This hour, with Bill McKibben, we seek perspective, both factual and moral, on human responsibility in a changing natural world. McKibben wrote The End of Nature, the first book on climate change for a general readership, in 1989. “Only in the disappearance of nature as we have known it,” he warned, “may we finally realize how essential it has been to human civilization.” Yet it’s hard to know how to orient our minds and our lives to a sweeping scenario like this and to the constantly accelerating data on global warning that comes at us daily. So we’ll seek foundational knowledge we can trust that Bill McKibben has gathered in two decades of being ahead of this curve, and we’ll explore the evolution of his moral imagination and his action from a focus on personal responsibility to a sense that what might save the planet would also renew the skill of neighborliness and the meaning of human community.
From American Public Media this is Speaking of Faith, public radio’s conversation about religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas. Today, Bill McKibben on “The Moral Math of Climate Change.”
And so begins this weeks podcast of Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet. If you have any interest in Climate Change you really should listen to the show. Krista and Bill hold a conversation about the history of Bill’s involvement and the history of the climate change “movement”.
An interesting part of the conversation revolved around Farmers’ Markets…
Mr. McKibben: But the real reason that’s so interesting that we like farmers’ markets, I think, turns out to be they’re different. Parasociologists followed shoppers first through the supermarket, then through the farmers’ market. Everybody’s been to the supermarket. You know how it works. You walk in, you fall into a light fluorescent trance. You visit the stations of the cross around the perimeter of the supermarket. You emerge with your items. That’s it. When they followed people around the farmers’ market, they were having, on average, 10 times as many conversations per visit. OK?
Cheap fossil fuel, you know, heated the planet. It made us rich. But it also, maybe most profoundly, made us the first kind of our species who’ve had no practical need of our neighbors for anything. We tell ourselves, you know, what a great chic thing we’ve invented, the farmers’ market.
Ms. Tippett: Right.
Mr. McKibben: In fact, that’s how all human beings shopped for food until 50 years ago and 80 percent of the planet still does.
Ms. Tippett: Still does, yeah.
Mr. McKibben: No wonder it feels good. I mean, this is what we’re built for.
If you have never listened to the show before you might want to check it out. Over the years they have put out some really thought provoking shows, most of which you download to your favorite mp3 player.
via Bill McKibben and The Moral Math of Climate Change [Speaking of Faith® from APM].