Bill McKibben skriver:
«The climate crisis is the greatest threat we face, and may yet prove to be the greatest unifying event in human history. This new decade is crunch time for the preservation of life on Earth as we know it.
What we’re talking about is the very real possibility of species extinction on an unimaginable scale, and the risk of catastrophic changes in the Earth’s biosphere that would bring a wiser civilization than our own to the brink of collapse.
Think this sounds gloomy? I do too. But I also believe in mustering, as George Orwell put it, “a power to face unpleasant facts”. Science has built a very solid case over the past decades. It’s time to acknowledge that collective action on an unprecedented scale is what we need, if we’re going to keep the Earth’s climate systems safe for our children and descendents.
Collective action was not what we got in Copenhagen. World leaders failed to reach the kind of agreement that could ensure a peak in climate gas emissions by 2015, followed by a steady descent towards a safe level by 2050. That safe level is broadly recognized to be 350 ppm, or 350 parts per million of atmospheric CO2 concentration. Which is lower than where we are today.
How do we get there? It’s a gradual process – but it’s a gradual process that must accelerate fast. Local action, the common effort of millions of concerned citizens around the world, is a real key to achieving the global solutions and political change we need. People and businesses must take the lead. Only then will our leaders follow.
I’m not very familiar with Norwegian affairs, but I have had the pleasure of visiting Norway on a few occasions, and do know that climate awareness in your country is high. I also know that Norway is uniquely suited to implement climate solutions that work, at home and abroad. I have met members of Norsk klimanettverk in Oslo, and find it an excellent initiative, one of hundreds of local actions springing up around the world that have the potential to galvanize citizens, businesses and governments in these crucial years.
The environmental movement and the scientific community need new energy and support from people who get the climate message, and want to help our governments get on the right track. We need to achieve real and ambitious emissions cuts, worldwide, and government strategies that enable clean energy companies and green tech research to thrive.
We all have the chance to participate in the process – left and right, young and old, rich and poor, specialist and layman. And if we’re going to achieve the breakthrough conditions needed to solve the climate crisis, participation is what it’s all about.
Initiatives in the spirit of Norsk klimanettverk are the kind of positive participation I wholeheartedly endorse».
Bill McKibben, 28.12.09.