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

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  165 ratings  ·  44 reviews
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
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  165 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Kelsey Ebling
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
this book tells the stories of people around the globe whose everyday livelihood is affected by climate change. if you're looking for practical advice on lowering your carbon footprint, this book isn't going to tell you. but it will give you a lot of why power for taking climate change seriously and looking for next steps to do your part.
Megan O'Hara
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nature
my feelings about this book are very complicated! first off I don't think I am the intended audience, it's more for the uninitiated which doesn't mean it was bad it just didn't land for me personally. second of all I felt like I was reading a term paper which does mean it's bad or at least mediocre. I think the idea is good but a little misguided! foregrounding activists the majority of whom are indigenous women is great but her narration is perhaps not the best vehicle for their stories. at tim ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
American environmentalists could really use a shot in the arm right now, and this story-telling book by the former president of Ireland and climate change activist may be just the ticket. She has the experience to lend international context to the effort to mitigate climate change, and she shares the stories of 11 individuals from all over the world who are experiencing climate change first hand. In so many ways, individual stories of suffering but also empowerment are more effective at inspirin ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this accessible and inspiring look at climate change, its affects around the globe, and its intersection with poverty and inequality. Told mostly through stories on how various "everyday people" around the world are doing their own work to halt and reverse the devastating effects of climate change, Mary Robinson (former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) makes this issue personal and relatable, and while she does raise the alarm at the current and po ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Everyone should read this book, which shows how the biggest, wealthiest countries' activities, such as wasteful consumption and the burning of fossil fuels, have created an existential threat for small, poor countries. The book sounds like a downer, but it isn't at all. Reading the stories of poor women in impoverished areas who learn that the reason their communities are suffering from weather extremes is actually climate change -- and who stand up to speak on the world stage -- is totally insp ...more
Printed Pages and Coffee
Here, 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 fo
3.5 stars

There are different ways to think about climate change. There is the pessimistic way. People who are pessimistic, see no path to success on climate change. It is a thinking that often leads to paralysis.

There is the “perfect market failure” way of thinking. Introduced by Nicholas Stern, author of the influential Stern Review on the economics of climate change, it perceives climate change as the result of the greatest market failure the world has seen. Climate change is a global problem
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring and informative book. Robinson has compiled stories of people from many countries and walks of life trying to survive and to make the world a better place. It's also just the right length!
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book group friend suggested I read Climate Justice by Mary Robinson, who, following the birth of her first grandchild, felt compelled to curate this inspiring collection of women’s stories. It’s a slim, important book highlighting the work being undertaken by women around the world, pulling together to force governments and power holders to take climate change seriously. What makes Climate Justice so arresting is that this is no dry academic tome, but rather the voices of women sharing the dev ...more
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m not often optimistic about the future, mostly because of climate change and the lack of enthusiasm for doing anything meaningful to stop fossil fuels from choking us all and heating up our atmosphere and oceans. This short book gives me some hope. The author tells the success stories of several (mostly) women around the world who are confronting waste and pollution in their communities. It was inspiring to read about the doggedness of these people, who like me see the problem but unlike me w ...more
Katia Diamond-sagias
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mary Robinson’s Climate Justice is unlike any of the books I have reviewed before. While I normally remain a dedicated reader of fiction, I was taken with this slim, concise little book that looks at the effects of climate change and the necessity of reversing it through a powerful human lens. Robinson, formerly the President of Ireland, decides to use her considerable power and renown to elevate the stories and voices of people (mostly women) who are doing extraordinary work in their communitie ...more
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Ensuring climate justice for humanity


“Climate change, I realized, was no longer a scientific abstraction but a man-made phenomenon that impacted people—primarily the most vulnerable¬—all over the world.

While industrial nations continued to build their economies on the backs of fossil fuels, the most disadvantaged across the world were suffering most from the effects of climate change. Though these communities were the least responsible for the emissions causing climate change, they wer
Mj Brodie
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was conceived as a 'storytelling book on climate justice' that can engage the average reader on such a complex issue by focusing on the real stories of individuals who have been affected by climate change and are taking action to fight back.

As UN Special Envoy for Climate Change, Mary Robinson has traveled the globe to support communities that are on the frontline of climate change and wrote this book to elevate their voices on the global stage. Reading their stories, it's impossible n
Brian Gormley
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.9 out of 5. There is (understandably) a lot of doom and gloom about climate change, so this book is refreshing as it focuses on the extraordinary impact that ordinary citizens can make through their positive activism. The writing is accessible and it’s a quick and enjoyable read. Many of the case studies / stories look at community development. The people who took action very often had little power or resources, but still made a significant difference, which is reassuring for those of us who w ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a very accessible style, Mary Robinson has written a book that gives us hope in the fight against climate change.

