Big Turnout for Meeting at Alpha Building Tonight

There appeared to be more than a hundred people in attendance at tonight’s brainstorming meeting at the Alpha Building in Nevada City (first announced here on September 15th).

The crowd was spirited and upbeat during the potluck and the brief speeches by Reinette Senum, Mali Dyck, Jason Rainey, Tania Carlone and Gary Tintle, co-owner of the Alpha Building.

Following these brief introductory speeches, the crowd broke up into smaller working groups to consider the various regions of the approximately 30,000 square-foot space.

We were unable to stay for the entire evening, but we did catch an interesting unplanned moment: Caroline Szekely, co-owner with her husband Rick of the nearby “Nevada City Marketplace” on Pine Street, politely interrupted Tania Carlone’s talk early in the session and asked to speak.

Tania graciously yielded the floor for a few minutes while Ms. Szekeley expressed her concern that the new group not use what she claimed is the proprietary term, “Nevada City Marketplace.” Her words of concern were met by some indistinct murmurs and applauded primarily by a small contingent at the rear of the crowd, who also applauded her at the conclusion of her remarks. Tania thanked her for her courage in addressing this session, and the brief interruption ended amicably.

Reinette reminded all present that their regular weekly sustainability working group is open to all interested parties (Thursdays at 9 AM in the council chamber).

This regular working group will soon be reviewing the suggestions that come out of tonight’s brainstorming session, which they hope will be “one hundred thousand square feet of ideas … so they may spill over to the rest of the community.”

More Celtic Energy Exploding

Here’s some more great stuff coming our way this weekend.

Leahy — The Meridian Star

Niamh Parson and Graham Dunne — Clohinne Winds

Brian Finnegan and William Coulter

Scenes From Our Weekend at Lake Tahoe

Although my wife was at a conference at Lake Tahoe a few weeks ago, the trip we took there together last weekend — to meet up with our kids at a family cabin — was my first visit there in probably forty years.

The drive over from Tahoe City to South Shore had one harrowing moment on Highway 89, right where the road runs between Emerald Bay on the left and Cascade Lake on the right. There’s no shoulder, and from the driver’s perspective it lookes like a sheer drop to the left and a sheer drop to the right. A good test of nerves, and I got only a “B-” on that test. You really need to score an “A+” if you’re gonna drive that road much.

Photo from Google Maps

Here’s a nice view of the Tahoe Queen, docked not far from the beach below our cabin:

Tahoe Queen, Near Our Beach

A goose lifting off from the lake, early Sunday morning:

Goose Lifting Off, Sunday Morning

Our “kids”:

Our "kids"

Kokanee Salmon Spawning at Taylor Creek (9/26/10):

Kokanee Salmon Spawning, Taylor Creek (9/26/10)

Prop 23 TV Ads — Pro and Con — Hitting the Airwaves

As Grist reports, the Prop 23 ads — both pro and con — are now hitting the airwaves. Some samples are below.

Donations to the “No on 23” campaign have also ramped up:

As predicted, the big money has started to pour into the battle over Proposition 23, the California ballot measure that would suspend the state’s global warming law.

But not from where you’d expect. The six-figure donations filling campaign coffers are not coming from the Texas oil companies and petrochemical giants backing Prop 23 but from a coalition of environmentalists, venture capitalists, green tech companies, and environmental justice activists who are working to defeat the measure.

Over the past two weeks, the No on 23 forces have collected more than $1.8 million in contributions while the Yes campaign has taken in only $6,500, according to California Secretary of State records. (See the graphic below for more detail on who’s giving what to whom.)

A couple of “No on 23” ads:

A “Yes on 23” ad:

Packy Go Home They’re Searching For Your Bones

The Celtic Festival, our favorite event in Nevada County’s yearly calendar, will be here in a few days.

I’m sorry not to see Dougie MacLean in this year’s schedule, but there’s still a rich lineup of amazing talent.

Here are some artists who will be appearing at the Celtic Festival at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley this weekend. These video clips are from earlier concerts in other venues.

Good Lord, this first song — by the Elders — has some great archetypal Irish themes: a couple of mischievous lads, bless their hearts,  blew up their school — St. Brendan’s, where Sister Josephine ran a tight ship — and maybe blew themselves up to boot!

