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Author and environmentalist Bill McKibben presents "Vermont as a Hopeful Place."

10/05/06 12:00AM

In an early celebration of Earth Day, VPR presents Bill McKibben's presentation: "Vermont as a Hopeful Place," recorded earlier at Johnson State College.

McKibben talks about his new book, Wandering Home: A Long Walk Through America's Most Hopeful Region: Vermont's Champlain Valley and New York's Adirondacks. It describes a three-week backpacking trip from the heart of the Green Mountains to the heart of the Adirondacks, filled with reflections on the new and interesting farming and timbering underway in Vermont and the timeless wild lands across Lake Champlain.

In his book he raises questions such as:

  • What constitutes the natural?
  • How much human intervention can a place stand before it loses its essence?
  • What does it take for a place to be truly wild?

McKibben has divided his adult life between Vermont and the Adirondacks - two regions that have always had a big psychological wall between them, and to most people they seem like utterly different places. He knits them together for the first time and shows why the two places really need each other, and how this notion applies to many other areas across the United States.

He also chronicles the start of an important new trend: the desire for a renewed sense of localness. "Local is the new organic," McKibben claims, with a wealth of examples to prove his point. Wandering Home is a love letter to what he calls "the country's most hopeful region," and a classical example of thinking globally and locally at the same time.

Bill McKibben is the author of nine books on the environment and other topics. His first book The End of Nature was also the first book for a general audience on global warming; it is now available in 20 foreign languages. A former staff writer for the "New Yorker," his work appears in "Harpers," "The Atlantic," The New York Review of Books" and a variety of other national publications. A scholar in residence at Middlebury College, he is the recipient of Guggenheim and Lyndhurst fellowships and the Lannan Prize in Nonfiction writing.

Bill McKibben's web site

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