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This July, as the country reeled from the worst drought since the dust-bowl, Bill McKibben published an article in Rolling Stone magazine called Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math. In the piece, McKibben explained in stark mathematical terms the crisis that the planet currently finds itself in. In order to limit warming to below 2 degrees C, McKibben wrote, scientists warn that we can only emit 565 more gigatons of CO2, but the fossil fuel industry currently has 2,795 gigatons of CO2 in their reserves and is spending millions every day looking for more carbon to burn.
Once you “do the math,” McKibben argued, there was only one possible conclusion. “But what all these climate numbers make painfully, usefully clear is that the planet does indeed have an enemy—one far more committed to action than governments or individuals. Given this hard math, we need to view the fossil-fuel industry in a new light. It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization.”
With more than 112,000 Facebook shares, the article became one of the most viewed and widely-shared pieces ever posted on RollingStone.com. Or, as McKibben told Oilprice.com in July, the piece was "wickedly viral."
This fall, McKibben will embark on a 20 city "Do The Math" tour of the U.S. A TED-talk meets concert tour, the events will help spread the new terrifying math laid out in McKibben's Rolling Stone piece, as well as build support for a fossil fuel divestment campaign. The effort will focus on college campuses and religious institutions and is modeled on the successful divestment campaigns during the South African anti-apartheid movements of the 1980s.
"The fossil-fuel industry is obviously a tougher opponent, and even if you could force the hand of particular companies, you'd still have to figure out a strategy for dealing with all the sovereign nations that, in effect, act as fossil-fuel companies," McKibben wrote in Rolling Stone. "But the link for college students is even more obvious in this case. If their college's endowment portfolio has fossil-fuel stock, then their educations are being subsidized by investments that guarantee they won't have much of a planet on which to make use of their degree."
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.
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Malaysia Sends Plastic Waste Back to 13 Wealthy Countries, Says It Won’t Be 'the Rubbish Dump of the World'
The Southeast Asian country Malaysia has sent 150 shipping containers packed with plastic waste back to 13 wealthy countries, putting the world on notice that it will not be the world's garbage dump, as CNN reported. The countries receiving their trash back include the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada.
Madagascar has embarked on its most ambitious tree-planting drive yet, aiming to plant 60 million trees in the coming months. The island nation celebrates 60 years of independence this year, and the start of the planting campaign on Jan. 19 marked one year since the inauguration of President Andry Rajoelina, who has promised to restore Madagascar's lost forests.