Facing the Climate Emergency

A Radical Self-Help Guide to

Become the Hero Humanity Needs

By Margaret Klein Salamon,

Clinical Psychologist & Founder of The Climate Mobilization

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A new genre: a self-help guide for reckoning with the climate crisis

Yes, we’re facing catastrophic breakdown of our climate. Yes it’s terrifying.

But you don’t have to be paralyzed by your fear, grief, and other painful feelings.

You can use your pain to transform yourself, your friends, and your world.

You can become the hero humanity needs.

This book will show you how.

Advance Praise for Facing the Climate Emergency

“This book will wake you up, no matter how aware you think you are. Better still: it tells you what to do once you are awake. Read it!”
— David Wallace Wells, author
THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH
“Margaret has provided the climate movement with a complete guide to the inner journey of climate work, from processing our painful emotions to transforming them into greater clarity, connection and purpose.”
— Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director
SUNRISE MOVEMENT
“Guides us on the inner journey involved in embracing the truths about the climate crisis, processing our upset over its severity, and awakening the love and courage it will take to solve it.”
— Marianne Williamson, activist, spiritual leader, best-selling author
A POLITICS OF LOVE
“A call to greatness and heroic action.”
— Adam McKay, Academy Award winning writer and director
THE BIG SHORT AND VICE
“A remarkable account of how you can become a climate warrior. ”
— Bill McKibben, co-founder
350.ORG
“We all have a role to play in addressing this crisis and Margaret’s book will inspire and empower you to stand up and play your part in facing this existential threat head on. ”
— Katie Eder, 19. Executive Director, Future Coalition
COORDINATOR OF THE US CLIMATE STRIKE COALITION
“Do you feel anxious about climate change? Powerless to do anything about it? Then you must read this book.”
— Genevieve Guenther, PhD. Founder
END CLIMATE SILENCE
“This is one of the most hopeful books I’ve read in recent years.”
— Jamila Raqib, Director of the
ALBERT EINSTEIN INSTITUTION
“Margaret Klein Salamon is one of just a handful of people whose work has changed the way the world thinks about climate change.”
— Paul Gilding, former Executive Director
GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL
“Technology alone cannot save us; we also must take an unflinching look into ourselves. ”
— Dr. Peter Kalmus, NASA climate scientist, author of
BEING THE CHANGE
“A brave book taking us into the heart of the climate emergency to rekindle our deep love of life.”
— Raffi, singer, author, founder
RAFFI FOUNDATION FOR CHILD HONOURING
“This is the most powerful, honest, and psychologically astute book on climate change I’ve ever read.”
— Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow
POST CARBON INSTITUTE
“This book will wake you up, no matter how aware you think you are. Better still: it tells you what to do once you are awake. Read it!”
— David Wallace Wells, author
THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH
“Margaret has provided the climate movement with a complete guide to the inner journey of climate work, from processing our painful emotions to transforming them into greater clarity, connection and purpose.”
— Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director
SUNRISE MOVEMENT
“Guides us on the inner journey involved in embracing the truths about the climate crisis, processing our upset over its severity, and awakening the love and courage it will take to solve it.”
— Marianne Williamson, activist, spiritual leader, best-selling author
A POLITICS OF LOVE
“A call to greatness and heroic action.”
— Adam McKay, Academy Award winning writer and director
THE BIG SHORT AND VICE
“A remarkable account of how you can become a climate warrior. ”
— Bill McKibben, co-founder
350.ORG
“We all have a role to play in addressing this crisis and Margaret’s book will inspire and empower you to stand up and play your part in facing this existential threat head on. ”
— Katie Eder, 19. Executive Director, Future Coalition
COORDINATOR OF THE US CLIMATE STRIKE COALITION
“Do you feel anxious about climate change? Powerless to do anything about it? Then you must read this book.”
— Genevieve Guenther, PhD. Founder
END CLIMATE SILENCE
“This is one of the most hopeful books I’ve read in recent years.”
— Jamila Raqib, Director of the
ALBERT EINSTEIN INSTITUTION
“Margaret Klein Salamon is one of just a handful of people whose work has changed the way the world thinks about climate change.”
— Paul Gilding, former Executive Director
GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL
“Technology alone cannot save us; we also must take an unflinching look into ourselves. ”
— Dr. Peter Kalmus, NASA climate scientist, author of
BEING THE CHANGE
“A brave book taking us into the heart of the climate emergency to rekindle our deep love of life.”
— Raffi, singer, author, founder
RAFFI FOUNDATION FOR CHILD HONOURING
“This is the most powerful, honest, and psychologically astute book on climate change I’ve ever read.”
— Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow
POST CARBON INSTITUTE

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You can transform yourself with climate truth and become the hero humanity needs.

5

steps of the journey

Face Climate Truth ​

Inside all of us, a battle rages. It’s the battle between knowing and not knowing, between fully facing the truth — emotionally, as well as intellectually — and shrinking from it.  Ask yourself, “What is my priority?” Would you rather protect yourself from painful knowledge or protect yourself, your family, and the entire human family from the actual climate emergency? A truth, even a painful truth, is powerful.

