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July 10, 2023 51 mins

We’re in a massive climate crisis, but it’s hard to think about it, isn’t it? 


It’s a great temptation to shut our eyes to climate change. It’s overwhelming. This week on the show, climate activist and author Bill McKibben on facing the reality of the climate crisis, understanding what needs to change, and what you can do - not just to change the course of humanity and the planet, but to feel more hopeful and connected as this all unfolds. 

In this episode we cover: 

  • Is halting climate change really dependent on personal recycling and whether we use plastic straws? 
  • Why don’t we take action when the evidence of the climate crisis is literally everywhere?
  • Is it okay to have intense emotional responses to wildfires, floods, and the inaction of those “in charge”? 
  • How the boomer generation is using their experience and their wealth to revisit the activism of their youth (and supporting younger activists at the same time)
  • Why the “will to act” is so important to sustained change 
  • How talking about our fears and our ecological grief gives us common ground to fight for our future - and our present. 


Related episodes:

For more on activism in the face of impossible odds:

Women, Life, Freedom: Grief and Power In Iran, with Nazanin Nour

Wonder in an Age of Violence with Valarie Kaur & See No Stranger

Notable quotes: 

The climate crisis is a really interesting test of whether or not (our) big brain was a good adaptation or not. It can get us into a lot of trouble, but can it get us out? My intuition is that it's actually going to be less the size of the brain that matters than the size of the heart that it's attached to. - Bill McKibben

About our guest:

Bill McKibben is an American environmentalist, author, and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming. His books include The End of Nature, about climate change, and Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?, about the state of the environmental challenges facing humanity. He’s a contributing writer to The New Yorker (read his latest piece here), and founder of Third Act, which organizes people over the age of sixty for progressive change. 


About Megan: 

Psychotherapist and bestselling author Megan Devine is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on grief, from life-altering losses to the everyday grief that we don’t call grief. She helms a consulting practice in Los Angeles and serves as an organizational consultant for the healthcare and human resources industries. 

The best-selling book on grief in over a decade, Megan’s It’s Ok that You’re Not OK, is a global phenomenon that has been translated into more than 25 languages. Her celebrated animations and explainers have garnered over 75 million views and are used in training programs around the world.


Additional resources:

Read Bill latest piece in The New Yorker  - “To Save the Planet, Should We Really Be Moving Slower?


Check out Bill’s Third Act community - Elders working together for a fair and stable planet. 


Terry Tempest Williams’ book Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, and her recent .css-j9qmi7{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;font-weight:700;margin-bottom:1rem;margin-top:2.8rem;width:100%;-webkit-box-pack:start;-ms-flex-pack:start;-webkit-justify-content:start;justify-content:start;padding-left:5rem;}@media only screen and (max-width: 599px){.css-j9qmi7{padding-left:0;-webkit-box-pack:center;-ms-flex-pack:center;-webkit-justify-content:center;justify-content:center;}}.css-j9qmi7 svg{fill:#27292D;}.css-j9qmi7 .eagfbvw0{-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;color:#27292D;}

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