We're Hot as Hell, and We're Not Going to Take It Any More. Commentary by Bill McKibben, TomDispatch, August 4, 2010. "According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the planet has just come through the warmest decade, the warmest 12 months, the warmest six months, and the warmest April, May, and June on record... A 'staggering' new study from Canadian researchers has shown that warmer seawater has reduced phytoplankton, the base of the marine food chain, by 40% since 1950... Nine nations have so far set their all-time temperature records in 2010, including Russia (111 degrees), Niger (118), Sudan (121), Saudi Arabia and Iraq (126 apiece), and Pakistan, which also set the new all-time Asia record in May: a hair under 130 degrees. I can turn my oven to 130 degrees... And then, in late July, the U.S. Senate decided to do exactly nothing about climate change...

"Now what?... Step one involves actually talking about global warming. For years now, the accepted wisdom in the best green circles was: talk about anything else -- energy independence, oil security, beating the Chinese to renewable technology. I was at a session convened by the White House early in the Obama administration where some polling guru solemnly explained that 'green jobs' polled better than 'cutting carbon.'... Step two, we have to ask for what we actually need, not what we calculate we might possibly be able to get... We need a stiff price on carbon, set by the scientific understanding that we can't still be burning black rocks a couple of decades hence... most of the money raised in the process should be returned directly to American pockets... [Step three] If we're going to get any of this done, we're going to need a movement, the one thing we haven't had.

"Last year, with almost no money, our scruffy little outfit, 350.org, managed to organize... 5,200 demonstrations in 181 countries, 2,000 of them in the U.S.A... Those demonstrations were just a start (one we should have made long ago). We're following up in October -- on 10-10-10 -- with a Global Work Party. All around the country and the world people will be putting up solar panels and digging community gardens and laying out bike paths. Not because we can stop climate change one bike path at a time, but because we need to make a sharp political point to our leaders: we're getting to work, what about you?" Bill McKibben is founder of 350.org and the author, most recently, of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet.

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