|Photo credit: Nancie Battaglia
The world’s most famous environmentalist and a principal creator of the climate movement, Bill McKibben returns to The Progressive Forum on Sunday, September 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Emanu El in Houston.
Tickets are available at ProgressiveForumHouston.org and at 800-514-3849 Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $45 and $70 each for side and middle sections, respectively. Tickets for reserved seats and speaker reception are $150. Tickets will also be available at the door on event night. Congregation Emanu El is located at 1500 Sunset Blvd. in Houston.
“McKibben’s visit to one of America’s largest and most environmentally vulnerable regions is timely,” said Randall Morton, Progressive Forum founder and president. “Locally, the City of Houston says it will announce a Climate Action Plan by year-end, and globally, climate demonstrations are being planned around the world beginning September 20. Our event will add attention to both efforts.”
McKibben is an author and activist who wrote the first book for a general audience about climate change, The End of Nature (1989), which has been translated into 24 languages. He went on to write a dozen more books, including his latest, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out, which was published in May 2019. His bestsellers include Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet (2010), about the rapid onset of climate change, which was excerpted in Scientific American, as well as Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (2007), about the shortcomings of the growth economy and a transition to more local scale enterprise.
In 2007, McKibben co-founded 350.org. Named after the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide deemed safe by scientists (350 parts per million), it’s the first organization to launch a planet-wide, grassroots climate movement, which has organized 20,000 rallies around the world in every country except North Korea. 350.org has also spearheaded resistance to the Keystone Pipeline and the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. In 2011 and 2012, leading the campaign against Keystone, McKibben spent three days jailed in Washington, D.C. Two weeks later, he was inducted into the literature section of the American Academy of Arts and Science.
Foreign Policy magazine named him to its inaugural list of the world’s most important global thinkers. Time magazine called him “the world’s best green journalist.” The Boston Globe proclaims he’s “probably the nation’s leading environmentalist.”
He is the Schuman Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont and was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize.
In 2014 McKibben was the recipient of the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the “alternative Nobel,” an international award presented in Stockholm to “honor and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today” in fields such as environmental protection, human rights, sustainable development, health, education, and peace.
He is a graduate of Harvard College, where he was editor and president of The Harvard Crimson. He was a staff writer for The New Yorker, where he wrote much of the Talk of the Town column. Currently, he writes frequently for a wide variety of publications, including The New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone.
His past appearances at The Progressive Forum were in April 2014 and April 2008. Videos are available on McKibben’s page at ProgressiveForumHouston.org/speaker/bill-mckibben-0.
About The Progressive Forum
The Progressive Forum is the nation’s only lecture series expressly dedicated to progressive values. The Progressive Forum served the community for its first nine years as the city’s largest speaker organization, averaging 1,000 people per event. After a hiatus of three-and-a-half years, The Progressive Forum relaunched in the fall of 2017 by presenting Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU; leading climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe in the spring of 2018; the 68th Secretary of State, John Kerry, in the fall of 2018; and Pulitzer Prize winner Jared Diamond in the spring of 2019.
The Progressive Forum was founded by Randall Morton in 2005 by presenting Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Houston Mayor Bill White in an event called “Our Environmental Challenges” at The Hobby Center.
The history of The Progressive Forum includes national book launches for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, climatologist James Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World, and the autobiography of Lester Brown’s Breaking New Ground. The Progressive Forum provided the film premiere of Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars, introduced by Robert Redford, who commissioned and narrated the documentary. An appearance by Gloria Steinem celebrated the 30th anniversary of the National Women’s Conference in Houston. The Progressive Forum also presented U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and two Supreme Court justices, Sonia Sotomayor and the late Justice John Paul Stevens.
For more background on The Progressive Forum, go to ProgressiveForumHouston.org/about-us.