Bill McKibben is no stranger to getting arrested for protesting. Usually it’s when he’s protesting fossil fuel companies in response climate change, but on Thursday, the climate activist was arrested along with six others who refused to leave Rep. Elise Stefanik’s (R-N.Y.) Glen Falls office in a protest of President Trump’s immigration policies.
“It’s one of these moments in history with the horrible shootings last week and racist tantrums that our president’s throwing, it’s obviously time for people to stand up,” McKibben told videographer Austen Halpern-Graser, who was filming on the scene.
McKibben was one of the first to publicize the dangers of climate change 30 years ago in his 1989 book, The End of Nature, that is often touted as the first book on global warming written for a general audience. He is also president and co-founder of 350.org, an organization and movement that pushes for the end of dependence on fossil fuels and a transition to community-led renewable energy. (He has also been a Rolling Stone contributor.)
In an email to Rolling Stone, McKibben spoke of the intimate connection between climate change and immigration, saying, “The climate crisis and the immigration crisis are tightly linked. Through no fault of their own, increasing numbers of people around the world find themselves unable to raise food — it’s now too hot or too wet or too dry. Their numbers will grow, staggeringly in the course of this century. So we should probably think about how to justly deal with that fact, instead of erecting walls and building cages.”
The World Bank estimated in 2018 that climate change will displace 143 million climate refugees by 2050, mostly from Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia.