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Lisa Bennett
LISA BENNETT is an author and communications strategist. She is also a thought leader with Ashoka's Building Vibrant Communities challenge, and a former fellow at Harvard University's Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy.

Bennett focuses on families and parenting, nature and sustainability, health and wellbeing, behavior and social change—and always, learning and education. What connects everything in her work is a fascination with what the unique challenges of modern life can teach us about ourselves and the development of personal, social, and ecological resilience.

She is coauthor with the psychologist Daniel Goleman of Ecoliterate: How Educators Are Cultivating Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intelligence. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, Harper’s, The Daily Beast, The Christian Science Monitor, American Health, More, Mothering, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Grist, Greater Good, The Huffington Post, Daily Good, Resilience, and elsewhere.

Follow on Twitter @LisaPBennett and on her blog @

Entries by Lisa Bennett

5 Things Parents Should Know About Climate Change

(8) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 11:29 AM

There is something about being a parent that makes us live very much in the moment and not think too much about the future -- let alone truly imagine what our children's lives will be like in 10, 20, 30 years down the road.

Yet these days, scientists and other...

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What Can a Mom Do When Climate Change Hits Home?

(10) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 5:48 PM

My youngest son lives for skiing. It is, I know, a rather privileged hobby to have, and we are not a particularly well-off family. But when I took him at the age of 4 to ski for the first time in California's Lake Tahoe, he showed me something that I'll...

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Will California's New Energy Proposal Make a Difference?

(4) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 4:00 PM


How do we know what will really make a difference in the fight against climate change?

As I reflected recently on Gov. Jerry Brown's bold new proposal -- that California run on 50 percent renewable energy within 15 years -- three responses occurred...

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3 Traps to Avoid When Speaking About the Environment

(5) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 6:30 PM

My 15-year-old son is a smart, responsible kid with a very strong sense of right and wrong. But he groans when I remind him to toss his empty can in the recycling, and he rolls his eyes when he hears people talk about climate change.

Given that I've spent much...

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Rays of Hope in California

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 11:40 AM

Once you discover yourself to be someone who cares deeply about global warming -- someone, for example, who might at least once or twice have woken in the night worried about what the woefully inadequate response to climate change might mean for your children or grandchildren -- you may also...

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Parents Coming Out on Climate Change

(5) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 5:41 PM

I used to think "I'm gay" were the hardest words I could say aloud. But that was 25 years ago, before I grew up, as it were, got married and had kids. More recently, the toughest truth I've had to come to terms with is, "I'm a Mom who is...

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How to Help Americans Care About Climate Change Now

(10) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 12:44 PM

(Yes, it has to do with baseball.)

For the past decade, I've been asking people -- young and old, rich and poor, highly educated and less so -- why they didn't seem to care about climate change. Or at least, why...

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Growing Public Will for Climate Action

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 6:27 PM

I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes something -- a book, a movement, an issue -- popular in America because of the great and urgent need to build public will for climate action.

Here's some of what I've come up with:

Leaving aside the obvious attractions of...

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Brown Is the New Green in California's Drought

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 6:29 PM

I was at a skate park in San Jose last week after my son pleaded with me to take him. As he and a friend put on their knee and elbow guards, I began to set myself up to work under an umbrella -- when a squirrel jumped onto the...

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California Climate Law to Save Lives, and Billions in Health Costs

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2014 | 2:25 PM

When I get in the car to take my son to school in the morning, I'm usually thinking about whether he has everything he needs and how close we will be to on time today.

I don't stop to think about how my driving impacts the environment, the economy --...

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But What Can I Do About Climate Change?

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 11:58 AM

The truth is that before I became a mom, I didn't think about the environment. Then one day, I realized that the future people were talking about in increasingly gloomy terms (because of climate change, among other issues) was my children's future.

I had a baby and a five-year-old...

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Climate Risks and Opportunities

(2) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 5:53 PM

Do people really "wake up" to warnings as a result of other people telling them to? Does hearing about the threat of a catastrophic future inspire us to do something about it? For the most part, the answer appears to be no -- and that is why one of the...

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California's Eerie Ski Conditions

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 11:35 AM

I rode a bus to Lake Tahoe last weekend with about 40 kids from the Bay Area. My son, who'd been counting the days on a homemade calendar he kept under his pillow, was now counting the hours.

But about three hours in, a young girl asked: "Where is...

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Mothers out Front on Climate Change

(15) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 9:14 AM

Could Massachusetts become the first state in the nation to stop investing in fossil fuels and invest only in renewable energies -- as a result of pressure from mothers and grandmothers?

That's the goal of a newly formed group led by Kelsey Wirth, daughter of former senator Timothy E....

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One Mad Mama

(4) Comments | Posted May 21, 2013 | 4:35 PM

Can we cut to the chase on climate change?

For nearly a decade, I've followed the news, the analysis, the debate -- and the nonsense that more often than not substitutes for it.

And, as a mom, I think it is high time we grow up.


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If You Cut a Cow in Half, Do You Get Two Cows?

(10) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 3:45 PM

With so many big issues to be decided in coming months -- Will President Obama's actions on climate change match his newly strong rhetoric? Will the Keystone pipeline be approved? Will Shell Oil be permitted to resume efforts to drill in the Arctic? -- I've been thinking of a recent...

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Saving Education--and the Planet

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2012 | 12:57 AM

With mounting pressures on schools today, the suggestion that teachers should also be preparing students to address our growing ecological crises might seem ridiculous at best. But what if doing so could boost student achievement?

What if it could lead to the kind of thinking and caring we need...

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From Emotional to Ecological Intelligence

(3) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 11:51 AM

In a recent interview on Krista Tippett's show, On Being, author Terry Tempest Williams described meeting someone at a dinner party who asked her, "So what do you do?"

"About what?" she said.

Her response stayed with me for reasons that I didn't quite grasp -- until I...

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Inside the Governor's Office: With Wendell Berry and Other Anti-Mountaintop Removal Protestors

(2) Comments | Posted February 14, 2011 | 11:30 AM

FRANKFORT, KY, Feb. 11, 2011 -- Wendell Berry, Kentucky's most famous author and one of America's most respected essayists, is among sixteen protesters spending the weekend in the governor's office to demand an end to mountaintop removal.

After decades of opposition to the blasting of mountaintops and pollution of...

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How to Avoid Eco-Despair

(1) Comments | Posted February 10, 2011 | 4:06 PM

A friend who recently attended a cremation ceremony told me that it had been the highlight of his week.

Resisting the easy jokes, I asked him why.

Because, he said, there is nothing like death to remind you of what really matters.

If you've ever experienced the...

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