Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, The Global Warming Reader, and other defining books on the environment has become a galvanizing force in American politics. McKibben will be speaking at UNCA's Lipinsky Hall on Wednesday, November 30 as part of his current national tour. This free program begins at 7 PM and members of the public are invited. Doors open at 6:30 PM.
Preceding Bill McKibben’s appearance on November 30, the Western North Carolina Alliance is sponsoring a presentation by well-known regional ecologist Dr. Edward Hauser, as part of the “Climate Reality Project.” Hauser will discuss climate change from an ecological perspective, including the loss of coral reefs, and solutions including conservation measures, energy efficiency and new technologies. The presentation will begin at 5:30 PM at the Humanities Lecture Hall within walking distance of Lipinsky Auditorium.
McKibben's organization, 350.org, is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. 350.org’s online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are led from the bottom up by thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries.
Most recently, 350.org was instrumental in organizing the Tar Sands Action, this Fall, that resulted in the President ordering a new study of the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline, effectively killing the project until at least 2013. A sizeable group of people from western North Carolina were among those arrested and participating in this action. Extraction and burning of all the tar sands oil would guarantee CO2 levels climb to a level that climate scientists say would result in catastrophic global warming.
Speaking in Asheville, McKibben will be rallying his audience around a celebration of the Tar Sands victory as he addresses the continuing climate crisis and what has to be done from this moment forward to rapidly reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere back to 350 parts per million from its currently dangerous level of 390+.
With the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the publicity surrounding the Tar Sands oil pipeline, the activities of 350.org have reached a growing audience of people and organizations involved in both. Non-violent direct action has been a strong component of 350's effectiveness and Bill McKibben is encouraging this type of activism on climate change-related issues in all of the locations at which he is speaking on his current tour.
On Thursday, following McKibben’s visit, there is discussion of an action in Asheville being planned by an Occupy Asheville Direct Action Affinity Group and other individuals not necessarily affiliated with the organizations sponsoring McKibben’s speaking engagement here November 30.
Groups sponsoring Bill McKibben's appearance include Active Students for a Healthy Environment (ASHE), Canary Coalition, Asheville Green Drinks, North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, Occupy Meet Talk Act Affinity Group, PeaceTown, Sierra Club, Transition Asheville and Western North Carolina Alliance (WNCA). This diverse group of sponsors has a shared interest in clean energy, conservation, the end of reliance on fossil fuels, and positive community engagement.
For more information, visit movingplanetavl.org.