NYU Divest Hosts Eco-Celebrity Bill McKibben, Faces Rebuff From Administration

Underneath the cavernous arches of Cooper Union’s Great Hall last night, 550 plush red seats were filled with 550 people, all eyes fixed on a gold-tasseled podium behind which a tall, graying man stood. Between massive white pillars, the audience looked up at a stage once graced by Presidents Lincoln and Roosevelt –- a stage whose inauguration speech was given by Mark Twain himself.

The speaker, environmental activist, author, and journalist Bill McKibben, started out the night by describing himself as a “professional bummer-out-er,” because of his dire climate change predictions. But by the end of the night, the crowd was so animated and vivacious, you’d never think they’d been discussing the end of the world as we know it for the past two hours — especially in the aftermath of a weather event that only solidified McKibben’s ominous forecast.

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