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Bill McKibben: “The World’s Most Important Environmentalist” to Speak at Landmark

Bill McKibben smilingPutney, Vt. - Environmental activist, author, and founder Bill McKibben will speak at Landmark College on Tuesday, October 22nd at 7 p.m. McKibben will talk about his new book Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist, which fuses a lifetime of insight on the climate fight with observations from a Vermont beekeeping practice. The public is invited to this free event, which will be held at the Greenhoe Theater in the Fine Arts Building on the Landmark College. Because of limited space, registration is required.

"McKibben’s impact is important on a macro level because without passionate, expert supporters of important causes we would not drive courageous and effective change," said Dr. Peter Eden, president of Landmark College. 

"But on a more micro level, at a college, he is able to communicate to young learners the complexities of phenomena related to energy—energy uses, origins, benefits and risks to the world … Speakers like McKibben are able to bring new perspectives and perhaps controversial ideas and recommendations to communities of students, faculty, staff."

One such controversial idea is that colleges and universities should sell-off fossil fuel holdings from their endowment portfolios. This idea, called divestment, is a galvanizing theme in McKibben’s "Do the Math" tour, which started about a year ago in November 2012 and boasts engagements across the nation.

When asked why Landmark College has invited McKibben to speak, Eden said, "So our students will learn more about the multi-factorial nature of divestment—as a possibility—in the important area of endowment that exists to protect the institution well into the future. And so that the students can start to even better understand the delicate balance between realism and idealism, when it comes to the decisions we make—and the 'costs' associated with such now, and years from now."

McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. Time Magazine called him "the planet's best green journalist" and The Boston Globe said in 2010 that he was "probably the country's most important environmentalist." He is a Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, and he holds honorary degrees from a dozen colleges, including the Universities of Massachusetts and Maine, the State University of New York, and Whittier and Colgate Colleges. In 2011 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

McKibben’s talk is part of the 2013 Landmark College Speaker Series, which "asks challenging questions about our responsibilities to the planet and to each other." The mission of the Speaker Series is to promote the intellectual environment of the College and to facilitate discussion of important issues in the community. Space is limited, so register now for this free event.

Landmark College was the first institution of higher learning to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Today Landmark College, offering two and four-year degree options, a graduate level certificate in universal design with technology integration, and summer programs for students who learn differently, is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, ADHD, and ASD. Students, faculty, and other professionals from all over the world are drawn to Landmark College for its innovative educational model—designed through research and practice to help all students who learn differently become confident, self-empowered, and independently successful learners.


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