Churchill defined a fanatic as someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject, and when it comes to climate change, the competition for chief climate fanatic (and hence a Green Weenie Award) is fierce. NASA’s egregious James Hansen would have to be a favorite for a perpetual, Lifetime Achievement Green Weenie, but the PLGWA Committee has decided that Bill McKibben outdoes even Hansen.
McKibben is billed as “scholar in residence at Middlebury College,” which description I presume means he doesn’t actually teach many courses at the tony private college that is known for being the most expensive in the nation (current tuition and room & board: $55,570. Textbooks another $1,000). His bio lists lots of honorary degrees from honorable places, but makes no mention of any advanced degree in any field that would qualify him to teach regularly in the classroom. From the online catalogue, it appears that he occasionally teaches a seminar, but most of the Middlebury environmental studies curriculum appears to be activist propaganda rather than a serious course of study. Course titles include “Environmental Justice,” “Corporate Social Responsibility,” “Sustainable Television,” “Class and the Environment” (which seems to be merely “Environmental Justice” by a different title—why not just title it in French?), and “Youth Climate Movement.” The only course it appears McKibben has taught recently is ENVS0340, “Social Movements,” which isn’t about the environment at all, but appears to be just community organizing by a different name. In other words, McKibben has a nice cozy sinecure, from which he gets to pontificate and organize green activism, such as leading the White House protests last fall to block the Keystone XL pipeline temporarily.