Best-selling author, educator, and climate leader Bill McKibben will share his perspective on the climate crisis, during a virtual gathering Monday hosted by Billings-based Northern Plains Resource Council.
The free online event will highlight work being done to combat climate change, with a special focus on solutions in Montana.
McKibben has authored more than a dozen books on the environment and is one of the leading American voices on climate change. In 2008, he helped found 350.org, the first global grassroots climate campaign.
In an interview with Q2 News, McKibben said the smoke lingering across the country from the wildfires in the West is a daily reminder of the on-going climate crisis.
"The two things that are going on are, the planet is really starting to burn up. All you need to do is stick your nose out the window and take a good whiff and you get the smell of wildfire smoke across the western U.S.," he said.
The second thing McKibben pointed to: a dramatic drop in the cost of wind and solar power. Both are getting cheaper by the hour.
"They are now the cheapest way to generate electricity on planet earth, and we're learning to use electricity for pretty much everything, said McKibben. "So, on the one hand, we have to change, and the other hand we can change. I guess that's the good news."
McKibben, who covers climate issues for the New Yorker magazine, also pointed to good news from the clean energy sector when it comes to jobs.
"I just did an article for the New Yorker about North Dakota oilfield workers converting to wind turbine technicians," said McKibben. "The jobs have overlapping skill sets, but in many ways are much better jobs. They're not as hard on your body, and are more likely to provide a lifetime, instead of the boom and bust fossil-fuel economy that we've gotten used to."
"Turning the Corner on Climate Change: A conversation with Bill McKibben" begins at 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 5. The virtual event is free and open to all. To register and get Zoom information, go to northernplains.org/bill-mckibben [northernplains.org].
You can watch all of Q2's interview with Bill McKibben here.