Putting out the Planetary Fire

An Introduction to Climate Change and Advocacy

Author: Mark A. Dunlea, Green Education and Legal Fund (www.gelfny.org)

Published January 1, 2023
Big Toad Books, 156 Big Toad Way, Poestenkill NY 12140

ISBN 978-0-9749274-0-4 for internet

ISBN 978-0-9749274-1-1 for print

There are links below to the various chapters on the web. A printed version can be purchased through Amazon Books.

A (downloadable) PDF of Putting Out the Planetary Fire

(pdf with photos)

Click Here for the Putting Out the Planetary Fire podcast 

Here is What People are Saying about the book (link

“Mark Dunlea has worked as hard as anyone in America to tamp down the fire of climate change. And because he has decades of knowledge of how to work the system from inside and out, he’s been particularly effective. Now you can take advantage of all that hard-earned wisdom: this is a book for the practical organizer who wants to make a difference in the biggest fight the earth has ever seen.” Bill McKibben, author (The End of Nature), co-founder 350.org, The Third Act

“This book is an excellent primer not only on climate change, its useful solutions, and false solutions we need to avoid, but also on how to implement the good solutions through advocacy. I highly recommend it.” Prof. Mark Jacobson, Stanford University, Author of No Miracles Needed: How Today’s Technology Can Save our Climate and Clean Our Air.

See also Elizabeth Kolbert, Ralph Nader, Medea Benjamin, Dr. Alice Green, Elizabeth Henderson, Lyna Hinkel, Judith Enck, Eric Weltman, Howie Hawkins, Dr. Jill Stein

Introduction   Climate Change is the Greatest Threat to Humanity

Chapter 1 Climate Change Basics

Chapter 2  Transitioning to a Clean Energy Future

Chapter 3  Buildings and Transportation

Chapter 4  Carbon Pricing

Chapter 5   Green New Deal (and IRA and Just Transition)

Chapter 6  Agriculture

Chapter 7  False Climate Solutions

Chapter 8 Climate Justice, EJ, Reparations for Global South

Chapter 9 Climate Finance – Stop the Money Pipeline

Chapter 10  Plastic, Degrowth, Military, Cryptomining

Chapter 11 How to Impact on Climate Action

Chapter 12 Climate Advocacy Practices

Chapter 13 Lobbying; legislature, Executive, Agencies, Local Government

Chapter 14 The Art of Protest

Chapter 15 Climate Litigation and Elections

Chapter 16 Climate and the Media



Note: At the beginning of each chapter are links to the subheadings in that chapter.


– Climate Change is the Greatest Threat to Humanity
– This Book Is an Introduction to Climate Change
– Hope or Despair
– System Change not Climate Change
– The Role of Fossil Fuel Companies

1. Climate Change Basics

– What is Climate Change?
– The United States has been the principal culprit of Greenhouse gas emissions
– Sources of Fossil Fuel Emissions Globally
– Major Sources of Greenhouse Gas emissions in the US
– We Need to keep Global Warming below 1.5 degrees
– We are not doing well in meeting the 1.5-degree target
– How Fast to Zero emissions, 100% Renewable Energy is Possible?
– How much will the Renewable Energy Transition Cost?
– Why is 350 so important?
– Climate Change Drives Extreme Weather
– Climate change hastens disease spread across the globe
– Human Extinction is the Worst-case scenario
– Curbing Climate Change Starts with Stopping the Burning of Fossil Fuels
– Fossil Fuel Industry is Impeding Action

2. Transitioning to a Clean Energy Future

– An Intro to Wind and Solar Power
– Hydropower
– Geothermal and Heat Pumps
– Costs: Renewable Energy vs. Fossil Fuels
– Renewable Energy Create Jobs
– Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy
– Challenges in a Transition to 100% Renewable Energy

– Access to Minerals for Renewable Energy
– The Capacity of solar and wind is less than fossil fuels
– Intermittency of renewable energy
– Siting Challenges
– Financial Challenges

– U.S. Government subsidies for Renewable Energy
– Renewable portfolio standards and state mandates or goals
– Renewable Energy Certificates or Credits (RECs)
– Net metering
– Feed-in tariffs (FITs)
– Upgrading the Grid
– Energy Efficiency
– Tidal and Wave Power
– Battery and Energy Storage
– Nature Based Climate Solutions

