Sometimes inspiration comes from the obvious places and that's why I enjoyed seeing Bill McKibben recently speak about the front lines of the climate fight.
He would know, as an author, activist, and founder of 350.org, he gets after it. He gets arrested, gets people to rally, and gets important publicity.
His delivery, like that of a plaid-shirted Vermonter chatting over a cup of homemade Meade after a good log chopping session, is at first so unassuming as to make some climate fighters tap their fingers. That's okay because pretty soon you realize that he is fired up and his words are fiery.
I'm not going to sum up his entire talk, it would not be possible, but here are some good paraphrased sound bites:
- We need to leave leave 80% of fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
- It is not okay to profit from the wreckage of our climate.
- Knowledge without action is the ruin of the soul (nod to Francois Rabelais).
- Divest from fossil fuel companies. Make them the political pariahs they are.
- The Koch brothers will be on the losing side of history for two reasons: 1. The technology is here to replace them. 2. The recruiter for their opposition is Mother Nature.
- A price on carbon is great start and we need it now.
- Natural gas as a so-called bridge fuel: 1. Methane leaks from natural gas production greatly increase greenhouse gases. 2. We're wasting too much time on natural gas; the urgency is now.
- It is going to be a fight. We might not win but we must try.
1. Find your local 350.org and get involved.
2. Ask your Senators and Representatives to support climate action and clean energy initiatives.
3. Stop by your reps' local offices. In-person constituents are a powerful voice.
4. Call the White House. Yes, it's possible, and your privilege. Tell them you support climate leadership.
5. Write local press and tell them why you support clean energy.
6. Rock your social media -- tell ppl what you're doing, what's going on, and why you care.
7. Kill the tar sands pipeline (getting oil from tar sands is an extremely dirty process).
8. Phase out Coal, the dirtiest of the dirty.
9. Ask your school or local university to divest from the fossil fuel industry.
10. Support clean energy businesses.