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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Bill McKibben to Present Free Talk: “Celebrating and Preserving Winter”

Bill McKibben (left) and Paul Thompson

Edina-based Cool Planet is bringing Bill McKibben, environmental activist, author and founder of 350.org, back to Minnesota to present a free lecture entitled “Celebrating and Preserving Winter” in St. Paul. McKibben will speak from 7 to 9 p.m. on February 20 at the University of St. Thomas and from 12 to 2:30 p.m. on February 21 at Macalester College.

A longtime environmental activist, McKibben completed his “Do the Math” tour at the end of 2012, during which he visited 21 cities, including the Twin Cities. “Do The Math” refers to the simple reality of the climate crisis. The fossil fuel industry currently has 2,795 gigatons of carbon in its reserves, five times more than the maximum 565 gigatons the world can emit and keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius, a goal agreed to by nearly every nation on Earth, including the United States. Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. Currently, that number is 392 and rising. McKibben’s landmark Rolling Stone article, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math,” was published in June 2012 and has become one of the most-read articles in the history of the magazine

McKibben is visiting Minnesota as part of a cross-country ski trip. He will ski in the 40th American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Marathon, North America’s largest ski event, on February 23. A seasoned classic cross-country skier, McKibben will be skiing 54 km—from Telemark Lodge, in Cable, Wisconsin, to Hayward, Wisconsin—along with 10,000 skiers from all over the world. McKibben has pointed out that Minnesota and Wisconsin are the third and fourth fastest-warming states in the U.S., mostly due to lack of snow cover during the winter. During his visit, he will discuss ways that citizens can help to slow global warming.

Cost: Free. Locations: (February 20) Anderson Student Center, Woulfe Hall, University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul; (February 21) Weyerhauser Chapel, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Ave, St. Paul. For more information, visiti CoolPlanetMN.org and MN350.org.

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