On the heels of the nation’s midsummer heat wave, Bill McKibben got right to the point. “Global warming,” said the writer and environmentalist, “is not some distant phenomenon for your kids to worry about – it’s the new reality of your life and mine.”
McKibben, whose most recent book is Wandering Home
, addressed the second annual Conservation Commencement at The SCA Center for Conservation Service in Charlestown, NH. Speaking to more than 200 SCA volunteers, alumni and others, he estimated the average American’s environmental “footprint” at 30 acres, a model he called unacceptable. “If everyone in the world lived like us, it would take an extra four planets to provide for them,” said McKibben. “So we can either get into interstellar travel or we can get into living more lightly on the earth.”
McKibben’s theme harmonized well with the comments of SCA alumna Kaitlin Bear, who had just completed a ten-month conservation project with nearly 30 other SCA colleagues. “The greatest lesson that I’ve learned,” she said, “is that a group can accomplish much more than the individual.”
The commencement, which recognized the accomplishments of SCA’s 3,200 conservation volunteers across the U.S. this year, also featured comments from SCA Founding President Elizabeth Titus Putnam and President Dale Penny.