Comment to the above youtube video of Bill McKibben interview on September 23,
Horrible video. Too Little Too Late Bill McKibben will go down in history as the worst misleader of the environmental movement in history. He’s a yuppie millionaire who said in this video that he longed to find other climate activists and writers when the truth is he ignored us for 20 years! He wrote books instead!
He offered no solidarity or financial help to any of us who founded the climate action movement within Earth First! in the 1980s before his book came out. Now in this interview on the history of the climate action movement, he erases its first twenty years!
He says in the video that there weren’t many people of color in the climate movement before 2007. Nonsense! If he had organized with Earth First! and the Rainforest Action Network in the 1980s and 90s he would have been working with indigenous people of color in North America, Central America, South America, Africa, and Asia. We don’t like being written out of history by Bill McKibben!
There were always people of color leading environmentalism: Chico Mendes, Ken
He refused to share his microphone with anybody and so hogged all the magazine article-writing for himself. I was warning about the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in 1998 (published in Earth Island Journal) and Bill, to this day, pretends that its collapse and the flooding of every square foot of the coastlines of 132 nations isn’t too late to be saved (NASA announced on May 12, 2014, that the collapse of WAIS is “unstoppable.”
He didn’t become an activist until 2007–after it was too late to prevent the collapse of WAIS and the 20-feet of sea-level rise that is coming in the next few decades.
He did not write the first book on the greenhouse effect’s threats to civilization and nature or the first book on the topic for the general reader. There were many other books that came out the same year and the year after by people like Stephen Schneider, David Suzuki, Paul Ehrlich, and Jeremy Rifkin among many others.
I was a research asst. on a book by Larry Ephron that came out a year before McKibben’s, published by
McKibben only considers yuppie reformist solutions to the climate crisis when what it requires is an electoral revolution to oust petrocratic politicians from Congress (because we can’t talk them into doing what must be accomplished in the next ten years) so that we can enact a #ClimateEmergency #GreenNewDeal to rebuild our infrastructure around bioregions and local economic security (e.g. meeting all of our food, clothing, and shelter needs as close to home as possible: Globalization RIP, Bill!).
That is what we have to do over the next ten years, but it will not save the WAIS. It’s simply too late for that. So we have to plan the relocation of coastal civilization, not engage in what Bill calls “a beautiful fight.”
I wrote the first GND in 1991 and it has been published online since 1996.
It called for a climate emergency declaration and war effort to get 80% off fossil fuels in ten years (by 2005). McKibben ignored it. The reason we needed a GND in the early 1990s was because Suzuki pointed out in his book, It’s A Matter of Survival (not Gore’s horrible lukewarm term “An Inconvenient Truth”), three 1990 reports from IPCC, EPA, and Woods Hole Research Center indicating back then that we had 10-15 years to get fossil fuel emissions 50-80% below 1990 levels.
Bill ignored this in the video here when he says the 2018 IPCC report was the first time such a focus to get off fossil fuels in ten years was made. It was made 17 years before Bill became a climate activist in 1990.
This is when science was underestimating what needed to be done! So we ran out of time in 2005 and in 2014 NASA announced that the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is now “unstoppable.” So Bill’s egocentric climate “activism” ignoring the rest of us, covered up the fact that we were collapsing our ice sheets until it became too late.
That’s why he’s the worst environmental movement leader of all time (along with Naomi Klein who ignored WAIS too, and still does to this day while preaching Pollyanna yuppie climate activism). With their help, we could have been arguing for a Climate Emergency Green New Deal in the early 1990s and warning that our
McKibben didn’t mention anything in this interview about
He doesn’t realize that the cause of the climate crisis is capitalism. Climate destabilization is a side-effect of capitalism. It can’t be fixed within the context of capitalism because the foundation of “earning” profits in capitalism is that profits are privatized and costs externalized to society and other species. The Tragedy of the Commons explains why it is impossible for capitalism to save us from the climate crisis. Now that it is too late to save WAIS and prevent 20 feet of sea-level rise capitalism is a proved failure.
That is the only reason we didn’t
We must now demand that all coastal nuclear power plants start decommissioning in the next 12 months. Where the hell is Bill on calling for that? They take 60 or more years to decommission under SAFSTOR. Many are 5-10 feet above sea level. According to James Hansen’s 2015 report, we’ll have ten feet of sea-level rise by 2065. In 2016 NOAA announced that it would be nine feet of sea-level rise by 2050. In 2017 the state of California issued a report stating we’ll see ten feet in the next 70 years. Bill and Naomi are silent on all of this.
If you want to see the actual history of the first 20 years of climate activism please check out my Green New Deal Timeline.
And if you want to hear from the guy who has been getting it right for 30 years and learn how we should be dealing with the climate crisis, please watch this video (below) by the guy who coined “Climate Crisis” in 1986 and “Climate Action NOW!” in 1996. If we don’t wage an electoral revolution, we lose the planet, Bill!
And the number we have to get down to is the pre-industrial peak or lower: 280 ppm. McKibben has even been wrong about that when he chose to see the Earth as having a giant thermostat that could be kept from rising above 2 degrees C if we just got back down to 350 ppm, a level not seen in the previous 2.5 million years, for the entire Pleistocene epoch.
It is indeed time for Bill McKibben to retire from climate crisis organizing. He is distracting people from the real task at hand.