Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist

Bill McKibben. Times, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9284-4
Since 2007, former New Yorker writer McKibben (The End of Nature), has been at the forefront of the grassroots movement to fight global warming. With his organization, 350.org, McKibben has encouraged people all over the world to commit acts of civil disobedience in order to publicize the way climate change had affected their way of life. He has also worked to challenge the Keystone XL Pipeline project, endorsed by the Obama administration, but excoriated by environmentalists. Here, McKibben's accounts of activism are punctuated with visits to a friend's farm, and discussions of small-scale farming techniques and bee husbandry. Although he was harnessing the power of politicians, scientists, billionaires, and celebrities and speaking through the loudest megaphone of his career, McKibben kept returning to the beehives flourishing in the Vermont woods. What lessons in organization, adaptation, and endurance could be gleaned from the way bees work together and interact with their environment? Tracking the emotional and intellectual journey that took McKibben from Vermont to picket lines in Washington, D.C. to town halls, universities, and arenas, the book is a call to action and an inspiring playbook for making change—both locally and globally—in the 21st century. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/12/2013
Release date: 09/17/2013
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