Oct 23, 2021Liked by Bill McKibben

There's that saying that the California goes first and the rest of the nation follows. I hope that is true in this case, and I hope that California (my beloved home state) continues the good fight.

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I reviewed the full Lancet Report. When it comes to the consequences of global warming from the burning of fossil fuels, heat is the world’s worst killer. Elderly people (ie Third Act members) and infants younger than 1 — are the two primary age groups most vulnerable to heat — are exposed to roughly four more extremely hot days per year now than a generation ago, the Lancet report found. Worldwide, almost 350,000 people died of heat-related illness in 2019.

Will the organizers of the Third Act have not only protests to slow fossil fuel growth (mitigation efforts) ... but also the more crucial life safety programs of adaption efforts to lessen the suffering from global warming consequences such as heat?

I have read the heroic stories of volunteers in Portland that helped save the lives of many homeless there in the recent Heat Wave where the Heat Index exceeded 120F. The rich have air conditioned homes or can flee to a Holiday Inn ... the poor and homeless cannot.

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Lots of good points, and definitely worth celebrating, though I have read this is for new wells and does not take effect for a year. What also struck me is your last point about converting refineries to biofuels. Every time I hear an oil or gas company talk about the wonderful future for such fuels I wonder if I am missing something. Doesn't burning those fuels produce CO2 and other GHGs? If so, how much, and how does that help us reduce global GHG levels? I'm a lawyer, not a scientist so I'm perplexed.

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Growing plants pull CO2 out of the air. Burning the plants returns the CO2 to the air. However, if you just left the plants in the soil they act as a carbon sink for about 60 years (plants eventually decay). Also, growing biofuel takes energy inputs and may take the land away from other uses. And plants are very inefficient at turning sunlight into energy. Better to put solar panels and wind turbines up and directly get electricity.

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A good victory, but keep it in perspective. What is restricted is the expansion of oil and drilling. No current drilling is shut down, it is only to be regulated. No oil rigs 500 feet behind a school is shut down by this announcement. It remains to be seen if the regulations curtail emissions from these existing sites.

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Good points all!

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I would like to share some texts written about 80-90 years ago, that can explane some basics of HAPINESS and the PEACE in the Family and in The COUNTRY :

Best wishes...

– – 0 – –


‘Force’ as its point of support in the life of society.

It considers its aim to be ‘benefits’.

The principle of its life it recognizes to be ‘conflict’.

It holds the bond between communities to be ‘racialism and negative nationalism’.

Its fruits are ‘gratifying the appetites of the soul and increasing human needs’.


The mark of force is ‘aggression’.

The mark of benefit – since they are insufficient for every desire – is ‘jostling and tussling’.

While the mark of conflict is ‘strife’.

And the mark of racialism –since it is nourished by devouring others– is ‘aggression’.

It is for these reasons that it has negated the happiness of mankind.

– As for the WISDOM of the FAITH;

Its point of support is ‘truth’ instead of force.

It takes ‘virtue and God’s pleasure’ as its aims in place of benefits.

It takes the principle of ‘mutual assistance’ as the principle of life in place of the principle of conflict.

And it takes ‘the ties of religion, class, and country’ to be the ties bonding communities, instead of the race.

Its aim is to form a barrier against the lusts of the soul, urge the spirit to sublime matters, satisfy the high emotions, and urging man to the human perfections, make him a true human being.

And the mark of ‘the truth’ is accord.

The mark of virtue is ‘solidarity’.

The mark of mutual assistance is ‘hastening to assist one another’.

The mark of religion is ‘brotherhood’ and ‘attraction’.

And the mark of reining in and tethering the soul and leaving the spirit free and urging it towards perfections is ‘happiness in this world and the next’.


– – – 0 – – –

According to the principles of materialistic philosophy, power is approved. “Might is right” is the norm, even. It says, “All power to the strongest.” “The winner takes all,” and, “In power there is right”(*). It has given moral support to tyranny, encouraged despots, and urged oppressors to claim divinity.

(*)The principle of prophethood says: “Power is in right; right is not in power.” It thus halts tyranny and ensures justice.


– – 0 – –

Indeed, youth heeds the emotions rather than reason, and emotions and desires are blind; they do not consider the consequences. They prefer one ounce of immediate pleasure to tons of future pleasure.

– – 0 – –

Destruction Is Easy; The Weak Person Is Destructive:

The condition of the existence of the whole is the existence of all the parts; while its non-

existence may be through the non-existence of one of its parts; so destruction is easy. It is because of this that the impotent man never approaches anything positively and constructively; he always acts negatively, and is always destructive.

– – 0 – –


The Twentieth Letter :

” The highest aim of creation and its most important result is belief in God. The most exalted rank in humanity and its highest degree is the knowledge of God contained within belief in God. The most radiant happiness and sweetest bounty for jinn and human beings is the love of God contained within the knowledge of God. And the purest joy for the human spirit and the sheerest delight for man’s heart is the rapture of the spirit contained within the love of God. Yes, all true happiness, pure joy, sweet bounties, and untroubled pleasure lie in knowledge of God and love of God; they cannot exist without them.

The person who knows and loves God Almighty may receive endless bounties, happiness, lights, and mysteries. While the one who does not truly know and love him is afflicted spiritually and materially by endless misery, pain, and fears. Even if such an impotent, miserable person owned the whole world, it would be worth nothing for him, for it would seem to him that he was living a fruitless life among the vagrant human race in a wretched world without owner or protector. Everyone may understand just how forlorn and baffled is man among the aimless human race in this bewildering fleeting world if he does not know his Owner, if he does not discover his Master. But if he does discover and know Him, he will seek refuge in His mercy and will rely on His power. The desolate world will turn into a place of recreation and pleasure, it will become a place of trade for the hereafter.

