The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
On Nov. 28, Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, spoke in Oberlin, Ohio, about the next steps for the Keystone XL pipeline and future of the modern-day environmental movement.
I had a chance to catch up with McKibben and talk about what's needed to pass strong environmental policy, continue collaboration among the grassroots environmental movement and keep the momentum going.
McKibben spoke to a full-house on the Oberlin College campus to students, community members and national environmental leaders, including David Orr and Brad Masi.
He spoke of the recent International Energy Agency's report warning that we need to stop relying on insecure and environmentally unsustainable uses of energy, and adopt bold policies to prevent a world-wide energy crisis.
He spoke of the floods and droughts impacting communities throughout the world. From the worst flooding in Pakistan to record rainfall in the northeastern region of the U.S. where communities broke one-day rain records by more than 25 percent to droughts in Australia to Bangkok, Thailand's worst flooding in almost 70 years that has killed as many as 600 people and caused economic damages that could exceed $20 billion.
He spoke of how this extreme weather is happening with just one degree increase in temperature and unless we get our act together very quickly, one degree will be 4 to 5 degrees before this century is out, and civilization as we know it will never be the same.
He spoke about how the Keystone XL pipeline demonstrated what it's going to take to build the type of movement that can create real change, and what will be needed to confront the people and companies that are putting profits above the health of people and the planet.
McKibben said, "We are not going to stop climate change one pipeline at a time, there are just too many pipelines, too many oil wells. We need to put a price on carbon and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere." We are allowing the fossil fuel industry to spew carbon dioxide into the air at no cost and that has to change.
We need to take on corporate power directly and take on this idea that corporations are people and that they are allowed to spend as much money as they want in the political arena. Corporation are not people.
McKibben knows that we'll continue to need passion, spirit and creativity to continue this movement, but we're going to need to use our bodies and participate in nonviolent civil disobedience to create real change.
He concluded by saying that he can't promise that we'll win this fight, but that he knows people will not stop trying, and he'll continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with us all.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.
The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.
By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.