“For the past year I have been thinking about the future. A lot. That’s because in November 2006 my wife, Kate, and I had a baby, our first. Her name is Frances, and to our delight, she is a happy child who, when I come to wake her in the morning, is often already up, grinning in her crib, batting at a wooden mobile above.
Sometimes I try to picture Frances as an adult. What will she be like? Where will she live? Who will she marry? Will she, one day, come in to greet her own child in the morning? These should be happy thoughts. But lately a shadow has hung about them. The shadow of something I read about more and more often, with more and more alarm. Just this month yet another magazine arrived in our mailbox with a cover story about global warming. The Big Thaw, announced the headline. It wasn’t that long ago that I mostly ignored climate change as some hotly debated, distant future possibility. Now scientists agree it’s already happening. Today.
Siberian permafrost is thawing five times faster than predicted and summer Arctic sea ice has already shrunk by 20 percent. What kind of world have we brought Frances into? I find myself wondering. The summer after Kate and I married, we went hiking in Montana’s Glacier National Park. “Won’t it be fun when we take our own kids backpacking?” we said. But scientists predict that by the time Frances graduates from college, Glacier Park’s remaining 27 glaciers, down from 150 a century ago, will be gone.
All of this was on my mind when I agreed to write about a man named Bill McKibben for GUIDEPOSTS. McKibben is an environmental writer- his 1989 book, The End of Nature, was the first for a general audience about global warming. He is also a lifelong Methodist and a Sunday school teacher, making him a natural for the magazine. But I wanted to meet him for another reason. Almost alone among experts on global warming, McKibben is a man of hope and faith. Faith in God and faith that people, if they choose, can dig themselves out of the environmental mess they have made. His most recent book, Deep Economy, is a hopeful world tour through communities reclaiming the small-scale, family-oriented lifestyles that McKibben sees as key to defeating the materialism and glorification of growth, which he believes fuel climate change”. – Excerpt from Guideposts Magazine.
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