Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Climate campaigner Bill McKibben is touring Australia visiting scenic climate hotspots and high end restaurants to encourage people to embrace climate austerity.
Climate activist Bill McKibben still fighting ‘The End of Nature’
By Peter Hannam
9 June 2018 — 12:00am
It’s fitting I meet US climate change campaigner Bill McKibben for our lunch shortly after filing on Sydney smashing its April temperature records, part of the city’s hottest autumn in almost 160 years of records.
McKibben was on his Accelerate Climate Action tour around Australia, arranged by the local arm of the 350.org activist group he founded in 2008.
He arrives for our chat in the sun-soaked Sydney Botanic Gardens Restaurant after a brief side trip to the bleaching-battered Great Barrier Reef, and has his own grim tales to tell.
“It was emotional to be out there on the reef,” he says after we order – a barbecued barramundi shared between us, following an appetiser of chargrilled flat breads.
“We dove first on a spot that was utterly decimated, with 98 per cent mortality. This was on the spot [David Attenborough’s] Blue Planet II had filmed those amazing things about the great spawning of coral,” he tells me.
Sadly no pictures of the environmentally friendly wooden coracle McKibben used to travel to Australia.