3. Buildings and Transportation

– Green buildings
– Banning Gas in new buildings
– Reducing Home Energy Use on the Micro Level
– Transportation
– Sprawl increases transportation emissions

– Mass transit
– Electric Vehicles
– Car free Cities and Congestion Pricing
– Reduce the use of cars and other vehicles
– Making Walkable Neighborhoods

4. Carbon Pricing

– Support for a carbon tax – and How to Invest Revenues
– EJ Concerns Re Carbon Pricing
– Carbon Tax Basics
– Cap and Trade
– Problems with Carbon Offsets
– A New Spin on Making Polluters Pay

5. Green New Deal (IRA and a Just Transition

– A Just Transition
– Build Back Better to the Inflation Reduction Act
– The Original Green New Deal
– The GP Ecosocialist Green New Deal
– AOC – Markey Congressional GND Resolution

6. Agriculture

– Regenerative agriculture
– Project Drawdown on Agriculture
– Biochar
– Agriculture is Driving Deforestation
– Food Sovereignty

7. False Climate Solutions

– Nuclear
– Hydrogen – Blue vs. Green
– Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) – and Direct air capture
– Waste Incineration
– Biofuels
– “Renewable” Natural Gas
– Natural Gas
– Carbon Offsets
– Net Zero vs Real Zero

8. Climate Justice, EJ and Reparations

– Environmental Injustice in the U.S.
– Racism
– Climate Justice Movement
– EJ Requires a Just Transition
– Raising Up the Voices of the Disadvantaged
– Climate Reparations for the Global South
– International Agreements on Climate finance, Loss and damages

9. Climate Finance – Stop the Money Pipeline

– Investor Led Efforts to Deal with Climate Change
– Financial overview of the Fossil Fuel Industry
– Financial Disclosure of Climate Risk

10, Plastics, Degrowth, Military, Cryptomining

– Plastics – The New Coal
– Plastics are Not Being Recycled
– Ending Single Use Plastics vs. Increasing Recycling
– Climate change and degrowth
– Military and climate

Part II: Climate Advocacy

  1. Climate Advocacy Overview

– Introduction

– Cut Greenhouse Emissions as Fast and as Deeply as Possible
– whack a mole
– It is Now or Never

– Theories of Social Change and Climate
– Rebellious Revolution

  1. Climate Advocacy Practices- Mobilization vs. Community Organizing

– Mobilization
– Community Organizing

–  The Role of Direct Action
– Building Your Climate Group – Organizing Guide
– Campaign Planning
–  Educating the Public about Climate Change

– Public Speaking
– Communication Skills

  1. Lobbying: Legislature, Executive, Local Governments, Agencies, Permits,

– The Branches of Government
– Brief Overview of Federal Climate Agencies
– State Climate Plans
– Follow the Money – budgets

– The Challenges of Lobbying

– The Role of Money in Lobbying
– Drafting Legislation
– Building Support for a Bill
– Lobby Day
– Getting a Bill Across the Finish Line
– Inside vs. Outside Advocacy
– Fossil Fuel Industry Invests Heavily in Lobbying

– The Role of Local Governments

– Impacting on Budgets

– Agencies’ Administrative Powers
– Impacting on administrative actions

– Permits
– Federal Clean Air Act Permits

  1. The Art of Protest

– The Right to Protest
– Fossil Fuel Industry Seeks to Curtail Protests

– What Makes a Successful Protest?
– Creative Protests
– Art and Climate Activism

– Campaign planning

– Civil Disobedience

            – How-to Resources for Direct Action

– Some Successful Climate Action Campaigns

            – Ban on Fracking in NY
– Keystone XL Pipeline
– The DAPL Fight
– Line 3 Pipeline

  1. Climate Litigation and Elections

– Climate Litigation
– Children’s Climate Litigation
– Fossil Fuel Companies Sue Opponents

– The Role of Elections

            – Limits on U.S. Democracy
– What is going on with the Republicans?
–  How to Influence Elections
– Climate Groups’ Electoral Activities

  1. Climate and the Media

– How the Media Has Covered Climate
– Recent Improvement in Climate Media Coverage
– Efforts to Improve Coverage of climate
– Disinformation by Fossil Fuel Industry
– Corporate Media ownership concentration

– How Climate Groups Can get Media Coverage
– Media Releases
– Letters to the Editor
– Talking to the Media
– Press conferences


Climate Organizations
Other Resources
Books on Climate Change and Advocacy
Organizing Guides