"The antidote for your climate change paralysis." -Sierra Magazine
"As advocate for the forgotten and the ignored, Mary Robinson has not only shone a light on human suffering, but illuminated a better future for our world."-Barack Obama
An urgent call to arms by one of the most important voices in the international fight against climate change, sharing inspiring stories and offering vital lessons for the path forward.
Holding her first grandchild in her arms in 2003, Mary Robinson was struck by the uncertainty of the world he had been born into. Before his fiftieth birthday, he would share the planet with more than nine billion people--people battling for food, water, and shelter in an increasingly volatile climate. The faceless, shadowy menace of climate change had become, in an instant, deeply personal.
Mary Robinson's mission would lead her all over the world, from Malawi to Mongolia, and to a heartening revelation: that an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself. From Sharon Hanshaw, the Mississippi matriarch whose campaign began in her East Biloxi hair salon and culminated in her speaking at the United Nations, to Constance Okollet, a small farmer who transformed the fortunes of her ailing community in rural Uganda, Robinson met with ordinary people whose resilience and ingenuity had already unlocked extraordinary change.
Powerful and deeply humane, Climate Justice is a stirring manifesto on one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time, and a lucid, affirmative, and well-argued case for hope.
"As advocate for the forgotten and the ignored, Mary Robinson has not only shone a light on human suffering, but illuminated a better future for our world." -Barack Obama
Robinson (Everybody Matters: My Life Giving Voice), a former president of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, writes of global warming and climate justice in this succinct but powerful volume. She highlights communities "suffering the worst effects of climate change" that, more often than not, are "least responsible for the emissions causing change." Robinson describes, for example, drought-stricken farmers in Uganda, who have endured extreme weather in recent years (longer rainy seasons followed by intense periods of drought) that has damaged maize, sorghum, and millet crops; weighed produce down with moisture and pests; and crippled yields. She recalls the havoc wreaked along the Gulf Coast in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina more than 1,800 deaths and more than one million homes and businesses destroyed which "weighed more heavily upon racial minorities and the poor." She bemoans the Trump administration's "unconscionable" decision to pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris Agreement, an accord "negotiated by more than 190 world leaders, over decades, in the interests of all people and the planet." She remains hopeful, however, that humans will heed "personal responsibility for our families, our communities, and our ecosystems." This brief but cogent account reminds readers that climate change is not academic or abstract; it is real and it has consequences.