First Station

Each of the eleven phrases of the above-mentioned sentence affirming divine unity contains some good news. And in the good news lies a cure, while in each of those cures a spritual pleasure is to be found.

THE FIRST PHRASE: “There is God”

This phrase conveys the following good news to the human spirit, suffering as it does countless needs and the attacks of innumerable enemies. On the one hand the spirit finds a place of recourse, a source of help, through which is opened to it the door of a treasury of mercy that will guarantee all its needs. While on the other it finds a support and source of strength, for the phrase makes known its Creator and True Object of Worship, who possesses the absolute power to secure it from the evil of all its enemies; it shows its master, and who it is that owns it. Through pointing this out, the phrase saves the heart from utter desolation and the spirit from aching sorrow; it ensures an eternal joy, a perpetual happiness.


This phrase announces the following good news, which is both healing and a source of happiness:

Man’s spirit and heart, which are connected to most of the creatures in the universe and are almost overwhelmed in misery and confusion on account of this connection, find in the phrase “He is One” a refuge and protector that will deliver them from all the confusion and bewilderment.

That is to say, it is as if “He is One” is saying to man: God is One. Do not wear yourself out having recourse to other things; do not demean yourself and feel indebted to them; do not flatter them and fawn on them and humiliate yourself; do not fear them and tremble before them; for the Monarch of the universe is One, the key to all things is with Him, the reins of all things are in His hand, everything will be resolved by His command. If you find Him, you will be saved from endless indebtedness, countless fears.

THE THIRD PHRASE: “He has no partner”

Just as in His divinity and in His sovereignty God has no partner, He is One and cannot be many; so too He has no partner in His dominicality and in His actions and in His creating. It sometimes happens that a monarch is one, having no partner in his sovereignty, but in the execution of his affairs his officials act as his partners; they prevent everyone from entering his presence, saying: “Apply to us!”

However, God Almighty, the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, has no partner in His sovereignty, just as He has no need for partners or helpers in the execution of His dominicality.

If it were not for His command and will, His strength and power, not a single thing could interfere with another. Everyone can have recourse to Him directly. Since He has no partner or helper, no one seeking recourse can be told: “Stop! It is forbidden to enter His presence!”

This phrase, therefore, delivers the following joyful announcement to the human spirit: the human spirit which has attained to faith may, without let or hindrance, opposition or interference, in any state, for any wish, at any time and in any place, enter the presence of the All-Beauteous and Glorious One, the One of power and perfection, who is the Pre-Eternal and Post-Eternal Owner of the treasuries of mercy, the treasuries of bliss, and may present its needs. Discovering His mercy and relying on His power, it will find perfect ease and happiness.

THE FOURTH PHRASE: “His is the dominion”

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Come on Bill McKibben, you're better than this headline. The FUCKING OIL isn't in the SOIL! Soil is the living skin of Mother Earth. Your headline is perpetuating what has to be the most ignorant meme cliche of the climate movement. The OIL is deep in the mineral earth, where it should be kept. Learn more about it in my 2016 comment to Democracy Now!


Here's an example of "oil in the soil":


Root Routledge, PhD (but you don't need that to avoid such ignorance as "Keep the oil in the soil")

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reasonable. but you can deliver a message like that without being intemperate--if the info's good, just give it.

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"intemperate"? ...is it my use of street language to emphasize the point? ...or my intolerance of this kind of ignorance by calling it out every time I see it?

What is really galling, Bill, is how such an ignorant meme perpetuates itself and the ignorance that goes along with it. And as one of our most prominent environmental leaders, from whose work I've quoted multiple times (for example, see my op-ed of 10 years ago, link below), it is incumbent upon you to not engage in this perpetuation of "cute" ignorance (at least without a correcting side comment pointing out reality). When I chastised Amy Goodman for the same thing five years ago (link in my comment, where I said, "...even Bill McKibben corrected you"), I even acknowledged your correcting comment. My link below brings forward both your book, "Eaarth..." (which the Herald's spell checker changed in my op-ed) and Hansen's book, "Storms...", as I took on the climate denialist retired Exxon top R&D executive.


With all due respect, Bill; ignorance is the enemy and we need to continue challenging it, no perpetuate it.

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yeah, less your language than just the whole tone. i've come to think that it's counterproductive among allies, but that's just me.

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Your point is well taken, Bill. Thank you. Nothing personal, of course, as I have had immense respect for you and what you've done since you first announced 350.org on Democracy Now! what, maybe more than a dozen years ago now... at some point evolving out of your "Step It Up" campaign?

It's the perpetuation of this meme, Bill, that is the big point; and when it goes out under your famous name globally, multiple other people pick it up and report it as is, so you lose control of it. For example, I came across it from David Sirota's "The Daily Poster" list-serve email, which simply repeated it without any correcting contextual comment. Of course, I had some words for David in a reply to that email about the uncritical repetition of this "disgusting" (in my opinion) meme of ignorance.

But you're right; we are all allies trying to get the behemoth political machine to turn the corner now. I'll be more sensitive about the relational connection sensitivities in the future, thanks to your feedback. Those of us who have been engaged in the climate fight for some time are still trying to do our best, via whatever means possible.


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spot on!

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As always, brother, this story hangs together and propels us when you tell it.

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