|Bill McKibben speaking to UB graduates - D.Kowalski photo|
McKibben wrote The End of Nature (1989), the first book on global warming for a general audience, and more recently, Eaarth - Making a Life on a Tough New Planet (20
McKibben founded the global climate action campaign, 350.org, and has been steadfast in demanding that political leaders take steps to address the climate crisis.
In his address to the graduates, McKibben cited Superstorm Sandy, which he said "drove the Atlantic Ocean into the New York subway system." He added, "If you had any doubts about the vulnerability of our technological civilization to the new and souped-up Nature we are creating, that should have ended."
McKibben urged the graduates to call for change, referring to the climate crisis as "one of the central tests of your life, a test of both your skill and your character." He said "your training is now not just an end to a profitable rewarding career, but something that our society badly, badly needs."
VIDEO (provided by UB Student Affairs): It opens with Robert G. Shibley, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, followed by an introduction of Bill McKibben by Subhashni Raj (3:54), Masters Degree recipient and a Pacific-350 organizer from Fiji. Subsequently, Shibley presented McKibben with the Dean's Medal (8:00), and then Bill McKibben delivered his address to the graduates, faculty and guests (11:22 to 29:00).
UPDATE May 21, 2013: A TRANSCRIPT of Bill McKibben's speech and transcripts of the introductions and the medal presentation were kindly provided by Alan Oberst. To view the transcripts, Click Here.