Speaker at May 8 climate salonIf we want to calm the climate, if we want energy democracy, if we want to reform our governments and our economy…. this is the time to prioritize those goals above our private endeavors.  We invite you to join us at The People’s Salon on Thursday, June 5, 7 pm, 111 N. Albany.  It’s time we talked about reclaiming our government on behalf of the public good.

With thanks to Ithaca Bakery for catering and Home Green Home for sponsoring the video recording, we also welcome our guest respondents Mayor Svante Myrick, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, and Professor Tony Ingraffea to the June 5 salon at the Sustainability Center.

We have been compiling some reading materials that may be useful to our shared conversation about what the climate situation requires of us as consumers, voters, taxpayers, and community members.  Check out the list below.  You can also access the video and a podcast of our first salon on climate denial, or the second salon video and podcast on the role of business and technology.  If you have suggestions to include, please email gay@sustainabletompkins.org.

Reading Resources for The People’s Salon: Conversations that Matter to Your Future



Governance, Sustainability, and Evolution.  John M. Gowdy. 2014.  Ch. 3 in Governing for Sustainability: State of the World 2014.  Island Press.

The Too-Polite Revolution: Understanding the Failure to Pass U.S. Climate Legislation.  Petra Bartosiewicz and Marissa Miley. 2014.  Ch. 11 in Governing for Sustainability: State of the World 2014.  Island Press.

How Local Governments Have Become a Factor in Global Sustainability.  Monika Zimmermann. 2014.  Ch. 14 in Governing for Sustainability: State of the World 2014.  Island Press.

The Political-Economic Foundations of a Sustainable System.  Gar Alperovitz. 2014.  Ch. 18 in Governing for Sustainability: State of the World 2014.  Island Press.

Working Toward Energy Democracy.  Sean Sweeney. 2014.  Ch. 20 in Governing for Sustainability: State of the World 2014.  Island Press.


A Radical Approach to the Climate Crisis.   Summer 2013.  Christian Parenti.  Dissent: A Quarterly of Politics and Culture.

­Network of Mayors and Local Elected Officials Provide Policy Recommendations for White House Climate Efforts.   5/14/14.   Christina Ashtary.  ICLEI-USA.

Krugman: Climate Action Is ‘Remarkably Cheap,’ New EPA Rules Would Give ‘U.S. Economy a Boost.’  6/1/14.  Joseph Romm. The Energy Collective.

What’s Wrong with Cuomo’s Energy Plan?  6/1/14.  Howie Hawkins and Steve Breyman.  Dissident Voice.


Renewable Energy Potential in Tompkins County.  Ed Marx.  4/11/13  Climate Smart Communities Webinar.




The Collapse of Complex Societies.  Joseph A. Tainter.  1988.  Cambridge University Press.

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution.  Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins.  1999.  Little Brown and Company.


Green Capitalism: The God That Failed.  1/9/14.   Richard Smith.  Truthout.

A Consideration of the Benefits of  Lower Energy Civilization.  4/2/12.  Karl North and Bethany Schroder.  TC Local: Planning for Energy Descent in Tompkins County.

Salvation Gets Cheap.  4/17/14.  Paul Krugman.  New York Times

Nasa-funded Study: Industrial Civilisation Headed for ‘Irreversible collapse’?  3/14/14.  Nafeez Ahmed.  The Guardian.

Judging the Merits of a Media-Hyped ‘Collapse’ Study. 3/21/14.   Keith Kloor.  Collide-a-Scape blog at Discover: Science for the Curious.

Exxon Mobil’s Response to Climate Change is Consummate Arrogance.  4/3/14.  Bill McKibben.  The Guardian.

The Koch Attack on Solar Energy.  4/26/14.  Editorial Board, New York Times Sunday Review.

U.S. Electricity Prices May Be Going Up for Good.  4/25/14.  Ralph Vartabedian,  LA Times.

The Solutions Project: New York.  Infographic showing conversion to 100% Renewables by 2030 in NYS.

Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems.  10/24/12.  Jason Pontin, MIT Technology Review.

U.N. – Climate ‘Perfect Storm’ is Already Here. Time to Slay Zombie Big Oil. 4/2/14.  Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian.

Debunking the Jevons Paradox: Nobody goes there anymore, its too crowded.  3/3/13.  Jim Barrett, Climate Progress.

In “Drone Corporations,” Self-Interest Prevails.  8/14/13,  Theodore Kinni.  Strategy+business


The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies.  Chris Hedges.  4/13/14  Truthdig blog.

The Story of Solutions.  Annie Leonard.  The Story of Stuff Project.  Quick infographic about how we have misaligned ourselves toward the goal of More (growth capitalism) instead of the goal of Better (sustainable economy).

How I Fell in Love with a Fish.  Dan Barber.  Feb 2010.  TED Talks.  Changing the business model of industrial agriculture for that of ecological agriculture.




Worst-Case Scenarios.  Cass R. Sunstein.  2007.  Harvard University Press.  Steering a path between willful inaction and reckless overreaction.  Looks at differences in how we respond to threats of climate change vs. terrorism (cognitive availability, probability neglect, and outrage all affect how we react).

The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture.  Mary Pipher.  2013.  Riverhead Books.  Explores the trauma-to-transcendence cycle and the widespread difficulty humans are having in emotionally coping with climate change.  Chapter devoted to the psychological structure of denial as a part of the grief response.

Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions, and Everyday Life.  Kari Marie Norgaard.  2011.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Denial versus Indifference, Apathy, and Ignorance.  Study of attitudes toward climate change in Norway and U.S.  Explores the social organization of denial – how we interact, our norms for politeness.  Denial as emotional response to information that is too disturbing to be integrated into daily life.

Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand.  Haydn Washington and John Cook.  2011.  Earthscan.  Explores nature of climate denial via conspiracy theories, fake experts, misrepresentations and logical fallacies, impossible expectations, and cherry-picking of data.  Looks at history of organized denial of effects of tobacco, acid rain, ozone hole, DDT, and climate change.

States of Denial: Knowing About Atrocities and Suffering.  Stanley Cohen.  2001.  Polity Press.


Why Smart People Deny Climate Change.  David Berreby.  6/5/12  Big Think Smarter Faster blog.

The Psychology of Denial: Our failure to act against climate change.  9/22/01.  George Marshall.  Source: The Ecologist.

The Aliens Have Landed.  Mark Bittman. 4/1/14  New York Times

Loss and Climate Change: The Cost of Parallel Narratives.  Rosemary Randall.   September 2009. Ecopsychology.  Paper proposes that tasks of mourning provides an appropriate model both for developing a culture of truthfulness, leadership and appropriate support and for developing practical programs that would help members of the public work through  acceptance of changes that may threaten aspiration, culture, security and identity.

Climate Denial Crock of the Week: Years of Living Dangerously – a Powerful, Impactful Series – if We Make it So.  Peter Sinclair.  4/7/14


Hope in a Climate of Denial.  Dave Wolfe and Lauren Chambliss.  2/26/14   Soup & Hope Lunchtime Series at Sage Chapel, Cornell University.

The Uniquely Human Illusion of Species Royalty: A Climate Change Perspective.  Dave Wolfe. 9/10/13.  Department of Natural Resources Seminar, Cornell University.

Years of Living Dangerously Interview and Audience Discussion.  4/3/14  Center for American Progress’ Reel Progress Film Series.