Like most people, I’m not an activist by nature. There’s really not that many people whose greatest desire it to go out and fight the system. My theory of change was I’ll write my book, people will read it and they’ll change. But that’s not how change happens. So I’ve been kind of forced to go against my sense of who I am most comfortable being. It seems like it’s the things that’s required now and I think it’s probably required that an awful lot of us doing things that are a little hard for us, make a little noise, be a little uncomfortable, push other people to be a little uncomfortable. This is really the fight of our time. It’s official: 2012 was the hottest year in the United States since weather scientists started keeping records. 2012 was not only the warmest year on record, but also the second most extreme, featuring tornadoes, wild fires, a massive drought. Rising seas due to climate change. Heat trapping gases from burning oil, coal and gas. 10.9 billion dollars in profits, people look at this and say that’s a world turned upside down. Listening to your testimony makes me even more convinced that we need to act to prevent cataclysmic climate change. BP cut corner after corner and now the whole gulf coast is paying the price. How can you justify the record profits you’re making? Well our business is one of very large numbers. Okay, let’s bring out Bill, he’s an environmentalism and president and co-founder of 350.org. And my guest Bill McKibben, our nation’s leading environmentalist. We started this thing called 350.org. We’re going out and building the kind of political movement that will change things. We just announced this road show out across the country to really try take it at the fossil fuel industry. People are just lining up to try and get involved in this fight. Well, thank you all, thank you all so much for being here today. It is a great pleasure for me to get to be here tonight and one of the gifts for me of these last few months was getting, tiring as it was in a sense, to travel around the country. And one of the things that was great was just being reminded was what an incredibly beautiful place this is. You know, we got to Denver and it was gorgeous but the air was full of smoke from fires still burning in December after the biggest fire season ever and we got through this gorgeous farmland, much of it still-60% of it still in a federally declared drought. But it’s also worth just saying that it’s a terrible thing to take a world this beautiful and, for the sake of outsized profits for a few people for a little while, lay it to waste. Tonight’s the start of the last campaign I may really get to fight. Not ’cause I’m getting tired but because the planet’s getting tired. In the world that we’ve built where our institutions aren’t working the way they should, we have to do more than we should. That news doesn’t depress me. In a sense it excites me, because I think we know what we need to do. I think we’ve peeled away the layers of the onion. We’ve got to the very heart of things. As of tonight, we’re taking on the fossil fuel industry directly. The moment has come where we have to take a real stance, we’re reaching limits. The biggest limit that we’re running into may be that we’re running our of atmosphere into which to put the waste products of our society, particularly the carbon dioxide that is the ubiquitous biproduct of burning fossil fuels. You burn coal or oil or gas, you get CO2 and the atmosphere is now filling up with it. We know what the solutions for dealing with this trouble are, many of the technologies we need to get off fossil fuel and onto something else. The thing that is preventing us from doing it is the enormous political power wielded by those who have made and are making vast windfall profits off of fossil fuels. Well, there have been a lot of efforts by scientists to try to estimate whether we are living sustainably in the sense of whether we’re consuming planetary resources at a rate that can be continued. The threat that this combination that climate change, water shortages, food shortages and rising energy prices is enormously troubling to anyone who’s aware of the data and the way these issues could play out. You can’t keep increasing your economy infinitely on a finite planet. One of the things that humanity is facing is the need to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint over the next 40 years. And we’re talking in the wealthy countries about 80 to 90% reductions. We’re no longer at the point of trying to stop global warming. Too late for that. We’re at the point of trying to keep it from becoming a complete and utter calamity. We shouldn’t have to be here tonight. If the world worked in a kind of rational way, we shouldn’t have to be here. 25 years ago our scientists started telling us about climate change. I played my small role in that by writing the first book about all this in 1989 for a general audience, a book called The End of Nature. If the world worked as it should, our leaders would have heeded those warning, gone to work, done the sensible things that at the time would have been enough to get us a long way to where we needed to go. They didn’t. And that’s why we’re in the fix we’re in. This is the biggest emergency the human family has faced since it came out of the caves. There is nothing bigger. All these issues matter: immigration and health care and education. But this one is really about the physical change of the planet. We all have been saying we need to save the planet. But as I think about it, the planet’s going to be around for some time to come. What’s at stake now is civilization itself. Our most important climatologist, Jim Hansen, has his team at NASA do a study to figure out how much carbon in the atmosphere was too much. The paper they published may