Category Archives: State of the blog

Creating the Human Climate Pledge App (and State of the Blog updates)

I apologize for my recent pause in posting! (Interrupted only by my recent post about Climate Collaborative’s outstanding video.)

My excuse is that I have been focused on creating the foundation for a person-to-person, pledge-based Human Climate Movement. Here is a brief report on my activities:

1) Moving Human Climate Movement strategy forward, by working and consulting with allies. I will discuss the current plans for the HCP App later in this post. (If you have not read “Answering the Question of Our Time, Together: Strategy Proposal and Call to Collaboration”, this post will not make much sense. Please read that first!)

2) Media possibilities A couple cool things have already happened: I was interviewed fairly extensively by an NPR reporter, so hopefully that will make its way onto the airwaves soon, and Emmett Rensin quoted me in a piece on the blog PolicyMic, a blog associated with Harvard’s Institute on Politics, in which he calls for a WWII-level government mobilization to fight climate change.

3) Making connections with allies. I have received a lot of great feedback on the recent proposal, and have been in touch with a lot of great people. In fact, something I want to do is assemble a directory of allies. This would be a list of people who have expressed a desire to get involved with the Human Climate Movement, along with their special skills, areas of knowledge and expertise. My hope would be that this would facilitate cross-pollination. I am meeting so many talented, dedicated people — I would love for you all to work with each other. If you would like to be included in such a directory (or if you would like to be involved in helping me set it up!), let me know in the comments section, or contact me directly.

4) Facilitating the Facebook Group, “Climate Change: It’s Personal.” If you have not joined yet, come check it out. It is a daily forum where people discuss their emotional, subjective responses to climate change. As a psychologist, I know that talking through personal issues can turn confusion and stagnation into clarity and energy!

5) Enjoying the holiday! Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for so many dedicated friends and allies; people looking to do whatever they can to fight for humanity, against climate change!

In terms of Human Climate Movement Strategy, one of the critical next steps is to get the Human Climate Pledge App designed and programmed. I would appreciate input about the concept for the App itself, as well as advice on how to accomplish this task.

App Features:

At present, here is what the HCP app will include (Comments and critiques are most welcome!)

1)    The text of the pledge itself (still in development; an early draft can be found here)

2)    An Impact Data Ticker: It would look something like this, and display the following information:

A) How many people have signed the Pledge, in total
B)   How many people you have recruited to sign the pledge
C)   How many people they (your recruits) have recruited to sign the pledge
D)   Your total impact (meaning, how many people your recruits, their recruits, their recruits, and their recruits, etc. have recruited to sign the pledge
E)    How many elected officials and political candidates have signed the pledge

3)    Information on which elected officials and political candidates have signed the Pledge. Perhaps videos from these candidates or information on their platforms?

4)    A Newsfeed-type feature (It should have a “Like” function, as on Facebook, but probably not allow comments, as that would become overwhelming) which displays:

A. New people who take the Pledge, and their dedication, message, or suggestions, in text (or maybe also audio, or video) form.
B.New elected officials who sign the pledge, and their message to the Human Climate Movement.
C. New environmental, political, community, and religious organizations that endorse the Pledge. (Example: Matt Damon and the Sierra club have signed on!)
D. People who reach landmarks in their recruitment (Like getting 10, 50 or 100 people to sign). Movement organizers will ask them to describe their experience and how they believe they have achieved their success in spreading the Pledge.
E. Organizational messages and updates.

5)  The capability to give the pledge to someone else, and to give him or her access to the Human Climate Pledge App. (Remember, you have to sign the pledge in person, and you need someone who has already signed it to give you the Pledge). Probably, everyone should be able to download the App, which would display the Pledge, but have no other functionality, until your App gets “unlocked” when you sign in person.  My hope is that this could be primarily accomplished through smartphones “beaming” the data to each other.  (See this type of technology.)   Otherwise perhaps each HCM member could have a unique password, and entering would unlock the pledge… (Though this would impair the “in-person” requirement, as it could theoretically be accomplished over the web.)

6) The ability for the Human Climate Movement central to give push notifications.

**As stated above, the Human Climate Pledge/Human Climate Movement’s website will have more features, such as forums to discuss movement strategy and policy options; maps of where community projects are happening in your area; directories featuring the profiles of HCM members who choose to create them; and a platform to donate money.

