Bill McKibben, The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, was the 2017 Charles Krause '51 Fellow in Rhetoric. McKibben, a noted author and environmentalist, spoke to students and faculty at an all-school special program on April 18.
McKibben's 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which is named to imprint on people's minds the 350 parts of CO2 per million in the atmosphere that scientists believe is safe. 350. org has organized 20,000 rallies around the world, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.
Students found McKibben's talk inspiring, says science department head Ben Small, "The next morning campus was covered with sidewalk chalk signs saying "350," "Only together can we unite against climate change!" "Connect the dots" and What is your carbon footprint?" It is terrific to see such positive energy on campus."
McKibben was introduced by former Environmental Immersion Program student Arielle Landau '17 and spent some time talking and visiting with current EIP students at The Kohler Environmental Center. He also met with three leaders of the student-led Fossil Fuel Divestment Committee - Lucas Ferrer '17, Zoe Reid '17, and Anslem Kizza-Besigye '17 - who earlier in the year made a presentation to the Choate Rosemary Hall Board of Trustees' Investment Committee, encouraging the School's fossil fuel divestment.
The Krause Fellowship provides an academic department the opportunity to bring to campus an excellent public speaker who has made a distinguished contribution in his or her field and whose personal example may inspire others. In addition to supporting the Krause Lecture, the Krause Fund also supports the Student Pratt-Declamation Contest, and the Goodyear Presentations in World History. See photo gallery.