Eco-Festival 2012 Guest Speaker Bios
Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. His most recent books include The Global Warming Reader, Eaarth, and Deep Economy. He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. Time Magazine called him 'the planet's best green journalist' and the Boston Globe said in 2010 that he was 'probably the country's most important environmentalist.' Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, he holds honorary degrees from a dozen colleges, including the Universities of Massachusetts and Maine, the State University of New York, and Whittier and Colgate Colleges. In 2011 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and led the largest civil disobedience campaign in three decades in this country, fighting the proposed Keystone oil pipeline from Canada's tar sands.
Erich Pica is president of Friends of the Earth, an environmental advocacy organization. He is a nationally recognized expert on energy subsidies who for more than a decade has worked to reform U.S. tax and budget policy in ways that reduce pollution and spark a transition to clean energy.
Prior to becoming Friends of the Earth’s president in 2009, Erich served as the organization’s director of domestic programs. In that role, he designed and launched many of Friends of the Earth’s campaigns including efforts to bring emerging technologies such as nanotechnology and synthetic biology under greater public and regulatory control and to reform how the federal government manages and invests in our transportation system.
Washingtonian calls Erich one of Washington, D.C.’s "40 Power Brokers Under 40." He was named by Washington Life Magazine as one of Washington’s "Green City Leaders" and as one of the “Capital Region’s Most Influential Under 40 Residents." He has testified before Congress and appeared extensively in the media, including on NBC Nightly News, the News Hour, Bill Moyers Journal, and various shows on MSNBC. Erich has been interviewed by National Public Radio and PRI’s Marketplace and has been quoted in publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, the Economist, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, and The New Yorker, as well as by wire services including the AP, Bloomberg, and Reuters.
Eric Weltman is Senior Organizer for Food & Water Watch in New York. He has over twenty years of experience leading social justice campaigns and building progressive power. Eric has helped direct ground-breaking coalitions, organize high-visibility media events, write influential publications, and manage successful initiatives to pass legislation, fund programs, and elect candidates. Eric also has extensive experience conducting trainings on media outreach, advocacy, organizing, and public speaking. He has taught urban politics at Suffolk University, and written for such publications as The American Prospect, In These Times, and Dollars & Sense. A native of New Jersey, Eric graduated from the University of Michigan and earned an M.A. in Urban & Environmental Policy from Tufts University. When he’s not changing the world, Eric enjoys being with his wife, Sarah, and son, Zach, reading history books, taking walks around New York City, watching "Burn Notice" and "House," juggling, and eating Thai food.