IEA (International Energy Administration) Confirms Bill McKibben’s “Do The Math” Numbers

Press Release – “Do the Math”
November 12, 2012

Oakland — Today the International Energy Agency released its World Energy Outlook and confirmed estimates that the overwhelming majority of known fossil fuel reserves (75-80%) will have to be kept in the ground to avoid 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise. founder Bill McKibben, who is on a national tour discussing this math, issued the following statement:

“A week after we launched the nationwide “Do The Math” tour, the planet’s chief energy watchdogs put out a huge report that essentially confirms what we’ve been saying: most of the carbon in the fossil fuel industry’s reserves has to stay below the ground if we’re going to keep the planet from disastrously overheating.(1)

“For American leaders, keeping carbon in the ground means blocking the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, stopping coal ports on the Pacific Coast, ending mountaintop removal, and cracking down on rampant fracking. Easy long-term gestures aren’t enough any more; we’ve delayed so long that we have to stop exploiting new extreme energy.

“This is the basic, horrifying math of the planet we live on. Business as usual will bust it–that’s why we’re on the road all month and why a divestment campaign is suddenly building out of nowhere.(2)

“Our math–from Rolling Stone and–is suddenly the mainstream math. It’s the fossil fuel industry that’s the outlying radical fringe.”

CONTACT: Daniel Kessler,, +1 510-501-1779.


1. More information on the tour is at
2. and partners are building a nation-wide campus divestment movement. Endowments at the country’s universities exceed $400 billion and they should not be invested in an industry that is cooking the planet. More information is at

Connecting Nationally: 350 Do the Math Tour

Hurricane Sandy brought surprising destruction to millions on our northeast coast, and it is an unmistakable sign of climate change. However, followers of scientists and activists in the climate movement are hardly surprised. This summer, Bill McKibben proposed in an article in Rolling Stone that math also has something to do with our increase in natural disasters.

350 Do the Math. Sold out in Seattle, WA.

Now, McKibben and are hitting the road, bringing their show to cities around the country–Columbus and Chicago in our neck of the woods–and it’s all about math! Doesn’t that sound exciting? Well, maybe you’re not a big fan of math, but it’s actually just about a few big numbers regarding climate change. Continue reading Connecting Nationally: 350 Do the Math Tour

Bill McKibben’s secret session

Bill McKibben at SNRE Dana Building 9-14

Bill McKibben at SNRE Dana Building 9-14. Photo by: Dave Brenner, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment

Last Friday Sept. 14, Bill McKibben, climate activist and founder of, gave a big speech in the Rackham Auditorium that lots of people heard about and attended. The Univ of Michigan’s Erb Institute sponsored event nearly filled the auditorium’s 1,100 seats.

Continue reading Bill McKibben’s secret session

Ready to share

Last week I was lucky enough to attend an inspiring three-day training from the folks at Climate Reality Project.  Yes, Al Gore actually described recent weather as “a nature hike through the book of Revelations,” but I still stand by “inspiring.”

In particular, the folks I met from Michigan — there were at least 20 of us — were just wonderful. Given what a frustratingly uphill battle this problem is, I plan to take some time to really enjoy and appreciate my new friends. But we’re also going to work. Hard.

Another element of the training I’m excited about is its focus on solutions. Unfortunately, folks in many different sectors are flying right past important work that must be accomplished on climate mitigation to delve into adaptation strategies. That the Climate Reality Project refuses to just adjust to the consequences of big polluters gives me hope.

Another thing that gives me hope is Michigan’s 25% by 2025 ballot initiative. The biggest bang we can get from our buck is by going after dirty energy companies and displacing them with decreased demand (a.k.a. efficiency!) and renewable energy. This is the most incredible energy issue we’ve ever had the opportunity to vote on. David Roberts agrees with me. It’s critical to determining whether we’re going to be leaders in a critical sector. Just to be clear: We truly cannot lose this.

Will you join me in helping to make sure we win?