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These pieces come from the first quarter century of my writing life, all written in the passion of a particular moment, the grip of a new experience or idea. They lack the coherence that a more systematic thinker would have produced--they are the products of a reporter's imagination, restless and fast-moving.
In The Comforting Whirlwind, Bill McKibben turns to the biblical book of Job to demonstrate our need to embrace a bold new paradigm for living, if we hope to reverse the current trend of ecological destruction.
Popular environmental writer McKibben shows how global warming and other environmental problems are related to the concepts and practices of consumer and corporate capitalism, and suggests how to move beyond the bind.
We are on the verge of crossing the line from born to made, from created to built. Sometime in the next few years, a scientist will reprogram a human egg or sperm cell, spawning a genetic change that could be passed down into eternity. We are sleepwalking toward the future, argues Bill McKibben, and it's time to open our eyes. In "The End of Nature", nearly fifteen years ago, McKibben demonstrated that humanity had begun to irrevocably alter--and endanger--our environment on a global scale. Now he turns his eye to an array of technologies that could change our relationship not with the rest of nature but with ourselves. He explores the frontiers of genetic engineering, robotics, and nanotechnology--all of which we are approaching with astonishing speed--and shows that each threatens to take us past a point of no return. We now stand at a critical threshold, poised between the human past and a post-human future. Ultimately, McKibben offers a celebration of what it means to be human, and a warning that we risk the loss of all meaning if we step across the threshold. His wise and eloquent book argues that we cannot forever grow in reach and power--that we must at last learn how to say, 'Enough.'
Bestselling author Bill McKibben turns activist in the first hands-on guidebook to stopping climate change, the world's greatest threats Hurricane Katrina, a rapidly disappearing Arctic and the warmest winter on the East Coast in recorded history. The leading scientist at NASA warns that we have only ten years to reverse climate change; the British government's report on global warming estimates that the financial impact will be greater than the Great Depression and both world wars-combined. Bill McKibben, the author of the first major book on global warming, "The End of Nature," warns that it's no longer time to debate global warming, it's time to fight it. Drawing on the experience of 'Step It Up,' a national day of rallies held on April 14, McKibben and the 'Step It Up' team of organizers provide the facts of what must change to save the climate and show how to build the fight in your community, church, or college. They describe how to launch online grassroots campaigns, generate persuasive political pressure, plan high-profile events that will draw media attention, and other effective actions. This essential book offers the blueprint for a mighty new movement against the most urgent challenge facing us today.
The first book to present the environmental teachings of this beloved pope--the newly canonized St. John Paul--and the hopeful words of Pope Francis, thoughtfully synthesized into a complete spiritual and practical vision for the future. "The ecological crisis is a moral crisis." So said Pope John Paul II, an unexpected and fierce advocate for ecological responsibility throughout his papacy. Rather than seeing environmental concerns as "earthly" or "political," he showed that they are in fact at the heart of the covenant between human beings and their Creator. In dozens of addresses, sermons, and encyclicals, Pope John Paul II made specific recommendations on twelve interconnected ecological issues, including climate change, ocean destruction, water scarcity, poverty, the role of women, and war. He showed that each could become a source of spiritual, social, and economic transformation.Following St. Francis integrates Pope John Paul II's vision with that of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology, and the galvanizing words of Pope Francis. Accessible and illuminating, it speaks to hearts and minds, to nonreligious readers as well as devoted Catholics, incorporating Scripture, current science, and inspiring stories of solutions and restoration. Marybeth Lorbiecki unifies and champions the late, beloved pope's view that all life issues are related and that all forms of life deserve care. And if we work with God and each other to protect them, we can "renew the face of the earth" (Psalm 104:30).From the Hardcover edition.
Our most widely respected environmental writer brings together the essential voices on global warming, from its 19th-century discovery to the present. With the rise of extreme weather events worldwide--witness the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Sandy, Irene, and Katrina, and the sustained drought across the American West--global warming has become increasingly difficult to deny. What is happening to our planet? And what can we do about it? The Global Warming Reader provides more than thirty-five answers to these burning questions, from more than one hundred years of engagement with the topic. Here is Elizabeth Kolbert's groundbreaking essay "The Darkening Sea," Michael Crichton's skeptical view of climate change, George Monbiot's biting indictment of those who are really using up the planet's resources, NASA scientist James Hansen's testimony before the U. S. Congress, and clarion calls for action by Al Gore, Arundhati Roy, Naomi Klein, and many others. The Global Warming Reader is a comprehensive resource, expertly edited by someone who lives and breathes this defining issue of our time.
