When Lisa Podurgiel heard Bill McKibben interviewed on “Fresh Air,” her ears perked up.
And her heart sank.
The environmentalist’s new book is called “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?” Though the Westporter thought she knew plenty about climate change, McKibben opened her eyes to “new, very frightening — and infuriating” ideas.
For example, McKibben said:
fossil fuel companies knew everything there was to know about climate change in the 1980s. They knew how much it was going to warm and how fast, and they believed it. Exxon began building all its drilling rigs to compensate for the rise in sea level they knew was coming.
What they didn’t do was tell any of the rest of us — just the opposite. Beginning right about 1989 or so, they began to pour huge sums of money into this architecture of deceit and denial and disinformation that kept us locked for 30 years in a sterile debate about whether or not global warming was real, a debate that both sides knew the answer to at the beginning.
Realizing that we’ve wasted the past 30 years, Podurgiel was inspired to act. She joined 350.org, McKibben’s citizen movement. (The name comes from 350 parts per million — the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.)
Through 350, she learned of an international, youth-led, all-ages Global Climate Strike. The Westport event is set for this Friday (September 20, 11 a.m., Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge).
Podurgiel says that New York City public schools will excuse the absences of students who participate in the strike.
The Westporter hopes Westport youngsters — and anyone else — will join her on the Post Road bridge, the traditional site of political protests.”Strike like your future depends on it,” she says.
“Because it does.”