Being the Change by Peter Kalmus

Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution
by Peter Kalmus, Ph.D.

Peter Kalmus’ 300 plus pages of Being the Change will alter your ideas about climate change, because his ideas make a great deal of common and global sense, backed by his background as a climate scientist. Actually the book is a memoir, a handbook on the science of climate change, and a plan that each one can use to make a difference in the race against the tipping point on the planet.

Kalmus’ personal commitment is the backdrop for the book. He walks the walk and talks the talk, giving up flying and using his bike for everyday transportation, grows some of his own food and participates in a food exchange in his community, eats a vegetarian diet, and generally is earth-conscious concerning what he calls the biosphere, rather than the environment.

When I tell you that this is the most complete and inspiring treatise on climate change for the everyday person looking for how to make a difference, I am not the only one affected so strongly. Here are excerpts of comments by people in the field as direct quotes. Reading these makes me feel I am in good company!

From Tracy Loeffelholz, Editorial and Creative Director for YES! Magazine:  “….Peter Kalmus will convince you that life changes to better support the planet will make you happy, too. He does it with scientific precision and loving humanity.”

From Katherinen Martinko, “…..Kalmus is positive, by contrast (no doom-and-gloom used in previous sentence e.s.) bursting with practical strategies. He writes with joy, infectious curiosity, and a hopeful enthusiasm that’s hard to resist.”

From John Michael Greer, author, After Progress and The Retro Future: “…Kalmus points out that changing the world starts with changing our own lives. It’s a crucial message that needs to be heard.”

Being the Change is divided into two parts. Part I is called the Predicament and has such chapter titles as “Waking Up” and “Our Mindset.” In this 100 plus pages Kalmus’ climate scientist mind is on full speed. Here he writes about his own personal predicament and gradual transformation to make changes and buttresses these changes with the science behind climate change, using charts and graphs to help us understand the problem more clearly. His atmospheric scientist background is in full force here!

The charts are visually helpful and simplified for the non-scientific person (like me!) He also writes about how we shape and are being shaped by our systems of transportation, economy, food, education, community, entertainment, and warfare, tackling these topics with a deep understanding that if we don’t make changes in these systems, our home (planet Earth) will not be fit to live on. (*See sample chart below. I purposely used one on fossil fuels, because it is the main focus behind changes we can make to affect climate change in a positive manner.)

Part II is the larger section and is called A Mammal in the Biosphere. Here he writes more about his changes, such as using a bike more heavily and giving up flying (slow travel), composting and making his own manure, meditating as a foundation for his changes, and being part of a community that share his values for repairing the planet.

Most of all, I like the upbeat attitude that shapes his philosophy because it reminds me of my training to be an Ending Hunger volunteer and learning that each person can make a difference. Also, when you are involved in something bigger than yourself you are empowered by all the other people who are tackling something bigger than themselves. You become a team, and saving Mother Earth is a team/community effort!

At the end of the book is a very personal  chapter called simply, “ Love,” and how he went from grieving the planet to making a difference. Here are some quotes from this chapter:

“Being the change is about transition. About going from being asleep to being awake.”

“I hope you’ll join me. We can build this new world together. We can begin by observing our own selves by way of everyday physical sensations. We can begin by riding a bicycle.” (He devotes a chapter to this idea called “Like to Bike.”)

“Learning to live respectfully within the biosphere is a sacred task. Learning to get along with others is a sacred task. And learning to be happy in our own minds, to be joyful on this Earth in the short time we are here, is a sacred task. These three tasks are beautifully interconnected.”

I love this book because it inspires me, it informs me, and it challenges me by not being afraid and reminding me to “spread love every chance you get.”

Being the Change by Peter Kalmus is published by new society Publishers ( and costs $21.99 with more than 50 pages of Notes that support his planetary plan.) New Society Publishers is also an environmental publisher that saves on the resources of trees, solid waste, water, electricity, and other environmental benefits while offering such great books as these to read and to learn from.

P.S. If you Google Peter Kalmus you will get several hits for You Tube interviews.

From is website is this statement: Being the Change has won the IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year Award, the Nautilus Book Award, and the 2017 Foreword INDIES Bronze award in Ecology & Environment.

Peter Kalmus NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory • 4800 Oak Grove Drive • MS 168-314 • Pasadena, CA 91109 Tel: (818) 354-2237 •


     Happy Earth Day

Start being the change with this book!

Sierra Club Projects

These are great projects or information pieces that Sierra Club has put together. There are two about food near the bottom: composting and Raising Meat and its link to climate change.

