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Questions For Bill McKibben

What’s your question for Bill McKibben on the Keystone Pipeline, fracking, global warming? We’ll talk to him tomorrow at On Point Live.

Post your questions here!

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  • John Harwood

    How can we increase the pressure on our Congressional delegation to end fossil fuel company subsidies? Is it time for sit-ins at offices, demonstrations at their appearances, arrests, like your linked hands around the White House?
    - John Harwood, 350 Newbury, MA

  • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

    Bill, Is there a way to eliminate human stupidity, arrogance and myopia from the gene pool? Given that there’s just too damn many of us on the planet, is it time to reconsider eugenics?

    • Qbrian61

      Yes Bobby, You go 1st! I’ll supply your choice of medicine.

      • http://riversong.wordpress.com/ Robert Riversong

        I’ll assume that Qbrian61 is a dislexic misspelling of Qbrain61, with 61 being your IQ.

  • Nlpnt

    I’m under the impression that there already IS a pipeline on the Keystone’s route, this would expand not create new capacity (hence the “XL”). Is this indeed the case?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kat.lenwa Kat Lenwa

    In your opinion, what poses the largest threat to the stability of our future climate?

    • Qbrian61

      You and all of the Co2 that you are emitting!

  • ClimateFirst

    Bill, I know you will never stop trying, but is there really any hope? With the new report from UC Berkley http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/06/06/scientists-uncover-evidence-of-impending-tipping-point-for-earth/ I have to wonder if it’s too late to save humanity. Many of my activist friends have given up trying.

    Sorry I can’t be there tonight.

    • Qbrian61

      I thought we were trying to save the planet……not humanity.

  • Anthony

    Putting aside the politics of climate change what technological solutions to this problem give you the most hope?

  • http://twitter.com/aloysiusokon Aloysius Okon

    would it be better to focus on a state instead of a national level, since more results have come out that way?

  • Laura

    Bill, Tom: how can communities and regions buffer themselves against the inevitable hard landing? Persuasion takes time and people do not want to be persuaded anyway, the polarization is set, and even people who are more aware are set in a very consumptive life style. It is difficult for me even to talk about air drying laundry and composting kitchen scraps…. So what’s to do?

  • MJ

    Would he be opposed to a law establishing that every officer of the company doing the fracking and every officer of any company that is a parent or subsidiary of the company doing the fracking will be personally liable for damages to any person whose property is damaged by the fracking (e.g., cracks in building foundations, contaminated water supply, diversion of water from wells, etc.)?

  • Alohanuiloa

    First, the Keystone pipeline endangers many CLEAN aquifiers.  Second, the pipline will only create temporary jobs in its’ construction; with a very small amount of jobs when it’s completed. Third, the oil that will be delivered to the coast will be refined into diesil fuel for the foriegn marketplace NOT for gasoline for the U.S. consumer; so the results of building the pipline will essentially do nothing for the U.S. but make the 1% richer and the 99% poorer.  Poorer in Clean Water, Poorer in living wage jobs, and Poorer in families’ incomes. The industrial power complex in the U.S. and the world doen’t care about the future of ‘mankind’ they’re only interested in the the bottom line, how much they can ‘rape, pillage, and plunder this world just to make a buck.  They remind me of the aliens from the movie Independence Day, they went from planet to planet taking ALL the riches then moving on to the next planet. Come this July 4th, we should declare ‘OUR’ Independence from these exploiters!

  • Webbizz

    hi Claude from China..do you think these new apps take away from the adventure in travel and discovery?

  • Houston

    Wouldn’t it be less expensive, simply to add another pipeline, parallel, next to the existing pipeline that already exists, and is maxed out today? Why build a seperate new pipeline, over new areas of land, with new acquifer concerns, etc. Since there is already land owned by the *existing pipelines* it would be much simpler, with less enviornmental impacts, and actually be much safer, and cheaper….to install them side-by-side. With the 2 pipelines next to one another, the monitoring required would be better for everyone…

  • injun2

    April 11, 2012- ”
    The Nebraska Legislature approved a bill on Wednesday that would provide support for an expected new route for TransCanada Corp’s Canada-to-Texas Keystone XLcrude oil pipeline that would bypass an environmentally sensitive region in the state…. approved on a 44-5 vote in Nebraska’s single-chamber Legislature.”
    My question is; why are the people who are against this ( and for the most part live in non-oil states on the east and west coasts) think they know better what is good for the people who live IN these states (that are overwhelmingly FOR oil and gas production)? 

