Times Books, Its replacement does not, however, constitute dialectical progress toward a higher or better state: the new-born planet, named Eaarth by McKibben in his book of the same name, follows instead from the brutality and thoughtlessness engaged in by much of humanity since its historical emergence. Eaarth, referred to elsewhere as the Anthropocene, jeopardizes the survival of much of humanity and the continuation of a great deal of life itself. Like Noam Chomsky, he sees no legitimate alternative to struggle.
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The author and environmentalist continues to be, as the 50th anniversary of Earth Day approaches. A resident of Vermont and frequenter of the Adirondacks, McKibben shared his thoughts with The Times Union about the environmental progress the country and local region has made, while warning that threats remain. We took good care of the visible pollution problems, the stuff you could see.
The air over our cities and the water in our rivers and lakes got lots cleaner—we owe the people who kicked off this work our great thanks. What about the Adirondacks and northeast? It will be much hotter and much more prone to bursts of violent extremes: drought, flood, searing heatwave.
In general it should be getting wetter, but increased heat means that long dry stretches will really dry things out. What are some of the biggest positive, and biggest negative, environmental changes you have seen in the Adirondacks, since Earth Day began? The Adirondacks, in general, have continued to get steadily better—one of the few places on earth you can make that claim for. Acid rain exacted a serious price, but the Clean Air Act means that it has declined dramatically.
And of course a series of blights—to the beech, the ash, the hemlock—work their damage. But in the largest sense, having a huge intact forest base has truly paid off, and will continue to do so as the climate warms. Thank heaven for the foresight of our forebears, and for all who work today to make sure the Park stays well-protected.
What gets you up in the morning? The fact that we have, according to the scientists, about a year window of real leverage left. What keeps you up at night? Exactly the same thing. What are some things you would encourage readers to do to help the environment and slow climate change?
The easiest, most impactful step for New Yorkers to take would be to besiege Tom DiNapoli, the state comptroller, with the demand that he divest the state pension fund holdings in fossil fuel stocks. Gwendolyn Craig.
Bill McKibben's Eaarth
Reviews "Read it, please. Straight through to the end. Whatever else you were planning to do next, nothing could be more important. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen.
Bill McKibben Quotes
An Earth Day anniversary talk with Bill McKibben