I don’t know this to be true, but I imagine there were plenty of global warming-doubting Republicans in the room as the Downtown Rotary Club welcomed Bill McKibben, the acclaimed environmentalist who is in town for the Festival of Faiths.
McKibben is convincing when it comes to the dangers of climate change, what he calls the “most important issue of our time.” He says there’s evidence all around us, but especially in the surge in catastrophe around the globe, from heat and drought to record floods.
McKibben, who said he spent time with Wendell Cherry and Christy Brown during his trip, speaks with an urgency, because he truly believes it is urgent that we start acting on ways to stop climate change. He believes that we will change our habits when it becomes economically feasible to do so, and says that’ will happen when there is a bigger price to pay for filling the air with carbon.
More importantly, he answered a question by saying it will start happening when it becomes a moral issue, that we as humans must realize we owe it to the earth to take care of it.
But McKibben isn’t your average peace-and-love environmentalist. He knows he’ll be involved in “more pointed political conflict.” He talked of a big protest Sunday in Washington, when people are going to encircle the White House to “pressure President Obama to reject Keystone XL and live up to his promise to free us from the tyranny of oil. In doing so, we want to remind him of the power of the movement that he rode to the White House in 2008.” The movement is called 350.org.
A note of thanks to Dr. John Gilderbloom for the invitation to today’s event.