Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, has won the international Sophie Prize because, "in only a few years, he has demonstrated a remarkable mobilizing force, building a global, social movement fighting to preserve a sustainable planet."
In October, he will receive a much deserved $100,000 award.
"This planet desperately needs a global mobilizer for change. Fighting immensely powerful interests McKibben has shown that mobilizing for change is possible. This brings hope", the Sophie Prize jury writes in the jury statement.
McKibben’s response to the award announcement:
After saying how much the award means to him, he said, "But mostly it means that the work so many are doing around the world to fight climate change is not going unnoticed. This award will help fund more of that organizing all over the planet."
"Climate change is the single biggest thing humans have ever done on this planet. The only thing that needs to be bigger is our movement to stop it."
After a long career as an author, Bill founded 350.org in 2008. He has written a dozen books, starting with The End of Nature in 1989, possibly the first book to be written on global warming.
Bill didn’t view himself as an organizer when he founded 350.org – he took the job because no one else was doing it and it clearly needed to be done. Since 2009, the group has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries.
This is the last year for the Sophie Prize, which has been awarded annually since 1997 in Norway. After the Goldman Environmental Prize, it is the biggest monetary award meant to inspire people working for a sustainable future.
Climate scientist James Hansen won the award for 2010.
350.org is named after the parts per million (ppm) of carbon that the earth cannot exceed if we are to retain the "planet we know." On May 9, the earth crossed the threshold to 400 ppm.
As the organization mobilizes for "Summer Heat" rallies across the US, the website says:
"350.org is named after 350 ppm, the safe level of carbon in the atmosphere. Passing 400 ppm is a sober reminder that we have much work to do.
The good news is, we’re doing it.
Together, we’re building the kind of movement we need. It will be hard. There will be setbacks. But we can – and must – keep building.
None of us are alone in this fight, and as the temperature continues to rise, so will we."
Here is Bill’s Bio: