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

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  533 ratings  ·  101 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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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  533 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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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
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.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I had the opportunity to hear Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, speak at an event a few years ago - she's energetic, intelligent, and has had a remarkable public service career. Her most recent work in the international realm involves what she terms 'climate justice,' based on the realization that human rights and climate change are inextricably linked. This slim volume explains the concept and is framed around 11 individuals whose climate-justice work she highlights. For example, ...more
Angie Reisetter
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
Andrew Blok
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Climate change is going to affect all of us, but it's going to hurt some more than others. Often those hardest hit are women in developing nations. In this book, Mary Robinson tells the stories of some of the people (mostly women) who she's met and learned about in her work advocating for climate justice, the idea that any action on climate change needs to be rooted in equitable requirements and developments that don't put the burden on the poorest people who have done the least to contribute to ...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 sound
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
Ellie Beranová
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Climate Justice is an inspiring and empowering book, which tells deeply humane stories of ordinary people (mostly women) affected by the climate change. I love that the book is written in such an accessible and sympathetic way that is understandable even for people, who do not have that much knowledge about the topic. On the other hand, even if you know a lot about the climate change, the book is still worth reading just for the sake of the stories and inspiration that you might take from them. ...more
A great accessible book which shows a more personal side to climate change.

Robinson gives us stories of people who are already being affected by the changing climate and what they are doing about it in an easy to read way which doesn't blast science in your face (although I don't mind science being blasted at me).

Recommended for people who want to know more but cant read/understand the more "science-y literature" out there.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you know about climate change & climate justice already, this probably isn't the book for you. If you've read Naomi Klein or gone to a climate march/XR protest or if you don't eat animal products (& if I'm describing myself in this rhetoric), a lot of this is stuff you already know and it's written in a somewhat insipid tone. But if you're also someone who needs to convince friends and family that climate change is a very real threat affecting very real people ... This book is a good ...more
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
Roshan Singh
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Climate change is the single biggest threat that our planet is facing. The scientific community has been warning of the devastating effects that continued increase in carbon emissions will have on the planet. We know the problem, we also know the solution -- reduce emissions. Although it sounds simple, the problem our planet is facing is way too complex to handle.

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Climate Change, educates the reade
I really admire Mary Robinson as an advocate for people who need a voice. As President of Ireland (our first female president), she represented us well on the world stage, and she has continued to do so as High Commissioner for Human Rights, and in her work with refugees and now on climate change/climate justice. I want to preface this review with my admiration for her, because I also need to say that I don't think that her speaking for all these people who have been affected by climate change w ...more
A Reader
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 cha
Lisa Hale
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a very interesting and informative book. I highly recommend it. The various stories of people and societies affected by the global climate crisis were heartbreaking and shocking. I’m so inspired by these people from all over the world bringing awareness of the effects the climate change crisis is having in their communities and the actions they are working at to fight this crisis. It makes me feel more focused on doing my part to live more sustainably, as she notes at the end of the boo ...more
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mary Robinson's book does feel like a review for people who are somewhat familiar with climate change, but what I think is new and refreshing about this book is her using her platform to share the experiences of climate activists who come from the marginalized communities often most impacted by climate change. This book is worth the read just as an almost-anthology of activists who we don't hear a lot about in the usual conversations about climate change.
Anna Smithberger
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really solid look at the impact of climate change on individuals, especially those who are already most vulnerable.
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!
Eoin McGrath
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Informative, enlightening, approachable, and a bit bland.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads
I’m an M-Rob fan anyway, but this was a brilliant and informative view of climate justice issues. It brings together her own professional/personal perspective and the voices of men and women whose communities are impacted and threatened by our changing climate.
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
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
Rebecca Hughes
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Climate justice is the recognition that climate change is a man-made phenomenon that affects primarily the most vulnerable people all around the world. It draws attention to the fact that whilst industrial nations continue to build their economies of the backs of fossil fuel, the poorest across the world are suffering the most from the effects of climate change.

In fact, when it comes to climate change there has been nothing but chronic injustice and the corrosion of human rights. “For too long
Uday Singh
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is important! That’s the best way to describe it, for me. I’ve been on the look for a book that dives into the depth of Climate Change and that too, not only from the problem perspective but also the solution. So, here’s everything.

The best part about this book is how the author takes the issue of climate change and defines the underlying problems for the people dealing with it. Many of the population doesn’t have to face the adverse effect of the climate change. Yes, it’s
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
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although I often feel despair at climate issues and global warming, I try not to shy away from learning about it, whether through talks, documentaries, conversation or reading. This book, which had gained some, (though in my opinion not enough) traction last year, was on my to-read list for quite a while.

Since my focus and time for reading has greatly decreased over the last two years, this book really suited me. Each chapter was told by different women living in different areas, ranging from a
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I applaud Ms. Robinson's decision to treat the topic of climate justice through stories of those who are affected by climate change and are doing something to ameliorate its effects. The book is more engaging and compelling for it.

The beginning of the book was somewhat depressing. The effects of climate change are already worse than I realized. Multiple civilizations that are on the edge of the oceans or deserts are already being pushed to the point that they have to move to survive. Climat
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
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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.
“Poor is poor, in any language.” 1 likes
“What would happen if we all cut our meat consumption just by fifty percent? Or if we got our electricity down by twenty percent? Or bought fifty percent less ‘stuff’? If somebody just does it on their own, you think, what difference will it make? But if whole communities do it—if the entire population lived differently—it changes the system. There is so much power in actions like lifestyle change because not only does it cut pollution, it also helps you to find your voice.” 0 likes
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