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Bill McKibben | Author of New York Times Bestselling Falter and The End of Nature | Leading Environmental Speaker and Founder of 350.org
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Of all the challenges the planet faces, none is as large as its fast-heating climate—and no one has worked longer or harder than Bill McKibben to document and fight the ever-growing crisis. Author of the first book about global warming—1989’s The End of Nature—McKibben went on to found 350.org, which has become the biggest grassroots climate campaign in the world. His latest book, Falter—a New York Times bestseller—offers a call-to-arms, 30 years after The End of Nature set the stage.

Bill McKibben was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the “alternative Nobel.” His book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has been translated into 24 languages. TIME Magazine called him “perhaps the planet’s best green journalist,” and he’s lectured and organized on every continent, including Antarctica. His latest book—Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?—offers a piercing look not only at our environmental challenges, but at the existential questions that come with new technologies like artificial intelligence.​ The LA Review of Books says “McKibben in Falter once more explains nature’s workings, asks profound questions, and tells wonderful stories,” calling it “a humane and wise book, even a beautiful one.” 

 

“Probably America’s most important environmentalist.”

The Boston Globe

In his heartfelt, hopeful talks, McKibben offers realistic approaches to saving our planet, as individuals, of course, but also as thoughtful members of a mobilized group. When it comes to building a movement, we should consider “being a little bit less of an individual,” he says.  Together, we can create “the right kind of pressure” to make change, like getting college campuses to divest from fossil fuels. He also explores the environmental possibilities of technology, like the use of solar panels across Africa. Audiences are uplifted by McKibben’s stories of people all over the world engaged in making the planet a more environmentally just, sustainable place. His talks “give people a sense that even in their deep worry—they are not alone,” he says.

 

McKibben’s writing has earned him numerous awards, including membership in the Literature section of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the John Steinbeck prize. The author of fifteen books, in recent years he’s written authoritative pieces on renewable energy in Africa for The New Yorker and on the fossil fuel industry for Rolling Stone.  The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, McKibben was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers. In 2014, biologists honored him by naming a new species of woodland gnat—Megophthalmidia mckibbeni—in his honor.  

Speech Topics

Climate Crisis
Our Changing Climate A Global Movement of Reform
In the summer of 2007, Arctic ice began to melt far more rapidly than scientists had expected. Before the season was out, they'd begun to conclude that the earth was already moving past tipping points—that indicators, from the thawing of glaciers to the spread of droughts, showed global warming was a present crisis, not a future threat. Our leading climatologists even gave us a number for the red line: 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere. That’s a tough number, since we’re already past it. In this talk, Bill McKibben describes not only the science of the situation, but also the inspiring global movement that he's led to help change the world’s understanding of its peril, and spur the reforms necessary to get the planet back to safety. McKibben’s work has crossed the boundaries of language and faith, even the gulf between rich and poor, and it makes for a vibrant, powerful talk that can lead to real change.