The Climate Cliff + Earth to Humans: Enough Already

Program #MCKB006-MCKB005.

First program: The Climate Cliff

The most dangerous cliff we are facing is not a financial one but rather the climate one. The warming of the Earth’s temperature and what it portends is not just for penguins and polar bears but will have serious consequences for everyone. A new report commissioned by the World Bank says failure to respond aggressively to climate change will put “unprecedented stresses on human systems” and “will render parts of the Earth uninhabitable.” If steps are not taken now, the planet’s temperature will rise by 4 degrees Celsius, that’s more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit, by the end of the century. Both the scale and the pace of the peril have increased substantially. Yet, fossil fuel corporations continue to place profits before human life and the eco system. We now seem to be nearing tipping points past which cataclysmic damage would be inevitable.

Second program: Earth to Humans: Enough Already

You've heard the bad joke right? If the earth were a bank it would be bailed out. We have been diddling while the planet gradually sizzles. Conferences from Kyoto to Copenhagen come and go. Not much happens. The Congress? Well, the interests of big oil and coal come first, earth second. We have waited too long. Massive change is under way. For millennia the planet has been habitable and now it is melting, drying, and flooding in unprecedented ways. Leading environmentalist Lester Brown calls for "a wartime mobilization, an all-out response designed to avoid the destabilizing economic and political stresses that will come with unmanageable climate change. An emissions cut of 80 percent from today's levels by 2020, not 2050, would keep atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from exceeding 400 parts per million, setting the stage for getting back to 350."

Speaker(s):

Bill McKibben (click to view archive)

Bill McKibben was one of the first to sound the alarm on climate change with his bestselling book The End of Nature. A scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, he is a leading activist, journalist and author on the environment. His other books include The Age of Missing Information and Hope, Human and Wild, Deep Economy, and Eaarth. He is co-founder of 350.org.
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