Or maybe — after blowing up the school —  they just went fishing!

The Elders playing “Packy Go Home:”

And here’s the great Scottish fiddler, Alasdair Fraser, joined by California cellist, Natalie Haas.

Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, in a gorgeous blend of Celtic fiddle and Celtic cello!

Krugman Demolishes Latest GOP Contract on America

Paul Krugman shows how Reagan’s theory that lowering taxes would increase revenue, as foolish as it was, made more sense than the GOP’s “Pledge to America,” released yesterday.

It should probably come as no surprise, given the recent descent of the Republican Party into the “Party of No,” that a discredited economic theory named after a B-movie actor now stands as a pinnacle of intellectual achievement compared to the current GOP policy agenda.

Krugman gives the short version of the new “pledge” as follows:

“Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger.”

Referring to the only substantive policy proposal in the pledge, making the Bush tax cuts permanent, which “independent estimates say would add about $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next decade,” Krugman continues:

‘Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: “No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.” ‘

While there’s no risk that the GOP could ever actually enact this nonsensical policy pledge, Krugman concludes that the real danger is “that Republicans will gain just enough power to make the country ungovernable, unable to address its fiscal problems or anything else in a serious way … banana republic, here we come.”

Read the full article here.

APPLE Sustainability Center: Fall Discussion Series



Obama’s Deficit Commission Will Recommend Social Security Benefit Cuts

President Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission, according to Glenn Greenwald and a growing chorus of commentators, will recommend cuts in Social Security benefits, even though such cuts will have little effect on the deficit. In a recent interview with Robert McChesney, Greenwald said that the plan to cut Social Security benefits is an “open secret” in Washington.

The plan is for the commission to return its recommendation after the midterm election, when a lame-duck Congress could enact legislation to implement benefit cuts, far enough ahead of the next election so that there will be time for the uproar to die down. With the commission meeting in secret, public discourse on such cuts is effectively precluded prior to the midterm.

Jane Hamsher says that “President Obama has packed the Debt Commission (also known as the cat food commission) with members who have an overwhelming history of support for both benefit cuts and privatization of Social Security.” (See chart of membership here).

Hamsher says:

“What Wall Street wants is to wind up with a good chunk of the Social Security trust fund in its own coffers. Where that intersects with the objectives of the commission remains to be seen, but the fact is that Obama has packed it with people who have a strong history of supporting both reducing benefits and privatization. Even the token “liberals” like Jan Schakowsky have a history of abandoning their strongest principles when the President asks it of them, and Dick Durbin is now telling “bleeding heart liberals” to be open to benefit cuts for the sake of the fiscal responsibility.”

Economist James Galbraith addressed the Deficit Commission in June, and chided them in the bluntest possible language:

“Your proceedings are clouded by illegitimacy.  In this respect, there are four major issues.

“First, most of your meetings are secret, apart from two open sessions before this one, which were plainly for show.  There is no justification for secret meetings on deficit reduction. No secrets of any kind are involved. Nothing you say will affect financial markets. Congress long ago — in 1975 — reformed its procedures to hold far more sensitive and complicated meetings, notably legislative markups, in the broad light of day.

“Secrecy breeds suspicion: first, that your discussions are at a level of discourse so low that you feel it would be embarrassing to disclose them.  Second, that some members of the commission are proceeding from fixed, predetermined agendas.  Third, that the purpose of the secrecy is to defer public discussion of cuts in Social Security and Medicare until after the 2010 elections.  You could easily dispel these suspicions by publishing video transcripts of all of your meetings on the Internet, and by holding all future meetings in public.  Please do so.

“Second, there is a question of leadership.  A bipartisan commission should approach its task in a judicious, open-minded and dispassionate way.  For this, the attitude and temperament of the leadership are critical.

“I first met Senator Simpson when we were both on Capitol Hill; at Harvard he became friends with my late parents.  He is admirably frank in his views.  But Senator Simpson has plainly shown that he lacks the temperament to do a fair and impartial job on this commission.  This is very clear from the abusive response he made recently to Alex Lawson of Social Security Works, who was asking important questions about the substance of the commission’s work, as well as calling attention to the illegitimate secrecy under which you are operating.

