Organizing Cools The Planet: Tools & Reflections To Navigate The Climate Crisis


Organizing Cools The Planet offers a challenge to all concerned about the ecological crisis: find your frontline. This booklet weaves together stories, analysis, organizing tools, and provocative questions, to offer a snapshot of the North American Climate Justice movement and provide pathways for readers to participate in it. Authors share hard lessons learned, reflect on strategy, and grapple with the challenges of their roles as organizers who do not come from “frontline communities” but work to build a movement big enough for everyone and led by the priorities and solutions of low-income people, communities of color, Indigenous, youth, and other constituencies most directly impacted by the crisis. Rooted in the authors’ experiences organizing in local, national, and international arenas, they challenge readers to look at the scale of ecological collapse with open eyes, without falling prey to disempowering doomsday narratives. This booklet is for anyone who wants to build a movement with the resiliency to navigate one of the most rapid transitions in human history.

About the Title:

When the peasant movement La Via Campesina adopted the slogan “Small Farmers Cool the Planet” it inspired lots of creative adaptations, including an effort from North American community based organizations and climate justice groups to use the slogan “Grassroots Organizing Cools the Planet” to highlight grassroots solutions. With permission from these groups, we modified it into what became the title for this booklet.


“There is no task more urgent than to organize a mass popular movement to deal effectively with the looming environmental crisis. The barriers are high, the forces opposed powerful. All the more reason to dedicate ourselves to the kinds of efforts outlined Joshua Kahn Russell and Hilary Moore’s booklet.” 

—Noam Chomsky

“In an atmosphere heavy with doomsday predictions and fear, this booklet is a breath of fresh air. Joshua Kahn Russell and Hilary Moore weave together stories and organizing tools to create a vision for practical transition amid the climate crisis. Organizing Cools the Planet confronts pressing questions of our time.” 

—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Founding Director, Indigenous World Association

“Joshua and Hilary’s manual will be useful to all who want to make change creatively and peacefully in our brutal times.” 

—Dr. Vandana Shiva

“As the climate crisis becomes increasingly unignorable, our movements must learn to navigate a rapidly changing and high-stakes political landscape. Our times demand we think bigger, push harder, and reimagine the possibilities for twenty-first-century movement building. This potent booklet is a great place to begin the conversation. Authored by two visionary young leaders who share their personal struggles and hard-earned lessons from organizing at the intersection of justice, ecology, and change, Organizing Cools the Planet is required reading for anyone who gives a damn about the future. Tune in for some indispensable analysis, provocative thinking and a healthy dose of people-powered optimism.”

—Patrick Reinsborough, cofounder, smartMeme Strategy & Training Project

“This booklet comes from people who do what they’re talking about, and do it well. If we’ve got a hope, it lies in organizing–in reaching ever broader circles of our civilization and getting people to take action in their common interest. If you want to be a part of that, this guide is a good place to start.”

— Bill McKibben

“This is a rigorous and useful tool for teaching and learning the architecture of organizing, a valuable nourishment for climate justice activists and change agents.”

—Dorothy Guerrero, Focus on the Global South

“It is an erudite manual, spirited and consistently engaging.” 

—Andrej Grubačić, author, Don’t Mourn, Balkanize! and Wobblies and Zapatistas

“Still young and developing, the climate justice movement has already shaken up politics with its holistic perspective and fresh energy. Organizing Cools the Planet offers a set of tools to help this dynamic new movement sharpen its strategies, promote frontline leadership, and realize its tremendous potential.”

—Max Elbaum, cofounder, WarTimes/Tiempo de Guerras; author

Read More

Tetra Pak Products Are Far From Sustainable

How Tetra Pak wants you to see their products:


Treehugger: In What World Can You Call Tetra Pak Green? - Lloyd Alter:

When they do recycle Tetra Paks (which is rare, on their own website they admit that worldwide, only 18% of them are), what do they turn it into? In North America: toilet paper.

If you can get it recycled. Only 20% of America has access to recycling facilities for Tetra Pak, the rest goes into landfill.

Who goes to the trouble of separating the tetra pak and dealing with it? You do. As Philip Fleischer wrote many years ago:

By supporting recycling programs, governments are subsidizing companies like Tetra-Pak, whom they relieve of part of the cost of packaging disposal. This hidden subsidy penalizes bottlers who offer a refund and refill their bottles. Although selling products in refillable bottles uses energy and material more efficiently, it is made to appear more expensive because all the costs are visible. Refillables do not get hidden subsidies through blue box programs or tax supports for landfill.


An oldie, but a goodie!

The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard.

Remember this when you think about presents for the holidays.
Don’t give useless crap that uses up resources.
Give something that a store bought item can’t give.

Consumerism is the biggest reason of why I really dislike this time of year. :(