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Bill McKibben Archives - Sustainability at Wake Forest

Sustainability at Wake Forest

Posts Tagged ‘Bill McKibben’

13 Days of Celebrating the Earth

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The 13 Days of Celebrating the Earth were a big success. From farmers markets and a celebration of campus trees to a health and wellbeing fair and a day of reflection, the 13 Days offered something for everyone to celebrate. Did you miss some of the days’ events? You can sample some highlights below and check out the photos in our flickr gallery.

We would like to thank all of our 13 Days partners for their collaboration on this series of events: Campus Recreation, the StArt Gallery, Landscaping Services, Residence Life & Housing, WFU Campus Kitchen, Dr. Weithaus’ religion class, Dr. Matteo’s sociology class, Dr. Lord’s biology class, the Office of the Chaplain, ZSR Library, Human Resources, and the WFU Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability.

Meditation Garden

Students learn about the diverse growth of native plants in the To Hi meditation garden as part of the rest and relaxation activities on Day 5.

Health and Wellbeing: April 20

Students enjoyed the opportunity to take a free yoga class on the Quad as part of the emphasis on Health and Wellbeing on Day 7.

Bill McKibben

Environmental thought leader Bill McKibben lectures on 350 – The Most Important Number in the World as the keynote speaker for the 13 Days of Celebrating the Earth on April 26.

13 Days of Celebrating the Earth

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Welcome to your home for the 13 Days of Celebrating the Earth. From April 14-26, enjoy nearly two weeks jam-packed with fun, informative and motivational events ranging from the “Green, It’s Not Only a Color, It’s a Movement” art exhibition at the StArt Gallery on April 14 to the keynote address by renowned activist and writer Bill McKibben on April 26.

Each day on the schedule is accompanied by a recommended activity  to help you take small steps toward sustainable living.

We’ll have tons of give-aways and great activities for your participation, so peruse the schedule of events, look for our bold flyers around campus and get excited for the 13 Days launch on April 14. Once the celebration begins, check back here daily for up-to date details for each event.

Safina lecture kicks off first CEES Series

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Students, faculty and community members packed Pugh Auditorium for Dr. Carl Safina’s February 23 lecture on the state of the world’s oceans. Safina is a leader in science and policy regarding oceans and was a central voice in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He leads the Blue Ocean Institute, testifies before the U.S. Congress on fisheries issues, and lectures extensively across the country.

His career grew out of a childhood obsession. “I am a guy who likes to go fishing and that’s more or less who I’ve been from a very young age.” During graduate school, the Long Island, NY native pursued studies of terns. “They (terns) gave me a lot….In pursuit of terns and fish, I started realizing that the ocean was changing.”

Audience members left the auditorium ready for action. “One of my colleagues walked out and said ‘we’ve got work to do,’” Miles Silman, co-founder of the Center for Energy Environment and Sustainability (CEES) and associate biology professor, said. “And that’s really the point of the whole series. You have to see that there is an issue before you devote your time to fixing it.”

Safina’s lecture was just one of several introductions to environmental issues that the first-ever CEES Series hopes to provide. Through lectures and other activities such as a Meadow Restoration roundtable, Silman and the more than 60 members of CEES are trying to lay the groundwork for future action.

“Lecturers like Bill McKibben (who will speak in Wait Chapel on April 26) explain it how it is. We have this planet as it exists, not as we want it to exist. We need to work with what we have,” Silman said.

The lessons from the CEES Series are by no means directed solely at the university community. Strategies are in place to promote attendance by as many members of the wider Winston-Salem community as possible, as well as members of other universities.

“In a way we are saying ‘come to the table, here’s the playing field,’” Silman said. “These are the ideas that are shaping the movements in environment, energy and sustainability. We’ve set it up so that you are pretty much guaranteed to disagree with something we present.”

By Caitlin Brooks, Communications and Outreach Intern

Become part of the CEES Series, lookout for these great opportunities:

Meadow Management and Prairie Restoration Working Group, April 1, 9:00 a.m., Reynolda Gardens Green House:

The public is invited to participate in an examination and discussion of issues related to constructing and maintaining a Piedmont prairie, using the conversion of the historic Golf Links at Reynolda to a managed meadow as a case study. Speakers include representatives from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Piedmont Land Conservancy, NCDENR, Forsyth County Environmental Affairs, and Forsyth County Audubon Society. Free; registration requested, contact (336) 758-5593.

Bill McKibben, April 26, 6:30 p.m., Wait Chapel:

Bill McKibben is one of America’s best known environmentalists. As a bestselling author, he has written books that have shaped public perception and public action on climate change, alternative energy, and the need for more localized economies. He will discuss his latest book, Earth, and the impact of local farmers, gardeners, and food vendors on human health, the economy, society, and the environment.

Christine Todd Whitman, September 19, 7:00 p.m., Welcome Center Auditorium:

Christine Todd Whitman is an author who served as the 50th Governor of New Jersey. Whitman also served as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9/11. Much of Whitman’s work with the EPA was focused on global warming research, drinking water standards, and air quality in New York City in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., October 6, 7:00 p.m., Wait Chapel:

Mr. Kennedy is the Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and President of Waterkeeper Alliance. He was named one of Time’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. Mr. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University and has a law degree from the University of Virginia Law School and a Masters Degree in Environmental Law from Pace University School of Law.

McKibben stirs audience to action at Warren Wilson College

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Photo courtesy of Warren Wilson College

On October 6, environmentalist and author Bill McKibben gave a free public lecture in the Chapel at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C. The lecture was titled, “The Most Important Number on Earth: From Appalachia to the Arctic, a Crisis and a Movement.”

The crowd overflowed the small venue, forcing some of the audience to sit outside in the crisp, fall air and listen to the message via loudspeakers.

As founder and director of the global climate initiative 350.org, McKibben and other organizers created a worldwide campaign for a “global work party,” in which people from all around the world take action for public awareness of climate change. Three-hundred fifty parts per million (ppm) is the safe upper limit for C02 in our atmosphere in order to avoid runaway effects of climate change on Earth’s systems. Unfortunately, the atmosphere currently holds a record high 390ppm.

The work day this year, “10/10/10” took place on October 10, 2010. In addition to promoting awareness, this particular day symbolically encouraged individuals and communities to take a pledge towards cutting carbon by 10% this year by using alternative transportation, planting trees, working in a community garden or eating local food.

The goal of the “work party” day extends beyond changing the current climate situation through small local projects. Ultimately, these days are designed to send a message to politicians and leaders across the globe to encourage them to “get to work” on policies and climate change legislation.

Although hopeful about the over 7,000 events registered in 188 countries as part of the 10/10/10 campaign, McKibben was frank in his discussion of the issue: “there is no guarantee this will work, there is no guarantee anything will work…we are up against the most powerful industry in the world…they stand on the platform that the atmosphere is a dump for them, but maybe we can change things…everywhere on this earth, there are people who will stand up and fight!”

McKibben concluded the lecture with a stirring message about the importance of sustainable living. He announced to a fervently nodding and clapping crowd that, “we cannot do anything the Gospel asks of us if this world is disintegrated… the root [of this problem] is moral.”

By Carrie Stokes, Green Guide Intern