“A general cannot speak of the President with contempt.  Likewise the leader of a commission intended to sway the public cannot display contempt for the public.  With due respect, Senator Simpson’s conduct fails that test.

“Third, most members of the Commission are political leaders, not economists.  With all respect for Alice Rivlin, with just one economist on board you are denied access to the professional arguments surrounding this highly controversial issue.  In general, it is impossible to have a fair discussion of any important question when the professional participants in that discussion have been picked, in advance, to represent a single point of view.

“Conflicts of interest constitute the fourth major problem.  The fact that the Commission has accepted support from Peter G. Peterson, a man who has for decades conducted a relentless campaign to cut Social Security and Medicare, raises the most serious questions.  Quite apart from the merits of Mr. Peterson’s arguments, this act must be condemned.  A Commission serving public purpose cannot accept funds or other help from a private party with a strong interest in the outcome of that Commission’s work.  Your having done so is a disgrace.”

Galbraith concludes:

” … if cuts are proposed and enacted in Social Security and Medicare, they will hurt millions, weaken the economy, and the deficits will not decline. It’s a lose-lose proposition, with no gainers except a few predatory funds, insurance companies, and such who would profit, for some time, from a chaotic private marketplace.”

Just to emphasize the seriousness of what’s at stake, here’s a graph from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

Click for more information

England’s National Theatre Live in Grass Valley!

I spoke to Mike Getz today, owner of Sierra Cinemas, about their exciting new partnership with the National Theatre Live of London, which broadcasts live stage plays via satellite to a number of suitably equipped theaters throughout the world.

Now — thanks to extensive infrastructure upgrades Mike made to his theater on East Main in Grass Valley — local viewers will be able to see these plays too.

Here’s the press release Mike sent out today to his theater schedule subscribers:

“Sierra Cinemas, right here in Grass Valley is pleased to announce that it is partnering up with the National Theatre of London, England to present a series of extraordinary plays to show live via satellite on the big screen. Now equipped with state of the art digital projection, Sierra Cinemas will transport you direct to the London stage for an unforgettable live theater experience, without the air fare.

“The new season kicks off on September 30 with Phèdre, a classic tragedy of lust and betrayal. Academy Award winner Helen Mirren stars in the title role as a woman consumed by an uncontrollable passion for her young stepson. Believing Theseus, her absent husband to be dead, Phèdre confesses her darkest desires and enters the world of nightmare. When Theseus returns alive and well, Phèdre, fearing exposure, turns on her stepson with catastrophic results.”

Ticket Information for NT Live:

Adults: $18
Children, Seniors, and Students with current ID: $15

All Season Pass: $95 ($126 value – must be purchased by first event)
Group Rates: For groups of 20 or more, Adults $15, Child/Snr/Student $12.50. Group tickets must be purchased in advance.

Advance tickets available at the Sierra Cinemas Box Office.

Sierra Cinemas is located at 840-C East Main Street at the corner of Hughes Road in Grass Valley.

The 2010 season showcases seven productions that will be broadcast at Sierra Cinemas in Grass Valley. Each play will be screened twice – the first will be a live broadcast on Thursday evening at 7:15 pm, and the second will be an encore performance on Saturday morning at 10:00 am one week after the Thursday event.

A summary of this season’s productions:

September 30 & October 9

An encore performance of the 2009 production of Phèdre will start off the 2010 season in late September.  Helen Mirren takes the title role in this savage play by Jean Racine, translated into muscular free verse by the late Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes.

A Disappearing Number
October 14 & 23

The season will launch on October 14, 2010 with Complicite’s A Disappearing Number live from Theatre Royal Plymouth. Directed by Simon McBurney. Awards include the Olivier Award for Best New Play (2008), the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play (2007) and The Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best New Play (2007).

December 9 & 18

On December 9, 2010 Hamlet will be broadcast, directed by Nicholas Hytner featuring Rory Kinnear in the title role, David Calder as Polonius, Clare Higgins as Gertrude, Patrick Malahide as Claudius and Ruth Negga as Ophelia.

January 13 & 22

A provocative and wholly unique hybrid of dance, theatre and music, FELA!explores the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones.  Tony winning musical FELA! will be broadcast on January 13, 2011.

