Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, and a founder of 350.org. He is a member of Grist’s board of directors.

Climate & Energy

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 …

Climate & Energy

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 …

Climate & Energy

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 …

Climate & Energy

‘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 …

Climate & Energy

Only the numbers count — and they add up to hell on earth

Cross-posted from the Guardian. COPENHAGEN — The Bella Center is a swirl of chatter, the streets of Copenhagen are a swirl of protest. Depending on what hour you listen to the news bulletin, the U.N. climate negotiations have “come off …

Climate & Energy

No time for tears in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN — I’ve spent the last few years working more than fulltime to organize the first big global grassroots climate change campaign. That’s meant shutting off my emotions most of the time—this crisis is so terrifying that when you let …

Climate & Energy

Bill McKibben on skunks at Copenhagen’s garden party

Cross-posted from MotherJones.com. A demonstration in support of the islands of Tuvalu, the 4th smallest country in the world, which is holding out for a legally-binding treaty in Copenhagen.Photo and caption: Oxfam InternationalCOPENHAGEN — From the distance, you could hear …

Climate & Energy

The physics of Copenhagen: Why politics-as-usual may mean the end of civilization

Cross-posted from TomDispatch. Most political arguments don’t really have a right and a wrong, no matter how passionately they’re argued. They’re about human preferences — for more health care or lower taxes, for a war to secure some particular end …

Climate & Energy

The world needs a dramatic climax in Copenhagen, not a lame dress rehearsal

“Calm before the storm” is how my colleague Jamie Henn described Copenhagen today. “‘Hopenhagen‘ advertising everywhere, people setting up a outdoor concert venue in downtown, a few anarchist posters wheat-pasted on signs, and I even saw a 350.dk license plate …