Bill McKibben, the author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet and the founder of the environmentalist organization 350.org, laments the lack of attention paid to last week’s news about global warming: “Thursday, while the nation debated the relative size of Republican genitalia, something truly awful happened. Across the northern hemisphere, the temperature, if only for a few hours, apparently crossed a line: it was more than two degrees Celsius above ‘normal’ for the first time in recorded history and likely for the first time in the course of human civilization.”
Last week, Roxane Gay, the author of Bad Feminist, spoke at St. Louis University. Before the talk, the Jesuit university’s assistant vice president requested that she not discuss abortion. She promptly rewrote her speech—and made abortion rights one of its main topics.
PEN America has launched the PEN Equity Project, which will seek to address “the lack of equity in publishing for writers and publishing professionals of color.”
Following Nancy Reagan’s death this weekend, Wonkette counteracts some of the hagiographic remembrances by digging up some gossip about the first lady from Kitty Kelly’s “very unauthorized biography.”
Horror writer Peter Straub names his six favorite books.
Novelist and professor Marilynne Robinson makes an eloquent plea to “save our public universities.” “From the perspective of many today,” she writes, “the great public universities (and many of them are very great) are like beached vessels of unknown origin and intention, decked out preposterously with relics and treasures that are ripe for looting, insofar as they would find a market, or condemned to neglect and decay, insofar as their cash value is not obvious to the most stringent calculation.”
Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter is reportedly looking into becoming a Broadway producer.