- though still too high -- global carbon emissions. It's likely that this fight is the biggest humanity will ever face.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 2, 2013 The Methane Beneath Our Feet
Because of the grave threat methane poses to the climate, the dangers of natural gas leakages go well beyond the immediate risk of exploding manhole covers (though recent measurements in Washington, DC indicate that there is enough leaking gas to cause any cautious pedestrian a certain amount of worry).
SHARE Wednesday, May 25, 2011 A link between climate change and Joplin tornadoes? Never!
It's very important to stay calm. If you got upset about any of this, you might forget how important it is not to disrupt the record profits of our fossil fuel companies. If worst ever did come to worst, it's reassuring to remember what the US Chamber of Commerce told the EPA in a recent filing: that there's no need to worry because "populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral... adaptations."
(5 comments) SHARE Friday, April 5, 2013 John Kerry's Fateful Decision on the Keystone Pipeline
Cheap oil, once a boon, is now a bane. And yet the wealth of the industry makes it all but impossible to bring it to heel. By almost any definition, building a big new pipeline -- designed to last decades -- to the dirtiest oil on earth is a mistake. We know, that is, that the time has come to put the fossil-fuel era behind us.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 12, 2020 If There's Something Valuable Under the Soil, Life Above-ground Can Be Hard
A new study from the University of California, San Francisco, finds that global warming will dramatically increase rates of cancer and other diseases around the world, because, the authors state, "extreme weather events such as storms and flooding can destroy or damage health-care infrastructure, reducing health care quality and availability."
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 11, 2010 Tell World Leaders to Go Solar!
Those solar panels won't be enough solve climate change, obviously. But they'll send a strong symbolic message about what the future demand--and maybe our leaders will see how easy it is to start down a greener path. If they hammer in a solar panel, perhaps they'll feel more committed to hammering out some clean energy legislation.
SHARE Tuesday, October 5, 2010 BREAKING: Putting Solar on the White House!
Just in time to give the Global Work Party a White House-sized boost, the Obama administration announced this morning that they are going to put solar panels on the First Family's living quarters, returning to a tradition begun by president Jimmy Carter and abandoned by Ronald Reagan.