34 minutes | Jan 30, 2023

Bill McKibben’s take on building a successful climate movement

On April 22, 1970, 20 million people across the U.S. marched, attended speeches and sat in teach-ins, marking the first Earth Day, and spurring on the enactment of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the founding of the EPA, all of which occurred later that year. Then and now, activism has been critical to enacting environmental and climate policy, and in shifting attitudes of the general public to the urgency of mitigating climate change, but why is activism so important, and how can it be done effectively?

Climate Now sat down with Bill McKibben, author, journalist and environmental activist who has led protest movements against development of the Keystone Pipeline Project , and for the global divestment from fossil fuels . Bill joined us to discuss why activism is so important to enacting climate policy, how the biggest movements come together, and the work that needs to be done next.

Key Questions:

  1. What is the role of activism in the fight against climate change?
  2. What are the key ingredients to building a successful protest movement?
  3. What lessons have can be taken from prior activist campaigns, such as against the Keystone Pipeline and for fossil fuel divestment, that inform the next steps in the climate movement?

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