**Note that we not planning to include a donation tool on the App, hoping to emphasize the message that the primary way that Pledge signatories should engage is through truth spreading, pledge recruitment, and community projects.

Getting the App Developed: Questions and Action Steps

There are two choices for getting the HCP App developed: Find people to design and program the App for free, or raise money and then hire paid professionals to design and program the HCP App.

  • Are there any talented, dedicated App developers or designers out there who want to do this for free or for a reduced fee?
  • If not, I estimate this project would cost about $40,000. (This estimate was made in consultation with an ally in the field, and with the help of this site. If this seems expensive, remember that we need to develop it for both Android and IPhone.)
  • To raise this money, I am thinking of an Indiegogo Campaign, but I am open to other strategies if people have them!
  • I believe it is a good idea to create a non-profit organization, so that people can make tax-free donations.

So,  if you wish to help with either programming, creating an Indiegogo campaign, or other forms of fundraising (Grant writing?) making the Human Climate Movement a non-profit, or overall advice, suggestions and feedback, please get in touch with me immediately!

State of the Blog: Pacing Myself & Exciting Projects

As some may have noticed, my rate of posting on the Climate Psychologist has slowed to some degree, and I plan to maintain it at this slower rate, posting 1-2 pieces a week. This is emphatically not because my commitment to this blog, or to the cause of fighting climate change, has flagged.  On the contrary, a slower rate of posting will allow me to pace myself while working on expanding the blog, making connections in the environmental and activist community, and developing articles and other content that require in-depth research. More specifically, here is what I am working on:

Blog Growth. Expanding The Climate Psychologist to more readers, especially those deeply concerned about climate change, engaged in environmental activism, and in the media, is my #1 goal, at the moment. There are lots of activities happening on this front:

  • I am making connections with various environmentalists and publications. (This occurs partially through readers e-mailing me tips for people I should get in touch with, so thank you for that!)
  • I have been bringing some readers on board to work with me on the project of growing the blog, helping me to publish and publicize my work around the internet, and expanding readership. This is extremely exciting, as it will allow me to use more of my time for research and writing and less e-mailing out pitches and so on! Thanks to all volunteers, and special thanks to Victoria, for taking on the (daunting) role of publicist!
  • I have been working with some outside media, which will hopefully cover The Climate Psychologist. (I don’t like to get too specific, because in my short experience with blogging, I have found that the best attitude is to pursue opportunities as they come up, but to avoid getting emotionally invested in them before they actually happen!)
  • I am in the process of setting up a professional Facebook Page for myself as “Margaret Klein: Climate Psychologist” or something along those lines. I think this will be an important platform from which to grow.
  • If you have more ideas for how I can grow The Climate Psychologist, please let me know! Also, if you want to get involved in these efforts, please contact me J!

Content Development. I am excited about the projects I am working on!

  • I am in the research and development stages of an article on “What do social movements owe their members.” In it, I will argue that social movements must offer their members the chance to utilize their talents and individuality to further the movement; that members must have the opportunity to grow as individuals; to elevate themselves in some way (such as honor, love, community involvement, etc.) This article will include the critique of the idea of “leaderlessness: that I elaborated on, to some degree here. This piece will be a companion piece to my article “Fighting Climate Change is Different from Fighting for Civil Rights,” and will expand the critique that, environmental groups are re-using tactics from the Civil Rights movement, while failing to understand how those tactics had a vastly different psychological meaning in a different context.  My hope is to offer a comprehensive psychological critique of the current state of climate activism, mainly embodied by 350. This critique will be offered in the spirit of collaboration and a shared mission.
  • I am in the process of developing what will hopefully be a series of clinical-type interviews with climate leaders, thinkers, and activists. In these interviews, I would ask about the origins of the subject’s environmental awareness, their feelings about the climate crisis and their work, and generally explore the emotional element of what is so frequently discussed as a “scientific” issue. This project faces some hurdles, as my hope would be to conduct these interviews in person, and ideally have a skilled videographer tape them. (If you have video taking or editing skills, and are interested in getting involved please contact me!)
  • I finished reading Speth’s “Bridge at the End of the World” and will be posting some thoughts on that book this week. I will particularly focus on the psychological dimensions of economic growth, corporations, and the idea of “transforming consciousness” and how therapists tackle these issues. Please feel free to join the conversation!

