Thirty years ago, journalist, author and activist Bill McKibben wrote The End of Nature, the first book for a general audience about climate change. He went on to found 350.org, the first global climate change movement, and he has helped launch the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. McKibben, who is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, has a new book that details where we’ve come in the 30 years since he first warned about the dangers of climate change. Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? argues that climate change is proceeding at a far more rapid pace than scientists once predicted and humans are losing the race for survival and their own humanity. McKibben on his 30 year journey, where we are now, and where we are going. This Vermont Conversation was recorded live at Bridgeside Books in Waterbury, VT. (June 12, 2019 broadcast)
Bill McKibben, founder, 350.org and author, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
Author and activist Bill McKibben spent fall 2018 barnstorming the country for progressive candidates and a Green New Deal. He talks about the pulse of climate change activism around the US, his take on the midterm elections and what to expect from the 2018 Blue Wave. He also discusses threats to his life, which he wrote about in an op-ed for the NY Times, “Let’s agree not to kill one another.”. Finally, McKibben, a lifelong Red Sox fan, holds forth on whether the 2018 World Series champions are the greatest baseball team of all time. (November 14, 2018 broadcast)
Bill McKibben, author, activist, co-founder of global grassroots climate group 350.org
A rare meeting of two icons: Bill McKibben, author, activist and founder of 350.org, and Ken Squier, owner of WDEV Radio Vermont and a legendary sports broadcaster who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January 2018, held a public conversation moderated by Vermont Conversation host David Goodman on December 6, 2017 at Bridgeside Books in Waterbury, Vermont. McKibben’s latest book, Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance, is a story about a septuagenarian radio man and his people-powered independent radio station that lead a resistance movement against growing government tyranny. McKibben acknowledges that Squier and WDEV provide the inspiration for this fable. Squier has been an outspoken advocate of independent media and McKibben is a longtime fan of WDEV (and an occasional guest) when not traveling the world leading the movement to halt climate change. The two discuss the world under Trump, the vital role of an independent media, and the way forward. (December 27, 2017 broadcast)
Bill McKibben, author, founder of 350.org
Ken Squier, owner, WDEV Radio Vermont, legendary sports broadcaster, NASCAR Hall of Fame 2018
Could an aging Vermont radio man, aided by a crew of Olympic cross-country skiers and craft-beer drinking fellow travelers, lead the resistance to Donald Trump? That’s the plot of Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance, the latest book by author and activist Bill McKibben. The central character of McKibben’s first novel bears an uncanny resemblance to Ken Squier, the legendary owner and broadcaster of WDEV, the independent radio station that he and his late father have run since 1931 (on which the Vermont Conversation airs). “This is James Bond meets A Prairie Home Companion, and no one but Bill McKibben could pull it off,” writes author Naomi Klein.
McKibben is the founder of the grassroots global climate change organization 350.org and author of a dozen books, including The End of Nature, Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, and Deep Economy. He talks here about resistance–fictional and real–how he has been personally targeted by the fossil fuel industry, why craft beer matters, and his recent travels to Alaska and Africa in search of climate solutions and sanity. (November 1, 2017 broadcast)
Amy Goodman, host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, the daily grassroots global news hour, and Bill McKibben, author and founder of the international environmental group 350.org, participated in a public conversation at the Chandler Music Hall in Randolph, Vermont on January 14, 2017. They discuss climate change, the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Goodman’s ensuing legal battle when North Dakota authorities unsuccessfully charged her with rioting, McKibben’s experience being spied upon by Exxon, the critical role of independent media, and the importance of movements in making change–especially now. This audio is their unabridged 70 minute conversation (thanks to Chandler Music Hall for the recording). (January 18, 2017 broadcast)
Bill McKibben, author and co-founder of 350.org, talks about his decision to get arrested in Burlington, Vt. last week to bring attention to the recent revelation that Exxon covered up what it knew about global warming from its own research. The expose was published in Inside Climate News and the LA Times. McKibben charges that Exxon should be prosecuted under organized crime statutes for lying about its climate change research. He also talks about where the climate movement goes from here, and the upcoming UN climate summit in Paris.
Nationally renowned environmentalist Gus Speth has come full circle: from working inside the White House as a top environmental adviser to Pres. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, to getting arrested outside its gates. Speth co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1970. Under President Jimmy Carter, he was chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, then went on to found World Resources Institute, and was a senior adviser to Pres. Bill Clinton on natural resources, energy and the environment. He served as director of the United Nations Development Program, and was Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He now teaches at Vermont Law School and lives in Strafford, Vermont. In 2011, Speth was arrested, along with 350.org founder Bill McKibben and others, protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. He argues that the environmental movement has lost its way and now advocates for a new political economy to combat climate change.
Speth’s recently wrote a memoir, Angels by the River, published by Chelsea Green. He talks about his life growing up in the Deep South under Jim Crow laws, his awakening to issues of civil rights and the environmental, how we went from insider to radical, and what gives him hope.
Bill McKibben, author, activist and co-founder of the global grassroots climate change organization 350.org, joins David Goodman in a public conversation. Time Magazine called McKibben “the planet’s best green journalist” and the Boston Globe says that he is “probably the country’s most important environmentalist.” In this public conversaiton, McKibben recounts his journey from journalism to activism, the three scariest numbers relating to climate change, the struggle against the Keystone XL pipeline, being arrested, and his other great passion, the Boston Red Sox. This was the inaugural event in the Vermont Town Hall public conversation series. It took place on January 31, 2014, at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe, VT.