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I first encountered Bill McKibben in 2010 at a Readings event.  I was there to see Raj Patel author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System who was launching his next book The Value of Nothing… which begins with a quote –

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of Nothing – Oscar Wilde

This is Raj Patel >>

I didn’t know who the other author (McKibben) was.  McKibben was in Australia at the time to launch his latest book eaarth. The event was held in a theatrette in Melbourne; few people turned up.  McKibben sat composed, wearing a blue 350.org t-shirt. He had an air of openness and transcendental presence about him, receptive to everything that was happening around him, and then he spoke…

This is Bill McKibben >>

Last year he wrote an article in Rolling Stone which went viral – Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history…

(Click here to continue reading…)

And he is coming to Australia

“Global warming’s maths means Australia really counts

It’s simple maths: we can burn less than 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. The massive coal expansion planned by Australian companies and governments is one of a handful of projects in the world that would take the planet beyond the point of no return if they were to go ahead. In November 2012, following publication of his Rolling Stone article, Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math, Bill McKibben and 350.org hit the road to build a movement strong enough to change the terrifying math of the climate crisis by getting people, colleges and governments to take their cash out of coal investments.”

maths.350.org

Gold put us on the map; gas put us on the map; sheep put us on the map; and now the country itself, is finally on the map.  For better or worse, we are being recognised within a global conversation on the most important issue of all, the state of the planet.

McKibben campaigns tirelessly to talk with people, communities, towns, cities, students, about the discoveries science has uncovered of the remarkable qualities of the environment and also the deleterious impact that our actions continue to have on the environment.

Our reigning ideas are being proven to cause great harm, violence, sickness, poverty, death and extinction.  We need to rethink what makes us do the things we do? Why we do them? To what end? Who for? How come?  In true Australian style, McKibben will be able to raise the profile of the environmental crisis rallying us together to make change with his presence more than any CSIRO Climate Impact Group scientist or politician ever could.

He can bypass the politics.  For a moment the cultural antipathy to face the facts will be overcome as the magnitude of the crisis is presented to us, along with changes we can make.  We will learn.  He will give conviction, credence and validity to the environmental argument in public debate and necessity to personal and collective action.  Perhaps it will be an Australian moment?

Bill McKibben tour dates.

This is 350.org

 

Bill McKibben: From Storms to Droughts, Devastating Extreme Weather Linked to Human-Caused Climate Change >>>>>>>>>>> click here to watch

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