Let’s Read Together: A Bridge at the End of the World

For almost a year, I have been in an intensive climate change book group. Maybe a “study group” is a better word for it. We  read a book a week, about climate change, social movements, denial, US politics, and so forth, and shared notes and discussion. It has been an enriching and enlightening experience for all participants, and the cornerstone of my climate change education. Thinking about these issues, together, fosters a sense of hope and fellowship. It also builds a repertoire of shared understanding that aid communication and collaboration.

Maybe a similar model could work for this blog? I would like to try.  I am going to now read Gus Speth’s  “The Bridge at the End of the World.” It looks fantastic, with important content and accessible writing. I will read it over the course of 2 weeks. I invite all blog readers to join me in reading and discussing this book. Or, if you have already read it, look over it again to remind yourself. My hope is that  sharing an intellectual focus and educational process will aid and bolster our collaborations.

Everyone, let me know what you think of this idea, and if you will join me in reading this or future books!

** Thank you to Lennart for calling my attention to Gus Speth by posting this outstanding article.



  1. Dillon Culbreth

    Love the concept…and the article linked…and the reading…and the discussion, though I don’t know if I can get the hardcopy delivered and read on that timeline and wonder if WE have the TIME to continue to STUDY while “Rome(earth) Burns”.

    Found the following video in the comments section of the article. Good, accurate quick take…and agrees with your “WWII level mobilization”.

    I just don’t see it coming from the extant socio-political paradigm, meaning we have to STOP BEING CONSUMERS and REMEMBER CITIZENSHIP.

    Video link: http://wakeupfreakout.org/film/tipping.html

  2. Margaret Klein

    I guess its a paradox– we don’t have time to study, but we must study in order to make the best use of our time! Gaining knowledge about climate change, especially when done together, can be empowering and activating; resupplying motivation and strengthening resolve to act. So its worth the time investment, in my mind. At least until Movement strategy is agreed upon.

    (also, Bridge is available for kindle… if you want to read electronically.)

    Nice video. I certainly agree. There is definitely something of an “awakening” that happens when people realize the truth of climate change in their gut. It changes your life (as it should) and there is no going back.

    as always, thanks for reading and participating.

  3. I am a psychologist in Seattle working with a Transition Group in my community. A book club on climate change is a great idea that I would not likely have time for on a regular basis. However, I would like to make a plug for two books by Peter Ward a professor of Biology and Earth and Space Sciences here at U. Washington: “Timeline for the Flooded Earth” and “Under a Green Sky.” I am also going to take a look at a video by Lester Brown based of the Earth Policy Institute on his “plan B” book about how we can mobilize to save civilization, or some of it…

    • Margaret Klein

      Thanks for reading, and for the suggestions. I will check them out. I am curious about your Transition Group focused on climate change? What kind of projects do you guys do?

      Always good to meet another climate psychologist 🙂

  4. Lennart van der Linde


    Gus Speth is a great inspiration to me. Glad you liked his article and will read his book. I’ll certainly join in discussing his thoughts and proposals.

    Meanwhile I just read this piece by Bill McKibben about the leaderless, of leaderfull, climate movement:

    And now I’m going to find Cohen’s States of Denial!

    • Margaret Klein

      Very glad to have you on board! I look forward to reading the article you sent– I definitely want to discuss leadership and leaderlessness more and soon!

  5. We do a variety of things on Mercer Island, a suburb of Seattle. So far we have worked on siting and fund raising for a community solar array that was installed this year at our community center and helped launch a local Timebank with the city’s Youth and Family Services Department. Early on we hosted a film series and discussions about what would make the community more resilient to climate change and economic stressors. We have also held a couple of meetings for all the “greens” in town that we knew were active in some way and talked about how we might create more synergy. Right now we are thinking of hosting a “Climate Camp” next summer with invited speakers and other skills oriented workshops (a la the Transition Town “skilling up” idea. I am also bugging our city council to develop a comprehensive Climate Adaptation Plan for the city using a guide for municipalities published here at UW by the Center for Science in the Earth System and ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) and some day hope to raise some money for a Sustainability and Climate Adaptation Center in town.

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