McKibben talk emphasized climate change |

McKibben talk emphasized climate change

special to the daily

BANFF, Alberta ” The author and crusading journalist Bill McKibben is scheduled to visit Banff in early August to talk about ” what else ” climate change.

McKibben told the Rocky Mountain Outlook he gets about 10 invitations a day to speak, and he chose Banff because “every now and then I choose one based on my need to run up a mountain.”

But in going to Banff, McKibben will also be in Alberta, one of the world’s hot-spots for carbon extraction. Alberta is site of the tar sands, located north of Edmonton, some of which is piped to Colorado for refining.

McKibben’s current crusade is for a reduction in the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. They were 250 parts per million when the Industrial Revolution began, and there are now 386, a growth rate that is accelerating rapidly, he said.

Climate scientists have previously said C02 must be capped at 450 parts per million, possibly even 550 parts per million, before dangerous changes would begin.

Now, however, leading climate scientist James Hansen says global warming is happening sooner than expected, and so the conversion from carbon-based energy needs to happen much more rapidly. That is also the point of McKibben’s, who is calling for a return to 350 parts of per million ” a difficult task, given that C02 lingers in the atmosphere for up to a century.

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