—Systemic change begins with personal change—

396: Margaret Klein Salamon, part 2: Political or Personal or Political and Personal


My goal in this podcast is to bring leaders from many fields and share what made them effective. I believe sustainability and stewardship would benefit from learning more effective leadership. A goal with each guest is to feature them. Everyone is unique. Everyone brings something we can learn from. Sometimes I don't achieve my goal. Sometimes a guest and I end up talking at cross purposes, which I think happened this time, meaning I didn't do justice to the guest. This time I started off exploring Margaret's views and experiences but part way through misunderstanding arose and I don't think I gave Margaret the chance to shine that she deserved. I apologize to her. I hope I didn't distract from her work. You'll hear at the beginning how her book led me to reflect, introspect, and act so I recommend it. If I messed up, I welcome constructive criticism. I hope she looks all the better for the conversation even if I don't. I hope you, the listener, enjoy hearing the conversation and get value from each of our perspectives. I think I captured the two purposes at the end---that I had trouble seeing her view that getting distracted from political change would not achieve the effects we need to turn things around and that she didn't see my view that personal action augments the political, not distracts. I hope each of us surprises the other by succeeding more in ways the other couldn't have conceived of, illuminating the other's world and expanding the other's view to where each of us becomes more effective than we would have otherwise.

371: Margaret Klein Salamon, part 1: Become the Hero Humanity Needs


Margaret is the Executive Director at The Climate Mobilization. Writing Facing the Climate Emergency brought her to me. Her psychology background leads her to approach the climate psychologically, which I appreciate and consider missing. Our internal resistance, fears, and emotions that we don't like facing seem our biggest challenges to act. Of course, more research and education help, but we crossed the threshold of knowing enough to act long ago. We aren't acting not out of ignorance but out of emotion and the skills to manage them. She writes about facing our fears, which leads ultimately to how rewarding acting on so great a challenge feels. People don't get how rewarding acting on our values feels. We both struggled to describe the ineffable emotional and social rewards of stewardship, but I think you'll hear the magnitude of it. I think we both hope you hear from us enough incentive and inspiration to devote yourself to something so huge, even if just to start getting serious. In my experience, the more you act, the more you want to act. You'll wish you started earlier. I don't know how it sounds to others, but exploring apocalyptic possibilities---I believe you'll be glad you explored them, as we do. Close to home, how many books and movies have you come across that eerily accurately foretold the course of this pandemic. If you haven't found any, there are plenty. Many people want to prepare for such outcomes with stockpiles of food, weapons, and bunkers in New Zealand. I prefer to prevent these outcomes. Margaret focuses on action, as do I. Action can prevent some of the greatest suffering. It creates motivation, meaning, and purpose. We can change the trajectory we're on. And we'll love it.

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