  • EWessels

    How can we convince those that don’t seem to care about or for green energy that this planet we live on is a finite resource?  though we may have sufficient amounts of fossil fuels to last for whatever period of time, eventually they will be gone.  That’s just a fact.  How do we convince those that are opposed to renewables to do the research and exploration now and not wait till it is evan more desperate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/douglas.fahlbusch Douglas Fahlbusch

    Who owns the oil that will be piped through the Keystone XL pipeline?  Is there not an alternative pipeline, the Northern Gateway pipeline, being discussed that will go through Western Canada to British Columbia?  What affect does China have on this pipeline and the fact that PetroChina owns some of the Canadian tarsands?  Is this merely a race to build a pipeline to cash in on China’s and/or the highest bidder’s desire for oil?

    Has anyone actually looked at the real jobs that will be created by pipeline construction?  From what I understand almost all of the pipeline components are imported from China and Italy.  Is that true?  If so, then the real jobs are some temporary construction jobs to build the pipeline and then some for pipeline maintenance.  How many jobs are we looking at and for how long will these jobs last?  Transcanada mentions the peripheral jobs created by pipeline construction?  What are these jobs?  In my experience with oil and gas exploration in Colorado and Wyoming you get little bubble truck stops that are created.  With that you have low wage jobs like convenience store clerks and fast food worker jobs to serve the temporary construction workers, or better yet housekeeper positions at the many cheap hotels that pop up near the construction sites.  Is this really what America needs? 

    Follow the money and you will see who benefits from building the Keystone XL pipeline.

  • injun2

    Citigroup estimates that as many as 3.6 million new jobs might be created by 2020 thanks to the energy boom.

    Ed Morse, head of global commodity research at Citigroup and a longtime energy analyst, says North America has the potential to become a “new Middle East.”

    Citigroup estimates that as many as 3.6 million new jobs might be created by 2020 thanks to the energy boom. The current trade deficit might fall by 60 percent by the end of the decade from today’s level, according to the bank’s estimates, and the dollar could appreciate by as much as 5.4 percent as imports shrink.

    “In a world of high energy prices, the potential economic activity generated by this wave of new hydrocarbon production is extraordinary and should strongly boost national output, increase incomes, create wealth, stimulate consumption and create jobs,” according to Citigroup.

  • Flowen

    The notion that toxic, centralized energy (oil, gas, coal, nuclear, ethanol) production creates net jobs is as much a myth as the “Job Creators” themselves (they even sound like little gods; it is how they see themselves).

    The history and nature of energy production is to displace labor.

    The real question is what is the relative jobs benefit in a sustainable, renewable energy based economy compared to the toxic oil/gas treadmill economy the Status Quo currently has us on?

    The number of jobs the conservative repub pols were claiming for Keystone was 100,000. Then 50,000, now you hear estimates anywhere from 3-20,000. My guess is 2000 to build, over a couple years, 500 to run.

    Frankly, the trend in the number of jobs claimed for Keystone followed the exact same dishonest trajectory as the BP oil spill: 1000 bbls/day, then 5000, then 15,000, then maybe 30-40,000….well what do you know, the professor was right! 64,000 barrels/day. How can the industry be believed?

    If I recall, Keystone is planned to transport 800,000 bbls/day. How many jobs would be created in designing, permitting, building, and maintaining that much energy from non-toxic sources?

    And, all this toxic energy use is subsidized, promoted, encouraged and enabled with our tax money as per the request of obscenely over-paid oil, gas, coal, nuclear, ethanol lobbyists working for even more obscenely over-compensated (through tax-payer subsidy and special considerations) owners, top managers and directors.

    Stop Toxic Energy Support and Welfare for Billionaires Now!

    • Countrysidestump

      Take a look at North Dakota…..unemployment at 3%…..economy is booming and because of what?

  • Flowen

    What happened to my last post?

  • Susan

    I am a 68 year old widow who is loving Fifty Shades of Gray. Fun to read in every way. Hope more like it will follow…perhaps even with the seniors kicking things up!

