“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bill McKibben Becomes Uncanny

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.

No comments: