Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Member Editorial: Environment



Noted Environmentalist Bill McKibbon Brings Global Warming Message to Hayward 


A report by Joan and Fred Kramer 

A packed house in Hayward heard Bill McKibben Thursday evening, Feb 21, deliver an energizing call to action to slow climate change. Bill McKibben has authored many books on the environment and founded the grassroots climate change campaign 350.org which has coordinated over 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. Time magazine called him the planet’s best green journalist.

Bill McKibben drew national headlines Feb 17 as one of the organizers and featured speakers at a Washington rally to urge action on global warming and to urge President Obama to say no to the Keystone pipeline. The organizers estimated a crowd of 40,000 and hailed it as the biggest environmental rally in history.

He urges all to become activists to spread the urgency of the global warming message. He outlined what is happening; Global warming is a reality that demands attention now. The glaciers are melting and the Arctic ice is receding at an alarming rate. The ocean is becoming more acidic. One factor increasing the severe weather patterns is that global warming has increased concentration of moisture in the atmosphere resulting in more record breaking downpours. During the last years, temperatures have risen one degree and are moving towards two degrees. In human health terms that does not sound so dire. But at three or four degrees the human body is really sick.

He believes one of the most significant signs of increasing awareness is that in the last year 210 campuses have formed groups calling on their colleges and universities to divest their investment funds of fossil fuel companies. His primary emphasis now is traveling to campuses encouraging them to support this movement. This divestiture movement is based on the successful divestiture of investments in South African companies that helped to end apartheid in that country.

To stay informed and to find ways that citizens can be involved go to the website of 350.org.



Further comment: Why did the major newspapers and television networks not give more coverage to the huge 40,000 march Sunday October 17? Instead they focus on the talking points of the large oil and gas lobbies about the Keystone pipeline from Canada to the Gulf. It seems a worthy story since it focusses on promising thousands of jobs (their inflated numbers), but those stories don’t tell the reader that the Canadian oil from shale will be traded on the global market after its journey across the US and will not help The United States become more energy independent.

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