Posts Tagged ‘Bill McKibben’

‘Climate Change: Which way out?’ with Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Chris Hedges, Bernie Sanders, Kshama Sawant

November 23, 2014 Leave a comment

From left: Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein, Brian Lehrer (moderator), Bill McKibben, Kshama Sawant


I was fortunate to attend the largest climate change march in history on September 21, 2014 in New York City. It was an incredible experience to see roughly 400,000 in the streets demanding urgent action on the climate crisis.

The night before the event, there was a great panel discussion featuring Naomi Klein (author of ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate’), Bill McKibben (founder of, Chris Hedges (author and former New York Times correspondent), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, and Kshama Sawant (newly elected socialist councilor in Seattle who helped implement a $15/hr minimum wage in the city). It was an incredible night and the atmosphere at the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Manhattan was electric, as you will hear.

Below are the speeches of the five panelists speaking on September 20, 2014 in New York:

Bernie Sanders – U.S. Senator from Vermont


Bill McKibben – author, activist and co-founder of


Naomi Klein – journalist and author of ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate’


Chris Hedges – author and former war correspondent for the New York Times


Kshama Sawant – Seattle city counselor 



EG Radio February 28 2013: ‘Forward on Climate’ special with Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Naomi Klein, Michael Brune and Jacquie Thomas

February 28, 2013 Leave a comment

102This week on Earthgauge, we hear speeches and interviews from the huge ‘Forward on Climate‘ rally in Washington D.C. on February 17. We have speeches by Van Jones of Rebuild the Dream, Bill McKibben of, Michael Brune, executive director of the U.S. Sierra Club, and Jacquie Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation in B.C., and interviews from the rally with Michael Brune and Canadian author/ activist Naomi Klein. We also have our weekly update from Kathy of Ecology Ottawa on local environmental events and campaigns in the Ottawa area.

Click the audio player above to stream the show or right click here to download.

Forward on Climate!103

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to cover the huge Forward on Climate rally organized by, the Sierra Club, the Hip Hop Caucus among others. Roughly 40-50,000 people gathered on Washington’s national mall to urge President Obama to follow through on the commitments he made during his inaugural address in January to respond to the climate change crisis.

The protesters’ demands included urging Obama to reject the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which if constructed would carry tar sands crude from northern Alberta through the U.S. to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Organizers of the event called it the largest climate rally anywhere in history. Among the many displays and banners was a mock pipeline that read “separate oil and state”. The Rev. Lennox Yearwood who MC’d the event compared it to Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 march on Washington for civil rights. Following the speeches at the Mall, the protesters began their march through the streets of Washington to the White House. It was really an incredible sight to behold: thousands of people young and old carrying banners, chanting, singing and making a lot of noise in what was the largest climate change protest in history and the largest environmental protest in Washington in decades.



Jacqueline Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation in B.C.


Van Jones



D.C. at dusk after the protest

Following the rally, I had some time to visit the National Museum of African American History at the Smithsonian Institute where I came upon a quotation by the abolitionist Frederick Douglass. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” So whatever you may think of the campaign to stop Keystone XL, it would appear that climate change activists around the world are beginning to wake up to the cold reality of Douglass’ words. We may well look back upon last weekend’s protest as only the beginning of a long, bitter and increasingly hostile battle.

Earthgauge Radio airs every Thursday morning at 7:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa and online around the world at Ottawa’s only radio program dedicated exclusively to environmental news and commentary from Ottawa, across the country and around the world. Podcasts on iTunes and right here on

Categories: Activism, Climate breakdown, Earthgauge radio, Energy, Environmental justice, Global warming, Oil, Podcasts, Politics, Sustainability, Tar sands Tags: , Forward on Climate, Jacquie Thomas, , Michael Brune, , Saik'uz First Nation, Van Jones

Earthgauge Radio November 1, 2012: PowerShift 2012 featuring Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben

November 1, 2012 Leave a comment

On Earthgauge Radio this week, we’ll be featuring a wrap-up of the recent PowerShift 2012 conference, which took place over the past weekend in Ottawa and Gatineau. I have two special features on today’s show from PowerShift 2012:

  • Bill McKibben‘s keynote address
  • Media panel Q&A with Naomi Klein

Click the audio player above to stream the show or right click here to download.

We are of course continuing with our annual CKCU funding drive programming today and we have our usual update from Ecology Ottawa on local environmental events and campaigns.

We kick things off with PowerShift 2012, which was a gathering of young people from across Canada intended to strengthen the movement for climate and environmental justice. Over 1500 youth from all walks of life, coming from all across the country joined together in Ottawa and Gatineau for a historic gathering to build the movement for a just and sustainable future.

PowerShift 2012 featured leading voices in the movement to stop climate change and social injustice including Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Winona LaDuke and many others; there were workshops and panel discussions related to climate change and environmental injustice; social activities and events; an Action and Advocacy day on October 29th.

