Climate Activist Will Headline Plenary Session

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Bill McKibben

Citation: Kidney News 15, 10/11

One of the country's foremost climate change activists, Bill McKibben, will deliver a state-of-the-art lecture, titled “Too Hot: Human Bodies and Inhuman Temperatures,” on Sunday, November 5.

Mr. McKibben came to prominence with the publication of his groundbreaking 1989 book The End of Nature, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. He has been at the forefront as an environmental leader ever since.

A contributing writer to The New Yorker, his work appears regularly in periodicals from The New York Times to Rolling Stone, and he has written 20 books. He serves as the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Mr. McKibben helped found, the first global, grassroots campaign against climate change, which has organized protests on every continent, including Antarctica. He is also a founder of Third Act, a group aimed at organizing people over the age of 60 to work on climate and racial justice.

He played a leading role in launching the opposition to big oil pipeline projects, such as Keystone XL, and in the fossil fuel divestment campaign, which has become the biggest anti-corporate campaign in history, convincing endowments worth more than $40 trillion to step back from oil, gas, and coal.

He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the “alternative Nobel,” in the Swedish parliament. He has received the Gandhi Peace Prize as well as honorary degrees from 20 colleges and universities. Foreign Policy named him to its inaugural list of the world's 100 most important global thinkers.

His latest book is The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened.

Mr. McKibben lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain, where he and his wife, writer Sue Halpern, spend as much time as possible outdoors. In 2014, biologists recognized his career by naming a new species of woodland gnat—Megophthalmidia mckibbeni—in his honor.