In lyrical, penetrating essays, Bill McKibben offers an optimistic response to his bestselling "The End of Nature", focusing on successful community ventures to preserve the wilderness and reverse environmental damage. From his home in the Adirondack Mountains to a city in Brazil and a state in India, McKibben searches for realistic models for the future of the planet.
Too many people have come to dread the approach of the holidays, a season that should -- and can -- be the most relaxed, intimate, joyful, and spiritual time of the year. In this book, Bill McKibben offers some suggestions on how to rethink Christmastime, so that our current obsession with present-buying becomes less important than the dozens of other possible traditions and celebrations.Working through their local churches, McKibben and his colleagues found that people were hungry for a more joyful Christmas season. For many, trying to limit the amount of money they spent at Christmas to about a hundred dollars per family, was a real spur to their creativity -- and a real anchor against the relentless onslaught of commercials and catalogs that try to say Christmas is only Christmas if it comes from a store. McKibben shows how the store-bought Christmas developed and how out of tune it is with our current lives, when we're really eager for family fellowship for community involvement, for contact with the natural world, and also for the blessed silence and peace that the season should offer. McKibben shows us how to return to a simpler and more enjoyable holiday.Christmas is too wonderful a celebration to give up on, too precious a time simply to repeat the same empty gestures from year to year. This book will serve as a road map to a Christmas far more joyful than the ones you've known in the past.
Too many people have come to dread the approach of the holidays, a season that should -- and can -- be the most relaxed, intimate, joyful, and spiritual time of the year. In this book, Bill McKibben offers some suggestions on how to rethink Christmas time, so that our current obsession with present-buying becomes less important than the dozens of other possible traditions and celebrations. Working through their local churches, McKibben and his colleagues found that people were hungry for a more joyful Christmas season. For many, trying to limit the amount of money they spent at Christmas to about a hundred dollars per family, was a real spur to their creativity -- and a real anchor against the relentless onslaught of commercials and catalogs that try to say Christmas is only Christmas if it comes from a store. McKibben shows how the store-bought Christmas developed and how out of tune it is with our current lives; when we're really eager for family fellowship for community involvement, for contact with the natural world, and also for the blessed silence and peace that the season should offer. McKibben shows us how to return to a simpler and more enjoyable holiday.Christmas is too wonderful a celebration to give up on, too precious a time simply to repeat the same empty gestures from year to year. This book will serve as a road map to a Christmas far more joyful than the ones you've known in the past.
The size and severity of the global climate crisis is such that even the most committed environmentalists are liable to live in a state of denial. The award-winning writers collected here have made it their task to shake off this nagging disbelief, bringing the incomprehensible within our grasp and shaping an emotional response to the deterioration of our global habitat. From T. C. Boyle's account of early eco-activists, to Nathaniel Rich's vision of a near future where oil sells for $800 a barrel--these ten provocative, occasionally chilling, sometimes satirical stories bring a human reality to disasters of inhuman proportions.Royalties from I'm With the Bears will go to 350.org, an international grassroots movement working to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
In his late thirties, celebrated essayist, journalist, and author Bill McKibben -- never much of an athlete -- decided the time had come for him to really test his body. Cross-country skiing his challenge of choice, he lived the fantasy of many amateur athletes and trained -- with the help of a coach/guru -- nearly full-time, putting in hours and miles typical of an Olympic hopeful. For one vigorous year, which would culminate in a series of grueling, long-distance races, McKibben experienced his body's rhythms and possibilities as never before. But the year also brought tragedy to McKibben and his family as his father developed a life-threatening illness. Forcing a deeper exploration of both body and spirit, the arrival of this illness transforms McKibben's action-packed memoir into a moving account of two men coming to terms with the limits of the flesh.