  • Baierouge

    I have no desire to read these books.  I am a very sensual woman and I have been very fortunate to have had really great sex and some bad sex.  I do not like to read about someone else having sex.  It is always so predictable.

  • Baierouge

    Sorry, I posted on the wrong comment page!

  • Ian

    Question for Bill McKibben: How bad is fracked natural gas for the climate? 
    Now that we are learning that methane is leaking at higher rates than previously assumed by the EPA. If Natural gas is as bad as this suggests, how long will it take for people to wake up to this reality and focus on more than just coal as a bad fossil fuel?

    Perhaps we need to stop calling in ‘natural gas’ and start calling it ‘fossil methane’

  • jsland1

    “National systems are at the core of countries’ capacity to meet the challenges of observed and projected trends in exposure, vulnerability, and weather and climate extremes.” IPCC 
    I wish with all my heart that this wonderful NPR was able to take an International perspective for a change, and welcome guests whose countries have been acting on behalf of the FUTURE.  From where I sit, the more Americans imagine that theirs is the only nation that lives sanely and freely on the planet, the more they will sink further into a becoming a Post-Development country. What I can see from where I sit in another English speaking country, the entire nation is polarized around a fundamentally false idea. The concept of freedom embraced by Americans has now got itself married to the acts of will and of choice, and those freedoms with the act of purchasing anything at all, no matter what it might be. This means that collective action, or the policies that value collective relationships have become a sort of constitutional heresy. American governments can’t seem to be able to take action to rescue or preserve our collective relationships without being accused of socialism or communism. But what is our biosphere other than the miracle of nature’s collective relationships growing and changing together over millions and billions of years, relationships that we need to care for if we want them to support our own biological lives? What is society but a similar set of human and cultural relations that take place over time and in a specific geographical place that reflect the values we hold about humans, culture and nature, that we have to care for and prune back in our institutions to keep them healthy? What is biological health but another set of living relationships (most of them bacterial!) in which we live out our physical lives and share with the lives of everyone else? If English speaking countries can’t constitutionally agree about what wealth means (if it means anything to us other than the ability to buy things), whether a healthy Biosphere matters to us now and for the future, whether our powers (which we adore) also give us the ability to destroy the living climate of the planet which we value, then there’s no point in standing in protest lines wrapped in posters.

  • Pyrroho

    I would like to ask Mr. McKibben how exactly he sees a way forward that does not result in either 1) catastrophic climate changes over the next 50 years (staying on fossil), or 2) catastrophic economic collapses over the next 50 years (subsidizing inefficient renewables)?  Shouldn’t we stop subsidies for technologies (solar, wind, geothermal, etc) that clearly cannot compete with natural gas either on price or flexibility of where the generation can be deployed (NYC gets over 60% of its electricity from in-city NG generators because it does not require a massive transmission investment as does wind) and start spending some of billions we give away in PTC’s, FIT’s, and REC’s on technology research into something that does not have terrible energy density and that might actually solve the problem? 

    Seems that we are digging a nasty hole for ourselves on both sides of this argument and just to be clear there is plenty of industry, VC, and private equity lobbying money on either side here, neither of which cares a lick about global warming compared to how much they care about their ROI.  A perfect example is the Massachusetts Solar REC which has a minimum price guarantee of $.23 cents per KWh on top of the PTC’s, ITC’s, and feed-in tariffs.  Every other renewable trades on an open market with the REC’s going for about $.03 per KWH.  Why?  Solar lobbying funded by guess who…Kleiner Perkins, Goldman Sachs, etc.. 

    That money has to come from somewhere and if it being spent installing sub-par solar technologies it is not being spent moving clean technology forward.

    What we have now is not a solution either in renewables or fossils.  How do we get to a solution outside of crossing our fingers and hoping the national ignition center somehow spawns a cost positive form of fusion?

  • Richard in Portland, OR

    At what point will the costs of global climate change start affecting Americans where they’ll finally notice it? In their pocketbooks? What will be the first prices to rise? What will be the first impacts that will significantly change our lifestyles? When?

  • Countrysidestump

    If their is such a thing as global warming, then what melted the glaciers that made our landscapes when man wasn’t even around?  And why would Al Gore keep flying around in his private jet telling us too go green when he himself does more damage to the environment than most of us?

  • Arydberg

    is there any possibility that the experiments that are being done in the ionosphere  by facilities like HAARP are damaging our weather?

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