Podcast | The future of climate activism

Iconic environmentalist Bill McKibben discusses the history of climate change, as well as the challenges and opportunities of the environmental movement.

Flaming CO2 sign

Activists of the environment organization Greenpeace protest with CO2 letters illuminated with flames in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, May 6, 2021. (Markus Schreiber/AP)

It’s been more than 30 years since Bill McKibben wrote The End of Nature, an essential text in the fight against climate change. And in many ways the world has changed dramatically in that time. But while the possibilities of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change have decreased, the audience for work like McKibben’s has grown. 

When McKibben was first writing about the effects of humanity on the natural world, climate change was still something of a niche category of news. It is only in the past couple decades, as its impacts have become devastatingly apparent, that the story of our rapidly changing planet has become central to everyday life. 

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For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, which was recorded as part of the 2022 Crosscut Festival, Bill McKibben shares his perspective on this current state of the climate fight with Grist climate reporter Shannon Osaka. 

McKibben discusses the history of climate change and climate denial that have led to this point, as well his outlook for the future that may be more dire than it was 30 years ago, but remains unwritten.


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