07 July 2008

Bill McKibben Talks Organization, eActivism, Alinsky, and 350.org

Bill McKibben, one of the first people to bring global climate change to the attention of the general public, is one of the most articulate and well-respected voices in the modern environmental movement. His books on localism, environmentalism, and sustainability have sold millions and he presently directs the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism at Middlebury College in Vermont.

McKibben’s Step It Up Campaign, which took him across the state of Vermont by foot, made his demand for Congress to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 was one of the largest global climate change awareness campaigns to date. In 2006, I had the pleasure of seeing McKibben arrive to the fanfare of thousands of Vermonters in Burlington, Vermont at the end of his statewide walk with Sen. Bernie Sanders—then in the middle of his Congressional campaign—by his side. A follow-up campaign in 2007 stepped up expectations, demanding that the Senate reduce emissions by 10% over the next three years.

Now with the creation of 350.org, McKibben has taken his awareness campaign online. The number makes reference to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (350 per million) that would conceivably cause irreversible damage to the earth (read McKibben’s oped in the Washington Post about the number here). With the help of Internet communication, he plans on using their website to help to spread this message throughout the world. McKibben took some time to answer the following questions about bringing off-line activism online, online activism off-line, how living in Vermont influences his engagement as an activist, and more. . . read more

Thanks to Alexa from Make Something Happen for bringing this interview to my attention!

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