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Author and Environmentalist Bill McKibben to Speak at Ithaca College

ITHACA, NY — One of the nation’s leading environmentalists, whose books have shaped public perception — and public action — on climate change, alternative energy and the need for more localized economies, will speak at Ithaca College on Thursday, Nov. 11. Bill McKibben will present “From Walden to Warming: Global, Local, and the Meaning of Thoreau in a Scary Moment” at 8 p.m. in Emerson Suites, Phillips Hall. His talk is free and open to the public.

McKibben’s appearance is sponsored by the college’s First-Year Reading Initiative (FYRI). He wrote the introduction to the 2004 edition of Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,” which was this year’s FYRI selection. Following his talk, McKibben will sign copies of his own latest book — “Eaarth” — which is spelled that way because, he says, “We’ve already managed to change the planet in such fundamental ways that it’s not really the planet we thought we knew.”

McKibben founded the international environmental organization, which takes its name from the latest scientific data indicating that 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the safe upper limit. On Oct. 10, 2010 (10/10/10), the group organized a global day of action, with some 7,000 “work parties” in 188 countries taking concrete actions to help combat climate change.

“Foreign Policy” magazine included McKibben on its inaugural list of the 100 most important global thinkers, with “Time” magazine describing him as “the world’s best green journalist.” His seminal books include “The End of Nature,” widely seen as the first book on climate change for a general audience, and “Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future,” which issues a challenge to move beyond “growth” as the paramount economic ideal.

McKibben has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College.

Eaarth,” “The End of Nature” and “Deep Economy” will all be available for purchase at the book signing.

For more information on McKibben, visit For more information on the First-Year Reading Initiative, visit /fyri/.