be the most important scientific paper of the millenium to date, said we now know enough to know how much is too much. Any value for carbon in the atmosphere greater than 350 parts per million is not compatible with the planet on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted. That’s pretty strong language for scientists to use. Stronger still if you know that outside today, the atmosphere is 395 parts per million CO2. And rising at about 2 parts per million per year. Everything frozen on earth is melting. The great ice sheet of the arctic is reduced by more than half, the oceans are about 30% more acidic than they were 30 years ago because the chemistry of sea water changes as it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere. And because warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere is about 5% wetter than it was 40 years ago. That’s an astonishingly large change. There’s more energy coming in and being absorbed by the earth than there is heat being radiated to space, which is exactly what we expected because as we add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, it traps heat. Now we can measure that and that’s the basis by which we can prove that the human made impacts on atmospheric composition are the primary cause of the climate change that we’re observing. So let’s get to work. We’re calling this Do the Math and we’re gonna do some math for a moment. Just three numbers, okay? I wrote about them in a piece last summer for Rolling Stone. A piece that went oddly viral. It was the issue with Justin Bieber on the cover, but here’s the strange thing: The next day I got a call from the editor saying, “Your piece has gotten ten times more likes on Facebook than Justin Bieber’s.” Some of that is doubtless the result of my sort of soulful stare, you know. But mostly it’s because we managed to just kind of lay out this math in a very straight forward way that people needed to understand as we were going through what turned out to be the hottest year that America has ever experienced. Before we get to those three numbers, here’s where we are so far: We’ve burned enough coal and gas and oil to raise the temperature of the earth one degree. What has that done? There was a day last September when the headline in the paper was “Half the Polar Ice Cap is missing.” Literally. I mean if Neil Armstrong were up on the moon today, he’d look down and see half as much area of ice in the arctic. We’ve taken one of the largest physical features on earth and we have broken it. Shall we work through the numbers? There are three, and they’re easy. The first one’s 2 degrees. That’s how much the world has said it would be safe to let the planet warm. In political terms, it’s the only thing that anybody’s agreed to. Some of you may remember that climate summit in Copenhagen. There was only one number in the final two page voluntary accord that people signed. Only one number in it: 2 degrees. Every signatory pledged to make sure the temperature wouldn’t rise about that. The EU, Japan, Russia, China, countries that make their money selling oil like the United Arab Emirates, the most conservative, recalcitrant, reluctant countries on earth. Even the United States. If the world officially believes anything about climate changes it’s that 2 degrees is too much. Second number that scientists have calculated is how much carbon we can pour into the atmosphere and have a reasonable chance of staying below two degrees. They say about 565 more gigatons. A gigaton is a billion tons. That’s not a perfect chance, that’s worse odds than Russian roulette, you know. Sounds like is should – it is a lot, 565 billions tons of CO2. The problem is we pour 30 billion tons a year now and it goes up 3% a year. Do the math and it’s about 15 years before go past that threshold. So that’s sobering news. But the scary number is the third number. The third number was the important one and the new one and it came from a team of financial analysts in the United Kingdom. And what they did was sit down with all the annual reports and SEC filings and things to figure out how much carbon the world’s fossil fuel industry, how much they had already in their reserves and that number turned out to be 2795 gigatons worth of carbon. Five times as much as the most conservative governments on earth think would be safe to pour into the atmosphere. It’s not even close. I mean, it’s five times more. Once you know that number, then you understand the essence of this problem. What the fossil fuel industry is doing is locking us into a future that we can’t survive, that humanity cannot survive. And we know this because just at the end of 2012 we heard this from three different conservative sources simultaneously: The World Bank, The International Energy Agency, Price Waterhouse Cooper, hardly a hippy outfit. All told us that if we do nothing but more of the same, if we dig up those reserves, we are headed toward 4-6 degrees warming celsius. These numbers show, and I want to be absolutely clear here, these companies are a rogue force, they’re outlaws. They’re not outlaws against the laws of the state. They get to write those for the most part. But they’re outlaw against the laws of physics. If they carry out their business plan, the planet tanks. We have all the engineers and entrepreneurs we need. The thing that’s hold us back above all else is the simple fact that the fossil fuel industry cheats. Alone among industries, they’re allowed to pour out their waste for free. Nobody should be able to pollute for free. You can’t, I can’t. We can’t walk out of here and go litter for free. If you do, you get a fine. If you run a small business, you can’t just dump the garbage in the road, you’ve got to pay to have it hauled away or you get a fine. The only people who can pollute for free