America’s leading environmental activist, Bill McKibben, has been much in the news of late, especially for the rally against the Keystone pipeline he recently led in the nation’s capital. Yet articles about McKibben rarely explore his extraordinarily controversial economic ideas. This feature story in Bloomberg Businessweek profiling McKibben is unusual, since it at least mentions in passing his unorthodox views on economic growth. Yet the reference is so brief, unexplained, and bereft of context that no reader could get a sense of just how ambitious and unusual McKibben’s economic vision actually is. How can a business magazine profile Bill McKibben without clearly explaining his stunningly radical economic views? How can any profile of McKibben neglect those views when they are so clearly tied to McKibben’s ecological crusade?
Today, in the second installment of my series on the fossil-fuel-divestment movement, I lay out Bill McKibben’s economic views and show how they explain his war on fossil fuels. This is what the mainstream press seems unable or unwilling to cover.