Ask McKibben Anything: Which Extinction Concerns You Most?

Andrew Sullivan —  Nov 30 2012 @ 12:00pm

Bill recently spoke with Marc Maximov about the subject of species extinction:

I think that the standard scientific assessment, at least for the last seven or eight years, is someplace between 40 and 70 percent of species would go extinct in a rapid warming scenario like the one we’re entering. As I recall, that was the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] account of a three-and-a-half-degree rise in temperature. … 

A certain amount of climate change is clearly already baked in, and some of the effects are brutal. You know, this summer we saw the catastrophic melt of the Arctic. We’ve broken one of the world’s biggest physical features. But if we do what we need to do now to get off coal and gas and oil, then we can limit the damage. There’s still the possibility of keeping the rise of the planet’s temperature below two degrees, which is the line that governments have drawn as the red line. But that would take an all-out, focused, wartime-footing kind of effort, and most of all it would take ending the political power of the fossil fuel industry that’s forever delayed change.

Bill’s previous videos are here, here, herehere and here. Read some of his Sandy-related coverage featured on the Dish here, here and here. McKibben’s campaign against the fossil fuel industry, Do The Math, is catching fire across the country.