are these megapolluters when it comes to carbon: big oil, big coal. If you get a $25 fine for littering, you’re going to pay $25 more than all of the industrial polluters have ever paid in 150 years for the carbon they’ve been dumping. That’s how whack this whole thing is. It’s almost how we define civilization. You pick up after yourself unless you’re the fossil fuel industry. Then you pour that carbon into the atmosphere for free and that is the advantage that keeps us from getting renewable energy at the pace that we need. We should internalize that externality. The only reason we haven’t is because it would impair somewhat the record profitability of the fossil fuel industry and so they have battled at every turn to keep it from happening. These are rogue companies now. Once upon a time, they performed a useful social function. For a long time, the US’s engine was fossil fuels like oil and coal to power trains, to power cars, to power industry. In the mid 1900’s we realized there were consequences. If you look at industries like coal now, we just did a report with Harvard Medical School that showed that if they actually paid for what they’re doing to us, what we’re paying indirectly for that electricity, coal would cost anywhere from 3 to far more times their current cost. They would be out of business and that is just, financially and morally, bankrupt. When a utility burns coal, it is the cheapest source of fuel, but they’re not paying the full price. The externalities, the additional costs to society, to human health, to the environment, are not factored in as a cost of doing business. We subsidize the fossil fuel industries. We are paying them to continue to keep polluting and this means all kinds of things: it’s tax breaks, it’s loans, it’s the fact that armies protect their pipelines and protect their trade routes. You’re helping them stay on top and preventing their competitors like renewable fuels from competing. What we need is a level playing field. We could be using that public money, tax-payer money, to make the shift to green energy. Occasionally they will pretend to be seeing the light. Ten years ago, BP announced that their initials now stand for Beyond Petroleum and they got a new logo and put some solar panels on some gas stations and they invested a tiny bit of money, a pittance in solar and wind research. Even that proved too much, three years ago they sold off those divisions and said that from now on they were going to concentrate on their core business. Which turned out to be basically wrecking the Gulf of Mexico. Why are they so fixated on hydrocarbons? Because these are the most profitable enterprises in human history. The top five oil companies last year made 137 billion dollars. That’s 375 million dollars every day. That’s a lot of money. They got 6.6 million dollars in federal tax breaks daily. They spent $440,000 a day lobbying congress. Rex Tillerson, the head of Exxon, made $100,000 a day. Which, by the way, one of my favorite talking points is that climate scientists make up their findings because they’re in it for the grant money, okay. The only problem that these companies have now is that the scientists are watching in real time while they pull off this heist and it’s getting harder to deny. In fact, they’re being to kind of admit what’s going on. Last summer, for the very first time, the CEO of Exxon, Mr. Tillerson gave a speech in which he said, yes, it’s true. Global warming exists. Clearly there’s gonna be an impact so I’m not disputing that increasing CO2 emissions is going to have an impact. It’ll have a warming impact. But since the only way to stop that would be to take a hit to the company’s profitability, he immediately tried to change the subject. It’s an engineering problem and it has engineering solutions. Really? What kind of engineering solutions were you thinking? Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around, we’ll adapt to that. Look, I mean all respect, but that’s crazy talk. We can’t move crop production areas around, okay. Crop production areas are what people in Vermont refer to as farms, okay. We already have farms every where that there is decent soil on earth. It is true that Exxon has done all it can to melt the tundra, but that does not mean that you can just move Iowa up there and start over again. There is no soil. If fossil fuel companies want to change, here’s how we’d know they’re serious: One, they’d need to stop lobbying in Washington. Two, they’d need to stop exploring for new hydrocarbons. The first rule of holes is that when you are in one, stop digging, okay. And the third thing they’d need to do is go to work with the rest of us to figure out the plan where they turn themselves into energy companies, not fossil fuel companies and figure out with the rest of us how to keep 80% of those reserves underground. The thing that really does make this almost pathological is the fact that when we already have almost five times as much carbon as we can possibly burn, I mean Exxon alone: 100 million dollars a day exploring for new hydrocarbons. By this point we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. I mean we’re in tar sands, we’re doing shale oil, we’re doing fracking, we’re doing mountain top removal, we’re doing deep sea drilling, we’re taking apart the earth to look for the last bits of gas and oil and coal. I find that when I get depressed, the best antidote by far is action and I think that that’s true for most people. The problem with climate change is that it seems too big for any of us ourselves to take on. And ideed it is. It’s only when we’re working with other people, as many other people as possible, that we have any hope. So that’s why I spend my time trying to build movements. I think it’s the only chance we’ve got. Anybody can get