Dear Friends, This is a more personal writing than usual.

The events of the last two weeks have really hit home with me–I wrote the first book about climate change almost 35 years ago, and it was in effect a warning about what’s happening now: the hottest day in human history, the hottest week, the hottest month, the highest sea surface temperatures, the biggest fires.

And it hit home literally on Monday, when epic rain—the kind you can only get on a globally warmed planet—did epic damage to my beloved home state of Vermont. Our capital city is underwater, our bridges are out, too many neighbors have been forced from their homes.

One option is despair, and there are moments, especially at night, when that gets the better of me. But the real option is to fight—not to stop global warming (too late for that) but to stop it short of the place where it cuts our civilization off at the knees.

And that’s what we’re doing at Third Act, so mostly I wanted to say thank you.

Thank you to the Third Actors in Ohio, who are fighting to protect direct democracy rights in an upcoming special election; and in North Carolina, who are lobbying the Public Utility Commission to hold dirty Duke Energy accountable; and in California and Vermont, who are pushing the legislature to divest from fossil fuels. Thank you to everyone who’s taking on the banks that fund the fossil fuel industry, and to everyone who’s helping build a democracy that can’t be so easily dominated by oil companies and private utilities.

The next 18 months are going to be key. The El Nino now in its infancy will continue to warm the planet; we’ll see new records and new havoc. Which will give us nightmares, but also openings: openings we must exploit. Stay tuned for an unfolding series of actions that we’ll be launching in the months ahead. And keep as cool as you can amidst the heatwaves. We are gearing up to do everything—absolutely everything—that we can.

Thank you so much,

Bill McKibben




Bill McKibben is a founder of Third Act, which organizes people over the age of 60 to work on climate and racial justice. He founded the first global grassroots climate campaign,, and serves as the Schumann Distinguished Professor in Residence at Middlebury College in Vermont. In 2014 he was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel,’ in the Swedish Parliament. He’s also won the Gandhi Peace Award, and honorary degrees from 19 colleges and universities. He has written over a dozen books about the environment, including his first, The End of Nature, published in 1989, and the forthcoming The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at his Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened.