Bill McKibben

Climate movement leader Bill McKibben has visited The Progressive Forum three times. The latest on September 15, 2019, at Congregation Emanu El in Houston, Texas, featured McKibben addressing the climate crisis from a worldwide standpoint as well as at the local level, including a Q&A with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on the city’s developing Climate Action Plan. On April 12, 2014, at the Wortham Center in Houston, McKibben discussed the climate crisis movement on the closing night of The Progressive Forum’s three-and-a-half-year hiatus. On April 21, 2014, at the Wortham Center, McKibben discussed his book, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future.   


SHORT. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Bill McKibben answer questions on the city’s developing Climate Action Plan. What should go into the plan, how will it measure results? The city doesn’t regulate much, what can you do with pure leadership? (25:10)

More Bill McKibben Videos

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What’s the answer to climate anxiety and despair? Did McKibben go through an emotional reckoning? (3:51)

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SHORT. Empowerment by elders, getting arrested at White House, stepping up. 2:28

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Presentation 2014 part 1. In deepest trouble as a species. Rapid transformation possible. 22:47 

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Presentation 2014 part 2. Demonstrations around the world, roles for people. 24:52



Bill McKibben is widely acclaimed as the world’s most famous environmentalist and a principal founder of the climate movement. He’s 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. Two of 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, which is 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. His organization has also spearheaded resistance to the Keystone Pipeline and the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. In 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 proclaimed he’s “probably the nation’s leading environmentalist.” After earning a degree from Harvard, he launched his writing career as a staff reporter for The New Yorker. 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.



Thanks to videographer: Ruben Duran

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