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Bill McKibben

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Environmentalist and author Bill McKibben was born in 1960 and grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts. He is currently a scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College.


  • Served as president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper while in college.
  • Staff writer for the New Yorker. Wrote the "Talk of the Town" column from 1982 - 1987.
  • His first book, The End of Nature, was published in 1989 by Random House. This book is considered to be the first book about climate change written for a general audience. It has been printed in more than 20 languages.
  • The Age of Missing Information was published in 1992. This book was based on an experiment in which McKibben collected everything that came across 100 channels of cable television in Fairfax, Virginia, on a single day. He spent a year watching 2,400 hours of videotape, and then compared the experience to spending a day on the mountaintop near his home.
  • Hope, Human and Wild was published in 1995. This book discusses the cities of Curitiba, Brazil and Kerala, India as examples environmental successes.
  • The Comforting Whirlwind: God, Job, and the Scale of Creation discusses the Book of Job and the environment.
  • Maybe One: A Case for Smaller Families was published in 1999. McKibben discusses the concept of having one child per family in this book and argues that the United States must decrease its birthrate.
  • Long Distance: A Year of Living Strenuously was published in 2000. The book chronicles his self-imposed experience of spending a year training as a cross-country skier as well as his father's battle with brain cancer.
  • Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, a book about genetic engineering, was published in 2003.
  • Wandering Home: A Long Walk Across America's Most Hopeful Landscape:Vermont's Champlain Valley and New York's Adirondacks was published in 2005. This book chronicles McKibben's hike from Mt. Abraham in Vermont through the Adirondacks, where his home is. Along the way McKibben stopped at a variety of eco-friendly businesses such as an organic winery. He was also joined en route by the president of Greenpeace, USA, and a founder of Earth First! Journal.
  • Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future was published in 2007. McKibben argues that the world does not have the resources to sustain endless economic expansion.
  • Fight Global Warming Now was also published in 2007. This book is a guidebook for taking community action against climate change. This book stems from his experience working with six students from Middlebury on the Step It Up campaign, "the largest day of protest about climate change in the nation's history."
  • The Bill McKibben Reader came out in 2008 and is a collection 44 essays written over the past 25 years.
  • McKibben is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, Outside, and Grist (where he is also a board member).


  • Led a five-day walk across Vermont in 2006 to demand action on global warming.
  • Founded Step It Up in 2007 with students from Middlebury College. Step It Up's purpose was to demand that Congress enact curbs on Carbon Emissions to reduce global warming by 80% by 2050. 1,400 global warming demonstrations were organized across all 50 states on April 14, 2007. A second day of action was held on November 3, 2007.
  • McKibben is currently involved with to draw attention to the number 350 because, he says, unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause irreversible damage to the earth. The majority of climate scientists involved in the field of feedback dynamics do not state a minimum, with pre-industrial levels (280ppm) being assumed as the only safe figure. This implies that is a dangerously high figure to aim for.

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