Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is founder of 350.org and Schumann Distinguished Professor at Middlebury College in Vermont. He was recently honored with the Gandhi Peace Award for his work coordinating the civil disobedience actions around the Keystone XL pipeline in June 2011. He serves on Grist's Board of Directors.

Don't just say it -- do it

Will Obama stand up to Big Energy in deeds as well as words?

Will the real President Obama please stand up?Photo: Mr. Wright via FlickrThis essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom’s kind permission. —– Here’s the president on March 31, announcing his plan to lift a longstanding moratorium on offshore drilling: “Given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth and produce jobs, and keep our businesses competitive, we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy.” Here he is on May 26, as political pressure starts to really build over the hole in …

'If the winter glove won’t fit, you must acquit'

The attack on climate science is the O.J. moment of the 21st century

This essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom’s kind permission. — Twenty-one years ago, in 1989, I wrote what many have called the first book for a general audience on global warming. One of the more interesting reviews came from The Wall Street Journal. It was a mixed and judicious appraisal. “The subject,” the reviewer said, “is important, the notion is arresting, and Mr. McKibben argues convincingly.” And that was not an outlier: around the same time, the first president Bush announced that he planned to “fight the greenhouse effect with the White House effect.” …

350ppm x 2

An unwelcome lesson in power politics

350.org’s Bill McKibben at a candlelight vigil Dec. 17 in Copenhagen.Matthew McDermott via FlickrCOPENHAGEN — Late last night, after the word had come down that the climate talks had ended in a four-way, non-binding, unfair, and breathtakingly unambitious agreement between the United States, China, India, and South Africa, a crowd of young demonstrators from around the world gathered at the Metro station outside the Bella Center. It was 1 a.m., and it was bitter cold, in several ways. These were not angry anarchists. These were young people who had spent the last few years of their lives working hard to …

With climate agreement, Obama guts progressive values, argues McKibben

The President of the United States did several things with his agreement today with China, India, and South Africa: He blew up the United Nations. The idea that there’s a world community that means something has disappeared tonight. The clear point is, you poor nations can spout off all you want on questions like human rights or the role of women or fighting polio or handling refugees. But when you get too close to the center of things that count — the fossil fuel that’s at the center of our economy — you can forget about it. We’re not interested. …

End of the world as we know it?

McKibben uninspired by Obama

COPENHAGEN — I watched Barack Obama from the back of a drafty warehouse, which the U.N. has repurposed as the holding tank for all the NGOs they kicked out of the Bella Center. Great idea, except they didn’t manage to hook up Internet. So now I’m at a nearby coffeeshop monitoring the end of the conference — or the world depending on how you view it. It’s been a curious day. Number one question has been: Why is your name scrawled all over those leaked bombshell documents? (Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace today called it the “most important piece of paper …

3 degrees of scandal

‘This entire conference is an elaborate sham’

COPENHAGEN — For two weeks we’ve been listening to the story of the leaked emails from East Anglia — a media tempest in an English teapot. And all the time the biggest scandal has been directly under our noses. This afternoon at Copenhagen a document was mysteriously leaked from the UN Secretariat. It was first reported by the Guardian, and by the time it was posted online it oddly had my name scrawled all across the top. I don’t know why, because I didn’t leak it. My suspicion, though, is that my name was there because it confirms something I’ve …

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