Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and founder of, is initiator of Tar Sands Action.

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The Pope's Divisions

by Bill McKibben 08-10-2015
This is the most remarkable religious document in a generation.

Jenny Zhang / Shutterstock

THE POPE'S “climate change encyclical,” Laudato Si’ (“Praise Be to You”), is actually far more than that: It is the most remarkable religious document in a generation, offering a powerful and comprehensive worldview that is consonant with the Bible and hence profoundly countercultural. You owe it to yourself to take a few hours and read it slowly and carefully; you’ll be enlightened, but mostly, if you’re like me, you’ll be reassured. Reassured that someone powerful in this world actually sees our time for what it is, and understands the crises facing our planet for what they are.

Near the beginning, for instance, the pope discusses the “rapidification” of life, the sense that “the speed with which human activity has developed contrasts with the naturally slow pace of biological evolution. Moreover, the goals of this rapid and constant change are not necessarily geared to the common good or to integral and sustainable human development. Change is something desirable, yet it becomes a source of anxiety when it causes harm to the world and to the quality of life of much of humanity.”

That’s as useful a description of the last 100 years as we’re likely to get, that sense of life out of balance. It affects the poor, yes, and the pope is always most mindful of the poor—but it also affects everyone. The ever-more-technologized world we inhabit no longer makes us happier. It makes us stressed.

Empowering the World

by Bill McKibben 06-08-2015

Fifteen million Bangladeshis already live in solar-powered houses. 

Despair is Optional

by Bill McKibben 04-01-2015

We're like the bad babysitter who takes the 2-year-old out for a tattoo and some piercings. 

Every Time I Look Into the Holy Book

by Bill McKibben 02-05-2015

Churches are profiting from desecration like this—and every time they look into the account books they should tremble. 

An End to the Fossil-Fuel Era?

by Bill McKibben 12-09-2014

Now that the Rockefellers have divested, what excuse does anyone else have? 

The Problem of Big and Small

by Bill McKibben 10-10-2014

Hunkering down is deeply attractive, but we have work to do first. 

Time for Confession—and Action

by Bill McKibben 07-09-2014

We stood by as our addiction to fossil fuel ran Genesis in reverse.

The Fateful Year Ahead

by Bill McKibben 05-12-2014

We need to show that the zeitgeist is changing, and that there's a steep price for fooling us.

Obama's Energy Fail

by Bill McKibben 03-05-2014

An "all of the above" policy is in fact no policy at all.

Obama's Two Faces on Climate Change

by Bill McKibben 01-05-2014

The president has sought to placate the rich, powerful fossil fuel industry.