Environmental activist challenges Augustana students to get involved
Posted on November 1, 2012 by Christopher Thrall
Good things are happening on campus, but the danger that faces us is very real, says author Bill McKibben.
Global warming and the harmful repercussions are arriving sooner than expected. That’s the message author Bill McKibben left with University of Alberta, Augustana Campus students and guests at the Augustana Chapel on Oct. 23.
“Climate change is not a future threat. It is an urgent threat in some places,” explained Bill. “The melt of the arctic this summer was a powerful signal that things are going very wrong. We need to stop putting carbon into the atmosphere much more quickly than we thought five or ten years ago.”
Sometimes it is hard to think of global warming on a cold miserable day outside. “It is the scientist’s job to tell us what is going on for the whole planet. The other people we ask to help us are in the insurance industry. They have been telling us for the last 20 years, take this very seriously,” added Bill. “We want to spread the word as far out as we can. We may not convince every single person, but we need to do something now before it is too late.”
Good things are happening on campus to raise awareness. “It is a great privilege to be in Alberta and Camrose. It is a real good opportunity to hear what people are thinking and it is a good forum to tell people what the stakes are,” said Bill. “The decisions that are made in Alberta about its energy future affect the rest of the world.”
Bill knows that the Augustana students are resilient. “I hope they join in this global fight to find a change. We work with all people, but young people especially, in every country in the world except North Korea. It is always fun to broaden our pool of minds to find solutions,” said Bill.
Good things are happening on campus to raise awareness. “I see solar panels going up, but don’t be satisfied with that. We need to do more than just one building at a time. We need a college reform of thinking. We need the world institutions to join us about reducing the amount of fossil fuels used. In Alberta, you have more leverage than other people have,” said Bill. “We need to persuade Albertans that the future isn’t in tar sands, but rather using the wealth that has been built up to find alternative methods and energy.”
No deed is too small. “We all can make a difference and you are not alone. Go to 350.org and see for yourself how other people want a change as well. I don’t know if we can win or not, because time is very short. I don’t know if society can act that nimbly and quick enough to turn this around. We have to do it with great speed and urgency.”
Watch Bill McKibben’s lecture here!
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