We begin today’s show by listening to the keynote address from the conference by Bill McKibben, who is a renowned writer, educator, environmentalist and founder of, the international campaign dedicated to creating an equitable global climate treaty. In addition to being an author and journalist, McKibben has been a tireless environmental and climate activist. His latest campaign is called Do the Math and this fall, he and are going on tour across America to lay out the terrifying new math of climate change, explaining the incredible odds we face, and the difficult path we must walk in the coming years to create a livable future for our planet.

We also hear a media panel Q&A from PowerShift with Naomi Klein, who is the author of several books including The Shock Doctrine and No Logo. She is a contributing editor for Harper’s magazine and writes a regular column for the Nation and the Guardian newspaper. She has also written articles for Rolling Stone, the Huffington Post, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Globe and Mail, among many other publications.

Remember that we are currently in the middle of the CKCU funding drive! As you know, CKCU is a listener supported campus-community radio station. One third of our lean operating budget depends on the generosity of listeners like you and the station would simply not be able to operate without your generous support so once a year for a couple weeks we hold this funding drive. We are all volunteers hosting and producing CKCU programs so the station really does operate on a shoestring but it is expensive to run a radio station as you might imagine. Even a volunteer station like ours costs roughly $50/hour to operate. So think of it this way: if you can donate 50 bucks you are buying one hour of CKCU programming, which in my case translates into one Earthgauge program.

Even if you are not in Ottawa and are listening online or streaming this show on or on iTunes, we need your support. Even $10 or $20 will help us reach our goal of $120K. but if you can possibly manage a donation of $50 or $100 it would really help move us in the right direction. Please help us by donating online at It’s fast, easy and secure. And please do specify Earthgauge  as the program you’d like to support. This would be kindly appreciated. Thank you!

Earthgauge Radio airs Thursday mornings from 7-8 AM on CKCU 93.1 in Ottawa. News and interviews on environmental stories from across Canada and around the world. Podcasts on iTunes and Stream live on

Tomorrow on Earthgauge Radio: PowerShift 2012! Featuring Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben

October 31, 2012 2 comments

Happy Halloween! On Earthgauge Radio this week, a huge youth conference climate conference took place in Ottawa and Gatineau this past weekend called PowerShift 2012. This was an historic gathering of over 1500 young people from across the country intended to strengthen the movement for climate and environmental justice.

PowerShift 2012 featured leading voices in the movement to stop climate change and social injustice including Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Winona LaDuke and many others. On tomorrow’s show we’ll be featuring the conference keynote address from founder Bill McKibben and a media panel Q&A with author and activist Naomi Klein (No Logo; Shock Doctrine).

We are of course continuing with our annual CKCU funding drive programming this week. As you know, CKCU is volunteer-driven radio that relies on donations to operate. If you listen to Earthgauge (or just believe in alternative media!), please donate online at or call (613) 520-3920 (in Ottawa) or 1-877-520-3920. It’s fast, easy and secure. Every dollar counts! Even $10 or $20 will help us reach our goal. Really, I’m talking to you. It’s just a few bucks. Please. We need your help.

We’ll also have our usual update this week from Ecology Ottawa on local environmental events and campaigns, and we’ll hear the international eco-news headlines from Deutsche Welle Living Planet.

Earthgauge Radio airs Thursday mornings from 7-8 AM on CKCU 93.1 in Ottawa. News and interviews on environmental stories from across Canada and around the world. Podcasts on iTunes and Stream live on

Tune in tomorrow and please, PLEASE donate to the CKCU funding drive!

Earthgauge Radio August 9, 2012: Burning down the house!

August 9, 2012 Leave a comment

On Earthgauge Radio this week, we continue with our summer programming schedule with a special guest episode from our friend Alex Taylor and Radio Ecoshock in Vancouver. Today’s episode is called Burning Down The House and it was produced during the recent devastating Colorado forest fires of late June, which have been described as being among the worst ever seen. Click the audio player above or right click here to download the podcast.

Hundreds of new U.S. counties were declared disaster areas in July amidst the country’s worst drought in decades. June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded in the U.S.– in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history.

Meanwhile here in Ottawa the dry summer has devastated many crops and put tremendous pressure on local farms, while also stressing a wide range of native wildlife in the Ottawa region, from warblers and fish to beavers and bears.

So while the West burns and East floods, we have media who seem incapable of discussing these events while also mentioning the words “climate change” in their reporting. We hear more about this year’s extreme weather from Alex Smith off the top of the program. We then hear Alex’s interview with Daniel Rirdan, author of “The Blueprint: Averting Global Collapse,” who gives us some ideas for solutions to our climate and ecological crisis.

Also on the show today we hear an interview with the author and climate activist Bill McKibben whose July 19 article in Rolling Stone ‘Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math’ has gone absolutely viral, with close to 11,000 tweets and more than 94,000 Facebook “likes.” The essay is in essence a battle-cry, a polemic against the fossil fuel industry — or as McKibben writes “Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization.” McKibben appeared on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman this past week to discuss the article and we hear a clip from this interview later in the show.

