|Wise Elder Bill Mckibben|
|Written by Website Adminstrator Adminstrator|
|Monday, 06 April 2009 10:47|
Bill McKibben (born 1960) is an American environmentalist and writer who frequently writes about global warming and alternative energy and advocates for more localized economies. Beginning in the summer of 2006, he led the organization of the largest demonstrations against global warming in American history. In 2009 he led the organization of 350.org, which coordinated what Foreign Policy magazine called "the largest ever global coordinated rally of any kind," with 5,200 simultaneous demonstrations in 181 countries. The magazine named him to its inaugural list of the 100 most important global thinkers, and MSN named him one of the dozen most influential men of 2009.
Bill is active in the Methodist Church, and his writing is sometimes spiritual in nature. Al Gore wrote in 2007 that "when I was serving in the Senate, Bill McKibben’s descriptions of the planetary impacts... made such an impression on me that it led, among other things, to my receiving the honorific title 'Ozone Man' from the first President Bush.”
Bill is also a frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Orion magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, The Middlebury Campus, Granta, The National Geographic, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He is also a board member at and contributor to Grist Magazine. His first book, The End of Nature, was published in 1989 by Random House after being serialized in the New Yorker. It is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has been printed in more than 20 languages. Several editions have come out in the United States, including an updated version published in 2006. His most recent book is Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet.
MRCSEsounds like such a good idea. I'm going to be on the road almost nonstop through october organizing for our big global day of action at 350.org on Oct. 24 (which i hope your communities will join in!) ..I'm sorry not to be more use--at the moment i feel less like a wise elder than a frazzled traveler--thanks much for your good work. You guys are doing the key work--bill
Bill offered two questions for MRCSE to consider that are also of interest to him personally:
Bill work with 350.org provide him with many sources of inspiration in what seems like troubled times:
I'm inspired by the millions and millions of people, most of them poor and young, who have joined us from 181 countries in the 350.org campaign. It's a great honor to get to work with them. We don't know if we'll win, but we do know we'll fight
Bill explains more about the importance of transformative action and sustainability in the following videos:
Bill McKibben on Environmental Activism. A Dreamfish Series
Bill McKibben, Big Environmental Activist
Read more about Bill McKibben...
Bill grew up in suburban Lexington, Massachusetts. He was president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper in college. Immediately after college he joined the New Yorker magazine as a staff writer, and wrote much of the "Talk of the Town" column from 1982 to early 1987. He quit the magazine when its longtime editor William Shawn was forced out of his job, and soon moved to the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.
His first book, The End of Nature, was published in 1989 by Random House after being serialized in the New Yorker. It has been printed in more than 20 languages. Several editions have come out in the United States, including an updated version published in 2006.
His next book, The Age of Missing Information, was published in 1992. It is an account of an experiment: McKibben collected everything that came across the 100 channels of cable tv on the Fairfax, Virginia system (at the time among the nation's largest) for a single day. He spent a year watching the 2,400 hours of videotape, and then compared it to a day spent on the mountaintop near his home. This book has been widely used in colleges and high schools, and was reissued in a new edition in 2006.
In 2007 McKibben published Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Futurewhich addresses what the author sees as shortcomings of the growth economy and envisions a transition to more local-scale enterprise. - and is a great resourse for MRCSE community-based sustainabiltiy education project.
In late summer 2006, Bill helped lead a five-day walk across Vermont to demand action on global warming that some newspaper accounts called the largest demonstration to date in America about climate change. Beginning in January 2007 he founded stepitup07.org to demand that Congress enact curbs on carbon emissions that would cut global warming pollution 80 percent by 2050. With six college students, he organized 1,400 global warming demonstrations across all 50 states of America on April 14, 2007. Step It Up 2007 has been described as the largest day of protest about climate change in the nation's history. A guide to help people initiate environmental activism in their community coming out of the Step It Up 2007 experience entitled Fight Global Warming Now was published in October 2007 and a second day of action on climate change was held the following November 3.
In the wake of Step It Up's achievements, the same team announced a new campaign in March 2008 called 350.org. The organizing effort, aimed at the entire globe, drew its name from climate scientist James Hansen's contention earlier that winter that any atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide above 350 parts per million was unsafe. "If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm, but likely less than that." Hansen et al. stated in the Abstract to their paper, "Target atmospheric CO2: Where should humanity aim?" published in 2008in the Open Atmospheric Science Jourinal. 350.org, which has offices and organizers in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, attempts to spread that 350 number in advance of international climate meetings set for December 2009 in Copenhagen. It has been widely covered in the media
Bill is a frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He is also a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine.
Bill has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships, and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. He has honorary degrees from Green Mountain College, Unity College, Lebanon Valley College and Sterling College. Bill currently resides with his wife, writer Sue Halpern, and his daughter, Sophie, who was born in 1993, in Ripton, Vermont. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College.
|Last Updated on Friday, 16 July 2010 16:06|