1

Welcome Fear, Grief, and Other Painful Feelings

Facing the climate emergency is hard. But your pain is a signal — it’s telling you something critically important. You must work through your fear, grief, anger, guilt, and all the feelings you’ve repressed. Only then will you escape the control these feelings have over you. Only then will you shake off their numbing and paralytic effect and be able to use their power to transform yourself and our society.

2

Reimagine Your Life Story

Who are you? Why are you here? What is your purpose? The climate emergency challenges the answers we thought we had and invites us to revisit them anew. Right now, humanity needs as many heroes as it can get. This designation might feel over the top. It might make you uncomfortable. But everything in your life, including your most painful challenges, has prepared you for this role. Will you join the team?

3

Understand and Enter Emergency Mode

Humans are social animals. The way we respond to threats is highly contagious. The goal of the climate emergency movement must be to collectively and immediately lead the public out of “normal mode” and into emergency mode. Emergency mode describes how individuals and groups function optimally during an existential crisis and especially how they are able achieve incredible feats through intensely focused motivation and collaboration toward a clear, top priority of tackling the emergency.

4

Join the Climate Emergency Movement

Once you’ve mourned your loses and built emotional muscle, you will be ready to join the team rising to save humanity and the natural world. We are a movement transforming fear and grief into real and meaningful action. By joining the climate emergency movement, you are choosing the heroic road over the easy road; you are choosing mission over self.

5

Live as a Climate Warrior

What Early Readers Felt

“ Reading the book felt like going to a (really good) therapist, who was both sympathetic and honest, as well as interested in dialogue. ”

“ It validated every emotion that I have experienced since coming to climate truth. ”

“ It made me feel a sense of responsibility to act, a pride in doing so, and instills a sense of purpose, in a way few other books I have read so far manage doing. I am deeply impressed. ”

“ I felt less alone, much more sane, and extremely motivated after reading the book. It made me cry about the climate crisis for the first time in a long time and afterward I felt as if a burden had been lifted. ”

“ If you are struggling to articulate how your life has been upended by climate truth, then this is the book to read. ”

“ I put off reading it for a week or so, thinking it would be long and boring and I’m busy… NO, it’s fast and dense and hard-hitting and definitely worth the time. Perfect style. ”

“ I appreciated the reflection questions at the end of each chapter. It really helped me process and move forward. ”

“ Provides a clear path to transform those feelings into action – something I find other books/climate resources fall short on. ”

“Despite what American consumer culture has told you — you are not an isolated actor, living in a stable country on a stable planet, whose main purpose in life is to pursue personal success, familial satisfaction, and constant gratification.

Rather, you are living in a country, and on a planet, in crisis. Your primary moral responsibility is to fight for your family, your species and all life on earth.

You didn’t ask for it, you didn’t cause it, and you probably don’t like it.

But here you are.”

Dear Friend,

Many of us want to do something—anything—to stop the climate crisis. But we feel paralyzed by our fear, our anxiety, and our suspicion that we’re utterly alone in our despair.

I am here to tell you that you are not alone, and although you may feel paralyzed, you are not powerless.

We are about to lose everything, but we aren’t dead yet. We can decide that we are not content to numb our sadness and ignore the Earth as it burns. That we’re going to fight for what matters.

It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be the opposite of easy. But going “all in for life” will give you a mission and purpose beyond anything you have experienced before. It will allow you to, at long last, heal your pain and feel genuinely good about yourself.

Most importantly, it will help give humanity a better chance protecting ourselves, our loved ones and the living world.

Onward!

Margaret

About the Author:

Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD, is a clinical psychologist turned climate warrior whose work helps people to face the deeply frightening, painful truths of climate change and transform their despair into effective action.

She is the founding director of The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. Our mission is to initiate an emergency-speed, all-hands-on-deck mobilization to protect humanity and the natural world from climate catastrophe. We develop and pioneer the strongest and most aggressive policies and strategies for reversing climate breakdown. For example, our Climate Emergency campaign—with the help of our partners like Extinction Rebellion and Sunrise Movement—has sparked more than 1300 declarations of Climate Emergency by governments around the world representing 800 million people.

“Margaret’s prescient writing and unflinching honesty helped to inform much of the psychological groundwork that underpins the work and philosophies of XR and the entire climate emergency movement.”

-Gail Bradbrook

Co-founder, Extinction Rebellion

“A movement has been born, and Margaret’s voice played an early role in helping to bring it into existence.”

-Varshini Prakash

Executive Director & Co-Founder, Sunrise Movement

“Margaret Klein Salamon is one of just a handful of people whose work has changed the way the world thinks about climate change.”

-Paul Gilding

Former Executive Director, Greenpeace International

“Margaret Klein Salamon is an invaluable guide to this new moment.”

-Bill McKibben

Co-Founder, 350.org

Margaret & The Climate Mobilization Have Been Featured in:

“We will not sit idly by as we watch the world burn”
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