The Author

Hello! I’m Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD. I am a Clinical Psychologist turned Climate Activist. 

I am the founder and principle of Climate Awakening, a project aiming to convene thousands of emotional conversations about the climate emergency. 

I know that climate change poses an imminent threat to our civilization, our species, and each of us individually. I know that the only possible solution to the problem is a waging a WWII-level war on climate change: a massive, government-led, society-wide mobilization. I know that, to achieve such a response, we need to coordinate a social and political movement. 

I founded The Climate Mobilization in 2014, and directed it until 2020, to bring this Climate Emergency/ Climate Mobilization paradigm into the mainstream.

My book Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth (2020), is a self-help guide for all who are struggling with the pain of the climate emergency , and helps them turn their pain into action.  

I hold a BA from Harvard in Social Anthropology, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University.

Twitter : @ClimatePsych or @MobilizeClimate for Climate Mobilization  news

14 thoughts on “The Author”

  1. Hi Margaret,
    Thanks for this terrific website! I have gone through all sorts of emotional contortions in wrapping my mind around how to convince a largely ignorant public on the threats we face, and this effort of yours seems like it’s just what the doctor ordered. Onward!

  2. Thank you! What an excellent website. I am an Australian PhD student in Christian ethics at Edinburgh University and my topic is not unrelated to your work. I am looking at the negative and positive roles of climate fears in ethical deliberation and how to locate those fears in ways that are illuminating and motivating rather than paralysing. I emphasise some similar themes about the significance of honesty (including emotional honesty) and finding resources for facing and embracing uncomfortable emotions (not just fear, but also sorrow, horror, disappointment, guilt and anger) as part of a grieving process that leads from paralysis to action.

  3. Hi Margaret, I like your initiative and would be interested in setting up a similar movement in Australia. Are you linked in with Al Gore’s Climate Realty Project? I’m one of TCRP’s top Climate Leaders, and have just completed training (with Al) another 525 in Melbourne two weeks back. We have a particular battle going on here at this point of time being the only country in the world that is repealing a raft of climate action legislation put in place by our previous government. We need mobilisation on a massive scale to convince our conservative government that the people want action and not more coal mines……

  4. Hello Margaret, great interview on Radio Ecoshock and thanks for your work. I’ve been working for clean energy at the Public Utilities level for 10 years, and it’s a slog to get the regulators and utilities to recognize the dangers of climate change, a real uphill battle. Any advice most welcome.

  5. Greetings Margaret, Thank you so much for all your work. I live in France, where the climate denial is so thick and ubiquitous both the reality of Climate Change and the many forms its denial takes, are near invisible outside of a blessedly vocal minority. There are of course numerous factors, particular to French society, reinforcing the deafening silence – the omnipresence of the State, as either adversary or parent/protector, veneration of experts, the stigmatisation of realists as “hysterics,’ or “catastrophists,” the designation of Climate Change as an “environmental” problem and the amalgamation of “Environmentalism” with a political movement etc. The approach of COP21 here in Nov.-December is being treated like an international event being awarded to France somewhat like the Olympics or the World Cup. The most disheartening examples of this are apparent in the “marketing” of the conference, often difficult to differentiate from publicity for summer music festivals or department store sales. Anyway, thank you again for all your humanising work in discussing Climate Truth. Please keep on keeping on, all of us! All best wishes, Simeon Gallu

  6. Hi Margaret, I live in Chilliwack, B.C. Canada and really pleased to hear about your passion for the planet. I have been aware of our situation and still feel passive in some respect, but would like to know more about your strategy and how I can, perhaps, be a part of this mobilization. This option you presented sounded good; all the best to you.

  7. Dear Cassandra:

    I just learned of you through a recent rebroadcast of an interview you did with CBC radio last December in which you spoke about a WWII-style mobilization for arresting climate change. You’re right. I agree with you completely. Truly amazing things were done (primarily in the US) during that war – not just the Manhattan Project, but Marinship, fighter aircraft construction, and many other lesser-known crash programs – and if the will applied then were applied now, we might win this thing. And it’s not going to happen.

    “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” – Pogo

    In order to fight a war, or even interest a population in fighting a war, you need an enemy – an adversary you can make the object of enough hatred to wish to destroy it through the most vile of human activities. That enemy must be what is popularly referred to as “The Other”. But here there is no “other”. You would have us go to war with ourselves, because it’s our energy addiction. This is a war that can scarcely be coherently defined, and is as impossible to fight – let alone win – as the “war on drugs” or “war on terror”. And how did those work out?

