Friday, April 21, 2017

The Root of Environmental Responsibility

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Radical U.S. environmentalist calls Trudeau ‘stunning hypocrite,’
targets museum’s links to oil.

This headline in an article from the National Post by John Ivison made me chuckle aloud when I discovered who this "radical" is. Bill McKibben has been writing thoughtfully about environmental issues for decades. I corresponded with him years ago because I discovered he was a Sunday School teacher in his Vermont congregation and was intrigued to find out a little more about his Christian faith.

McKibben has certainly become a more vocal and, well, active activist through the years. He heads up the organization which fights climate change and he got himself arrested along with some celebs when protesting the Keystone pipeline in Washington D.C. But c'mon, the guy wears a suit to get thrown in the hoosegow!
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Last week he wrote an article in Britain's The Guardian newspaper criticizing Prime Minister Trudeau and the Canadian government for speaking out of both sides of their mouths on climate change. Here is how Ivison begins his Post piece:

Bill McKibben, a radical U.S. environmentalist who would prefer to keep all carbon in the ground, has upset the Trudeau government by calling the prime minister “the brother” of Donald Trump on climate change. Now, McKibben is lobbying the Canadian Museum of History to cut ties with its sponsor, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, an organization he calls “sleazy oil lobbyists.” The Liberals are apparently concerned about the criticism denting support for their twin-track policy of approving pipelines and imposing a national carbon tax. They are encouraging more moderate environmental voices to disassociate themselves from the what one called McKibben’s “stratospheric hyperbole.”

Hey, I have considerable misgivings about the mixed messages we're getting from the Liberal government. Sign on to the Paris Climate Change agreement? Well done. Carbon tax? Hopefully a step in the right direction. Approve pipelines? Hmm. Tell Texas oil types we have a sea of tarsands just waiting to ooze their way?  Justin, please help me understand. I want more than gleamy grinned  platitudes.

Is Bill McKibben a radical? Maybe, but not in the blow-up-a-pipeline, live-in-a-treehouse notion of the term. He is pushing us to get "to the root" of the challenges we face, which is what "radical" means. He rattles all our cages, the way the prophets and Jesus did. Isn't that what we're supposed to learn about in Sunday School? Perhaps we all need to be radicals as faithfully concerned citizens of Planet Earth.


1 comment:

roger said...

I see nothing wrong with Bill Mckibben's actions. He is calling out hypocrisy, speaking out about the awful way we are treating our planet, and seems not to be breaking any laws while doing so.

I will be more concerned when there are no "Bill McKibbens" out there to hold politicians and governments accountable. His "radicalness" is something that is needed, not being arrested.