Advocating for the Environment: How to Gather Your Power and Take Action (Paperback)
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An accessible, solutions-oriented guide for addressing the earth's environmental crisis and enacting meaningful change
What can we as ordinary citizens do about climate change?" While countless environmental books focus on the causes of our current crisis, Advocating for the Environment is one of the first to focus on advocacy and policy-based solutions, arming readers with the tools they need to take action and enact change.
In Part I, environmental policy expert Susan Inches discusses storytelling, empathy, mindset, and how effective communication can help us collaborate with others, even those with opposing views. Part II focuses on practical skills like coalition building, media relations, communication strategy, and navigating political and bureaucratic obstacles that block large-scale legislation. The book also includes case studies, research, and templates to deepen learning. Professors and teachers, students, legislators, environmental clubs, and church groups will also find useful ideas and strategies on every page.
About the Author
SUSAN B. INCHES has worked in environmental policy for over 25 years. She served for 14 years as a senior official in Maine state government where she conducted research, designed and led public engagement processes, and drafted, lobbied and passed legislation. Always curious and wanting to learn new things, she's worked on numerous policy issues including renewable energy, energy efficiency, land use planning, the working waterfront, building and energy codes, rural development, rural broadband, and fisheries management.
Inches now works as a consultant, teacher, and advocate with a focus on the environment and climate change. She developed and teaches a unique course called Advocating for the Environment at several private colleges. She also offers public workshops, consulting, and webinars on the same topic. She's an active member of the Sierra Club, the Maine Power for Maine People Coalition, and serves on the boards of First Parish Yarmouth and Defend Our Health.
"This book arrives at the perfect moment. This inspiring and practical text shows how ordinary citizens do have the power to change the world. In Avocating for the Environment, you'll find the courage and the tools you need to join the movement for a clean, healthy, and equitable future."
—MAY BOEVE, cofounder and exectutive director at 350.org
"Smart, strategic, and genuinely empowering, this book is one that activists everywhere will keep coming back to."
—MICHAEL BRUNE, executive director at Sierra Club
“This book is the ultimate DIY manual for anyone to fight city hall, protect their neighborhood, shape public policy, or (merely) save the earth. Clearly written and full of important insights and advice (like start with the story, not the data), it will not only make you a better advocate, but through your work, will make our planet a better place.”
—ANGUS KING, US senator from Maine
"Sue Inches’s insights and advice, from framing a vision to writing a letter to your senator, are credible and valuable to my students. The wisdom in this book is just what student and community advocates need to meet our current environmental challenges."
—DR. RICHARD PETERSON, professor of environmental studies at the University of New England
"Sue Inches is a deep thinker of the best sort. With a wealth of experience in policy, education, and advocacy, she gives terrific advice for all who seek to give voice to nature and inspire both individual and collective action."
—SETH BERRY, chair of the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee, House of Representatives, Maine Legislature
"This is that rare book that speaks not only to environment students but to all people who care about their future. At once both holistic and practical, nuanced and vivid, Advocating for the Environment gives us the guidance we need to take action for a vibrant and healthy future."
—GEORGE LAKEY, professor, activist, and author of How We Win
"Sue Inches . . . crafts a riveting narrative drawing on her personal experiences, tantalizing us with tricks of the trade garnered through a broad and successful career in both the public and private sectors. The reader will finish with a clear understanding of why advocacy matters."
—MARIANNE HILL, senior economist emerita at Mississippi Research Center
"Demanding change is not enough! If you’re concerned about the environment and want justice for all, this book will help you craft a winning approach and engage others in making the world a better place.”
— MICHAEL BELLIVEAU, founder and executive director at Defend Our Health
"This book is a valuable resource for anyone who seeks to influence public policy."
—EVERETT CARSON, chair emeritus of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee,
Senate, Maine Legislature
"Whether you are a newcomer to environmental advocacy or a longtime advocate like me, there are powerful lessons to be learned from the author."
—MAYA K. VAN ROSSUM, founder of the Green Amendment for the Generations movement, author of The Green Amendment, and leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network