involved. There’s always stuff to be done and more of it all the time. That’s what movements look like. We started 350.org in 2008 and when I say we I mean me and seven undergraduates at Middlebury College. We had the deep desire to try and do some global organizing about the first really global problem this planet’s ever faced. And we spread out around the planet and for the next year or so we found people all over this earth who wanted to work with us. We asked them all to take one day and this was our first big day of action was in the fall of 2009. We said, Will you all join us for one day? Will you do something on that day to take this most important number, 350, and drive it into the information bloodstream of the planet? For the next 48 hours, pictures just poured in many a minute. Before it was over, there’d been 5200 demonstrations in 181 countries. CNN called it the most widespread day of political activity in the planet’s history. Cities across the globe have gathered today to rally for solutions to climate change. Locations around the globe. Hundreds of environment campaigners gathered in Edinborgh today. So we’ve gone on since then to do more of these big days of action. We work in every country but North Korea. We have had about 20,000 rallies or so. And we’ve gone on to do more direct things: spearhead the fight against the Keystone Pipeline, organize the largest civil disobedience action in thirty years. Now the high stakes battle over whether the Obama administration should approve a major oil pipeline bisecting the US. It would transfer tar sands from Alberta, Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico. The type of oil the pipeline would carry is far more toxic. Among the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. This pipeline has proven to be very controversial. To the federal government to decide whether or not to give Keystone XL the green light. Tar sands is destructive in and of itself but it’s also symbolic of a way of developing, a way of growing our economy that just can’t be sustained. Right now a company called TransCanada has applied to build a new pipeline to speed more oil from Cushing to state-of-the-art refineries down in the Gulf Coast and today I’m directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles and make this project a priority. August was the beginning of the people’s veto of this whole proposal. We will never give up until the very idea of Keystone XL is dead and buried. Tar sands are the turning point in our fossil fuel addiction. The fundamental fact is that as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, they will continue to be used. The solution is to begin to put a price on carbon emissions. We the American people should not have to sacrifice our land and water to meet TransCanada’s bottom line. We stand here right now because we are at our lunch counter moment for the twenty-first century. President Obama, do the right thing. We are at a tipping point in America’s history for this environmental movement. If you are going to be risking arrest, you’re going to be lining up on this sidewalk. When I saw the acts of civil disobedience in front of the White House, people saying I will not let this Keystone pipeline be built, I won’t let us be committed to an energy plan based on fossil fuels. You know the people who got arrested in front of the White House, those were not all people who were all self-identified as environmentalists. Those were farmers and ranchers, those were people from indigenous communities, those were business leaders, those were grandparents and moms and dads. We’re really starting to see an expansion of the group of people that are fighting this fight, but we have a lot further to go on that. I’ve been forced to do things I didn’t imagine I’d ever do: stand up on a stage in front of thousand of people, go to jail. We’re probably not going to be able to stop them all one pipeline, one mine at a time. We’re also going to have to play, you know, offense. We think one thing the fossil fuel industry cares about is money so that’s what we’re going to go after. You want to take away our planet and our future? We’re going to try and take away your money. We’re going to try and tarnish your brand. This industry has behaved so recklessly that they should lose their social license, their veneer of respectability. We need these guys to be understood as those outlaws against the laws of physics. We need to take away some of their power and there’s a lot of ways we’re going to do it. One tool, the first tool, is divestment. We’re going to ask or demand that institutions like colleges or churches sell their stock in these companies. The logic could not be simpler: If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage. That argument has worked in a big way exactly once in US history. There has been scattered violent incidence in the Athlone mixed race neighborhood. Authorities returned fire without warning. Organized, vocal and committed students urge the university to divest itself of all investments in South Africa. That’s what happened during the fight against South African Apartheid. At 155 colleges and universities, people convinced their boards of trustees to sell their stock. And when Nelson Mandela got out of prison, one of his first trips was to the US and he didn’t go first to the White House, he went to Berkley to say thank you to the University of California students who had forced the sale of 3 billion dollars worth of Apartheid tainted stock. Here’s what we demand: One, no new investments in fossil fuel companies. Two, a firm pledge over the next five years that they will wind down their current positions. It’s not unreasonable. It’s hard but it’s not unreasonable. I’ll give you a piece of news: The first college in the country to divest all