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Perhaps one of the most well-known climate activists of our times, environmental writer Bill McKibben is on a mission to slow down the effect of greenhouse gases on the earth. Alongside his colleagues at the nongovernmental organization 350.org, McKibben has spearheaded a campaign calling upon communities, governments and universities all around the world to take action by divesting from fossil fuel companies.
Last summer, McKibben laid out his case for divestment in Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math, an article he wrote for Rolling Stone. The piece stated that while the United Nations’ Copenhagen Accord climate agreement recognizes that the earth’s temperature should not rise by no more than an amount just under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), global temperature has already risen about 0.8 degrees Celsius — and that many scientists such as NASA’s James Hansen believe that a rise of two degrees is too much. McKibben closes his case by highlighting research by the Carbon Tracker Initiative which reports that burning the total amount of coal, oil and gas reserves currently held by fossil fuel companies would release five times the amount of carbon needed to stay under the two-degree threshold.
McKibben is also reaching out to business. Later this month, he’ll speak to the health care industry at the CleanMed conference in Boston (April 24-26) about what it can do to fight climate change.
GreenBiz Interim Managing Editor Kristine A. Wong recently spoke with McKibben about lessons for business in the age of climate change.