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What We're Fighting for Now Is Each Other: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Justice
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What We're Fighting for Now Is Each Other: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Justice

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  16 reviews
An urgent, on-the-ground look at some of the “new American radicals” who have laid everything on the line to build a stronger climate justice movement

The science is clear: catastrophic climate change, by any humane definition, is upon us. At the same time, the fossil-fuel industry has doubled down, economically and politically, on business as usual. We face an unprecedente
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Beacon Press
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Bob Schnell
"What We're Fighting for Now..."is not about changing our lifestyles to help prevent climate change/global warming. No, that ship has apparently sailed and we are on the cusp of the next mass extinction. Wes Stephenson is not asking us to change our consumer habits. Instead he is asking us to change our way of thinking about our place in the global community. When the shit comes down, will we take on a "kill or be killed" attitude or will we work towards the common good and minimize the damage? ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
This was too meandering and allusive for my taste. I wanted to get to the nitty-gritty and hear about what radical actions are being taken, not about the author's awakening at Walden Pond. ...more
Andrea McDowell
This is a surprisingly inspiring book; surprising because it faces a very grim science without flinching away or presenting it in any more polly-annaish or optimistic tones than is merited, which--given that the science in question has outcomes ranging from "things worsen for another century than stabilize in a degraded fashion for the conceivable future" to "99% of everything dies"--doesn't typically lead one to anticipate inspiration.

And yet.

Because it takes that science as a given, because i
Anne Ipsen
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As Wen Stephenson makes clear in the title of his compelling book, climate change is happening now and will affect everyone. With a reporter’s skill, he documents the actions and passions of the climate activists fighting on the front lines, but he does so with a personal dedication and compassion that goes beyond the usual objective journalistic style. He argues that the scientific evidence is definitive and now is the time for action. Only united can we hope to ameliorate the threat to life an ...more
Megan Janicki
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Important work that strikes a balances between an urgent call to action and a beautiful reflection on humanity, spirituality, and community in a changing climate. I was moved by the call to solidarity and the beautiful reflections of all the environmental leaders that Stephenson introduces us to, who put this justice movement into a framework to better understand God, economics, and the beloved community that we were meant for.
I will be thinking about this one for a long time.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really had high hopes that this book would open up areas of knowledge to the current environmental crises that are new and innovative. The book is instead a series of mini biographies of grassroots activists in the environmental movement. The book begins with a look at Henry David Thoreau and the beginnings of peaceful protest and uses him to springboard into other activism in more recent times. Two major themes that emerge are 1. We are beyond the point of no return with regard to climate ch ...more
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Had a good feeling going into this book but was disappointed to find relentless bible references. It was cringe inducing, then it was groan inducing then it was infuriating. I make this warning for other secular people who will no doubt be irritated by this. I know it's impossible to disentangle ones strongly held beliefs from ones writing but it wound up feeling like a dubious sales pitch for Christianity. And when you try to spin the story of Job in a positive light you lose all credibility. T ...more
Sue Merrell
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a very tough book to read about climate change because it's not about driving a smaller car or biking to work. From the point of view of Wen Stephenson and the movement leaders quoted in this book, our carbon footprint is already too large. The damage is done, it's only a question of postponing or moderating the inevitable. They want all use of fossil fuels to end NOW. Stephenson sees this as a moral imperative. He compares it to Abolition. Yes, freeing the slaves destroyed the economy o ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
First half a bit slow , heavier on the story of the writer himself than the climate activists. Second hand, where we get to meet Jay OHara, the Tar Sands Blockade folks, and more of Tim DeChristopher, is fantastic: great insights into the thoughtfulness and organization of climate justice activists.
Jindřich Mynarz
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Never once this book names what it is about using this fancy word: interdependence! Ranging from practical to spiritual, it argues that we need social relationships as a safety net to accept the penalties for acts of civil disobedience. This direct and nonviolent action is required to confront the power that "concedes nothing without a demand." ...more
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's not meant to be a book about the science of the climate crisis - rather a larger existential ask of why bother fighting if it's too late, through the eyes of activists. Helpful if you're drowning in pools of despair. ...more
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
So you don't really consider yourself an 'activist', but you understand and are concerned about climate change and its likely consequences, and struggle with what you could or should do to engage? Maybe you're more comfortable supporting mainstream efforts from within the system, and have even wondered if resistance 'movements' may hurt the cause.

If this strikes a chord with you, this book could be a thought-provoking read for you. It was for me.
This book is going to stick with me.

It's not a cl
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With climate change tangibly manipulating the environment, here stands another book with an author yelling in the dark corner to turn on the lights. Wes Stephenson is not calling simply for an environmental shift in policy, but for a loud call for social justice. Defending non-violent activism, What We’re Fighting For, saves no punches. Writing on the testimonies of current and past activists and advocacy groups, Stephenson attempts to light a fire under those on the fence about activism.
The pro
Valorie Hallinan
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book straight through. I think it is so important; if you are interested in the climate justice movement and where it's at, and where you might fit in, here is a realistic, sometimes depressing, but also inspiring book. My Books Can Save a Life blog post is here, because I think this book could save lives. ...more
Ruah Swennerfelt
This is an exceptional and very moving book. It's a whole different take on environmental issues, including climate change and climate justice. Stephenson's interviews with a broad spectrum of activists are so fascinating. And at the core, it's a book about faith and spirituality without being about religion. I highly recommend it to everyone! ...more
Cara Pattullo
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Jan 15, 2018
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Oct 08, 2015
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Sue Pursell
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Jan 30, 2020
Tom Coffeen
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May 11, 2019
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Mar 08, 2019
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Dec 07, 2016
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