When I returned from the library last Sunday night, a debate was raging, per usual, in the living room of my tiny house on the edge of campus. Adam, our hard-headed econ major, had his iPhone out and was furiously fact-checking as he gesticulated at Jared, a sociology major. The topic wasn’t the merit of a Skyfall or the don’t-go-to-law-school argument that occurs weekly as we get closer to graduation—it was global warming. “I just think this is the defining problem of our generation, and we’re messing it up,” sighed Jared. Adam rolled his eyes. “Well, obviously. I’ll agree with you on that point.”
On January 20, environmental journalist and 350.org founder Bill McKibben concluded his national college divestment tour in the Old Chapel of Middlebury College, the school where McKibben and many other founders began discussing and organizing around the issue of global climate change. Backdropped by the chapel’s bronze organ pipes and with a howling Vermont wind beating on the windows, McKibben spoke to a crowd of students, faculty, activists, and skeptics.