New York was blessed with a visit from Bill McKibben last night (9/18/10), climate activist and author of “The End of Nature” and his new “Eaarth.” Faith House and Greenfaith organized the Sustain event, which attracted over 100 people. McKibben offered a sobering overview of climate events just in the last 90 days, including the flood in Pakistan, a large piece of Greenland ice breaking off into the sea, and the Moscow heat wave that affected wheat crops. While discouraging, he relayed what gives him hope–the great response he’s gotten to his 350.org international grassroots campaigns.
The goal of 350.org is to have the public urge their governments to set policy targets to achieve a global carbon dioxide level of 350 ppm (parts per million); the level climate scientists say is needed to stabilize our climate. We are now over 380ppm. Last year’s campaign culminated on October 24th with events held in 181 countries. He shared a great story about receiving a call at his home in Vermont from an activist in Ethiopia profusely apologizing that they had to hold their protest a day early because their government refused to allow it on the 24th— she said “So sorry Mr. Bill, but we do have 15,000 people out in the street right now….”
McKibben’s talk was flanked by interfaith music performances and prayers. It was encouraging to see people of different faiths heeding the call to action and coming out to be inspired and informed on the subject of climate change. The next day of action is 10-10-10 where the 350.org campaign is urging people do an energy saving action, like put up a solar panel, and then to urge their governments to get to work as well…So let’s get to work.
Beth & Bill McKibben