It’s time to gather with loved ones, bond over copious amounts of sugar, and plot revolution for 2020! Here are 3 tips for ramping up revolution this holiday season, the last one before we elect our next president. Let’s use this time to reconnect and recharge, so we arrive in 2020 ready to dethrone tyrants. We WILL reclaim the White House and Senate and pass a Green New Deal because . . . well, we have no choice, if we hope to give kids a livable planet.
And now, those 3 tips for staying connected with yourself and everyone you share eggnog with this season:
Plan your response to pro-Trump talk at holiday events
My advice is to interrupt gently but firmly so as not to waste your precious time and energy. “Let’s skip politics, because we won’t convince one other of anything.” Keep your heart light and change the subject (i.e. “How’s that rascally pet turtle of yours?”).
With climate deniers, however, I’ve found it effective to state my fundamental, inarguable truth: “I love my kids and will do anything to protect them. Scientists I trust say the climate they need to survive is being destroyed. So I’m sure you, since you care about my/your kids, will understand why I’ll keep working full-time for climate justice until scientists convince me they’re safe. I’d love for you to help me, but If you can’t, I won’t spend my time trying to convince you.”
Brainstorm with those who already care about climate justice
Instead of trying to enlighten climate deniers, let’s help worried people take political action. Yes, lifestyle choices matter, but won’t save us. Right now, we have a chance to replace politicians destroying our planet and democracy, which means political efforts will pay off with bigger dents in global emissions.
So, fellow holiday revelers, let’s plot to depose tyrants! Maybe you’d like to travel to swing states to help get out the vote or make motivating videos or host call parties or escort elderly voters to polls or donate time or cash to progressive candidates, climate strikers, and pipeline fighters. Heck, quit your job to fight this epic planetary battle (I did!). You’re needed more than ever!
Then, chill with a book
Greta Thunberg’s No One is Too Small to Make a Difference is short, powerful, and inspiring. And you’ve gotta love that tiny penguin on the cover!
I also adore Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall-Kimmerer; On Fire by Naomi Klein; and If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie.
Here are some places my Parents’ Climate Revolution took me in 2019
Public Interest Environmental Law Conference
Oregon Book Award ceremony — my book’s a finalist — and yes, that’s a bluegrass band.
Mothers Out Front conference, Boston
Interest in my work spiked this year (yay!) and I spoke in several cities, authored a major interview in The Sun, marched with strikers, recorded my Audiobook, and was interviewed for this NPR article (the podcast is different, but gave a book shout-out).
I was on the fence about giving talks and workshops nationwide in 2020 because touring requires lots of time and money. But I’m now committing to this work through the election, because the feedback I’m receiving is that it’s making a big difference in many people’s lives. One man came to my library talk and said, nearly in tears, “I was in despair, then I heard you on the radio. You’ve given me hope, and ideas for what to do next.”
So, if you’ve read this far, thank you, and here are my asks: Buy, read, and give my book. Check out my writing and media interviews, then invite me to speak at your PTA, library, school, rally, or conference. Donate — even $5.00 — if you’re so moved. The gesture alone means the world to me, truly. And If you donate $50.00 or more, I’ll send you a signed book!
May you find peace and connection in these.