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Bill McKibben's Posts

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Days that suck

Violent climate video is the opposite of what 10/10/10 is about

I just climbed off an airplane at Boston's Logan Airport. The day began in Monterrey, Mexico -- and though I was tired, I was also feeling pretty good. Our big day of action on Oct. 10 has been building to a crescendo: Yesterday we broke our record from last year, registering more than 5,500 actions for the big Global Work Party. But I'd barely turned on my computer when that good feeling turned to a kind of nausea. There were emails from people all saying the same thing: Have you seen this? "This" was a gross video making its way …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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where the sun don't shine

A White House road trip with a solar rock star

This essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom's kind permission. Bill McKibben and crew smiled as they set off on their road trip to convince the White House to put solar panels back on the roof. There were no smiles after the White House meeting.Photo courtesy 350.org via FlickrI got to see the now-famous enthusiasm gap up close and personal last week, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. The backstory: I help run a global warming campaign called 350.org. In mid-summer, we decided to organize an effort to ask world leaders to put solar panels …

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Lights, camera, direct action

A call for direct action in the climate movement: we need your ideas

Think of possible direct actions -- and tell us.Dear Friends, God, what a summer. Federal scientists have concluded that we've just come through the warmest six months, the warmest year, and the warmest decade in human history. Nineteen nations have set new all-time temperature records; the mercury in Pakistan reached 129 degrees, the hottest temperature ever seen in Asia. And there's nothing abstract about those numbers, not with Moscow choking on smoke from its epic heat wave and fires, not with Pakistan half washed away from its unprecedented flooding. But that's just the half of it. It's also the summer …

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do a complete 350

Invitation to join 350 EARTH: A global satellite art project

We need help from artists.  We need them to help with an artwork bigger than humans have ever built before, the first global-scale group show. It's going to be slightly wild, and very beautiful. Details in a moment, but first the rationale: Sometimes the work of artists is to remind us of things we've forgotten, things we know in our bones but that slip our minds. In this case, it's the fact that we live on a planet. Yes, in a house. Yes, in a town in a country.  But most of all on a planet -- something that's a …

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It's time to get mad

We're hot as hell and we're not going to take it any more

The time for compromises and whimpers is over.Photo courtesy cotidad via FlickrThis was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom's kind permission. Try to fit these facts together: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the planet has just come through the warmest decade, the warmest 12 months, the warmest six months, and the warmest April, May, and June on record. A "staggering" new study from Canadian researchers has shown that warmer seawater has reduced phytoplankton, the base of the marine food chain, by 40 percent since 1950. Nine nations have so far set their all-time temperature records …

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clim(art)e change

Daniel Dancer’s ‘sky art,’ climate change choreography

Imagine if your job was to work with a couple of thousand elementary school kids at the same time -- to keep them on task, doing the same project, where everyone needed to be exactly in place for it all to work. "The teachers are always worried that it's going to be chaos, that kids are going to cause all kinds of problems," says Daniel Dancer. "But it never happens. There's always love and joy present instead -- it's palpable how present it is." Dancer is a pioneer of what he calls sky art -- if you watch this video …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Don't just say it -- do it

Will Obama stand up to Big Energy in deeds as well as words?

Will the real President Obama please stand up?Photo: Mr. Wright via FlickrThis essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom's kind permission. ----- Here's the president on March 31, announcing his plan to lift a longstanding moratorium on offshore drilling: "Given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth and produce jobs, and keep our businesses competitive, we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy." Here he is on May 26, as political pressure starts to really build over the hole in …

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'If the winter glove won’t fit, you must acquit'

The attack on climate science is the O.J. moment of the 21st century

This essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom's kind permission. --- Twenty-one years ago, in 1989, I wrote what many have called the first book for a general audience on global warming. One of the more interesting reviews came from The Wall Street Journal. It was a mixed and judicious appraisal. "The subject," the reviewer said, "is important, the notion is arresting, and Mr. McKibben argues convincingly." And that was not an outlier: around the same time, the first president Bush announced that he planned to "fight the greenhouse effect with the White House effect." …

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350ppm x 2

An unwelcome lesson in power politics

350.org's Bill McKibben at a candlelight vigil Dec. 17 in Copenhagen.Matthew McDermott via FlickrCOPENHAGEN -- Late last night, after the word had come down that the climate talks had ended in a four-way, non-binding, unfair, and breathtakingly unambitious agreement between the United States, China, India, and South Africa, a crowd of young demonstrators from around the world gathered at the Metro station outside the Bella Center. It was 1 a.m., and it was bitter cold, in several ways. These were not angry anarchists. These were young people who had spent the last few years of their lives working hard to …

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With climate agreement, Obama guts progressive values, argues McKibben

The President of the United States did several things with his agreement today with China, India, and South Africa: He blew up the United Nations. The idea that there's a world community that means something has disappeared tonight. The clear point is, you poor nations can spout off all you want on questions like human rights or the role of women or fighting polio or handling refugees. But when you get too close to the center of things that count -- the fossil fuel that's at the center of our economy -- you can forget about it. We're not interested. …