Meet Kathleen Dean Moore (KDM), the environmental philosopher and writer extraordinaire. If you haven’t read her, or if you care about the world at all, you really should read her newest book “Great Tide Rising: Towards Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change”. If you’re worried that is dark and deep, well…it is. But. It’s also amazing and worth every minute of your time. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. KDM nails the feeling we all feel about the earth and what’s happening to it. She said what I was too sad to admit out loud for fear it would cripple me in the environmental work I need to do on a daily basis. I felt better for her courage.

2. She explains the difference between despair (“the dead end to all dead ends”) and grief (“a terrible aching emotion” that spurs us to healing, gratitude, and finally action). Us environmental folks – and everyone else – struggle with these things, and her explanation is a beacon.

3. She thinks writers have a really important role, especially nature writers, in speaking the truth about what they see happening to the earth. They need to speak more and louder. She made me want to become a nature writer.

4. KDM calls us all to the acts of “witnessing”. We can’t turn away from what is happening, because we love the earth and we don’t turn away from those we love in their time of need. We keep up the fight, we try, and we love. Simple as that.

And 5. She doesn’t give us another horrible, bullshit list on “How to Save the Earth in 10 Easy Steps”. Instead, she levels us with truth, an inspiring call to three very important things we can and should do: conscientious refusal, creative disruption, and courageous, relentless citizenship. The most honest, best list I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen many ‘feel good’ lists. This isn’t one of them; but it will make you feel good – in a totally different way – anyway).

I love this book. It’s published by Counterpoint.

– Merrell-Ann