Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bill McKibben

Activist and writer Bill McKibben is the award-winning author of The End of Nature and The Age of Missing Information. His new book, Eaarth, argues that our planet already has been irrevocably remade by human activity.

From McKibben's conversation with Kai Ryssdal at Marketplace:

Ryssdal: This book, for those who can't see it out there, the title is "Eaarth" with the unconventional spelling of e-a-a-r-t-h. Help me out there.

McKibben: The conceit is that we really have built a new planet. Substantially different enough from the one that we were born onto to warrant a new name. This earth that we live on now has 5 percent more moisture in the atmosphere than the one 50 years ago. Its oceans are turning steadily acid. We're seeing dramatic increases both in drought and in deluge, enough so that we've really begun to alter not only the ecological fabric of the planet but the economic fabric as well.

Ryssdal: It kind of feels on a day-to-day basis like the same old place.

McKibben: It does until something happens. I recount the story of our small town, and the fact that summer before last we had the two biggest rainstorms ever recorded there. That kind of storm is now happening in some place around the world every single day. This is a different world. It so far doesn't feel entirely different. It just feels a little different.

Ryssdal: So how do we recalibrate? Do we just get used to living smaller and less complicated and closer to home?

McKibben: Well, that's...[read on]
Read about McKibben's six favorite books.

The Page 69 Test: Bill McKibben's Deep Economy.

Visit Bill McKibben's official website.

--Marshal Zeringue