its stock from fossil fuel companies was a college in Maine called Unity College with a 13 million dollar endowment. And none of that 13 million dollars at this point is in fossil fuels any place. Divestment really in one sense was a no brainer for us. When you look at other institutions and their struggle with whether or not to divest, it really boils down to one simple thing: willingness. The mayor in Seattle, he said, I spent the afternoon with my treasurer and we’re figuring out how we’re going to get the city’s funds out of fossil fuel companies. Welcome everyone to our event tonight: Divesting from Fossil Fuels, a conversation with students from Barnard, Columbia, the New School, NYU and Hunter College. Students are asking for divestment. The fact that we have over 250 movements on different campusus around the country means that we have severely challenged that veneer of social respectability. They understand, like the religious denominations and cities that are also doing this, they understand what those numbers mean. It’s inconsistent with the reason these institutions exist for them to continue to invest in something that is dedicated to the destruction of civilization. We’re asking the administration at NYU to divest the university endowment from the fossil fuel industry. We can re-invest in our antiquated infrastructure and make our buildings more energy efficient. People are always looking for this silver bullet, instead its the silver buckshot. How this campaign fits into the greater scheme of things is that this is just one of those ways in which we can take action. These are the kind of solutions that the university should be leading on and they should be saying, we’re going to take the money that’s piled up in our endowment that right now is either doing nothing or doing harm and we’re going to take that money away from the problem makers and give it to the problem solvers. Once you know what’s evil, now if you’re ignorant you get a pass, but once you know what’s evil, you have a moral responsibility to withdraw your energy from it. We are participating in the destruction of our own world even if we don’t want to because the fossil fuel industry is so intertwined in so many aspects in American life. They rely on our cooperation to continue what they’re doing. But what if we said no? The divestment work is a piece of that and what it does is it has the ambition of transforming hundreds, thousands of institutions in the US to be allies rather than adversaries. We, as everyday people, have so much power. If you are a member of a church, you have the ability to work with your fellow congregants to make sure your church is not investing in fossil fuel companies. If you are a student on a college campus, not only do you have the opportunity, I think you have the responsibility to work with your fellow students to make sure that your institution of higher learning is not investing its endowment in the companies that are destroying your future and this planet. We have to send a message, a very clear message, to big oil, big energy that we are going to hold them liable and we are going to divest if they won’t themselves being to change. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, radical in what we are talking about here. All we’re asking for when we talk about climate change is a planet that works the way that it did for the last 10,000 years, a planet that works the way the one we were born onto works. That’s not a radical demand. That’s, if you think about it, a conservative demand. Radicals work at oil companies. If you wake up in the morning to make your $100,000 a day, you’re willing to alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere, then you’re engaged in a more radical act than anyone who ever came before you. And our job is to figure out how to check that radicalism, how to bring it to heel, how to keep it from overwhelming everything good on this planet. And here’s the good news, since I’ve been giving you lots of bad news, here’s the good news: There’s plenty we can do. The long-term solution to climate change is very clear. We need to make the leap to renewable energy and we need to do it quickly, which will be hard. It will be the hardest thing we’ve done since gearing up to fight World War II or something but it’s by no means impossible. When I feel a little overwhelmed with all the things we need to do, I go back and re-read the economic history of World War II. It was just a matter of months, you know, from the US automobile industry producing cars to tanks and planes and ships. It didn’t take decades to restructure the US industrial economy. It didn’t take years. It was done in a matter of months. And if we could do that now then certainly we can restructure the world energy economy over the next decade. And it’s going to require some hard choices. It’s going to require a real change in how we get our energy and how we move around. But the good news is that we have the solutions. You know, we have the ways. We know what we need to do to get to a world where we’re not buring as many fossil fuels. Why would we build a thousand mile pipeline taking almost a million barrels of oil from the most carbon intensive fuel source on the planet when wind energy is a whole lot cheaper and a whole lot cleaner? Why would be drill in the arctic when we know that solar power can meet our energy needs across the country? Why would be frack our countrysides and our watersheds when we know that energy efficiency would save more energy than natural gas can provide? I think that we’re coming to that point now where extreme energy sources are so bad that the questions and these challenges are going to become easier and easier. Our whole economy is going to be dependent on how we respond to this crisis. Competition between