Bill McKibben started fighting climate change long before it was popular to do so. His first book, The End of Nature, came out in 1989, and is widely considered to be the first mainstream examination of the phenomenon. Since then, he’s published over a dozen more books about the environment, written regularly for Outside, Harper’s Magazine, and National Geographic, and founded the grassroots climate activist group 350.org.
Right now, he's an environmental studies scholar in residence at Vermont’s Middlebury College, and his first-ever novel, Radio Free Vermont, is due out this November. We recently caught up with McKibben to chat about how he winds down from his days, and to find out what he keeps on his bedside table.
I’ve got Kim Stanley Robinson’s epic new novel, New York 2140 on my bedside table right now. It’s about a half-drowned New York, but it’s oddly cheerful in a Huck Finn sort of way.
I listen to Red Sox games on my old transistor radio.
I have my old Android phone so I can listen to podcasts. My daughter, Sophie, produces the Frontline Dispatch documentary series, and it’s awfully good.
I live in the Vermont woods, and one of the pleasures is a well that pumps out 25 gallons a minute of the best water you can imagine. It’s important to hydrate.
After years of way too much travel fighting climate change, I’ve come to rely on my sleep mask—there’s something about total darkness.