This is all very exciting, so please bear with me for the reduced posting. I look forward very much to the time (in less than a year!) When I earn my PhD and am able to focus, full-time, on fighting climate change!

 

 

State of the Blog Part 2: Ideas!

In the previous State of the Blog post, I discussed my goals for the Climate Psychologist; my hope that my writing can contribute to building, empowering, organizing, and uniting the Human Climate Movement in order to wake humanity up from denial and fight back. In this post, I will share my ideas for future writing and Movement activities.

I am sharing these ideas because I think scholarly engagement and collaboration on strategy planning is essential to HCM success. I have written that strategy discussions for the HCM should be open sourced, and that organizations and bloggers should “play their cards face up,” sharing and discussing with their membership and readers their comprehensive strategy for solving climate change, or having a frank discussion about their lack of a strategy and their plans to develop one.

Publishing my ideas is part of me taking my own advice. I am not going to guard my own ideas, reflexively advocating for them against competing ideas. I am not going to attempt to milk these ideas for maximal publicity or professional rewards. Rather, I offer them to the movement. Anyone who wants to use their intellect to fight climate change should be able to access my ideas. This way, people interested in collaborating can get in touch with me and people who have good recommendations for relevant sources can share them with me. Further, people should feel free to use these ideas themselves, to elaborate on them, hybridize them, or write about them. Share your work with me, so when I approach this topic, I can utilize your insights, and combine them with my own. We simply don’t have the time to waste on individual aggrandizement or stubbornness. We have to work together.

Posting my ideas like this also gives me a chance to get reader feedback before writing the whole article! Any ideas, comments, tips (on source material, topics, as well as places to publish), preferences, and so on are greatly appreciated!

 

Margaret’s Ideas for Articles:

*Ordered from most developed to least developed

1) Understanding, and Critiquing the Left’s Preoccupation with “Leaderlessness”

I will critique the HCM and especially 350’s “grass roots” and “leaderless” approach to organization. Leadership and centralized coordination is crucial for success. Occupy Wall Street is a prime example of a movement that sacrificed efficacy for the ideal of leaderlessness. I will argue that the right, with no similar psychological and cultural aversion to leadership, builds more efficient institutions (Corporations, militaries, think-tanks, etc).

I will argue that (good) leadership is a gift and essential for movement success. Good leaders inspire and unite a group, empowering people, helping them reach their full potential and achieve things that they had imagined were beyond their capabilities.  MLK is an example of this. (Alford, “Leadership as Interpretation and Holding,”). I will argue that leading is a highly risky and challenging task, and we should appreciate what leaders are sacrificing (Heifetz, “Leadership on the line).

I will also argue that “federated structures:” that have centralized planning and enough independence for individual groups to accommodate local concerns and allow for creativity is the ideal structure for the HCM. This structure allows many levels of leadership. (Ganz) Instead of thinking “no leader” we should think “many leaders.”

I will provide a historic analysis of why the left became so phobic of leaders:

The in the 1960s, 3 excellent leftist leaders—JFK, RFK, and MLK, were assassinated within years of each other, traumatizing the Left and causing them to avoid getting too attached to future leaders.

This, combined with:
*In the 1960s, Leftist leaders betrayed a generation of young men by sending them to fight in Vietnam

*The rise of feminism indicted the idea that men should be leaders of their families. This critique morphed into a general distrust of leaders and power.

*The raising of the Iron Curtain showed the peril of iron fisted “Leftist” leadership and government.

2) Climate Change and the Holocaust: Atrocities, Denial, and Moral Obligation

I will argue that the Holocaust is a recent, very vivid example of how a normal human response to atrocities is to deny them and avoid knowing about them. I will examine the concept of the “Ordinary German” who tried not to get involved, and claimed after the war that they “didn’t know” what was happening. I will discuss the moral duty to learn about and to know about climate change and to act on that knowledge.

I will interpret the phrase, “Never Again” to mean more than “No future genocides” but rather to mean “Never again should humanity turn its back on preventable horrors.”  Terrible things do happen, and we all have a moral obligation to stand against them.

