Cover image for The parents' guide to climate revolution : 100 ways to build a fossil-free future, raise empowered kids, and still get a good night's sleep / Mary DeMocker ; foreword by Bill McKibben.
The parents' guide to climate revolution : 100 ways to build a fossil-free future, raise empowered kids, and still get a good night's sleep / Mary DeMocker ; foreword by Bill McKibben.
Publication Information:
Novato, CA : New World Library, [2018]
Physical Description:
xxix, 327 pages ; 22 cm
"Provides a hundred ideas to help parents live an environmentally conscious lifestyle, promote awareness of climate change, and encourage their children to take an interest in environmental issues"-- Provided by publisher.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
306.874 DEM Book Adult General Collection

On Order



"Relax," writes author Mary DeMocker, "this isn't another light bulb list. It's not another overwhelming pile of parental 'to dos' designed to shrink your family's carbon footprint through eco-superheroism." Instead, DeMocker lays out a lively, empowering, anddoableblueprint for engaging families in the urgent endeavor of climate revolution. In this book's brief, action-packed chapters, you'll learn hundreds of wide-ranging ideas for being part of the revolution -- from embracing simplicity parenting, to freeing yourself from dead-end science debates, to teaching kids about the power of creative protest, to changing your lifestyle in ways that deepen family bonds, improve moods, and reduce your impact on the Earth. Engaging and creative, this vital resource is for everyone who wants to act effectively -- and empower children to do the same.

Author Notes

Mary DeMocker is cofounder and creative director of's Eugene, Oregon, chapter. She has written about conscious parenting and climate activism for the Sun, Eco Watch,, Spirituality Health, Oregon Quarterly, and the Oregonian. She lives with her family in Eugene, Oregon.



