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Video: Distinguished Speaker Bill McKibben

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On October 27, noted environmentalist, founder and author Bill McKibben visited Pomona College as part of our Distinguished Speakers Series. During the day, he offered a master class to Environmental Analysis students, visited the Organic Farm and checked out the Thursday farm stand in Smith Campus Center. In the evening, he spoke to a large audience of students and community members on the dangers of climate change and the importance of activism to enact change. 

He discussed the idea behind his latest book, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet (Times Books, 2010), which posits that the Earth has already gone through such massive environmental change—“melting, drying, acidifying, flooding and burning in ways that no human has ever seen”—that we have created a recognizable but fundamentally different new planet. He also shared the many photos and successes of, which helps volunteers and activists organize and mobilize their activities for climate-change solutions.

The Pomona College Distinguished Speakers Series, now in its fourth academic year, was established with a generous gift from the Broe family. Inaugurated in 2009 by David Plouffe, campaign manager for Barack Obama’s presidential race, the series has also welcomed former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (March 2010); Van Jones, green jobs advocate and civil rights activist (January 2011); and Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp. and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (March 2011).

Upcoming Distinguished Speakers include writer and actor Anna Deavere Smith, who has won numerous awards and is credited with creating a new form of theatre. She will be speaking at Pomona College in February 2012.