I will discuss similarities between the US media’s coverage of the Holocaust and their coverage of climate change.  (The NYT buried the atrocities of the Holocaust in the middle of the paper, as it drastically understates and underreports the risk of climate change.)

I will utilize heavily Stanley Cohen’s  outstanding  book, “States of Denial.”

**It would be great to collaborate with a Holocaust scholar on this. If anyone is interested/ knows someone who has a good background in Holocaust studies or cultural denial.

 

3)  Climate Change as a Feminist Issue

Beyond the fact that climate change hurts women because it hurts everyone, I will argue that one of the most important, most cherished victories of feminism has been to give women drastically increased agency over their own bodies. This has been accomplished through criminalizing domestic violence and rape, and decriminalizing abortion.

I will argue that climate change threatens to steal away all of these gains. That the collapse of civilization and the rule of law would return the rule of physical strength; drastically increasing incidences of rape and domestic violence, and drastically decreasing women’s access to all medical services, including abortion. This will greatly reduce women’s ability to be independent; in a such a violent world, women will be in much greater need of protection from men.

I will point to regions of climate-change induced conflict, and demonstrate how this is already happening in those regions.

I will call on feminists to look towards the future, and the dangers for women that lie there if we do not take decisive action on climate change.

**It would be great to collaborate with a feminist writer or scholar on this article.

4) Climate Change and the Exodus Story

In the Spring, (as Passover nears), I will write about the similarities between climate change and the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt. I will make a Haggadah, so that people who want to give their Passover Seders a climate change theme will be able to do so.

Paralells:

*In the Exodus story, the Jews were slaves in Egypt, they provided the labor necessary to build great pyramids. Fossil fuels have acted as a labor-substitute, allowing us to build cities and the global economy.

*Moses told Pharoh to let his people go but Pharoh was hard of heart. He was unwilling to let his labor force go. Our society has been similarly stubborn, refusing to let go of the comfort and luxury that fossil fuel provide.

*God brought Egypt 10 Plagues: blood, frogs, gnats, flies, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and finally, the death of all first-born Egyptians. Only with the death of his son, and all of the first-borns of Egypt did Pharaoh let the Jews go. Climate change is similarly reigning down terror upon us. Floods, droughts, invasive species, vector-born disease, damaged crop yields, heat waves, climate refugees, and civil war. How bad will it need to get before we wake up and realize that we cannot cling to fossil fuels any longer?

**It would be great to collaborate on this with a Rabbi or an expert in Jewish studies.

5) Psychologists Psychoanalysts and Climate Change

I will argue that, though the cultural authority of psychologists and psychoanalysts has been eroded in recent decades, society does continue to hold us in high regard, and have generally positive, trusting transference to psychologists and therapists.

As seekers of truth and experts in denial and other psychological defense mechanisms, psychologists should have a unique ability to face the truth about climate change and to help other people do so, too.

I will call on psychologists and psychoanalysts to raise their awareness of climate change by creating study groups; to share their knowledge with the public through writing editorials, papers, and calls to action. Possibly also by hosting community meetings and helping people contain their anxiety about climate change.  To contribute to HCM strategy through scholarly collaboration.

** Hopefully I will be collaborating with psychoanalytic research and fellow Climate Psychologist Renee Lertzman, but other collaborators could be helpful, also.

6) The Role of Shame and Honor in Climate Change Activism

I will discuss the role of shame and honor in human evolution (using E.O Wilson’s “The social Conquest of Earth”) and in moral revolutions (Using Appiah’s “How Moral revolutions happen”).

I will discuss the barriers of modern society to utilizing shame and honor as effective change agents (Huge scale of society, the separation of the rich and powerful from “normal” people, the increasing narcissistic trends in American life).

I will discuss ways that shame and honor could be deployed more effectively, such as:

-Targeting people who are “honor  peers,” meaning that you can only challenge someone’s honor who recognizes your ability to do so. So working within networks, with people who you know and who care about your opinion provides much more leverage than working against strangers (i.e. protests).

