Global Warming

One of the most popular living poets in the United States, Billy Collins was born in New York City in 1941. Collins is the author of nine books of poetry, including She Was Just Seventeen (2006), The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems (2005), Nine Horses (2002), and Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems (2001). His work appears regularly in such periodicals as Poetry, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Harper's Magazine, and has been featured in various textbooks and anthologies, including those for the Pushcart Prize and the annual Best American Poetry series. Between 2001 and 2004, Collins served two terms at the 11th Poet Laureate of the United States. In his home state, Collins has been recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004. Other honors include fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and the first annual Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College in the Bronx, where has taught for over thirty years. Ideas recorded at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival on: 7/4/07
  • Transcript


Billy Collins:    Well, finding a government that is more responsive to the real problems that we’re having not just politically, but in terms of the globe, the planet.  I don’t have anything new to add to this, but as someone said, I read the other day that, you know, if we start doing something about climate change now, it’ll be a lot different from starting five years from now or worse 10 years from now. 

I think people’s minds are changing.  We’ve gone, I think, from some sense of alarm; a kind of a Chicken Little sense that the planet’s going to cook up to 190 degrees and we’re all going to die.   The evidence just keeps mounting, which as a result of; well growing consensus that yeah, this is real and it’s not good.

July 4, 2007