Through regular people's stories, we learn that climate change can and must be tackled from all levels of society. We don't have to rely on national governments or big corporations in order to start making a change that will save our planet. However, Mary Robinson is not afraid of clearly pointing that the actions of the richest nations are to blame for the situation we are in and
Rachel Young
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: important
This book is a highly accessible and important insight into the realities of climate change. It is not just a scientific issue - it is about poverty, inequality, racism, and injustice. Mary Robinson uses her platform to give a voice to the people being affected by climate change right now - not polar bears, not turtles with plastic straws in their noses (as upsetting as these things are), but PEOPLE. Those living on small islands that will be swallowed by the sea within the century, taking not j ...more
Jess Macallan
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a powerful look at climate change from the perspective of a leader who has had the opportunity to speak with the marginalized people most impacted by this global threat. What I loved most about this book is that she tells the story from a variety of powerful perspectives, highlighting the critical need to act immediately. More importantly, the author offers a voice for people who have routinely been ignored but are directly and negatively impacted by climate change. These inspiring indiv ...more
Robinson, a former President of Ireland and a UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, pushes the idea, as the title suggests, of climate justice. Climate justice is the work to address the inequalities of the impact of climate change - poor peoples and developing countries are experiencing the brunt of climate change, which has been exacerbated by the fossil fuel/energy consumption of the richer, more developed nations.

Robinson avoids delving deep into policies or scientific evidence, but pursues he
Anne Pytlak
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Discouraging and inspiring at the same time, this book lays out what is happening and what to expect with climate change but also highlights individuals who are fighting the good fight to lessen the devastating impact. These individuals are not prime ministers or presidents, nor are they CEOs or wealthy philanthropists. Instead, they are citizens who have been directly affected by climate change, and even though they come from third world countries or poor communities in the West, they have made ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had *loads* of time to read on the journey home, this is another one that got devoured.

As I write, Mary Robinson has come under fire very recently, but I'm reviewing the book on its own merits. I absolutely recommend this book as a lesson on the importance of storytelling as a communication tool. It doesn't pull any punches about the threat presented by climate change and the urgent need to action, but also (like in A Christmas Carol!) presents a glimmer of hope, showing the power to make chan
Sinh Nguyen
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
“As our planet continues to warm and smoggy conditions increase, those living in low-income parts of cities will inevitably suffer the most. The poor do not have the economic conditions that allow them to be resilient in climate hazards, nor can they often choose to leave their disadvantaged areas. Policymakers tackling climate change must acknowledge these injustices for urban and minority communities caught in the crosshairs of climate change. If not, these racial disparities and economic disa ...more
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is necessary for times likes these. It gives a voice to some of the people who have so far been most affected by climate change and have since been searching for recognition and justice for their communities. Even though the book was short and didn't in any way touch on everyone affected by climate change, it was sufficient to completely inspire me to do whatever I can to help these communities in their fight. I encourage anyone to read this book, especially if you don't yet care much ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Quick read! Robinson tells compelling stories about the people being affected most by climate change and what they are doing to address it. There is hope in these pages. We need resolve and we need to pair our concern about the environment with concern for poor and indigenous communities.

Many people and communities are working to limit carbon emissions. It is deeply troubling to be an American reading this book and to know that people in our government not only deny the truth of climate change b
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Everyone who is concerned by climate change should read this book. In brief vignettes from locations all over the globe, the people most impacted by climate change get their stories told. The ground-level view of climate change as it is happening is sobering. However, Climate Justice is ultimately a hopeful book, a call to action, and a celebration of human will and ingenuity in the face of a global catastrophe. There is work to be done; it's time for all of us to do it.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Deepening our understanding and awareness of the many causes and catastrophic effects of climate change, Mrs. Robinson's book presents first-hand anecdotal evidence from people on the front lines. Personalising the climate change debate - which is as much a discussion about class and gender - she refutes the futility fallacy by demonstrating how our personal and local initiatives can become more unified and effectual global ones. The experiences of citizens from third-world countries, who are of ...more
Carla Villar
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Climate Justice is an excellent reminder that if we all do something, we can make a difference. The book shares personal stories of individuals across a wide range of educational and socioeconomic backgrounds who have worked and continue to work to make a difference in the effort to slow down climate change. If you need any inspiration to do just one thing differently this year to combat climate change, read this book.
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding and inspiring tales of leaders in the fight against global warming (mostly women) told by Ireland’s first female president, Mary Robinson. The many ways that climate change is devastating people’s lives and environments are difficult to read about and brought on deep feelings of grief. But it was so wonderful to hear the commitment of these leaders that it was worth it all. Overall, so glad I picked up this little volume — fuel for the fight! ONWARD.
Adrian Sprague
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has helped quell a lot of my worries about climate justice by telling me just how serious of an issue it is. Because of this and the ways to help described in this book, I can make a much better conscious effort to reduce my carbon foot print. Excellently written with great first hand stories and information on the topic
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very well written and well organized book that is arranged as a series of stories from all over the globe, clustered around the framework of the Paris Climate Accord. Mary Robinson's deep understanding of the process involved in framing this agreement makes this an essential read for anyone who wants to know how we are to move ahead without leaving anyone behind.
Melissa Sarno
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
A slim book that packs a big punch. Heartfelt and powerful. Robinson believes that stories are what will move us toward climate justice. And that, while the states and governments have power, it is individuals and families that will ultimately produce the change necessary to reduce our carbon emissions and save our planet. Then she gives us story after story to prove that. Very inspiring.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

Mary Therese Winifred Robinson (née Bourke; Irish: Máire Bean Mhic Róibín) served as the seventh, and first female, President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from 1997 to 2002.