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PODCAST: 350.org founder Bill McKibben at the Brattle Theatre [MP3]

There's nothing that anyone reading this post could've done to prevent the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Someone (or a group of someones) with a lot of responsibility fucked up, finger pointing ensued, and in all actuality, people may be better served saving their breath. The irrevocable damage has been done and one of the richest ecosystems on our increasingly faltering planet is now tainted beyond repair.

But while environmentalist Bill McKibben was visibly perturbed by the massive blunder during his April 30 stop at the Brattle Theatre, he is realistic in his assessment that it was not the spill that has doomed the Gulf, but rather, ramifications of capitalism that have long set in motion the demise of that ecosystem. Offshore drilling has been killing the area for decades and the spill is just the slick icing on the cake.

McKibben uses the incident as a teaching point to let us in on a bleak little secret that also happens to be the basis of his new book, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet -- we can no longer wait around for our planet to fall apart to begin making repairs because it's falling apart now. And is probably already beyond repair.

But while Al Gore aims for the masses in his pleads for reform and more often than not falls upon deaf ears, McKibben's target audience isn't the skeptics. He isn't out to convert the 44% of Americans who still don't believe global warming is man-made. Rather, he aims to motivate immediate action amongst those who may not be aware of the dire circumstances, with his primary channel being 350.org. Founded in 2007 as an avenue for assembly around the ultimate goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions, the grassroots movement has generated a resounding response thus far, organizing the world's "most widespread day of political action" on Oct. 24 of last year across 181 countries.

During this podcast that was recorded during his Brattle appearance, McKibben reads a passage from Eaarth, questions the motivation behind the decisions of those we generally refer to as leaders, and fields 20-minutes of questions from an audience that is seemingly divided between those who think 350.org can make a difference and those who don't.

DOWNLOAD: Bill McKibben on "Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet" [MP3]

Recorded live at the Brattle Theatre, on April 30, 2010; if you enjoyed this listening to this talk, check out the Brattle Theatre's calendar of upcoming events. To subscribe to our podcast, paste this RSS feed into your podcatcher or feed-reader of choice, or bookmark http://thephoenix.com/podcast.

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