Bill McKibben in ‘Rolling Stone’
Bill McKibben is a Scholar in Residence at Middlebury and a leading advocate for the environment. His editorial titled ‘Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math‘ has prime real estate on the August 2012 cover of Rolling Stone–next to Bieber’s left ear.
McKibben begins with an alarming portrait of the earth’s current climate: “A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere over the oceans is a shocking five percent wetter, loading the dice for devastating floods.” World powers (read: polluters) have failed to enter into an agreement that will hold them accountable for their carbon output…
“We’re in the same position we’ve been in for a quarter-century: scientific warning followed by political inaction.” writes McKibben, ”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.’”
McKibben focuses on numbers as the most indisputable way to augment his position. He warns, throughout, of the severe climate events and extreme weather that scientists expect will accompany unchecked global warming.
You can read the whole piece here. Scroll on for a video of McKibben speaking at Williams in October, as well as excerpts from our coverage of his arrest last summer…
Here’s a post we made on August 20th, 2011 after McKibben was arrested outside the White House:
“You’re looking at Middlebury’s Schumann Distinguished Scholar and Director of fellowships in Environmental Journalism Bill McKibben. McKibben is being arrested for his participation in a protest with a group called Tar Sands Action which is conducting a two week sit-in at the White House urging the POTUS not to permit a new oil pipeline. The group vehemently opposes the effects that dirty energy has on the environment and indigenous people.
Here’s the latest update from their website:
‘Bill McKibben just phoned with his one call from jail to report that despite the heat, everyone arrested today was in good spirits. “This was a powerful day,” Bill said. From what we’re hearing, the group is now being taken to central booking. There have been no confirmations yet about the amount of time that people arrested will be spending in jail, but our legal team will be putting out official updates as we get more confirmed information. From Bill and the whole team today, thank you to all the messages of support and prayers that you all are offering.’
Over 70 people have been arrested for their civil disobedience. For our part, it’s nice to know we have professors with the guts to walk the walk. Someone who is intelligent enough to know the legal consequences of their activism, but passionate enough not to care should always have a place in ‘Cac classrooms.”
We also posted this striking video, in which McKibben tells protesters to use their “body, creativity, and spirit” as “currency”: