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This edition: Bill McKibben to Obama: Say No to Big Oil

Episode Details

Original tape date: February 7, 2014.

First aired: February 17, 2014.

Bill Moyers talks with Bill McKibben, the author and environmental activist who has dedicated his life to saving the planet from environmental collapse. Moyers’ conversation with McKibben comes a few days after the State Department issued a long-awaited environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL pipeline that has both supporters and opponents hopeful the Administration’s final decision will go their way. McKibben came to New York City to attend a rally opposing the pipeline and visited our studio to explain why urging the president to stop it is crucial to preserving the planet.

McKibben is the Schumann Distinguished Professor in Residence at Middlebury College in Vermont, and has written a dozen books about the environment, from his first, The End of Nature, published 25 years ago, to his most recent, Oil and Honey. In 2008, he grew impatient with the pace of public awareness and change and in the tradition of the muckrakers of old, he decided to combine his writing with activism and founded the grassroots climate campaign McKibben’s cover story for Rolling Stone Magazine on “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” reverberated around the world and inspired students across the country to challenge their colleges and universities to divest from stock in companies that produce or burn oil, gas and coal.

“Most people understand that we're in a serious fix,” McKibben tells Moyers, “The problem is that we all feel powerless in its face. And we are powerless one by one. There's nothing you can do as individuals that will really slow down this juggernaut. Look, you can say the same thing about the challenges faced by people in the civil rights or the abolition movement, or the gay rights movement or the women's movement. In each case, a movement arose; if we can build a movement, then we have a chance.”

Guest List

Bill McKibben Author, Environmental Activist

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