Transition U.S.' First 'Walk the Talk' Award Goes to Transition Pasadena Member, Climate Scientist Peter Kalmus

Published : Monday, November 12, 2018 | 8:08 AM

Image Courtesy of Dr. Peter Kalmus website

Dr. Peter Kalmus, a climate scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and a long-time member of Transition Pasadena, has been given Transition U.S.’s first-ever “Walk the Talk” award, according to an announcement by Transition Pasadena.

The “Walk the Talk” award was given as Transition U.S. marks 10 years in existence.

Transition Pasadena nominated Kalmus earlier, saying the scientist “truly lives an extremely low carbon lifestyle” and has written a book about this.

Kalmus wrote “Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution,” which explores the connections between people’s individual daily actions and their collective predicament, and “merges science, spirituality, and practical action to develop a satisfying and appropriate response to global warming,” according to a description of the book.

With a core message that a world without fossil fuels is not only possible but will also be better, Kalmus developed the book through discussions, community actions, and presentations with them.

Dr. Kalmus, who holds a PhD in physics from Columbia University, has been active in Transition Pasadena for several years. He is now interested in exploring fossil fuel reduction in community settings, such as local church and neighborhood groups.

Transition Pasadena says Kalmus “is a climate scientist who understands very well the impact of flying being the worst contributor to climate crisis.” Kalmus rides a bike, has a grease-fueled car named Maybe, raises his own food, gleans dumpster food, cans excess produce, raises chickens and his two sons. He meditates daily and hosts a weekly meditation, the organization said.

A profile on the Transition U.S. website says Kalmus is doing everything he can to spread the message that cutting his emissions to below a tenth of the national average “has made his life more interesting, satisfying, and joyful.”

“He started riding a bike, driving on vegetable oil, and engaging in ‘slow travel’ without airplanes,” the profile said. “He switched to ‘freegan vegetarianism’ and grows much of his own food. He has simplified and decarbonized his life, and he has never looked back.”

His book has gone into second printing and has been made into a documentary of the same title. All book profits go the Citizens Climate Lobby,  an international grassroots environmental group that trains volunteers and supports them in building relationships with elected representatives in order to influence climate policy.

Kalmus maintains a website,, where he calls on climate scientists and academics to register their commitment to not fly or fly less. More than 100 scientists from all around the world have registered their support for his campaign.

His personal website is

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