King Lear
February 3 & 12

The Donmar Warehouse’s production of King Lear will be broadcast as part of the second season of National Theatre Live on February 3, 2011.
An ageing monarch. A kingdom divided. A child’s love rejected. As Lear’s world descends into chaos, all that he once believed is brought into question.

One of the greatest works in western literature, King Lear explores the very nature of human existence: love and duty, power and loss, good and evil.

Derek Jacobi and Michael Grandage renew their collaboration, having previously worked together on The TempestDon Carlos and Twelfth Night.Grandage’s creative team – Christopher Oram, Neil Austin and Adam Cork are the Tony Award-winning team behind the company’s recent Broadway smash hit Red.

March 17 & 26

Danny Boyle’s production ofFrankenstein, a play by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley will follow on March 17, 2011.

The Cherry Orchard
June 30 & July 9

Also in the new season will be Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, directed by NT Associate Director Howard Davies, whose recent productions of Russian plays (includingPhilistinesBurnt by the Sun and The White Guard) have earned huge critical acclaim.  Zoë Wanamaker will play Madame Ranevskaya.

Sierra Theaters Presents National Theatre Live

National Theatre Live is a groundbreaking initiative to broadcast live performances from Britain’s stages to cinemas worldwide. The first season of events, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phèdrestarring Helen Mirren, was seen by over 150,000 people on 320 screens in 22 countries.  Each performance is filmed in high definition and broadcast via satellite and includes behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with artists.

Sierra Theaters in Grass Valley will be one of only ten California cinemas to broadcast the 2010 season.  Equipped with state of the art digital projection and Dolby Digital surround sound, Sierra Cinemas offers audiences the exclusive opportunity to be transported to London for an extraordinary live theater experience.

“We couldn’t have foreseen that the experimental National Theatre Live season would be such a hit with audiences around the world, who are hungry to see our work in their local cinema”, says Nicholas Hytner, Director of the National Theatre. “We’re delighted that we can confidently build on its success with a second season of broadcasts.”

This season’s line up includes two thrilling collaborations with other British theatre companies, Complicite and the Donmar Warehouse.

“A smashing success.” LA Times

“If you haven’t experienced NT Live yet, I can’t recommend it too highly.” Daily Telegraph

For press clippings, click here.

Bill McKibben: “My Road Trip With a Solar Rock Star”

Or Notes on the Enthusiasm Gap
By Bill McKibben

Originally published in Reprinted with permission.

[Editor’s Note: I was tempted to change the title of McKibben’s piece to something like “How Obama Crapped on Bill McKibben’s Excellent Adventure,” because McKibben’s account of his trip to the White House with brave hearts and solar panels is truly heartbreaking].

I got to see the now-famous enthusiasm gap up close and personal last week, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

The backstory: I help run a global warming campaign called In mid-summer, we decided to organize an effort to ask world leaders to put solar panels on the roofs of their residences. It was to be part of the lead-up to a gigantic Global Work Party on October 10th (10-10-10), and a way to give prime ministers and politburos something easy to do in the hope of getting the fight against global warming slowly back on track. One of those crucial leaders is, of course, Barack Obama, who stood by with his arms folded this summer while the Senate punted on climate-change legislation. We thought this might be a good way for him to signal that he was still committed to change, even though he hadn’t managed to pass new laws.

And so we tracked down the solar panels that once had graced the White House roof, way back in the 1970s under Jimmy Carter. After Ronald Reagan took them down, they’d spent the last few decades on the cafeteria roof at Unity College in rural Maine. That college’s president, Mitch Thomashow, immediately offered us a panel to take back to the White House. Better still, he encouraged three of his students to accompany the panel, not to mention allowing the college’s sustainability coordinators to help manage the trip.

And so, on the day after Labor Day, we set off in a biodiesel college van. Solar road trip! Guitars, iPods, excellent snack food, and for company, the rock star of solar panels, all 6 x 3-feet and 140 pounds of her. We pulled into Boston that first night for a rally at Old South Church, where a raucous crowd lined up for the chance to sign the front of the panel, which quickly turned into a giant glass petition. The same thing the next night in New York, and then DC, with an evening at one of the city’s oldest churches headlined by the Reverend Lennox Yearwood, head of the Hip-Hop Caucus.