Introduction Relax -- this isn't another light bulb list. It's not another overwhelming pile of parental "to dos" designed to shrink your family's carbon footprint through eco-superheroism.
In fact, drop that light bulb. Stop recycling. Get off your bike, stop gardening, leave your cloth bag in the SUV, and bring hamburgers to the family picnic. Let your faucets leak, leave your windows open with the heat on, and for heaven's sake, don't hang your laundry. Busy parents -- along with everyone else -- have been told for years that individual lifestyle changes can stop the climate from spinning out of control, but the truth is they can't. Not by themselves, anyway. This book kicks aside that great myth so we can refocus our efforts on actions that can accomplish what those lifestyle actions intend: to build a livable future. The Climate Crisis Is a Parenting Problem First, though, let's get clear on one thing: The climate crisis is really a parenting problem. Here's why: We have a problem of too many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, right? And they're making the Earth heat up dangerously. So, we need to stop adding more gases and reel back in the ones already out there. Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions isn't complicated. It's not easy, but it's do-able. In fact, it takes only two steps: Stop Stupid. 
Start Smart. 
To stop Stupid, we simply cease burning fossil fuels. Stop deforestation. Stop farming and ranching in ways that unleash carbon. Stop releasing refrigerant gases and methane. Those are the big-ticket items. To start Smart, we massively expand solar, wind, and wave power, conservation, tree planting, carbon farming, methane capture, local resilience, and more. And we sequester, price, and regulate carbon. All this requires is a simple switch in mind-set: Turn off Stupid, turn on Smart. Totally do-able. Except that there are madmen in charge who block Smart because they get richer with Stupid. That's it. It's really that simple. Like drunken teens, adults who should know better don't want their carbon kegger to end. Most parents, when it comes to their own kids, know how to close down an out-of-control party. They assert authority. They shut off the tap, make everyone clean up and go home, and make new rules to avoid a repeat. We should have done this decisively when we found out in 1988 that burning coal, oil, and gas was cooking our planet. Instead, we let the party continue. We didn't powerfully confront the self-serving denials and lies -- the people who said, and still say, "Global warming isn't real, and even if it were, it's certainly not our fault." We've been permissive with Uncle Sam and Exxon for way too long, and things have gotten so far out of hand that we're facing our own -- or, worse, our children's -- annihilation. And yes, I mean that word. It's really that serious. That means that, right now, we need to do more than just assert our rightful authority. What's required is full-scale climate revolution. Revolution may sound extreme, but I'm not suggesting we grab our muskets for an armed insurrection. The climate revolution I'm talking about seeks fundamental political, cultural, and technological changes. And it's already going full steam. It's also fun and rich with potential for personal connection -- which is the only kind of revolution that's going to work, frankly. Plus, this revolution is taking place everywhere, all over the world, which makes it easy to join. What does this climate revolution look like? It's solar farms in Nevada, Danish bicycle highways, and defiant governors upholding the Paris climate agreement in their states. It's fracking bans, mayors helping fifth-graders pass climate laws, and New Yorkers paid to reduce their electric use. It's biogas composters in refugee camps, grandparents moving retirement funds from frackers to wind farmers, and Pacific Islanders in canoes blocking coal shipments. It's college students designing sustainable police stations, climate literacy in public schools, and nuns building chapels in the path of pipelines. It's South African clerics marching with indigenous leaders, zero-waste apartment complexes, and parents peacefully blocking oil trains running past their homes. It's the Cowboy-Indian Alliance -- a group of US ranchers and Native Americans fighting pipelines on their lands together.
The climate revolution is about behaving like mature global citizens. It's that simple. And the solutions, though sometimes difficult, are equally simple: Keep fossil fuels in the ground, drastically cut emissions, and transition quickly to clean, renewable energy. To do this, we can embrace the technology that author Bill McKibben says we need most: "The technology of community -- the knowledge about how to cooperate to get things done." That kind of community invites everyone's participation. You don't need a physics degree, wealth, or connections to celebrities, senators, or CEOs to save the planet. All you need is a beating heart and a desire for authentic solutions. To be clear, the "climate" I'm talking about refers to our atmosphere, yes, but it includes much more. Each of us inhabits multiple climates -- the climate of our individual body and its health; the climate of our home, relationships, neighborhood, school, and job; and our national political and cultural climate. We each have a right to feel safe within all of these climates -- a right to a safe workplace, good health care, safe shelter, and freedom from violence and oppression. We have a right to healthy air, soil, and water. And all present