October 10, 2013 | 7 p.m.
Bill McKibben is not a person you’d expect to find handcuffed in the city jail in Washington, D.C. But that’s where he spent three days in the summer of 2011, after leading the largest civil disobedience in thirty years to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline. A few months later the protesters would see their efforts rewarded when President Obama agreed to put the project on hold. His new book is Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist.
McKibben realizes that this small and temporary victory on the Pipeline is at best a stepping-stone. With the Arctic melting, the Midwest in drought, and Sandy scouring the Atlantic, the need for much deeper solutions is obvious. Some of those would come at the local level, and McKibben recounts a year he spends in the company of a beekeeper raising his hives as part of the growing trend toward local food. Other solutions would come from a much larger fight against the fossil-fuel industry as a whole. Oil and Honey is McKibben’s account of these two necessary and mutually reinforcing sides of the global climate fight—from the absolute center of the maelstrom and from the growing hive of small-scale local answers to the climate crisis.