-Emphasizing that the HCM works for humanity, and people who stand against it are hurting their human brothers and sisters

-Utilizing some kind of visual symbol (armband/ button/ t-shirt, etc) to indicate that one is with the HCM, so that people in the movement can recognize each other, and give each other honor and respect in daily life.

7) Grieving the Losses of Climate Change: Stability and Faith in Humanity

I will discuss how terribly sad climate change is for all of us, and what humanity has lost.

The fundamental loss, at least at this point, is stability. We cannot plan for the future the way previous generations could, because we know that the world will be radically different. Worse, we know that the climate will continue to change for a long time—it won’t make a big shift and then ready a new, stable state.

Further, climate change and other ecological destruction has made many people negative about humanity. How can we feel good about ourselves when our species is suicidal and ecocidal?

I will discuss the necessity of grief in order to work effectively. We have to mourn our losses, including the fact that previous environmental efforts have failed (Speth) in order to move forward.

8) I am very interested in the technique of Dynamic Facilitation, and the political model that utilizes it, Wise Democracy. I need to learn much more about this, but there is a lot of promising material here.

9) Applying psychological writing about suicide to humanity and climate change (also EO Wilson’s piece, “Is humanity suicidal?”)

10) Considering Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” to think about climate change activism. What needs do people need to have met, internally and externally, before they can acknowledge the horrifying truth of climate change?

11) Considering apocalyptic films, especially Zombie movies, as allegories for climate change. (Starvation and desperation make humans seem like zombies; when people are hungry and hopeless, they get that dead look in their eye, and can become highly destructive.) What can we learn if we think about Zombie’s as unconscious symbols of starving climate refugees?

Ideas for blog-based activities and activism.

These are ideas involve a higher level of reader/ activist participation.

1) Gathering the Best Writing About and Metaphors for Climate Change

Sharing my favorite passages of writing on climate, and asking readers to share their favorite passages. We can create a storehouse of clear, evocative writing. It will be a resource for writers, and all members of the Human Climate Movement who seek to articulate our situation to others.

2) Inviting Academics, Students, Environmental Organizations, and Concerned Citizens to Submit Proposals

I have written about the benefits of open-sourcing strategy for the Human Climate Movement. But I would like to (hopefully with some help) send out a “Call for Papers” on HCM strategy to academic departments, climate groups, and climate writers. Maybe there could be a prize fund for top submissions.  Maybe this could be undertaken with an organization who wanted to partner?

3) Creating a Social Media Climate Truth Squad

Inviting readers/ activists to become involved in spreading Climate Truth using social media.

Activities of this squad would include:

*Using twitter and Facebook to call out individual authors and editors of articles in the NYT and other mainstream news outlets (especially left-leaning ones) that publish articles that, omit climate change when it is highly relevant (such as when discussing extreme weather), minimize the threat (by using phrases like, “our grandchildren”), and otherwise feed the Climate Lie.

Journalists fear the wrath of deniers when they write about climate change, but the Human Climate Movement does not aggressively push them towards truth. We would try to change that.

*Speaking Climate Truth to friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. We could have coordinated messages… maybe a “Climate Crisis Wake Up Call of the Day” that people could share.

Speaking personally, I always feel anxious when I say something on FB about climate change to someone who I know from a different context. I worry that they will be angry at me for bringing up the terrible, horrifying news.  But, on the whole, I have been pleasantly surprised at how well my comments have been received! People want to talk about climate change, they just don’t know how.

4) Organizing Demonstrations After Severe Weather Events

I have written elsewhere about why civil disobedience and protest tactics do not address the fundamental psychological challenge of accepting climate change—people’s anxiety and terror— and thus should not be assumed to be the best tactics.

One of the reasons why I argue that these tactics will not be as effective as they were for the Civil Rights Movement is that the technology of the day is different. The 1960s was an era of the Television. Marches and sit-ins were televised to great effect. Now we live in the era of Facebook, Twitter, Memes and virality. Evocative images can spread extremely quickly. And extreme weather and its damage is highly evocative.

I envision a small group of demonstrators creating highly evocative, sharable images by going to flooded/ drought stricken areas holding signs/ banners that say, “Climate change keeps attacking us. When will we fight back?” Or, simply something like, “This is climate change.”

Sending the message, visually and repetitively, that climate change is already wreaking havoc on nature and humanity, could be highly effective in overcoming emotional denial.