It couldn’t have been more fun. Wherever we could, we’d fire up the panel, pour a gallon of water in the top, point it toward the sun, and eight or nine minutes later you’d have steaming hot water coming out the bottom. Thirty-one years old and it worked like a charm — a vexing reminder that we’ve known how to do this stuff for decades. We just haven’t done it.

That’s what we kept telling reporters as they turned out along the route: if the Obamas will put solar panels back on the White House roof, or on the lawn, or anywhere else where people can see them, it will help get the message across — the same way that seed sales climbed 30% across the country in the year after Michelle planted her garden.

There was just one nagging concern as we headed south. We still hadn’t heard anything conclusive from the White House. We’d asked them — for two months — if they’d accept the old panel as a historical relic returned home, and if they’d commit to installing new ones soon. We’d even found a company, Sungevity, that was eager to provide them free. Indeed, as word of our trip spread, other solar companies kept making the same offer. Still, the White House never really responded, not until Thursday evening around six p.m. when they suddenly agreed to a meeting at nine the next morning.

As you might imagine, we were waiting at the “Southwest Appointment Gate” at 8:45, and eventually someone from the Office of Public Engagement emerged to escort us inside the Executive Office Building. He seated us in what he called “the War Room,” an ornate and massive chamber with a polished table in the middle.

Every window blind was closed. It was a mahogany cave in which we could just make out two environmental bureaucrats sitting at the far end of the table. I won’t mention their names, on the theory that what followed wasn’t really their idea, but orders they were following from someone else. Because what followed was… uncool.

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First, they spent a lot of time bragging about all the things the federal government had accomplished environmentally, with special emphasis on the great work they were doing on other federal buildings. One of them returned on several occasions to the topic of a government building in downtown Portland, Oregon, that would soon be fitted with a “green curtain,” by which I think she meant the “extensive vertical garden” on the 18-story Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building with its massive “vegetated fins,” the single largest use of stimulus money in the entire state.

And actually, it’s kind of great. Still, I doubt many people are going to build their own vegetated fins, and anyway I was beginning to despair that nothing could stop the flow of self-praise until one of the three seniors from Unity raised her hand and politely interrupted.

Now, let me say that I already knew Jean Altomare, Amanda Nelson, and Jamie Nemecek were special, but my guess is the bureaucrats hadn’t figured that out. Unity is out in the woods, and these kids were majoring in things like wildlife conservation. They’d never had an encounter like this. It stood to reason that they’d be cowed. But they weren’t.

One after another, respectfully but firmly, they asked a series of tough questions, and refused to be filibustered by yet another stream of administration-enhancing data. Here’s what they wanted to know: if the administration was serious about spreading the word on renewable energy, why wouldn’t it do the obvious thing and put solar panels on the White House? When the administrators proudly proffered a clipping from some interior page of the Washington Post about their “greening the government initiative,” Amanda calmly pointed out that none of her neighbors read the Post, and that, by contrast, the solar panels had made it onto David Letterman.

To their queries, the bureaucrats refused to provide any answer. At all. One kept smiling in an odd way and saying, “If reporters call and ask us, we will provide our rationale,” but whatever it was, they wouldn’t provide it to us.

It was all a little odd, to say the least. They refused to accept the Carter panel as a historic relic, or even to pose for a picture with the students and the petition they’d brought with them. Asked to do something easy and symbolic to rekindle a little of the joy that had turned out so many of us as volunteers for Obama in 2008, they point blank said no. In a less than overwhelming gesture, they did, however, pass out Xeroxed copies of a 2009 memorandum from Vice President Biden about federal energy policy.

I can tell you exactly what it felt like, because those three students were brave and walked out graciously, heads high, and kept their tears back until we got to the sidewalk. And then they didn’t keep them back, because it’s a tough thing to learn for the first time how politics can work.

If you want to know about the much-discussed enthusiasm gap between Democratic and Republican bases, in other words, this was it in action. As Jean Altomare told the New York Times, “We went in without any doubt about the importance of this. They handed us a pamphlet.” And Amanda Nelson added, “I didn’t expect I’d get to shake President Obama’s hand, but it was really shocking to me to find out that they really didn’t seem to care.”