    The reality is that we’re well and truly fucked, and if you have any doubts, I suggest Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” and James Howard Kunstler’s “The Long Emergency” (both of which I expect you’ve already read). The former makes clear that this has happened many times before and there’s really nothing special this time around other than scale. The latter argues that our addiction is so deep that we lack any of the resources required (e.g. will and technology) to climb out of it.

    Finally, I find the ultimate irony in your championing this cause to be that you “grew up in a family of psychoanalysts”. Physician, diagnose thyself, because your belief that this crash mobilization can happen is Quixotic – completely delusional.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, and wish it were another way – in no small part because I have children. But that’s how it is.


  8. Hi Margaret,
    You may be interested in lookinf at my blog article “SpotlightON – Extinction Rebellion/RisingUP!” ( especially sub-section 3.1.30 about you. If you have any objections to what I sat then please let me know the details so that I can review and consider if any changes are warranted. I have no wish to mislead anyone or misrepresent anything, only to encourage others to think for themselves and form opinions based upon facts, not propaganda.

  9. Dr. Salamon,

    I am a second-year American student at Durham University in England, originally from Arizona. While my undergraduate major is psychology, I am passionate about the environmental sector and wish to pursue a career focused on addressing climate change. However, career paths for “psychology-specialized individuals in the climate change sector” don’t appear to be plentiful, at least there are not many I have identified to date. I am happy to see you have chosen a similar path, and would love to hear more about your journey!

    I am hoping you may offer advice on entering/navigating the field. I can always pursue a post-graduate degree in environmental sciences, but I hope to best utilize the critical thinking skills I have acquired through psychology to make an impact.

    Any counsel would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

    Best regards,

    Caitlin Kinney

  10. Hi Margaret,
    It’s Nathan from Dumbo Feather – I’m working on an issue all about the climate emergency and how we face the truth of what’s ahead of us, how we hold one another emotionally and psychologically to do the work that this time is asking for.
    We’d love to see a conversation between yourself and Berry in the issue. Could you email me to find some time and to tell you a bit more about the mag and our process?
    Thank you and warm wishes,

  11. Dear Dr Salamon,
    These painful but truthful words from you in your “radio ecoshock” interview struck a chord with me: “The corona virus is a tiny fraction of what we are in for with the climate emergency….We are on a collision course with the collapse of civilisation and this is not in the distant future. I personally do not expect to die of natural causes in old age, I expect to die from the chaos and breakdown that the climate emergency is sowing and I so wish that wasn’t true but it is not a reality we can afford to forget even when we are facing another crisis.”
    Horrible premature death is certainly likely for those who continue to pursue a grid-dependent city or suburban lifestyle, but is not necessarily applicable to those who establish an off-grid lifestyle in a remote climate resilient location where you can grow your own food. Indeed I believe that is the only thing worth doing now. I have written much about this on the “doomstead diner” website although my latest pieces were a summary expose of the neoliberal, neoclassical, neocolonial, neoconartist economic system, which is the major driver of climate catastrophe and currently causing many unnecessary covid19 deaths in the USA:
    Good people need to save themselves and help save as many other good people as they can.

  12. Hi Margaret-
    do you know of any groups to join, courses for a psychologist to help community members to reframe their thoughts and behaviours around cliamte change!?

  13. Hi Margaret,

    You may remember that I talked to you for a NY Times story
    that I was working on. That story was put on indefinite hold due to the pandemic, but I am now working on it and we plan to publish in November.

    I wanted to check how you would like to be identified in the piece.

    One quote I may be using is: “I consider the idea that fear doesn’t work as a motivator and you can’t scare people as one of the worst ideas that’s out there— fear is the most basic motivator not just for humans but for all animals, it’s how we translate the perception of a risk into action to defend ourselves— If we didn’t feel fear we never would have made it through evolution, we would just do nothing and get eaten by predators.”

    Could you add a sentence or two about how to apply this to young people, which is the topic of my story. How do we use fear to motivate young people but not trasumatize them in the process? Some reflections on this question would be useful for the story.

    I’ll be writing the story next week.

    Best wishes,
    Richard Schiffman

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