Bill McKibben: Environmental Journalist and Activist, Founder of the grassroots global warming movement 350.org, Author of "The End of Nature", Middlebury, USA
While the USA has experienced heat records, droughts, unprecedented hurricanes like Sandy in this years environmentalist Bill McKibben is predicting further damage due to the escalating climate change until the end of this century. The question would only be how big the damage will be. In a widely distributed article for the magazine Rolling Stone McKibben researched that the fossil fuel industry has 2800 giga tons of carbon in form of oil, gas and coal in its books and plans to burn them. This would mean the end of the planet as we know it, says Bill McKibben. The global grassroots climate movement 350.org has launched a campaign fordivestment from the fossil fuel industry to stop the climat havoc.
The tar sands in Canada are the second largest pool of carbon on earth. If all the recoverable oil there was burnt Hansen's latest paper said, it would be more carbon than we burnt in all of human history so far. Bill McKibben with 350.org together with Naomi Klein and climate scientiest James Hansen has organised protests against the Keystone XL Pipeline, linking the tar sands with the U.S. raffeneries in the South to speed up extraction. Last year more than 1200 people were arrested in a civil disobedience protest in front of the White House in Washington D.C. demonstrating against the pipeline. People in the U.S. are increasingly ready to put their bodies in the line against the destruction of the planet, says McKibben.
The Kyoto Protocol is so far the only binding regulation of carbon dioxide emissions. But since the protocol was adopted in 1997 the worldwide emissions have been increased by 40 per cent. At the same time there are not even expections for a continuation of the Kyoto protocol at the 18th UN climate conference in Doha, Qatar. "Copenhagen, Durban, all of those demonstrate that until we can break the stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry on the national governments, that there is not really that much to be done internationally", says Bill McKibben. Every year governments around the world pay close to one trillion dollars taxpayer money to big coal and oil corporations. These subesedies are insulting, they have to stop, says McKibben.
By blocking the international climate politics, opening the arctic to drilling or allowing the opening up of huge coal fields in the Powder River basin, U.S. president Barack Obama has not kept his environmental promises, McKibben sums up. In the recent presidential election campaigns climate change was not a topic. Meanwhile the fossil fuel industry has become a "rogue industry". They determine the laws of the land and finance congress members to sabotage the climate politics and promote climate change denial.