Why climate activist Bill McKibben is concerned about AI and genetic engineering

“It comes down to human solidarity. Another name for solidarity is love.”

Bill McKibben’s 1989 book The End of Nature was one of the first major works to call attention to the threat of global warming. In 2008 he founded, an international movement seeking to address climate change and end the age of fossil fuels. His most recent book is Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? A Century contributing editor, McKibben lives in Vermont and teaches at Middlebury College.

Your latest book, Falter, identifies the people and the political ideology most responsible for denying the reality of climate change and blocking a concerted response to it. You point to the influence of people like media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the Koch family, and libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand and her acolytes in Washington, DC, and in Silicon Valley. It seems like you really want to name the perpetrators.

For a long time, one of the great conundrums for me was why people didn’t do anything about climate change despite very clear warnings from scientists and the fact that engineers have provided the solution to the problem in the form of cheap solar power and wind power. Why didn’t we act on this knowledge and these technologies?