Media work and Public Activism
In 1998, Kennedy, Chris Bartle and John Hoving created a bottled water company that donates all of its profits to Waterkeeper Alliance. They named their Manhattan based company Tear of the Clouds LLC., after the lake of the same name, the source of the Hudson River in the Adirondack Mountains. Their product is bottled under the name Keeper Springs. Kennedy previously co-hosted Ring of Fire on Air America Radio with Mike Papantonio, even though he says he suffers from spasmodic dysphonia, a disorder that makes speech difficult and causes the voice to sound quavery.
Kennedy has written two books and several articles on environmental issues. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Nation, Outside magazine, The Village Voice and many more. Since May 2005 he's been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post, a blog run by Arianna Huffington.
An outspoken opponent of vaccination, in June 2005 Kennedy authored an article in Rolling Stone and Salon.com alleging a government conspiracy to cover up connections between the vaccine preservative thimerosal and childhood autism. The article contained a number of factual errors, leading Salon.com to issue five corrections and ultimately to retract the article completely on January 16, 2011. The retraction was motivated by accumulating evidence of errors and scientific fraud underlying the vaccine-autism claim. Previous to this retraction, sometime in 2010, Rolling Stone had also quietly deleted Kennedy's article from their archives without explanation. As of January 2011, the original, uncorrected, version of the article was still posted on Kennedy’s website, including his factual errors which Salon had corrected.
In a December 16, 2005, editorial for the New York Times, Kennedy argued, "As an environmentalist, I support wind power, including wind power on the high seas. I am also involved in siting wind farms in appropriate landscapes, of which there are many. But I do believe that some places should be off limits to any sort of industrial development. I wouldn't build a wind farm in Yosemite National Park. Nor would I build one on Nantucket Sound, which is exactly what the company Energy Management is trying to do with its Cape Wind project." This position angered some environmentalists.
In 2005 Kennedy was criticized for hypocrisy because he receives royalty payments for participation in two family-owned oil drilling companies, and also for using private jets while lecturing about the perils of global warming.
In an article in the June 5, 2006, issue of Rolling Stone entitled "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?", Kennedy comes to the conclusion that the Republican Party stole the 2004 American presidential election. Farhad Manjoo, Technology staff writer for Slate.com, has criticized Kennedy's interpretation and methodology. Kennedy responded to Manjoo's criticisms in detail.
On July 7, 2007, Kennedy appeared in New Jersey at the Live Earth event. His speech challenged the public to question the implied position of the energy industry that economic and environmental policies are mutually exclusive. He referred to several media personalities (Glenn Beck, John Stossel, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh among them) as "flat-Earthers", and "traitors". Kennedy's speech concludes with the statement "And I will see all of you on the barricades." He is a self-described pro-life supporter. Kennedy also sits on the board of directors of the Food Allergy Initiative.
In 2009 Kennedy collaborated on an article entitled, "The Energy of Bobby Kennedy, Jr" for the debut summer issue of Above magazine, an ecological magazine based in London.
In May 2010 Kennedy was named one of Time.com's "Heroes for the Planet" for his success in helping Riverkeeper to restore the Hudson River. In 2005, he argued for a link between global warming and Hurricane Katrina in an editorial for the Huffington Post.
In June 2011, Kennedy appeared at select screenings of The Last Mountain produced by Bill Haney, and co-written by Haney and Peter Rhodes. The film depicts a battle in Appalachia between a local community and a large fossil fuel company over coal exploration.
RFK Jr. Books
Kennedy Jr., Robert F. (1978). Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr: A biography. Putnam. ISBN 0-399-12123-4.
Cronin, John; Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (1999). The Riverkeepers: Two Activists Fight to Reclaim Our Environment as a Basic Human Right. New York: Scribner. pp. 304.
Kennedy, Jr., Robert F. (2005). Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Highjacking Our Democracy. New York: HarperCollins. pp. 256. ISBN 0060746874.
Kennedy, Jr., Robert F.; Dennis Nolan (Illustrator) (2004). St. Francis of Assisi: A Life of Joy. Hyperion. ISBN 9780786818754.
Kennedy, Jr., Robert F. (2007). Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s American Heroes: The Story of Joshua Chamberlain and the American Civil War. New York: Hyperion. pp. 48. ISBN 9781423107712.