countries will be between those who will be advanced in developing the technology and who will be selling it to others or those who stay back and don’t seize the opportunity. We should never underestimate our ingenuity and resolve. If those people that say we cannot do anything about this do not know who we are, do not know what we can do. I think this is the moment where we dig deep and say okay we are ready. The solutions are in front of us and no longer in good conscience can any of us, everyday citizens, elected officials, religious leaders, stand idly by. All the big problems that we have, they all have very local solutions and finding what those solutions are actually results in a whole bunch of different benefits from an environmental standpoint, economic standpoint and social aspect. We are in a situation where we’re going to have an ecologically sustainable economy for everybody or ultimately we won’t have one for anybody. It’s just the smart thing to do to bet on the future and to being to invest in the future. The past has a lobby and it’s a well-paid lobby and it comes right out of big oil and big coal. The future doesn’t have a lobby until now. We have to be as sophisticated as the system we’re trying to change. The legislation that Senator Boxer and I are introducing with the support of the leading environmental organizations actually addresses the crisis. A major focus is a price on carbon and methane emissions. I think a lot of people wondered, maybe still wonder, whether our political system is up to this task. In the largest sense, I don’t know if we can win this fight. There are scientists who think we’ve waited too long to get started. Clearly the power on the other side is enormous. Everyone once in awhile I get discouraged. There was TV reporter who was sort of grilling me who said, Well this just seems impossible. You’re up against the richest industry on earth. This just seems like one of these David and Goliath stories. What chance do you have? And I was thinking, oh, you’re right, this is terrible. But then I thought, and since we’re in church, maybe this is apropos, you know, I thought, I know how that David and Goliath story comes out. David wins against the odds, okay. I don’t know if we’re going to win, but we have a real chance. We know that civil disobedience has helped to achieve great things. It’s helped secure for women the right to vote. It’s helped to end segregation. And so we know that we can’t win on climate change if we continue to dither, if we continue to talk about it but not do anything. We have a moral catastrophe on our hands. We have to do this because our democracy has been subverted, our laws have been subverted. I say it’s criminal. I say that not lightly. When you have no recourse in our democracy, legally or democratically, we not only have the right but we have the duty to break the law to show our discontent. As a nation, we can come together. This is not about Republican or Democrat, it’s about humanity. We’re connected to each other and that organizing has got to be the basis for this kind of larger fight. We’re very glad to be here, some of us are especially glad to be here because we’re glad to be out of jail where we spent much of yesterday in this demonstration about the Keystone pipeline and that’s, of course, of the reasons Americans are descending on this city this week. Thousands of people marched past the White House and urged President Obama to take strong measures to combat climate change. In the second high profile event organized in a week by groups including the Sierra Club and 350.org. I’m here because I have an obligation to my children, my ancestors, our future generations. If this pipeline goes through, it will be at the cost of human life. When disaster strikes, it’s not going to know race, color or creed. The fossil fuel barons, their lawyers, their spindoctors are losing their grip on our countries psyche. We’re not going to create the clean energy economy when one side beats the other, we’re going to win when we all come together for solutions that work for all of us. And the good news is that in this country, when we finally decided that we’re going to take action on a moral question at the question of who we are we tend to respond, when we respond, explosively. That is the epic struggle of this century and we’re going to meet it. If we don’t we won’t have a twenty-second century. Whenever a great generation stands up, it stands up based on idealism. It stands up based on moral courage and that’s what’s happening now. This is the last minute of the last quarter of the biggest most important game humanity have ever played. The reality of our movement is this: if we fail, the consequences are dire. None of you could be in a more important place than you are right now. Part of this battle against the very deepest problems we’ve ever faced, very few people on earth ever get to say, “I’m doing the most important thing I can be doing any place on the planet at this moment in time” but you guys get to say that because you are on the front lines of this all-important battle. I think we can win this fight. I think we can win it if we act as a community, if we do not do anything that would injure that community but instead build and knit that community together in a way that allows it to take powerful action. We know the end of the story. Unless we rewrite the script, it’s very clear how it ends with a planet that just heats out of control. So that’s our job: to rewrite the story. All I ever wanted to see was a movement of people to stop climate change and now I’ve seen it. Today at the biggest climate rally by far, by far, by far in US history, today I know we’re going to fight the battle, the most faithful battle in human history is finally joined and we will fight it together.