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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 28, 2010

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Environmentalist Bill McKibben to speak at UI Oct. 13

Bill McKibben, who has been called one of the nation's leading environmentalists, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, at the Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City.

McKibben’s lecture, “Creating a Sustainable World,” is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. After the lecture, McKibben will be signing copies of his book, “Eaarth,” which will also be on sale.

McKibben’s appearance is sponsored by the University of Iowa Office of Sustainability in partnership with the UI Lecture Committee.

Known as one of the original climate change activists in America, McKibben published the first book for a general audience on the topic, “The End of Nature,” in 1989. His most recent book, “Eaarth,” continues this quest to raise awareness about the issues surrounding climate change.

McKibben co-founded, a campaign for international climate change and action at the local level. On Oct. 24, 2009, coordinated "the largest ever global coordinated rally of any kind," according to Foreign Policy magazine. The campaign led to 5,200 simultaneous demonstrations in 181 countries focusing on climate change. This year, is organizing a Global Work Party on Oct. 10 (10/10/10) to encourage individual action.

Foreign Policy magazine named McKibben to its inaugural list of the 100 most important global thinkers, and MSN named him one of the dozen most influential men of 2009. In 2010 the Boston Globe called him "probably the nation's leading environmentalist," and Time magazine described him as "the world's best green journalist."

While in college, McKibben was president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper and upon graduation took a staff writer position with the New Yorker magazine. McKibben is a contributor to several publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, and Rolling Stone. He is a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine.

He has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships, and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. McKibben is currently a Scholar in Residence at Middlebury College in Maine.

"Bill McKibben has been talking and writing passionately about global climate change since the late 1980s. His inspiring and urgent call to action is something everyone should hear," said Liz Christiansen, director of the UI Office of Sustainability. "The University of Iowa is known for being a leader in building renewable energies. Our goals for the next 10 years address reducing our carbon footprint by conserving energy and continuing the transition to renewable energy sources."

For more information on the lecture see See for more about McKibben and his work.

For more than 30 years, UI Lecture Committee has brought some of the world's great thinkers to the University of Iowa campus. Speakers have included an impressive roster of national and international figures in science, politics, business, human rights, law, and the arts. These events help enrich Iowa's academic environment and enhance its reputation as a prestigious Big Ten university.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Amy Myers, UI Office of Sustainability,, 319-335-5517; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,