Bill McKibben’s graph of the year: We’re extracting more fossil fuels than ever

December 26, 2013

Time has its "Person of the Year." Amazon has its books of the year. Pretty Much Amazing has its mixtapes of the year. Buzzfeed has its insane-stories-from-Florida of the year. And Wonkblog, of course, has its graphs of the year. For 2013, we asked some of the year's most interesting, important and influential thinkers to name their favorite graph of the year — and why they chose it. Here's Bill McKibben's.

AmericanCarbon

The chart in this post, showing that even as [the United States] makes minor reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions domestically, we are mining and drilling for ever more coal and oil and gas, seems to me crucial. It demonstrates sadly that we really haven't spent the Obama years working out a new relationship with fossil fuel, which is what we needed to do.

Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. He is a founder of the grass-roots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009.

See all the graphs of 2013 here, including entries from Jonathan Franzen, Emily Oster, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

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Dylan Matthews · December 26, 2013