August 10, 2010

Bill McKibben on "The Moral Math of Climate Change"

Last week, Bill McKibben lit a fire up underneath us all by writing in no uncertain terms about climate change. If you didn’t catch it, read it now. If that leaves you wanting more Bill McKibben you can listen to him in “The Moral Math of Climate Change” on Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett (which is, in an effort to have a “more spacious container” for the show to grow into, changing its name to Krista Tippett on Being).

The interview begins with a brief sketch of McKibben’s life. He’s an interesting guy: he went from Harvard to The New Yorker, to the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York where he fell deeply in love with the land. He reflects on writing a piece for The New Yorker about describing where all of his possessions came from, and that leading to him to think seriously about the physicality of the world. From there he goes over a history of the knowledge of climate change, before moving into the heart of his message—the why we should care about this issue. He talks about cities, neighborliness, and the inspiration to be found in the 350.org movement. He points out that what we have to now do is not complicated (we have to stop using fossil fuels), but that it’s hard.

The interview well worth a listen. And though McKibben describes himself as a “reasonably orthodox, practicing Methodist,” if you listen closely you’ll hear him mention the Buddha at least once or twice.

Image: Buddhist monks in Leh, Ladakh form 350, in one of the first big 350.org actions. © Conor Ashleigh 2008.

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