A CONVERSATION WITH BILL MCKIBBEN
When we asked the distinguished ecological activist and writer (and friend of The Porch!) Bill McKibben if he’s an optimist or a pessimist, this is what he said:
“This obviously is a question that I think about a lot or I used to anyway, and because people ask it all the time. And if you happen to know a lot about climate change, the worst thing that’s ever happened in the world, if you happen to be a semi-authority on it, then what people are really asking you is, “Is everything going to be all right or not?” And I don’t know. I mean we waited a long time to get started dealing with this. The momentum of physics is strong. So, if I want to be a pessimist about the future, I can do it on strong grounds.
But if I want to be an optimist about the future, I can figure out some grounds for that too. The movement to do something about it is global and rising, and it’s beautiful to watch and it comes with them. We also have incredibly talented engineers in this world who figured out how to do things like solar panels and windmills that could, if we did them with vigor, get us at least somewhere we needed to go.
But I think the real answer is that I don’t spend any time anymore trying to figure out the answer to this question. The job seems to be just to get up in the morning and figure out what one can do with maximum effect that day to change the odds a little bit. Even if one only changes the odds a tiny bit in the course of one’s life—the thing that we’re gambling over—the stakes are so high thata small change in the odds is a useful life’s work.” – read the rest of our slow conversation with Bill McKibben, in The Porch Issue #2; if you haven’t subscribed yet, it’s easy (and not expensive!) – just click here.