The Spectacle Blog

Urrrth to USA Today: He’s a Crackpot

Climate catastrophist Bill McKibben is out with a new book (presumably much like his others) titledEaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, which USA Todaydescribes as "a dire, frightening call to action. It talks about the planet melting, drying, acidifying, flooding and burning in heretofore unseen ways."

By on 4.10.10 | 12:36PM

Climate catastrophist Bill McKibben is out with a new book (presumably much like his others) titled Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, which USA Today in all seriousness describes as "a dire, frightening call to action. It talks about the planet melting, drying, acidifying, flooding and burning in heretofore unseen ways."

The formerly mainstream media lavishes attention on the environoiacs at every opportunity, and in so doing marginalizes the integrity of their own reporting. I can't think of a better example of this than McKibben:

"The world hasn't ended, but the world as we know it has -- even if we don't quite know it yet," [McKibben] writes. "It's a different place. A different planet. It needs a new name." Since it's earth-like, he says, let's call it "Eaarth."

Why the additional "a?" I don't know. Is it because Earth needs a form of planetary Maalox to alleviate the acidity?

(I’m not making this up. After finishing this paragraph my 8-year-old pointed at the screen and said, “Dad, you spelled ‘Earth’ wrong -- [moving his finger down] -- two times.”)

It seems here McKibben wants to convey a moaning, painful sound, so additional "r's" were probably more appropriate -- "Urrrrth." Sort of like "ouuuch!"

It wasn’t long ago (December) when we saw McKibben at church in Copenhagen, where he shared his mournful thoughts in a blog post for Mother Jones

This afternoon I sobbed for an hour, and I'm still choking a little….my tears started before anyone said a word. As the service started, dozens choristers from around the world carried three things down the aisle and to the altar: pieces of dead coral bleached by hot ocean temperatures; stones uncovered by retreating glaciers; and small, shriveled ears of corn from drought-stricken parts of Africa. As I watched them go by, all I could think of was the people I've met in the last couple of years traveling the world: the people living in the valleys where those glaciers are disappearing, and the people downstream who have no backup plan for where their water is going to come from. The people who live on the islands surrounded by that coral, who depend on the reefs for the fish they eat, and to protect their homes from the waves. And the people, on every corner of the world, dealing with drought and flood, already unable to earn their daily bread in the places where their ancestors farmed for generations.

Those damned shriveled ears of corn. I've done everything I can think of, and millions of people around the world have joined us at 350.org in the most international campaign there ever was. But I just sat there thinking: It's not enough. We didn't do enough. I should have started earlier. People are dying already; people are sitting tonight in their small homes trying to figure out how they're going to make the maize meal they have stretch far enough to fill the tummies of the kids sitting there waiting for dinner. And that's with 390 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere.

The 350 in 350.org represents the target amount of carbon dioxide that “scientists say” is the maximum safe level to maintain, well, the kind of planet that advocates like McKibben want you to live in. It would be wonderful amusement if it was only the likes of USA Today that took him seriously, but unfortunately too many in government want to regulate our lives based upon views like his.

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