5) Develop the Human Climate Pledge App

I have described the use of an App that would coordinate and track the taking of the Human Climate Pledge.  I have received offers from readers who are willing to develop this. I hope to work with them to make this a reality.

State of the Blog Part 1: Blog Goals and Strategy

Intro

Several commentators have noted recently that, while I have plenty of critique for 350, Klein, Romm, and the climate cynics who have given up hope, I have not taken aim at fossil fuel companies, climate change denying Congress people, corruption in the US political system, or the cancerous doctrine of eternal economic growth.

“Who is the enemy?” One commenter asked—it seems like you think it’s the cynics! Another agreed, “Evil ignored is evil condoned.”

Dear readers, there is a method to my madness. In this post, I will discuss the goals and strategy for this blog and my thoughts on where the movement is at.

Goals

This blog has a singular goal: to fight climate change. To my mind, the only way humanity will have a chance of continuation is if we build, very quickly, a Human Climate Movement that fundamentally alters the national mood, waking the public up from their denial of the imminent threat of climate change. This movement must gain the political clout to launch a WWII style and level response against climate change.

Though I remain open to (and highly desirous of) alternative strategy proposals, I have yet to hear one articulated which would give humanity a fighting chance. Most groups and writers do not articulate comprehensive plans, making it impossible to evaluate or collaborate on strategy proposals. Will 350’s efforts on Keystone and divestment solve climate change? Clearly not. They would argue that they are just getting started. But I think they have an obligation to their membership, and to humanity, to engage in an open conversation about strategy. The Citizen’s Climate Lobby does articulate their plan, which relies heavily on conventional lobbying tactics, and aims to institute a carbon tax and end fossil fuel subsidies. I have serious doubts about their ability to succeed with their tactics, even worse, doubts that their advocacy is too modest to stop climate change, even if they were to succeed. I am also skeptical of any effort that advertises its “grass roots participation” and “leaderlessness” as major benefits, without explaining why this lack of organization is strategically beneficial. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, until I hear a plan that gives humanity a better chance of survival, I’m sticking with a WWII advocacy. I think that I may not have articulated well how radical of an advocacy this is, or how significant the implications of a WWII advocacy are for capitalism, fossil fuel companies, and others who are willfully lying to humanity, leading us down the road to destruction.

Remember, before WWII, were the 1930s and the Great Depression, still the period in US history in which wealth was most unequally distributed (though we are getting ever closer to repeating it.) The New Deal helped, of course, but it was really WWII that turned conditions in the US around, ushering in a multi-decade era of relative equality (See table from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).

Wealth inequality

 

During some years in WWII, the United States devoted 36% of GDP (!) to the war effort, or the equivalent of 5.6 trillion dollars, per year. The highest income tax bracket rose to 94%. The government intervened in industry in a way that has never happened before or since in the United States. After Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7th, 1941, the United States focused with a singular purpose on winning the war. Economic concerns were secondary and consumer luxury was not considered at all. Shared sacrifice was assumed. As historian Doris Kearns Goodwin writes:

In the summer of 1942, the accustomed rhythms of daily life were disrupted in every factory, business, and home by the institution of rationing and price control… By and large, American housewives accepted the system of rationing cheerfully. When butter became scarce, they added a yellow dye to margarine to make it look like butter. When sugar was cut back, they substituted corn syrup and saccharin in cakes and cookies. They planted Victory Gardens in their backyards. They saved kitchen fats and exchanged them at the butcher shop for points. …By the end of November, government regulations extended into almost every aspect of American life. Shortages of iron and steel prohibited the manufacture of a wide range of consumer items, including electric refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, electric ranges, washing machines and ironers, radios and phonographs, lawn mowers, waffle irons, and toasters. The use of stainless steel was prohibited in tableware. Shoe manufacturers were ordered to avoid double soles and overlapping tips; lingerie makers were limited to styles without ruffles, pleating, or full sleeves. (P 355, 394)

The war effort came first. Capitalism came second. Everything else came second. Citizens from across society were actively engaged in the war effort, and major steps in equality were made in multiple spheres racially, between the sexes, and economically. With the shameful exception of Japanese internment, it was a time of major progress on several fronts. 

