Bill McKibben and Cake step it up for Prop H

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by Amanda Witherell

Bill McKibben has sent us a message supporting Prop H. Watch for yourself, or here's the text:

"San Francisco voters: you have a real and exciting opportunity this election season. This proposition on renewable energy won't just make sure that you're able to insulate yourselves from the rise in electric prices that's going to mark this century. More to the point, for the rest of us in other places, it will provide real leadership for both the national and international transition to renewable energy.

"Our only hope of dealing with global warming is to make that transition fast. And, as usual SF has the opportunity to be in the lead, on the cutting edge, doing what needs to be done.

"Thank you so much for taking that lead."

No problem, Bill.

Incidentally, I've been depressed about city living lately and The Bill McKibben Reader has been my salve.

Read more about McKibben and Cake's renewable energy concert, after the jump...

A survey of his writings since his stint on the "Talk of the Town" beat at the New Yorker, through the many books he's published, this is an anthology you can fall into from any random page. It includes excerpts from books like The End of Nature, where he first made the issue of global warming accessible, as well as essays from his time in Cuba, media criticism as seen from the couch during a 24-hour television cycle, and profiles of Martin Luther King Jr., Edward Abbey, and Wendell Berry.

His new book, Deep Economy, makes the case for a turn away from growth and toward a radical localization. It's been comforting to read his simple explanations for how we can't deal with climate change unless we, as a society, fundamentally change.

"You can imagine global warming this way: all those pools of oil and beds of coal beneath our feet are being drilled and dug. Emptied. For a brief moment, the resulting energy burns and does something useful: moves your car, heats your shower. But after that instant of combustion, most of the carbon in the coal or oil mixes with oxygen in the air to form the gas carbon dioxide, which drifts into the atmosphere. (A gallon of gasoline weighs about six pounds, and when you burn it you release about five pounds of carbon into the atmosphere.) It accumulates in the atmosphere, creating a mirror image of the reservoir you drilled it from in the first place. Which is a problem, because the molecular structure of carbon dioxide traps heat from the sun that would otherwise radiate back out to space. That's all global warming is -- the gaseous remains of oil fields and coal beds acting like an insulating blanket."

It's that simple. There isn't a filter we can put on our tailpipes -- we must stop driving.

Strangely enough, as I was reading through the economics of his case last night, I was wondering if his book ever makes it into the hands of the corporate leaders that incessantly encourage growth. Specifically, I was curious what the reading list for PG&E's Peter Darbee looks like, and if he ever dives into a little McKibben here and there.

So, it was great to discover today this video of McKibben endorsing Prop H.

And, this just in: Cake is performing a benefit concert for Prop H. They'll be at the Independent on Friday, October 10 at 9pm. All proceeds will benefit the Yes on H campaign.

Cake's lead vocalist, John McCrea, said, "Although there is little hope for the future of humans on the earth, this proposition adds mightily to our paltry supply."

Preach on, my friend.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, September 24th at noon. Tickets are available at:

www.theindependentsf.com and Ticketweb.com

Comments

Dear Amanda,

I saw your story where you talk about Bill McKibben's Deep Economy and I thought you might be interested to learn about his new book - “American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thorea,” which has been released on Earth Day 2008.

Edited by renowned author and movement organizer Bill McKibben and with a forward by Al Gore, the book has been generating buzz in the environmental community this fall

The first attempt to bring together in one place all the essential writings for the American environmental movement, American Earth is being called the “environmentalist’s bible.” It has started to gain mainstream accolades from the likes of U.S. News & World Report and The Boston Globe, which called it “the best resource between two covers” for anyone seeking to understand the “historical and intellectual roots of today’s environmental movement.”

The book has already been adopted into university curricula around the country, and environmental action groups like Earthjustice and the National Resources Defense Council have pegged this anthology of environmental literature a must-read.

At a time when being “green” is all the rage, this book is a great resource for anyone wanting a better foundation upon which to understand global climate change and other important environmental issues that have finally caught the attention of policymakers and leaders worldwide.

Check out the book’s website at http://www.americanearth.org for more information. It’s worth a look!

Posted by Alisa on Sep. 24, 2008 @ 9:24 am

Whoa, Alisa -- holy press release. Are PR flacks with Google Alerts the only peeps reading this thing?

If not, we just got word the Cake tickets sold out in ONE HOUR. Looks like they still have some VIP tix -- get 'em now!

Posted by Amanda on Sep. 24, 2008 @ 12:17 pm