From the groundbreaking, bestselling author of The End of Nature, a controversial and provocative book arguing that to help the planet we should begin to voluntarily limit our numbers. Bill McKibben's books and essays on our environment -- physical and spiritual -- have shaped and spurred debate since The End of Nature was published in 1989. Then, he sounded one of the earliest alarms about global warming; the decade of science since has proved his prescience. Now, in Maybe One, he takes on the most controversial of environmental problems -- population. We live in a unique and dangerous time, he asserts, when the planet's limits are being tested and voluntary reductions in American childbearing could make a crucial difference. The father of a single child himself, McKibben maintains that bringing one, and no more than one, child into this world will hurt neither your family nor our nation -- indeed, it can be an optimistic step toward the future. Maybe One is not just an environmental argument but a highly personal and philosophical one. McKibben cites new and extensive research about the developmental strengths of only children; he finds that single kids are not spoiled, weird, selfish, or asocial, but pretty much the same as everyone else. McKibben recognizes that the transition to a stable population size won't be easy or pain-free but ultimately is inevitable. Maybe One provides the basis for provocative, powerful thought and discussion that will influence our thinking for decades to come.
From the ground breaking author of "The End of Nature" comes a provocative, compelling, and environmentally sound argument for saving the planet through voluntary population control.
In the '60s it was called the "back to the land" movement, and in Helen and Scott Nearings' day, it was "living the good life. " Whatever the term, North Americans have always yearned for a simpler way. But how do you accomplish that today? Blending inspiration with practical how-to's, Rural Renaissance captures the American dream of country living for contemporary times. Journey with the authors and experience their lessons, laughter and love for the land as they trade the urban concrete maze for a five-acre organic farm and bed and breakfast in southwestern Wisconsin. Rural living today is a lot more than farming. It's about a creative, nature-based and more self-sufficient lifestyle that combines a love of squash, solar energy, skinny-dipping and serendipity . . . The many topics explored in Rural Renaissance include: "right livelihood" and the good life organic gardening and permaculture renewable energy and energy conservation wholesome organic food, safe water and a natural home simplicity, frugality and freedom green design and recycled materials community, friends and raising a family independence and interdependence wildlife conservation and land stewardship. An authentic tale of a couple whose pioneering spirit and connection to the land reaches out to both the local and global community to make their dream come true, Rural Renaissance will appeal to a wide range of Cultural Creatives, free agents, conservation entrepreneurs and both arm-chair and real-life homesteaders regardless of where they live. Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko are innkeepers, organic growers, copartners in a marketing consulting company, and have previously published books. John is also a photographer. Former advertising agency fast-trackers, they are nationally recognized for their contemporary approach to homesteading, conservation and more sustainable living. They share their farm with their son, two llamas, and a flock of free-range chickens. Rural Renaissance also offers a foreword by Bill McKibben.
First published in 1854, Henry David Thoreau's groundbreaking book has influenced generations of readers and continues to inspire and inform anyone with an open mind and a love of nature. With Bill McKibben providing a newly revised Introduction and helpful annotations that place Thoreau firmly in his role as cultural and spiritual seer, this beautiful edition of Walden for the new millennium is more accessible and relevant than ever. [This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 11-12 at http://www.corestandards.org.]
Wandering Home: A Long Walk Across America's Most Hopeful Landscape: Vermont's Champlain Valley and New York's Adirondacksby Bill Mckibben
The acclaimed author of The End of Nature takes a three-week walk from his current home in Vermont to his former home in the Adirondacks and reflects on the deep hope he finds in the two landscapes. Bill McKibben begins his journey atop Vermont's Mt. Abraham, with a stunning view to the west that introduces us to the broad Champlain Valley of Vermont, the expanse of Lake Champlain, and behind it the towering wall of the Adirondacks. "In my experience," McKibben tells us, "the world contains no finer blend of soil and rock and water and forest than that found in this scene laid out before me--a few just as fine, perhaps, but none finer. And no place where the essential human skills--cooperation, husbandry, restraint--offer more possibility for competent and graceful inhabitation, for working out the answers that the planet is posing in this age of ecological pinch and social fray." The region he traverses offers a fine contrast between diverse forms of human habitation and pure wilderness. On the Vermont side, he visits with old friends who are trying to sustain traditional ways of living on the land and to invent new ones, from wineries to biodiesel. After crossing the lake in a rowboat, he backpacks south for ten days through the vast Adirondack woods. As he walks, he contemplates the questions that he first began to raise in his groundbreaking meditation on climate change, The End of Nature: What constitutes the natural? How much human intervention can a place stand before it loses its essence? What does it mean for a place to be truly wild? Wandering Home is a wise and hopeful book that enables us to better understand these questions and our place in the natural world. It also represents some of the best nature writing McKibben has ever done.
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