New Adopt a Negotiator: Bill McKibben fasts for the climate

Today, Bill McKibben of joins the worldwide Fast for the Climate movement’s365 day rolling climate fast from Lima to Paris. He won’t eat today to stand in solidarity with the victims of climate disaster.

Coming in the wake of Super Cyclone Pam tearing at trail of devastation through the Pacific, Bill’s stand is particularly moving for me as a New Zealander. What is easy for people like him and like me is much, much harder for those at the sharp end of climate disaster. Our symbolic gesture of solidarity is their daily life. In Vanuatu, Cyclone Pam simply wiped out entire villages. As Bill says, there were reports of survivors drinking salt water out of desperation.

This last weekend, I completed the 100 km Oxfam Trailwalker in just under 21 hours, non-stop. Compared to Naderev’ Yeb’ Saño’s climate walk, the Trailwalker is nothing – just like our symbolic fast days are nothing compared to the reality of hunger, starvation and desperation wrought by climate disaster. But it gave me a chance to talk to the Oxfam New Zealand team about what they’re doing on the ground in Vanuatu and Tuvalu and what they’ve seen in the wake of Cyclone Pam.

Climate disaster is now. We need this year to begin a just transition from a dirty fossil fuel economy to a clean 100% renewable economy. As Bill says, we must fight this thing every way we can.