- Use promo code PRIMEBOOKS18 to save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 or more on Books offered by Amazon.com. Enter code PRIMEBOOKS18 at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution Paperback – August 8, 2017
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Special offers and product promotions
From the Publisher
Being the Change is a book I desperately needed to read. The tone of authenticity kept me reading eagerly till the end. It is refreshing and empowering to read about real-life solutions, rather than the guilt-ridden, doom-and-gloom tales that dominate much of the environmental movement. Kalmus is positive, by contrast, bursting with practical strategies. He writes with joy, infectious curiosity, and a hopeful enthusiasm that’s hard to resist. -- Treehugger, Katherine Martinko, June 2017
Kalmus, an atmospheric scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is strongly convinced that living without fossil fuels is not only possible but better for both the planet and the individual. The author draws on science, practical action, and spiritual examination to make the case that by reducing our carbon footprint, people can slow global warming and the ensuing civil unrest. Suggestions include biking, growing our own food, using a clothesline and solar-heated water, and turning off the lights when they're not in use. Kalmus encourages meditation to provide satisfaction in the moment rather than the need for more, presenting valuable tips for opting out of what he deems a destructive system. VERDICT Kalmus' straightforward and necessary steps toward ameliorating the challenges of global warming will be welcomed by a wide readership. Highly recommended. -- Library Journal Starred Review, August 2017
Addressing both climate change helplessness and the meaning of everyday life, this book posits a personal, positive approach to environmental mindfulness. Being the Change approaches climate change from a fundamentally different perspective. It repudiates the idea that individuals can do nothing about climate change and encourages mindful transition to a low-energy lifestyle—not as a sacrifice to stop a threat, but as a means of embracing a richer life. This emphasis on the bright side of climate change mitigation has a good chance of resonating with ambivalent audiences...The book offers an unusually comprehensive and scientifically satisfying explanation of how climate change happens. ...That it is able to do so in a straightforward way is a significant feat. ... Likely to be popular, Being the Change is a worthy contender for display space in public libraries. --Foreword Reviews, 5 stars, Anna Call, September/October 2017
A plethora of insights about nature and ourselves, revealed by one man’s journey as he comes to terms with human exploitation of our planet. —Dr. James Hansen, climate scientist and former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies
A powerful reminder that it is possible—and joyful—to move away from fossil fuels, even in a society still in the throes of addiction. —Bill McKibben, author, Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
Too often, books by scientists err toward the ultra-cerebral. Full of facts, figures and charts—but not enough heart. That’s what makes Being the Change so refreshing. Kalmus is a respected atmospheric scientist and weighs in with authority when it comes to the topic of climate change. But he speaks to us as a person, sharing his experiences, concerns, and aspirations as a fellow human being combating the existential threat of human-caused climate change. And he shares with us a vital message about how we can indeed be the change we need to see in the world if we are to avert a climate catastrophe. — Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Penn State University, and co-author, The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening the Planet, Destroying our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy
A low-carbon world will not look like Star Trek, it will look mostly like it looks today, it’s just that we will inhabit it differently. Peter Kalmus’ brilliant book is about his deciding to start living that way today. He finds that (a) it’s not that hard, and that (b) life improves. He becomes more skilled, connected, fulfilled, nourished. As will we all. Allow him to ease you over the threshold. —Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement
Imagine you had your very own climate scientist living next door. What would he or she tell you to do? Peter is that neighbor. He walks the walk for his kids, for the land, for our future—and he can help you do it too. — Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, authors, The Urban Homestead and Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World rootsimple.com
So often, we feel that nothing we do will make a difference. Peter doesn't just dispel that myth, he buries it: under his feral bee hives, his urban chicken run, and his compost heap (just don't ask what's in it). These gut-wrenchingly honest yet obstinately hopeful reflections provide a roadmap to building our own personal bulwark against the storm we face today. —Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist, Professor at Texas Tech University, author, A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-based Decisions
What does an astrophysicist do if he learns that civilization is on path toward oblivion? If he’s Peter Kalmus, he meditates, examines his life, and makes significant changes to reduce his personal carbon output. Then he writes a book. The result is a humane and intelligent exploration of what anyone can do to reduce climate impact—and live a better life in the process. — Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute
This book makes it clear that all of us have a responsibility to cherish the miracles that compose the natural world. We need to think deeply about how we live and then, as Peter Kalmus advises, radically reduce our use of fossil fuels. Everything is sacred. Learning how to get along, to be happy and to live within the limits of the biosphere are sacred tasks. Please read this book. It will be good for your soul. —James Hoggan, author, I'm Right and You're an Idiot
