Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future, Mary Robinson

Hello my lovelies, I’m back!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted a book review and I am sorry for that, but PhD requirements and both academic and work commitments crept up on me: something had to give! That said, things are on a more even keel now, so hopefully over the next couple weeks we’ll get back to a regular schedule. And as my first review after an unintentional break, we have one of the best books I have read in 2018: Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future by Mary Robinson.

For those of you who may not know, Mary Robinson is what we would call a complete badass. Former President of Ireland, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, lawyer, campaigner, activist, all around seriously AWESOME woman. She has also created the Mary Robinson Climate Justice foundation, which is exactly what it sounds like: a foundation that works towards education and advocacy for those peoples that have suffered, are suffering, and will suffer the negative impacts of climate change. Mary Robinson calls this movement climate justice, because much of the damage has been done by people, against other people (however knowingly or unknowingly).

This book, of the same name as her foundation, had me both fiercely proud of the women fighting toward climate justice and sustainable living, and in tears at how people have suffered and yet continue to work towards the betterment of society and the human race as a whole. The majority of this books is a series of what an academic would probably call case studies, but in this book are simply stories: true stories, painful stories, personal and private stories, triumphant stories. The activists that speak through this book, as well as the words and work of Mary Robinson herself, are incredibly powerful. More so for the fact that not a word is wasted: there is no flowery language, no ‘wanky words’ as a friend of mine calls them. Much like the author herself, the book is blunt, to the point, and accurate to the point of painful (in the best way).

I can’t honestly say I fell in love with this book as I have with others, because I don’t think this is the sort of book that you can fall in love with. It’s a call to arms, really; an acknowledgment of the danger we’re doing ourselves and our world as well as people we don’t even know or realize exist, a clarion call about how truly, terribly badly we’re fucking things up. What I can say is that this is a book that I have great admiration and respect for, as do I have for the author. I read the kindle version of this book; I can almost guarantee that as soon as the opportunity arises, I’m going to acquire a hard copy so I can have this on my shelf to re-read, and to lend to people. You need to read this. You really do. It won’t take you long: the book is surprisingly short, given the material and, I’m sure, the abundance of stories that remain in the wind, waiting for someone to take pen to paper and tell them.

You need to read this. You will appreciate it. You will regret it. You will be better for it.


Five star read, people.


Image credits: Images are from the publisher’s page for this book.

Disclaimer: I was provided an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. As ever, the provenance of a title has no effect whatsoever on my opinion of it’s content.

Categories: Politics, Science

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