The right hand margin will be covered by the size of the photos and text.

Good reading! ellensue


Read more.
Photo by
Resist Trump’s Attack on the Endangered Species ActThe Trump administration just announced plans to eviscerate the Endangered Species Act. The proposed changes will strip vital protections from threatened species, allow major destruction of critical habitat, and remove agency accountability to protect wildlife or address threats to wildlife from climate change. We can’t let Interior weaken this landmark legislation that has saved 99% of species listed from extinction.

Take action! Tell Interior Secretary David Bernhardt that you oppose gutting the Endangered Species Act.

Read more.
Photo by Wodniak
Grizzlies Are Back—On the Endangered Species ListTwice in the past 10 years, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has attempted to remove federal protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park. Last fall, Tribal Nations, the Sierra Club, and allied conservation groups took Fish and Wildlife to court and won, narrowly averting a trophy hunt—and last week grizzlies officially got their protections back.

What finally compelled the Feds to return protections to Yellowstone bears?

Can Animals Change With the Climate?As climate change transforms habitats across the globe, animals are already beginning to adapt. But a new study looks at whether they are doing so fast enough to match the pace of human-driven climate change.

What can birds and other species tell us about surviving climate change?

Read more!
Photo by

Read more.
Photo courtesy of NOAA/Mridula Srinivasan
How Can We Protect Whales From the Shipping Industry?Marine biologists and technology specialists out of the University of California, Santa Barbara, have been searching for a way to keep endangered whales safer from the shipping industry.

Their solution?

Read more!
Photo courtesy of NonFood
The Future Is Algae (Again)Algae energy bars? As the climate crisis stokes environmental anxieties about feeding billions of people, algae has begun to captivate a new generation of food wonks. But can it really change the world?

And what about the taste?

Check out our newest international and domestic Outings!
Photo by Breitpaul
Our Newest International and Domestic JourneysExtraordinary adventures await. Hike through breathtaking Slovenia, with sweeping vistas of the Adriatic Sea as a backdrop. Discover the legendary landscapes and rich traditions of rural Mongolia. Roam through medieval cities and deep mountain gorges in Morocco. Or select from a range of unforgettable domestic experiences including service, snow, Hawaii, and the American Caribbean.

See all trips and sign up.

Read more!
Photo by
Green on Green“Hey Mr. Green,” writes David in Cincinnati. “I’m on the board of a small nonprofit. We are trying to decide how best to encourage households to be greener. We would like to know to what extent people recycle, compost, drive eco-friendly cars, use public transportation, use LED lighting, and use green energy. This would show where the greatest need for education and our efforts would be.”

The Sierra Club’s cognoscente of conservation contemplates the conundrum.

Read more!
Photo by iStockphoto/Pineapple Studio
Disclose Who Pays for Online Political AdsLax oversight by tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google allowed Russian agents to purchase thousands of ads, craft viral content seen by millions, and create a network of trolls and bots during the 2016 election. Tech companies shouldn’t be tasked with policing themselves when they can profit from misuse of their products. The bipartisan Honest Ads Act would disclose spending on online political ads, just like radio and television ads already do.

Tell your members of Congress to support the Honest Ads Act.

Sign up today!
Register for Backyard Day today!
Team Sierra’s Third Annual Backyard DayOn September 14, Team Sierra will celebrate Backyard Day, dedicated to honoring the places in your own proverbial backyard where you feel at home in the out-of-doors—whether it’s a local trail, the beach where you’ve been going since you were a kid, or the beautiful park in the center of town. Team Sierra is celebrating Backyard Day with a virtual 5K/10K/whatever K, and all participants will get a printable bib and a Backyard Day keychain.

Register for Backyard Day.

Send a message!
Photo by
Compost or Perish…er, Compost Your Perishables Nearly 40% of the food produced for human consumption never even makes it out of the kitchen. When excess unserved or uneaten food is buried in a landfill, it creates methane, which exacerbates global warming. Composting is an inexpensive, natural, fun process that transforms your food waste into nutrient-rich food for your garden and helps tackle food-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Take the pledge to reduce your food waste and start composting today.

Pledge today!
Photo by
Meating Climate Change Head-OnRaising meat causes significantly more global warming pollution than growing vegetables. Reducing our consumption of animal protein can make a big dent in global warming emissions like carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Not ready to give up meat entirely? You can still make a difference.

Take the pledge to skip eating meat one day a week.

Copyright ©2023 Ellen Sue Spicer-Jacobson. | Website by Parrish Digital.