The main takeaways from our discussion were as follow,
The book brings new perspectives to climate change.
There is an emphasis on cross-society approaches. We often come across the activist view, or the economist view, but finding the voice of women, minorities or artists is not the norm. People from all backgrounds, professions and communities share their perspective on climate change, and even bring a certain spirituality to it. Even though the book is US-centric, these new voices add to everyone’s perspective.
The book calls to balance between “cold-hearted” scientific solutions vs. community-social perspectives
The title brings with it the realisation that we have lost things, which we will not be able to get back. There is an underlying assumption that the solutions, technology and advances will make climate change go away. However, the different essays turn this around by showing a balance between the people’s grief towards climate change, and the pro-active approach towards finding solutions to it. There is an acknowledgement of the losses and questioning what the best way to move forward is, for your local community and the global population.
The book questions the way we construct the climate change (and human actions) narrative, and it highlights the importance of integrating art into climate communication. Art can help to reach the general public and make things easier to understand and relate to.
The book highlights the relationship between inequality & climate change.
Climate and fairness used to be intrinsically related in the discourse, especially the interlink between climate and sustainable development goals was clear. However, this has changed in recent years, and the link between poverty and climate change sometimes seems to be forgotten. The book re-emphasises this important link and the need to tackle global inequality to succeed in maintaining a habitable climate around the world.
Throughout the book, the idea that climate solutions have to include all the community has been a strong theme and the importance of tackling inequality. However, the essays also link this to the big picture and the construction of the vision and how intertwined situations related to climate are.
The book is very informative.
The book has a lot of information about very different sub-topics on climate change. The book has references on subjects such as energy costs, historical perspectives on policies, to the community-importance in the health of tree populations. There is an interesting blending of social-science and physical-science.
The book is a statement in itself.
We asked ourselves if the book would reach a bigger audience easily, even though there is a clear place for it. The book continues as a project, so they will probably find ways to reach people and delivering their messages. The intention of the book seems to be more of a resource/reference, than a book to read whole. It would also be an excellent resource for teaching.
The book formalises and condensates various ideas, opinions and knowledge from varied voices. It is a statement in itself, an example of a way forward, by highlighting women and amplifying their voices. We hope male-dominated spaces will make more space for these women and all the other great women working in the climate crisis going forward.
There are multiple avenues to the future, and there is not a single solution to the climate crisis. Everyone will take something different from the essays and poems, take the bits you need from it!
“So, I tell you this not to scare you,
But to prepare you, to dare you
To dream a different reality,
Where despite disparities
We all care to protect this world,
This riddled blue marble, this little true marvel”
Earthrise, Amanda Gorman
Further reading & watching
(Recommended by the session attendants)
+ Too hot to handle – Rebecca Wills, Bristol University Press
+Discussion with Editors & Authors – NY Library – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBFofSA8RrA
+ Discussion with Editors & Authors – Columbia University – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bdm69OL07Y0