Elevate-Interview: Bill McKibben - Winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize 2014

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Bill McKibben is one of the world's leading environmental writers and climate activists. He was recently awarded this year's Alternative Nobel Prize and still found a few minutes time to answer our questions.

Bill will take part in our event Elevate Socio-ecological Transformation on friday October 24th - live via videostream from Vermont.

ELEVATE: What are the  greatest challenges we are confronted with today?

I think the degradation of our home planet is the greatest trouble we face - and I think it encompasses, and is driven by, the horrific inequality and injustice that we see around us.

ELEVATE: Which strategies do you consider most promising for confronting the exploitative economic and political power of the elites, and for creating a brighter future for all?

I think that there's a real future on the other side of fossil fuel, but getting to a world of wind and sun means confronting the 1% of the 1%, the fossil fuel industry. That's not easy - they're the richest enterprise in history - but it's starting to happen around the world. (http://gofossilfree.org)

ELEVATE: What projects, initiatives and people inspire and motivate you?

Right now, it's watching indigenous men and women from 12 Pacific Island nations that will soon be underwater take traditional canoes to Australia to blockade the largest coal port in the earth. (http://world.350.org/pacificwarriors/) To me that symbolizes just about everything that's wrong and right.

ELEVATE: What do you recommend to people who want to be more proactive? How can they participate in a meaningful way?

Individuals need to figure out how...not to be individuals. We can't solve our environmental crisis one lightbulb at a time - it's systemic and structural, which means getting engaged in movements.

ELEVATE: What will the world look like in 2030, 2050 and 2100? Which gloomy scenarios could become reality if we follow a business-as-usual approach? Which positive developments can you imagine if more people take part in a positive transformation of our societies?

I can't really predict what it will look like, except that the outcomes depend entirely on how much we work, and how effectively, in the next few years. If we're going to bend the curve, NOW is the time.

ELEVATE: What are your hopes and wishes for the Elevate Festival on its 10th anniversary?

That it inspires people to build movements!

ELEVATE: Thank you so much for the interview and for your great work and the inspiration you're spreading!