Too many people say that personal action isn’t enough to deal with the mess we’ve made of the global climate, and think that this means personal action isn’t necessary. In this timely and provocative book, Peter Kalmus points out that changing the world has to start with changing our own lives. It’s a crucial message that needs to be heard. —John Michael Greer, author of After Progress and The Retro Future
A low-emission lifestyle is empowering, happier, and strengthens our connection with community and our environment (plus yes, it saves us thousands of dollars). This is an important and valuable book, and recommended reading for anyone interested in a richer life or a safer climate (doubly so for those interested in both). —John Cook, research assistant professor at George Mason University and founder of SkepticalScience
When Science and the mind are aligned with the heart, they become True Science and it manifests in books like Being the Change — a sort of courageous manifesto for citizens of the World in the 21st century. Peter Kalmus is the kind of dad, husband, friend, serious meditator, scientist, heartivist and brother any of us concerned for future generations and more harmonious communities would like to have in our (Solar)neighborhood. —Pancho Ramos-Stierle, Satyagrahi and full-time ServiceSpace volunteer
Peter's work makes me smile. The mission of Citizens Climate Lobby is to create the political will for a livable planet by encouraging others to make breakthroughs in their personal and political power. Peter demonstrates practical steps, for individuals and organizations all the way up to the global scale, to advance these goals. His manner of living exemplifies the connection between power, reason, creativity and joy. —James Waterhouse, co-founder, Citizens Climate Lobby, Pasadena Foothills Chapter; co-founder, SoCal 350 Action Network
We all must take huge risks in order to create a truly just and life-sustaining society. Being the Change maps the first important leaps on this journey, describing real-life examples of the good life that awaits us beyond capitalism, species-extinction, economic injustice, and fossil-fuel addiction. It is a roadmap out of our destructive and oppressive culture that touches upon the essential need for wealth redistribution and racial justice in the climate revolution. Please follow Peter's inspiring example: we must act! —Ethan Hughes, co-founder of the Possibility Alliance
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I was stunned by the unvarnished assessment of our climate predicament. Though reasonably well read on the subject and clear-eyed about its gravity, I had unwittingly avoided its harshest truths. The author's first reference to "grieving" caught me slightly off guard. By book’s end I grasped the use of the term for all its portent and found myself awash in precisely that emotion.
The breadth of subject matter is staggering: It goes places virtually impossible to anticipate, some funny, some odd and some terrifying. But the truth it tells and the prescription it provides are nothing short of profound. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Peter is an extremely intelligent and well educated author. Those qualities along with his sincerity, goodwill and humor are apparent in his writing. I found “Being the Change” a very enjoyable read.
The first part is dense with science. From his studies and research at Harvard, Columbia and California Tech and his work at NASA he has amassed an abundance of knowledge that he shares good naturedly in a straightforward way with his readers. This is information we should all be introduced to because it will and is already having important impact on our lives. Pete’s book offers it up in as painless a way as possible. Like a child’s cough medicine. Easy to swallow but still doing the trick.
The second part of the book was pure enjoyment. It is a glimpse into the life of a conscientious human being doing his best to do the right thing. Pete tells his story and the changes he put himself and his family through with honesty and humor. I doubt sincerely that many of us will venture out as far on the limb of daily living as Pete has but I also doubt that anyone reading this book will be unmoved by his journey. Perhaps moved enough to do what they consider their part in the struggle that we face in trying to protect our planet for ourselves and for the future generations. And that is, after all, Pete’s motivation for writing it.
For instance, I as a New Yorker, do not see myself raising chickens or keeping bees in my apartment. Not to mention setting up a humanure toilet. (That must violate some New York City housing law?) But he did get me seriously considering my carbon footprint and asking myself some serious questions as to my own obligations. Especially, since I recently had the good fortune of becoming a grandfather. That little fellow will be needing a good healthy world to live and raise a family in. I bought my daughter and son-in-law a copy so they might be better informed on how to do their parts too.
Peter has a gift as a writer and the courage to hold himself up to scrutiny in order to make his points. I applaud the effort and highly recommend this book to all who will listen.
Abe de la Houssaye
The first part of the book describes the predicament in ways that combine a big-picture perspective with scientific detail and insights. Although confirmed climate change deniers will not read it, anyone with an open mind who can follow logical arguments will find the first six chapters of the book to be a concise and convincing introduction of the predicament of climate change.
The second part of the book deals with individual responses to reactions of despair, hopelessness and irrelevance. The basic idea is that individuals can live in ways that are congruent with their values and beliefs, and that doing so promotes a sense of existential well-being. The author illustrates this idea with specific examples from his own life. Some ideas, such as the benefits of achieving mindfulness through meditation are of general applicability. Others, such as converting an ancient Mercedes to run on discarded vegetable oil, require more of a hands-on, can-do attitude than this reader is capable of - but it was very interesting to read about them.
This is book that has helped me to make positive changes in my own life.