Bill McKibben began his long and distinguished career as a journalist and was formerly a staff writer for the New Yorker. In 1989 he published, The End of Nature, one of the first books written for a broad audience to discuss the problems of climate change that is now considered a groundbreaking work in the field of environmental studies. This seminal work has now been published in 24 languages and McKibben has gone on to write over a dozen books on environmental issues including Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet (2010) and his most recent work, Oil and Honey(2013). He continues to write for a wide variety of publications including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone.
In 2008, Bill McKibben cofounded 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement utilizing online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public protests. The name “350.org” is taken from “350 parts per million” – the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as currently agreed upon by the world’s scientists. The organization aims to create a mass movement to work on public awareness and push for solutions that will bring the planet back within safe carbon dioxide levels of 350 parts per million. In 2014, he was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the “alternative Nobel”, for his work with 350.org.
Bill McKibben is currently the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his many awards, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize. In 2012 he was awarded the President’s Medal from the Geological Society of America. He has received the prestigious Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. Bill McKibben holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. In 2014, biologists recognized him by naming in his honor a new species of the woodland gnat – megophthalmidia mckibbeni.