Hurricane Irene received a massive amount media coverage, but television reports made little or no reference to the role global warming played in the storm. We speak with someone with his eye on climate change and its impact. “We’ve had not only this extraordinary flooding, but on the same day that Hurricane Irene was coming down, Houston set its all time temperature record, 109 degrees,” says Bill McKibben, co-founder and director of 350.org. “We’re in a new situation.” McKibben is among hundreds of people arrested last week during ongoing sit-ins outside the White House, protesting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico. On Friday, the U.S. State Department’s final environmental review of the proposed pipeline found that the project will have “limited adverse environmental impacts.” Protesters will begin their second week of sit-ins today, and continue to demand President Obama veto approval for the pipeline. “There has never been a purer test of whether or not we’re prepared to stand up to climate change or not,” says McKibben.
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