Focus the Nation: Environmentalist Bill McKibben Takes on Climate Change
at Wellesley College Jan. 31

For immediate release:
January 15, 2008

Contact: Molly Tarantino,

McKibbenWELLESLEY, Mass.— Last January, renowned author and environmentalist Bill McKibben testified on climate change at the Vermont Statehouse.

“It’s warmer than it has been since the beginning of primate revolution,” he said at the time.

Fortunately, change can start today if people begin to organize politically and make sure politicians know that they demand action on the issue, McKibben said.

“If you’ve got some energy left, change the lightbulb,” he added.

McKibben will present the 2008 Carolyn Wilson Lecture “Building the New Climate Movement” Thursday, Jan. 31, at 8 pm in the Alumnae Hall Auditorium. Directions to the campus and parking information is available online at

It will take a movement to force change, he believes, one that is as urgent as the civil rights movement was a generation ago

“After 20 years of inaction, the race is finally underway,” he wrote in The Washington Post. “Global warming has a huge head start; the sprint to catch up is the story of our time.”

McKibben frequently writes about global warming, alternative energy and the risks associated with human genetic engineering. Beginning in the summer of 2006, he led the organization of the largest demonstrations against global warming in American history.

He is the author of numerous books, including his latest, Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. It addresses the shortcomings of the growth economy and envisions a transition to more local-scale enterprise.His first book, The End of Nature, published in 1989, is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change and has been printed in more than 20 languages.

McKibben is a frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone and Outside. He is also a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine.

Wellesley’s Wilson Lecture is named for an alumna from the class of 1910. A pioneering reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Carolyn Wilson was one of the few women to cover the battlefronts of World War I. Years later she endowed the lectureship with the goal of engaging Wellesley students in the most significant issues of the day and to provide opportunities to learn firsthand about these events from leading scholars and activists.

The lecture is hosted by Wellesley Focus the Nation, a subcommittee of Wellesley Energy and Environmental Defense (WEED), a campus environmental group.  More than 800 colleges, universities, high schools and civic groups have signed on to a one-day educational initiative to focus on climate change called Focus the Nation, with events like Wellesley’s taking place across the country on Jan. 31.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries.

To hear McKibben's talk free on iTunes U, visit
1462996253?i=1637299051 .