Posts tagged Mark Hertsgaard

Finding Solace and Support for Climate Angst

The Green BoatLast spring, many of the participants at our Climate Smart & Climate Ready conference thanked us for the session on Climate Justice and Climate Grief, which had provided their first opportunity for sharing their own reactions to climate disruption and the accompanying widespread climate denial.  Our keynote speaker Mark Hertsgaard recommended we keep an eye out for Mary Pipher’s new book The Green Boat – Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture.

The book explores the growing prevalence of climate grief (and anger) that activists are experiencing as years turn into decades without much progress in stemming what increasingly looks like catastrophic impacts within the next 50 years.  Pipher also examines the frustrating phenomenon of denial and why so many humans refuse to acknowledge what is underway and do anything to counteract or prepare for it.

Pipher’s book is a personal story of her own struggle with climate grief and her ongoing “curative” of engaged activism in fighting the Keystone XL pipeline in her home state of Nebraska.  She’s a psychotherapist and author of many books, so of course her instinct was to research, analyze, and share her findings about the “trauma to transcendence” cycle.

Late this summer we organized a book circle for about a dozen local female sustainability activists to explore the themes of The Green Boat and share our own journeys and struggles with the emotions arising from climate change.  Such a rich discussion!  After two sessions, we agreed to create an ongoing venue of support for activists on the first Sunday of the month, hosted by Jalaja Bonheim, author and founder of the Institute for Circlework.  To learn more, contact

Sustainable Tompkins would like to support members who would like to organize and host a book circle on The Green Boat.  If interested, contact

Are you Climate Smart & Climate Ready?

Sustainable Tompkins has been working hard over the past five months to coordinate a major regional conference on making our communities more climate friendly and climate resilient.  Under the leadership of Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, a coalition of Cortland and Tompkins County nonprofits, colleges, businesses, youth groups, and local governments has formed to support ongoing planning and action on climate mitigation and adaptation.  The Climate Smart & Climate Ready conference will take place April 18-21 at multiple venues in Cortland and Ithaca.  The  conference will focus on how our local governments, institutions, residents and businesses can both lower fossil carbon emissions and prepare for multiple impacts of a turbulent climate regime. Read the rest of this entry »