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This Crazy Time: Living Our Environmental Challenge [Hardcover]

Tzeporah Berman , Mark Leiren-Young
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Sept. 6 2011
From one of the world's most controversial campaigners, This Crazy Time is the No Logo of the NEW environmental movement, an essential must-read that combines Bill Bryson's personable style and humour with Naomi Klein's hard-hitting activism and research.

Passionate, profound, inspiring and funny, Berman is inspiring people from all walks of life to get off the sidelines and fight the good fight--and win. This unique book--part manifesto from a leader, part humorous activist memoir from a soccer mom--offers a wryly honest, behind the scenes, ultimately uplifting look at the state of the planet. For almost 20 years, Tzeporah Berman has been one of our most influential environmentalists. A founder of ForestEthics and PowerUp Canada, she was instrumental in shaping the tactics and concerns of the modern environmental movement.

In her early 20s she faced nearly one thousand criminal charges and 6 years in prison for her role organizing blockades in Canada's rainforest. With ForestEthics she took on Victoria's Secret with a photo of a chainsaw-wielding lingerie model, convincing the catalogue manufacturer to stop using paper made from old-growth forests. She then transformed her tactics and sat down with CEOs and political leaders to reshape their policies and practices. She participated in saving over 12 million acres of endangered forests, including Canada's Great Bear Rainforest, and has campaigned against the development of Canada's oil sands. In her new role at Greenpeace International she is fighting the problem of our time: climate change, including researching the impacts of the Gulf Oil Spill and protesting oil drilling in the Arctic. As a concerned mother, her book is an impassioned plea for a better world.

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Review

“Tzeporah Berman is a modern environmental hero, and this fascinating book shares her exciting history, and the even more exciting thinking that it’s given rise to. If we get out of our ecological woes, she’ll be a big reason.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth and founder of 350.org

“Tzeporah’s inspiring and humorous story about her development as an environmental activist has significance far beyond the successful struggle against old-growth clear-cutting in British Columbia. If governments remain unwilling to enact effective climate policies, the obvious next step is for civil actions that engage the public while slowing or preventing investments that facilitate fossil fuel combustion (coal plants, oil pipelines, freeways). Who better to lead that charge?”
—Mark Jaccard, member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and author of Hot Air: Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge
 
“Tzeporah Berman has risked life and liberty in what is ultimately the greatest cause: the future of this planet. Sad, alarming, witty and bold, This Crazy Time takes us inside the war against those who are so recklessly and ruthlessly destroying the Earth while most of us sleep.”
—Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress
 
“Tzeporah Berman is one of the few people with the insight, experience and guts to show us a way forward that actually might work. This Crazy Time seamlessly blends hard-won practical tips on how to build a mass movement for change with deeply moving stories of Berman’s own successes and failures in the high-stakes world of international environmental campaigning. It shows how each of us—by working with others and marrying courage with political and business smarts—can change the world, for real and for good. This is a fabulous book. It will give you goosebumps, make you laugh and leave you in tears. And you won’t put it down till the last page.”
—Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of The Upside of Down
 
“Tzeporah Berman’s true-life exploits make a great read. From Paris Hilton to rock concerts in forest blockades, she manages to share a very personal take on the state of our planet with the highs and lows of life as one of our strongest eco-campaigners.”
—Elizabeth May, Green Party Member of Parliament
 
“In This Crazy Time, Tzeporah Berman brings the inflated rhetoric of the environmental debate down to earth and puts a passionate and empathetic human face on the defining global challenge of our time. Her journey from the front lines of logging blockades to the hot seats of corporate boardrooms is told with remarkable intimacy and rare self-reflection, tracing the central arc of the environmental movement as a whole over the past twenty years. In times growing crazier with each day’s weather, we need her thoughtful leadership more than ever.”
—Chris Turner, author of The Leap and The Geography of Hope
 
“Over the past twenty years the environmental debate has been loud, raucous and increasingly prominent. And Tzeporah Berman has been right there in the thick of it. Berman is a key leader and, in this book, a thoughtful interpreter of significant events. Let her be your guide to some of the most exciting, and important, moments in recent Canadian history.” ––Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence; co-author of Slow Death by Rubber Duck
 
“If you've ever uttered the word ‘can't,’ you need to pick up This Crazy Time. Tzeporah Berman's inspirational journey from accidental logging activist to international climate champ will show you how a fearless dreamer can help safeguard millions of acres of old-growth forests and tackle the biggest challenge of our time: climate change. You'll walk away with an honorary MBA in changing the world. How will you put yours to use?”
—Adria Vasil, author of the Ecoholic series
 
“You can call Tzeporah Berman a crazy, tree-hugging, jailbird, eco-terrorist. But in today’s world it’s just about the only honest job around. Save a vital rainforest, or clear-cut its giant redwoods into newsprint, packaging and toilet paper. Are we kidding? Our tragedy is that we aren’t all chained to a tree.”
—William Marsden, author of Fools Rule: Inside the Failed Politics of Climate Change

“If you’ve ever wondered how ordinary people become the extraordinary people who change the world, read this book. Here is a memoir that will convince you Canada’s forests are a global treasure, but more importantly, reminds each and every one of us that we have the power to act on our beliefs. Fast-paced, frank and often surprisingly funny, This Crazy Time is a primer for a more impassioned world.”
—J.B. MacKinnon, co-author of The 100-Mile Diet

