We have been encouraged by the level of public debate that Bill McKibben has raised on his recent tour and through the 350.org organisation he has helped found.
Fossil fuel industries continue to pollute our atmosphere without any form of long term plan or risk analysis in response to what science is telling us – just like a bunch of teenagers trashing the joint! Bill’s article in the Monthly provides an interesting, international perspective on how even starting to talk about the science of how much CO2 we can afford to release into the atmosphere, has sparked outrage akin to terrorist threats in Australia.
We like his simplification of the numbers to explain what science is telling us:
in order to contain global temperature increases to 2°, we can only afford to burn around 1/5 of the world's known fossil fuel reserves – and that is still in the ‘bye bye Great Barrier Reef' zone.
He puts the science and numbers together well, to ask a pretty common sense question: What do we expect to happen if we keep taking carbon out of the ground and put it into our planet's physically constrained atmosphere?
We also applaud Bill's approach of targeting super fund investors and questioning how and why our money is being invested in heavily subsidised polluting industries. Our financial industry seems adapt at running away from the question of 'What exactly is the 'end game' of perpetual growth economics?'
We wish him well in continuining to bring the issues our political system struggles to deal with into the public realm.