Bill McKibben is a powerful speaker. It was because Bill was speaking and also Naomi Klein, Vandana Shiva and others that I bought tickets for the Pathways to Paris concert at Le Triannon on 5th December. The concert was run as a benefit for <350.org and it was a magnificent event.Bill was amazing as always and you can hear some of his talk here. (I recorded just under 7 minutes.)
Or better still go to the Pathway To Paris website and hear Bill speak and Patti Smith sing so soulfully directly to us, here a bit of what Naomi said and some rocking music with Thom Yorke and Flea.
Tenzin Choegyal played and sang for us and upon his entreaty, the audience raised their arms above their heads in solidarity with Tibet – the roof of the world. Tibet is already feeling the frightening impacts of dangerous climate change. The glaciers are melting. Up to 70% of the Tibetan plateau is covered by permafrost which is now degrading.
Halfway through his talk Bill donned a shirt that said “EXXON KNEW”. He talks about what this one company has cost the world. The time that has been lost.
Scientific American released a report in October 2015 titled “Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago. A new investigation shows the oil company understood the science before it became a public issue and spent millions to promote misinformation.”
Any wonder it’s felt so hard to get the message across much less the extreme urgency and the scale of what is at stake now having lost so much valuable time. Now the time left for action and the challenge are far more more daunting. 40 years ago or even 25 years ago we could have simply adjusted to avoid this very situation we are now in.
Now we have to step into Emergency Mode to get the job done and what does that mean exactly? Emergency Mode to enable climate conditions to be restored to a safe level. Not 2ºC – not even 1.5ºC – actually SAFE. We are already experiencing warming of more than 1ºC and seeing the shocking effects happening before our eyes. How do we turn that trend around in the time we have left and why are so few people even talking about this?
That’s the conversation I went searching for.