"Tzeporah Berman is a Canadian environmental hero and national treasure. This Crazy Time is a must-read for those on any side of a particular environmental issue. Tzeporah Berman emphasizes the power of dialogue and the importance of compromise for reaching lasting solutions to environmental problems. And she leaves the reader with a sense of optimism that each and every one of us can make a difference."
—Andrew Weaver, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis; author of Keeping our Cool: Canada in a Warming World

About the Author

TZEPORAH BERMAN is a co-founder of ForestEthics and PowerUp Canada, and the former Greenpeace International Climate and Energy Co-Director. She has been designing and managing environmental campaigns for almost twenty years. She is known for her role in coordinating the largest civil disobedience in Canada’s history, the logging blockades in the rainforests of Clayoquot Sound in 1993, during which she was arrested and charged with 857 counts of criminal aiding and abetting. She is also known for her work in creating unlikely alliances with the logging industry and major paper and wood consumers that have resulted in the permanent protection of millions of acres of old-growth forests. She was one of the experts in Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary, The 11th Hour. The Royal BC Museum has included her in a permanent exhibition as one of the 150 people who have changed BC’s history. She has been lauded as “Canada’s Queen of Green” in a cover story in Reader’s Digest and was recognized by the Utne Reader as one of 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.

MARK LEIREN-YOUNG is the author of Never Shoot a Stampede Queen, winner of the 2009 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and The Green Chain—Nothing Is Ever Clear Cut. He wrote, directed and produced the award-winning feature film The Green Chain, and wrote and produced the EarthVision award–winning TV comedy special Greenpieces. His stage plays have been produced throughout Canada and the US and have also been seen in Europe and Australia. As a journalist he has written for such publications as TIME, Maclean’s and the Utne Reader. He’s half of the comedy duo Local Anxiety and has released two CDs—Greenpieces and Forgive Us We’re Canadian.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of courage, struggle, pragmatism, and hope March 25 2012
Format:Hardcover
Tzeporah Berman's book is a seductively easy read. She treats us to her inside view of the barricades at Clayoquot Sound, mingling with Hollywood stars, and holding her own in corporate boardrooms. Along the way we can learn from her example and courage about how to proceed in solving the enormous problems facing humanity. We also can learn from her about the pointlessness of cynicism and demonization of those who disagree with us.

Whether you are involved with the environmental movement, health care, social justice or Occupy, this book is a must read. Tzeporah shows us what can be accomplished with humour, honesty, openness, and determination.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and practical Jan. 19 2013
By Brigette Hayes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great inspiration with practical insights for everyone who wants to make a difference. Especially helpful for environmental campaigners
4.0 out of 5 stars This Crazy Time: Living Our Environmental Challenge Oct. 14 2012
By Paul Magnus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a must read book. My book of the year so far... She is a writer who is able to pull you in to her story and paints a romantic view of how the environmental movement developed around her from her perspective.
There is excellent insight into how to approach campaigns to get big corporations to move to ethical practices and so ensure that causes are effective.

This book should contribute to the discord in tackling GHG emissions in the effort for our civilization to cope with this unfolding catastrophe.
5.0 out of 5 stars Searching for Radical Pragmatism Oct. 11 2011
By P. Biery - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Bill McKibben describes Tzeporah Berman as `a modern environmental hero.' I like to think of her as a radical pragmatist. "This Crazy Time" is an autobiographical memoir of an effective eco-campaigner who has spent the past 18 years evolving from a student practicing civil disobedience to a key negotiator, leveraging vital policies and agreements with global corporations, government and environmental allies. Berman has been recognized by Utne Reader as one of 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World. This spring she assumed Greenpeace International's co-head of the climate and energy campaign.

"This Crazy Time" is a direct and personal no-holds bar account, beginning with Vancouver Island's Clayoquet Sound Blockades of 1993--a tipping point in Canada's environmental movement. Berman was charged with 837 counts of adding and abetting, a formal entre perhaps for a path that is still blazing change today. After years of work on the part of many allied organizations and individuals, over 12 million acres of endangered Canadian rainforest are protected today.

"This Crazy Time" has value just a good read, but it is also equal parts Northwestern Coastal history and activist training guide, as Berman describes in detail the development of her chain-supply research, understanding power dynamics and methodical goal setting. An effective negotiator who sometimes upsets folks on both sides of the fence, Tzeporah frankly states, "If you're going to campaign, and protest, and blockade, and do direct actions, you have to be willing to talk to all the players and work out solutions. Otherwise that's not campaigning, it's just complaining."

It is a good ride, from the shores of Clayoquet Sound to the Hollywood Red Carpet Premiere of Leonardo Di Caprio's environmental documentary "11th Hour", which included Tzeporah as an expert, on to board rooms of some of the largest lumber companies in North America and to disappointing Copenhagen 2010.

Berman also reports on her direct experience at the Bali Climate Talks, where Canada was voted as the country doing the most to hurt the potential for progress in fighting climate change. Impassioned and practical Berman reminds readers "We need to remember that a problem without a solution is a tragedy. A problem with a solution that is not being implemented is not a tragedy, it's a scandal."

Someday will we reflect `on this crazy time' before we came to terms with creating a global economy which is not based on resource depletion? This vision seems part wistfulness and part hope, but all heart.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars July 29 2014
By gaetan roy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
J'admire sa combativité.
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