Sometimes, even television has its uses

This video, a selection of TV news clips that serve to illustrate Bill McKibben’s recent op-ed on climate change denial, has already made the rounds, but as it deserves as wide an audience as possible, I’ll do my bit.

It’s also noteworthy because the op-ed marked a first for McKibben: the use of a snarky, satirical tone. Until now, he’s been a upbeat cheerleader for climate change activists. Sooner or later, it would, we all get tired of banging our head against a wall and have to lash out at idiocy.

eaarth

Back in the winter of 1990-91, when I was a between-real-jobs freelancer hanging out in Vancouver with plenty of time on my hands to read, I would cycle down to Stanley Park each rainless day, find a quiet stretch of beach, and read. I went through dozens of books before returning to the working world, but the only book I remember in any detail is Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature. It was the first full-length, popular-science take on climate change, and I’ve spent much of the last 20 years thinking and writing about the subject, thanks to that book. So has McKibben.

eaarth is an oddly titled sequel of sorts. Climate change is just the backstory now. What was once looming on the horizon has become a present-day crisis that threatens to undermine the very fabric of civilization. That’s the starting point of McKibben’s latest stream-of-consciousness anti-fossil-fuel polemic. And I mean that in a good way.
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