Brave new planet: Bill McKibben

In recent years, you may have found yourself noting strange weather phenomena, debating with friends over the issue of climate change, or wondering how truly guilty you ought to feel about leaving your air conditioner on all day during the summer.  For an informed, timely, and relevant discussion, there are few better writers or public figures to reference than Bill McKibben.

The Central Coast Clergy and Laity for Justice will be hosting famed environmentalist Bill McKibben at the Fremont Theater (1025 Monterey St., SLO) on October 30, from 6:30-9:30pm.  Author of over a dozen books and founder of the global grassroots climate campaign 350.org, McKibben will be discussing his new book, Earth- Making a life on a tough new planet.  He asserts that by burning fossil fuels, human beings have raised the temperature of the Earth one degree Celsius, a feat that holds major implications for the future of our climate and survival on this planet.

For example, already NASA has documented a 45 percent increase in heavy storm “supercell” activity, allowing global rainfall to climb around 1.5 percent per decade and higher incidents of lightening and ensuing wildfires.  In addition to more intense and frequent storms, the melting of the ice sheets occurring at both poles and expanded tropical zones are combining to create new environmental conditions to which human beings are going to have to adapt quickly.

McKibben, the driving force between the international activist group 350.org, has long maintained that the number 350, which stands for the parts per million of carbon dioxide, is the safest upper limit of which we can allow the gas into our atmosphere.  This threshold should be the standard by which governments and industries regulate their emissions and the target goal for a planet already situated at 39o parts per million and rising.

Among his accolades and many honorary degrees, McKibben is a Distinguished Middlebury Scholar, frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He is also a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine.  He also holds both a Guggenheim Fellowship and Lyndhurst Fellowship as well as a Lannan Prize for best nonfiction writing.

Being a popular and  prolific author numerous of articles and books, campaign organizer, and lecturer, McKibben’s talk is sure to be a major attraction here in a town where caring for the environment is of major concern. Seating will be limited, so interested parties are encouraged to purchase tickets early.  Admission is $10.00.  For more information, call the CCCLJ at (805) 704-3356 or visit www.ccc4justice.org.

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