Bill McKibben on David Letterman Show Tonight

Bill McKibben 350.org
Updated on 09/02/10: Watch the video clip from McKibben’s appearance here:

Original article posted on 08/31/10:
Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, will be on the David Letterman show tonight urging President Obama to reinstall Jimmy Carter’s White House solar panels that former President Reagan took down.  The Letterman appearance will kick off the Put Solar On It road trip.

McKibben will also talk about his new book Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.

350.org Global Warming350.org is an international campaign that is building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis. Their name comes from the number that scientists say we need to get below in parts per million CO2 in order to stop the damage we’re already seeing from global warming. According to 350.org:

There are three numbers you need to really understand global warming, 275, 392, and 350. For all of human history until about 200 years ago, our atmosphere contained 275 parts per million of carbon dioxide… By now-and this is the second number-the planet has 392 parts per million CO2 – and this number is rising by about 2 parts per million every year. Scientists are now saying that’s too much – that number is higher than any time seen in the recorded history of our planet – and we’re already beginning to see disastrous impacts on people and places all over the world… the world’s leading climate scientists have now revised the highest safe level of COs to 350 parts per million.

NASA’s James Hansen, the first scientist to warn about global warning more than two decades ago, wrote recently:

“If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm.”

That will be a hard task, but not impossible. We need to stop taking carbon out of the ground and putting it into the air. Above all, that means we need to stop burning so much coal—and start using solar and wind energy and other such sources of renewable energy –while ensuring the Global South a fair chance to develop. If we do, then the earth’s soils and forests will slowly cycle some of that extra carbon out of the atmosphere, and eventually CO2 concentrations will return to a safe level. By decreasing use of other fossil fuels, and improving agricultural and forestry practices around the world, scientists believe we could get back below 350 by mid-century. But the longer we remain in the danger zone—above 350—the more likely that we will see disastrous and irreversible climate impacts.

Bill McKibben is also the bestselling author of 12 other books including The End of Nature
iconwhich first warned of global warming’s inevitable impact 20 years ago. You can check out McKibben’s books at Barnes and Noble:
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