Friday, December 7, 2012

Bill McKibben In Rolling Stone

I'm not that big on climate change rhetoric. Sure, it's true, but it gives complaisant numbnutzes a controversy to distract us from doing what needs to be done.

And what we need to do, we need to do, climate change or no.

The controversy's on the back burner, and seems to be abating there. Sandy, etc. seem to have convinced people like NY mayor, Michael Bloomberg. He doesn't get it all yet, but he's started to think about it.

Somebody who does get it, is Bill McKibben who was recently in the Twin Cities, and whom I missed. Friends did go to hear McKibben, and conversations with them made me go to the library and read McKibben's piece, The Reckoning, from the August 2 Rolling Stone:

* We've decided that two degrees celsius is the warming increase we can stand;

* We're at 0.08, and the weird weather has been weirder than predicted;

* We can add 565 gigatons of carbon dioxide to the air between now and midcentury without pushing ourselves over the two-degree mark;

* Oil and coal companies have 2, 795 gigatons of future CO2 emissions in proven reserves;

* These reserves are their capital, and if we did what we need to do, the carbon companies would have to write off $20 trillion of their assets.

The article has a Tragedy-of-the-Commons angle, and I won't give away McKibben's way of resolving it.

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