“The Birkie is one of the temporary and unofficial – but completely wonderful – capitols of North American winter,” McKibben said. “So it’s the perfect place to talk about what we have to do to keep this season skiable forever.”
McKibben, who lives in Vermont, has been an international leader in documenting the global warming linked to fossil fuels and founded the group 350.org to promote sustainable living practices. The name derives from the figure 350 ppm, the level of CO2 in our atmosphere that most scientists target as a limit for a sustainable climate.
McKibben is also a skier. His book “Long Distance: Testing the Limits of Body and Spirit in a Year of Living Strenuously” is funny, compelling and inspiring for mid-life and mid-pack athletes.
Cool Planet co-founder Paul Thompson, who helped organize the visit and presentations, shares McKibben’s passion for skiing and protecting the climate.
“Winters are getting warming and more snow free in recent years and cross country skiers will be among the first to experience the loss of the sport they love if business as usual continues,”" he said.”As athletes and citizens we need to come together to call a halt to our current way of using and producing energy.”
McKibben will present a lecture, “Celebrating and Preserving Winter,” at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minn., on Wednesday Feb. 20, and Macalester College on Feb. 21. He will also appear that night in the Park Theater, in Hayward.
On the 23rd, McKibben will take the start line for the 54-kilometer Birkebeiner classic race.