and future generations have a right to a livable planet. All of these climates are deeply interconnected. They're also all badly threatened today -- so much so that, in 2015, Pope Francis wrote an encyclical letter addressed to every person on the planet decrying income inequity, war, and degradation of the Earth, "our only home." He spelled out how climate destruction disproportionately punishes the poorest and most vulnerable of the world, and he called for a transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. He then issued a thunderous call for a "bold cultural revolution." Revolution! From a pope! He gave us a clear moral directive for revolution, but perhaps not being a family man, he was a bit short on the details of exactly how parents might go about waging it. Now, I don't claim to be writing the road map, but I hope this can be a road map that will help all of us, particularly parents, navigate our way. The worldwide climate revolution boasts no savior or silver-bullet solution. Instead, it's made up of millions of assertions of authority over our own futures that, taken together, are transforming our societies on every level. That kind of transformation requires many maps, and this is the family-friendly one with plentiful games and snacks to sweeten the journey. Excerpted from The Parents' Guide to Climate Revolution: 100 Ways to Build a Fossil-Free Future, Raise Empowered Kids, and Still Get a Good Night's Sleep by Mary DeMocker All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Bill McKibben
Forewordp. xvii
Introductionp. xix
Harmonize Family Life-Ways with Earth-Ways
1 Get Clear on Why There's Hopep. 3
2 Herd Your Family Togetherp. 5
3 Plant Trees!p. 7
4 Lift Moods and Gradesp. 10
5 Cultivate a "Used-Is-Cool" Culturep. 12
6 Give Up One Thingp. 14
7 Ditch the Diaperp. 16
8 Give Palm Oil the Back of Your Handp. 19
9 Bag the Cowp. 21
10 Turn Fido into a Climate Herop. 24
11 Cut Your Toilette in Halfp. 26
12 Shower Bikers with Praise (Not Puddles)p. 29
13 Swoon over Family Bikingp. 32
14 Keep the Clunker - Until You Can Afford Cleaner Transportationp. 34
15 Don't Scurry, Be Happyp. 37
16 Bring Paris to Youp. 39
17 Support Local Communities When Traveling Globallyp. 41
18 Get Electrifiedp. 44
Save Money and Time
19 Sleep Tightp. 49
20 Revamp Gift-Givingp. 51
21 Raise a Financial Gurup. 53
22 Find a Deeper Spark of Joyp. 55
23 Give Youth Sports Teams a Time-Outp. 57
View Our Climate in a New Light
24 Be the 3.5 Percentp. 61
25 Pay Attentionp. 63
26 Learn the Fossil-Fuel Nitty-Grittiesp. 66
27 Look to the Skyp. 70
28 Be a WIMBY (Wind in My Backyard!)p. 72
29 Be Here Nowp. 74
30 See the Human Face of Climate Impactsp. 76
31 Get the Factsp. 79
Care for Your Soul
32 Howl When Necessaryp. 83
33 Change Your Media Dietp. 85
34 Build a Wall - of Inspirationp. 87
35 Get Your Soul Juicep. 89
36 Try Protest Therapyp. 91
Cultivate Family Connections
37 Help Kids Feel Comfyp. 95
38 Dig, Dawdle, and Dogp. 97
39 Bring on the Awep. 100
40 Exude Gratitudep. 102
41 Time Travelp. 104
Raise Empowered Kids
42 Throw Out the Baby-Safety Catalogp. 109
43 Teach a New Set of Life Skillsp. 111
44 Meet Some Badass Kidsp. 115
45 Let Kids Make Lawsp. 117
46 Skip the Kid Shock Treatmentp. 119
47 Share Tales of Perseverance and Triumphp. 121
48 Take Kids on a Real-Life Hero's Journeyp. 124
49 Re-story Our Futurep. 126
50 Discover the Wonders of Briberyp. 128
51 Model Love, Alwaysp. 130
52 Teach Civics - Not Reading - to Kindergartnersp. 133
53 Empower Kids to Solve Local Problemsp. 135
54 Facilitate Empowering Conversationsp. 138
55 Let Kids Play with Knivesp. 140
56 Fight for Climate Literacy in Schoolsp. 142
57 Unplug the Kidsp. 145
58 Amplify Kids' Voicesp. 148
59 Permeate Kids' Worlds with Solutionsp. 151
Grow Community Connections
60 Set the Bar Low for Alliesp. 155
61 Have a Beer with Cousin Maxp. 157
62 Chainsaw the Fencep. 159
63 Host a Disaster Partyp. 161
64 Kick Out the Climate Bluesp. 164
65 Draft Grandma and Grandpap. 166
66 Host a Living Room Film Festp. 168
Build a Fossil-Free Future
67 Tame Your Tonguep. 173
68 Let Your Farmer Feed Youp. 176
69 Hound Representativesp. 178
70 Demand Clean Energy - While Filling Your Tankp. 181
71 Escort Big Oil from the Museum - and Off Campusp. 183
72 Blow Kisses to the Bravep. 185
73 Become a Victory Speakerp. 187
74 Trumpet the Popep. 189
75 Shout from the Solar Roller Coasterp. 192
76 Push Your City to Get Readyp. 194
77 Connect Your Work World to the Real Worldp. 196
78 Know Exactly What You're Voting Forp. 198
79 Bury Your Neighbor's Chickenp. 201
80 Rescue Foodp. 203
81 Kick Compost to the Curbp. 205
82 Do the New Mathp. 207
83 Divest. Get Everyone To.p. 209
84 Dress Up Your Doorp. 212
85 Empower Women and Girls Everywherep. 214
86 Pivot Your Volunteering Skill Setp. 217
87 Level Up the Antibullying Campaignsp. 219
88 Creatively Disruptp. 221
89 Support Grassroots Groupsp. 224
90 Interrupt the Mars and Geoengineering Fantasiesp. 227
91 Inoculate Everyonep. 230
92 Battle to Winp. 232
93 Break Human Laws (to Obey Nature's Laws)p. 234
94 Make Polluters Payp. 236
95 Link Eco-Justice to All Justicep. 238
96 Run for Officep. 242
97 Sue the Grown-Ups!p. 244
98 Light Yourself on Firep. 248
99 Okay, Okay, Shrink Your Carbon Footprintp. 250
100 Consider Yourself Invitedp. 254
Appendix A Sample Divestment Letterp. 257
Appendix B Sample Neighbor Letterp. 259
Appendix C Writing a Press Releasep. 260
Appendix D Kathleen Dean Moore's Letter to Grandparentsp. 263
Appendix E Preamble to the US Constitutionp. 265
Acknowledgmentsp. 266
Endnotesp. 269
Indexp. 301
About the Authorp. 329