So, a WWII advocacy has, nestled within it, an equality agenda, a citizen engagement agenda, an equality agenda and a very strong regulatory agenda.  There is also a justice agenda. During a war, people who side with the enemy or undermine the war effort are traitors. Which is a crime. Until a war is declared, their acts against humanity are not, technically, actionable crimes.

Strategy

I write for a singular purpose, to build a social movement that brings a Climate War about. To wake up humanity to the danger that we are in; to the fact that we are under attack, are in great danger, and desperately need to fight back. I will write scathing pieces about fossil fuel executives, crooked politicians, and other traitors to humanity if I viewed it as beneficial to this purpose. At the moment, however, I do not believe it is.  At the moment, the strategic imperative is to build the movement, to empower the movement, to organize the movement, and to unite the movement.

All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. If I was writing in German in the 1930s and 40s, I wouldn’t target Nazi’s for criticism. I wouldn’t view that as productive. I would have made clear that I considered their actions evil, but I would aim my criticism at ordinary Germans, at complicity. I would attempt to rally a resistance.

In this case, all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to continue their current protestations against evil. To continue talking about evil rather than organizing in order to effectively fight it.  The environmental movement has failed. Not to blame them for this failure: We have all failed, the environmentalists at least tried! Every political party, every organized religion, every corporation, and every individual has failed to stop our planet’s relentless march towards catastrophe. We need to recognize that failure, learn from it, and regroup. I doubt very much that I can change the minds of Rex Tiller, Exxon Mobile CEO or Jim Inhofe. But I do think I can contribute to planning, organizing, and growing the Human Climate Movement. Though I am predominantly addressing people already deeply concerned about climate change, I am not “preaching to the choir.” I am attempting to turn people who are deeply concerned into people who are deeply active.  I am attempting to help people who are already active think through their activities to achieve maximal results. I am attempting to unity disparate factions of the Human Climate Movement. I am trying to turn “the choir” into an army. I hope you join me.

 

State of the Blog: Request for Reader Assistance!

The Climate Psychologist opened to the public one week ago  with the publication of my article  “Living in Climate Truth”/  (alternatively titled) “Our Society is Living in a Massive Lie about the Threat of Climate Change—Its time to Wake Up.”

It has been an exciting start. Living in Climate Truth has been shared on FB over 1000 times! I am very pleased to see the blog so alive with  insightful and kind discussion. I have enjoyed hearing personally from several readers, several of whom have expressed great enthusiasm for my message. It is invigorating to have so many allies.

So thank you for the participation, the engagement, and the warm welcome.

I have a favor to ask. (It will not be the last!)

Can you help me expand my readership?

Not surprisingly, I have found running this blog to be very time consuming. There are so many things to do: writing, editing, responding to reader comments and e-mails, staying current with the blogosphere, continuing to read and discuss psychological/ political/ theoretical work, and one of the most time-consuming tasks: sending pitches of stories to editors and publications, and otherwise trying to expand my readership.

If the readers of this blog could assist me with getting my pieces published and distributed, that would be tremendous. It would allow me to devote more time to research, writing, and all of the other blog tasks.

I want to spread my message as far as possible. Here are the actions that would be particularly helpful:

1) Utilize your personal or professional network in order to introduce my work (or me) to editors, bloggers, or others who may be interested in publishing my articles.

2) Or, submit my work for me! Several of my blog posts are freestanding articles, and anything is fair game to publish, for free.  No venue is too small, and certainly none is too large 😉   If possible, avoid venues that will send climate denying trolls this way. Though I expect that is inevitable at some point. Feel free, and encouraged, to post my work on the DailyKos or similar user-generated blogs.

Some venues where particularly I aspire to publish: Salon, Grist, Rolling Stone, The Nation, Climate Desk, The Atlantic, Think Progress, and the New York Times. Please let me know other places I should try to publish.

 3) Discuss and link to my work in Comments on other climate blogs/ articles. You can also request that the website publish my work.

4) Facebook and Twitter!

5) If you have other message-spreading ideas, I would love hearing them!

It has been great to connect with so many allies through this blog. There is a really lovely energy here. Please help me spread the word far and wide. I would greatly appreciate it.