Earthgauge Radio is broadcast every other Thursday morning at 7:00-8:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa. Online at with podcasts on iTunes. ‘Like’ us at

Categories: Activism, Climate breakdown, Earthgauge radio, Global warming, Podcasts, Politics Tags: Alex Taylor, , Daniel Rirdan, Democracy Now!, Ecoshock, Rolling Stone, The Blueprint

Bill McKibben speaks out against tar sands expansion and the Northern Gateway pipeline

March 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Video courtesy of The Common Sense Canadian and The Tyee from a speech activist and author Bill McKibben gave in Vancouver yesterday. The rally was organized on the 23rd anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill to oppose both the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and Kinder Morgan’s planned expansion to its Trans Mountain pipeline to Vancouver.

An excerpt: “Don’t let them ever call you a ‘radical’. The radicals work at Kinder Morgan and Enbridge. They are willing to alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere in order to make money.”

Categories: Activism, Climate breakdown, Global warming, Oil, Tar sands Tags: , Northern Gateway,

Earthgauge interviews with James Hansen, Bill McKibben and Maude Barlow from Keystone XL protest in Washington, D.C. [#nokxl]

November 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Click the audio players below to hear my interviews from the Keystone XL protest in Washington, D.C. last weekend with NASA scientist James Hansen; author and activist Bill McKibben and the Council of Canadians’ Maude Barlow.

James Hansen 

It was a rare pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with Dr. James Hansen, renowned NASA scientist and one of the world’s leading climatologists. He heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, a part of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.

Right click here to download the interview (3:18).


Bill McKibben

If there is one individual who can be credited with building the U.S. climate change movement to the level of influence it has reached today, it is Bill McKibben. In addition to being an author and journalist, McKibben has been a tireless environmental and climate activist. He is the author of several books and is a frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He is also a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine.

Right click here to download the interview (1:55).


Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow is another person I’ve been trying to interview for some time. In our discussion, she is refreshingly upbeat in her assessment of the prospects of stopping both Keystone XL and the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines. Sure enough, mere days after the Keystone protest in D.C., President Obama announced that he would be delaying until 2013 his decision on whether or not to grant a permit to TransCanada to construct the pipeline.

Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is the recipient of 11 honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award, the Citation of Lifetime Achievement and the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award. In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as 16 books, including the international bestseller Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water.

Right click here to download the interview (2:50).

Interviews, photos and video from Nov 6 Keystone XL protest at the White House

November 9, 2011 1 comment

Opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline continues to build

Polar bear travels all the way to DC to protest Keystone XL









I just returned from Washington DC where I was covering an action to pressure President Obama to deny the permit required for TransCanada to construct Keystone XL, a massive, 2700 km pipeline that would transport tar sands crude from northern Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.

The event was very well-attended, exceeding the expectations of event organizers, Tar Sands Action. Organizers had hoped to encircle the White House with at least 4000 protesters but estimates placed the crowd at somewhere between 10,000-12,000.

In attendance were folks from as far away as Florida, Ohio, California and, for course, Canada. I traveled down from Ottawa on a bus packed with about 50 enthusiastic students from Paul Smiths College in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. 20 hours on a bus over a 48-hour period (including one overnight) is not usually my idea of a good time, but it was well worth the trip.

Below you will find interviews and video from the rally. Highlights included Naomi Klein’s rousing call to arms and her Canadian perspective on both Keystone XL as well as the equally outrageous, proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to the west coast of B.C. (see video below). Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians gave me a remarkably upbeat assessment of the prospects of stopping Keystone XL in its tracks. Having the chance to speak with leading climatologist and NASA scientist, James Hansen, was also a rare opportunity. In his speech (see video below), Dr. Hansen advocated putting a price on carbon emissions by taxing fossil fuel companies and distributing 100% of the proceeds to the public through a monthly dividend. He also said that one of the most important things people can do is to support the organization Citizens Climate Lobby.

Perhaps most memorable, however, were the many conversations I had with everyday folks from all over North America, from farmers in Nebraska to college kids who helped get Obama elected in ’08 to seniors who were afraid for the future of their grandchildren. People are rightly pissed about this proposed pipeline and many have said they will do “whatever it takes” to stop it. Whatever it takes.

Increasing our dependence on unconventional, dirty oil is not the kind of legacy we should be leaving for future generations. Yes, we need oil for now – nobody denies it. But according to James Hansen, the planet’s most important climate scientist, who was arrested at the White House back in late August/early September – opening up the tar sands to heavy exploitation would mean “it’s essentially game over” for the climate. Building Keystone XL – which Bill McKibben described as “a 1,700-mile fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the continent” – will only only ensure that our oil dependence will continue long into the future, our greenhouse gas emissions will continue to increase and long overdue investments in clean energy technologies will be further delayed.

You may also be interested to hear the comments of Bill McKibben who appeared on Democracy Now the day after the White House action. The battle continues…

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