a11 – Book review: Being the change

BEING the change:

Live well and Spark a Climate Revolution by Peter Kalmus

Reviewed by elke

New Society Publishers $21.99 or read at the Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley for free

This book is inspiring as it holds the mirror just in front of my face: We are the (climate) change! It talks about our common predicament and our millions of little ways of denial and escaping. It’s written by a fellow traveler in the middle of this industrial society, though he has to deal with the undeniable data and facts every day as a climate scientist.

Using very understandable language, he shares with us a critical view of how this data is processed in the culture/society.

The second part is the story of his gradual opting out to where he is now living using 1/10th of the fossil fuel of an average (ever rich) American (1/5th of the average German). Following his adventures on this path, the book explores and challenges his/our general mindset, his/our underlying beliefs and ideals, looking at it all that with one scientist’s eye and human eye. He attempts to find sense in the craziness, calling out the brokenness in the system and in us. It’s also a hands on instruction manual for living in a post-fossil fuel society, without ignoring the frequent and sometimes overwhelming questions and contradictions. I appreciate the 60 pages of source material for my own further research!

Why are we not fucking doing it? It’s right there! Peter Kalmus is not leaving us out of it, so Let’s fucking do it!! Let’s opt out of fossil fuels and everything connected: militarism, industrial society, separatism, and our death inducing imperial behavior towards the Earth.

Look forward to an interview with the author in our next issue.