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Lisa Bennett
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LISA BENNETT is a writer and communications consultant. 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 @ http://LisaBennett.org

Entries by Lisa Bennett

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

2014-08-20-baseball.jpg
(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

(1) 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.

Last...

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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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Oakland Takes on Inequity Through School Food

(1) Comments | Posted October 19, 2010 | 1:37 AM

School lunch has been associated with a lot of things since Michelle Obama, the most powerful woman in the universe according to Forbes' latest ranking, put a spotlight on the issue with the launch of her Let's Move! campaign early this year:

Childhood obesity. National security. The growing health...

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New Orleans Students Challenge Schools on Use of Oil

(2) Comments | Posted July 22, 2010 | 4:33 PM

"Who is really responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf," a group of New Orleans students ask during a mock trial they recently staged, "BP or everyone who uses oil?"

Perhaps, a student named Jordan suggests by way of an answer, oil companies are a lot like gun...

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Now for the Kids' Say on the Spill

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2010 | 2:25 PM

In a few less-than-quiet classrooms in New Orleans, about 15 middle and high school students have been gathered together over the past five weeks discussing what they want to do about the BP oil spill. This was not the way they'd originally planned to spend their summer vacation.

In...

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Should Anti-Obesity Campaigns Learn from McDonald's?

(2) Comments | Posted May 10, 2010 | 1:03 PM

Watching McDonald's new "Big Mac World Chant" ad campaign--announced within a week of The Atlantic's latest cover story, "Fat Nation: It's Worse Than You Think"--reminded me of that famous October 2000 debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush.

Gore, you'll remember, came across as informed, articulate, capable, if...

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How to Usher in a New Decade of Environmental Action

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2010 | 6:26 PM

There was a extraordinary gathering just north of San Francisco last week--including Nobel, Pulitzer, and Goldman prize-winners; famous doctors, writers, and chefs; and inspiring individuals such as Martin Strel, a Guinness World Record marathon swimmer from Slovenia who has been bringing attention to some of the world's most polluted rivers...

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