Did I say I was impressed with these young women? I was more than impressed. Nobody I went to Harvard with would have handled it as powerfully as they did (maybe because they weren’t looking for a job in the White House someday). A few hot tears were the right response, followed by getting on with the work.

Our next question, out there on the sidewalk, was how to handle the situation — which, indeed, we had to do right away, because in today’s blog-speed world, you’re supposed to Put Out a Statement to reporters, not to mention Tweet. So how to play it?

The normal way is to claim some kind of victory: we could have said we had an excellent exchange of views, and that the administration had taken seriously our plea. But that would have been lying, and at, we long ago decided not to do that. The whole premise of our operation, beginning with the number at its core, is that we had better always tell the truth about our actual predicament.

Alternatively, we could have rounded on the administration, and taken our best shot. In fact, it would have been easy enough right then and there for me to chain myself to the White House fence with the panel next to me. It would have gotten some serious press (though not as much as if I’d burned a Koran). And in fact, some of our supporters were counseling that I head for the fence immediately.

We got an email, for instance, from a veteran campaigner I deeply respect who said: “Show Obama you can’t be taken for granted, and I predict you will be amazed at the good things that come your way. This is a watershed moment: if they think they can get away with this with you, they’ll judge they can get away with more in the future. If you show them they can’t get away with it (at the very least without embarrassment), they will come your way more in the future. It’s power politics, pure and simple. This is how the game is played. Get their respect!”

And I think he was probably right. As he pointed out, Obama was even then on the phone with the mustachioed Florida geezer, the stack of Korans, and the following of 50 or less. But I couldn’t do it, not then and there. Because… well, because at some level I’m a political wuss.

I couldn’t stand to make that enthusiasm gap any wider, not seven weeks before an election. True, it’s the moment when you have some leverage, but no less true: the other side was running candidate after candidate who literally couldn’t wait to boast about how they didn’t believe in climate change. (Check out R.L. Miller’s highly useful list of ‘climate zombies.’) That’s why we’re deeply engaged in fights this fall like the battle to defeat California’s Prop 23 and save the state’s landmark climate law. As a group we can’t endorse candidates, but I came home and spent part of the weekend mailing small checks to Senate candidates I admire, men like Paul Hodes from New Hampshire, who have fought hard for serious climate legislation.

And a confession. We’d walked past Obama’s official portrait on the way out and, despite the meeting we’d just had, I couldn’t help but smile at the thought that he was president. I could remember my own enthusiasm from two years ago that had me knocking on doors across New Hampshire. I admired his character and his smarts, and if I admire them a little less now, the residue’s still there.

And so I couldn’t help thinking — part of me at least — like this: the White House political team has decided that if they put solar panels up on the roof, Fox News will use that as one more line of attack; that they somehow believe the association with Jimmy Carter is the electoral equivalent of cooties; and that, in the junior high school lunchroom that now comprises our political life, they didn’t want to catch any.

If that’s their thinking, I doubt they’re on the mark. As far as I can tell, the right has a far better understanding of the power of symbols. Witness the furor they’ve kicked up over “the Mosque at Ground Zero.” My feeling is: we should use the symbols we’ve got, and few are better than a solar panel. Still, with the current craziness in mind, I was willing to give them a pass. So we just put out a press release saying that we’d failed in our mission and walked away.

At least for now, but not forever, and really not for much longer.

On October 10th, we’re having our great global work party, and ever since Obama stiffed us, registrations for its events have been soaring. Last week, with the heads of Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network, I issued a call for ideas about how to mount a campaign of civil disobedience around climate. Not a series of stunts, but a real campaign. At coal plants, and drilling sites — and at the places where our politicians do their work.

Actually, I’ll be surprised if the White House doesn’t put up solar panels within a year. But even if they do, that would just be the barest of beginnings. We’ve run out of spare decades to deal with climate change — the summer’s events in the Arctic, in Russia, in Pakistan proved that with great clarity. I may be a wuss, but I’m also scientifically literate. We know what we need to do, and we will do it. Enthusiastically.

Photo © Nancie Battaglia

Bill McKibben is the founder of and author most recently of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College.

Copyright 2010 Bill McKibben

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