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Confronting the Climate Crisis with Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD

By July 27, 2020January 16th, 2024No Comments
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Episode #535



In the words of today’s guest, “we are in a moment of acute collective suffering.”

I couldn’t agree more.

From our nation’s current civil rights struggles to a metastasizing global pandemic, the pain is real, exacerbated by a political system that seems hardwired to exacerbate problems at the cost of actually solving them.

Fomenting a collective sense of existential dread is the dark beast of climate change, an accelerating background hum that can leave even the most optimistic overwhelmed by a sense of powerlessness.

Hitting the brakes isn’t enough. We’re overdue to jam the engine into reverse. We need an immediate call to action. We need a ‘Manhattan Project’ scale approach to reckon with the objective truth of our dire predicament.

Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD is here to guide us.

Spend your time talking to people who do understand what's going on with the climate but are still going on with their lives as usual. Move them to greater action.


A Harvard graduate and self-dubbed “climate psychologist,” Margaret is the founder and executive director of The Climate Mobilization, a volunteer organization dedicated to initiating a transformation of the economy, politics, and society to respond to the climate emergency. She is also the author of  Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth,an emotional guide to processing our impending apocalypse, and the subject of today’s exchange.

Recorded remotely in early June, this is a conversation about our emotional response to climate change, and tools for contributing to the positive change required of us.

It’s about the intersectionality of the climate crisis–it’s ties to the pandemic as well as the protests.

It’s about the inherent conflict between capitalism and environmentalism–and how we must de-couple corporate self-interest from the public good.

And it’s about how to deal with weaponized media and the way in which we are being spoon-fed lies by conglomerated industry over-invested in maintaining the status quo.

It’s up to us to create a system that cancels the apocalypse and protects humanity and all life


But more than anything, this is a discourse about effective altruism–and the actionable steps we can take now to backtrack from the global suicide that grows closer daily.

It’s normal to feel disheartened. Action seems futile. And 2020 has maxed out our collective bandwidth to emotionally manage crises and revolutions. But embracing the truth and finding a way to contribute to positive change is not only mandatory — it’s a path to hope. And to girding your life with more meaning, inclusion and empathy.

This is one of my increasingly rare audio-only podcasts. You can find it streaming wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Margaret’s ideologies have totally reframed how I perceive, address, and talk about the climate crisis. My hope is that her words offer you a perspective that is honest and hopeful.

But more than anything, my hope is that it inspires you to do something.

Peace + Plants,

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Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering and show notes; Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, editing and graphics; and theme music by Ana Leimma.

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