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

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,153 ratings  ·  186 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 4.15  · 
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 ·  1,153 ratings  ·  186 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
Samantha Pfab
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A quick yet important read. I started it this morning and just finished.

Robinson, former President of Ireland, does a phenomenal job of painting a picture of the reality of climate change in a global context. My eyes were opened through the various personal stories of people experiencing climate crisis on the ground level all across the world. Each chapter, focusing on a different individual's experience in the climate crisis, further expanded my understanding of the severity of the problem whi
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
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
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
Aug 15, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm very glad I read this book. I did not know as much as I probably should about Global Warming and Climate Change. It feels good to be a little more informed. This book made a huge impact on me as I traveled the globe hearing the stories of women, villagers, and individuals who have been struggling to survive because of climate change. We also heard about these individuals who have chosen to dedicate their lives to make the world better for the future. I was nervous this book would make me sup ...more
Generally I really like the book's idea of putting indigenous people and their suffering from climate change into the center of the narrative, but for some reason the book didn't grip me. I think for one, the tone of the book was pretty monotonous and secondly, i agree with other comments that maybe Mary Robinson should've maybe let those people talk for themselves.
Also, while the (white) lady from Australia, who went from not even recycling to creating a website to encourage other people to be
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book transforms climate change from an abstract scientific theory to the lived experiences of individuals. In doing so it clearly illustrates, not only the realities of climate change, but also the urgency with which we must act.
An excellent read that, rightfully, places climate change at the forefront and heart of all human rights and other actions we must make.
Ayala Levinger
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Important and inspiring.
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
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
Camille McCarthy
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was pretty terrible, especially in hindsight (it was published two years ago). Mary Robinson talks about how she never realized climate change was so important until her grandson was born and she realized he would have to deal with it all and might not have a world to inhabit soon. That she could be president of Ireland and not have a real understanding of climate change's immediacy and seriousness is frankly horrifying. Most of the book was about different people who are on the front ...more
The title of this book doesn't quite reflect its contents. This is a collection of stories about (mostly) women in (mostly) rural communities who are disproportionately affected by climate change (and often least responsible for it), and who have taken strides to rally support, educate, lobby, create new organizations and end up (conspicuously often) speaking to the United Nations about their experiences to standing ovations. A little sugary sweet and a touch self-righteous/patronizing to the pe ...more
Molly Ferguson
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching
This was more of a 3.5, but I rounded up because I love Mary Robinson and this book was exactly what I needed it to be. I was looking for a relatively short and easy to read book for my Women's and Gender Studies class to read, and this fits the bill perfectly. Each chapter is stories of people (mostly women - only two contained men and they shared the chapter with a woman) who faced the ravages of climate change and who have made efforts to combat it in their own location. It is very hopeful, a ...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 start.

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
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to push Climate Justice into the hands of all those people who still feel like tackling climate change and lessening human suffering are two separate things and that the first one isn’t as pressing of an issue as the second, even though the connection between these problems is undeniable; if you care about humans, you should be terrified of the effects of climate change. At least you will be after reading this book as Mary Robinson does an excellent job at bringing in the human perspectiv ...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
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Having naturally acquired a growing interest in sustainability and combating climate change over the recent years, I purchased this book at my local bookstore after having it recommended by the bookseller, and I'm glad she did. The core message of Climate Justice is that we should start thinking globally and act locally, bringing positive change to our behavior in the countless ways possible.

Robinson delivers a well-written, powerful and direct book containing secondhand accounts from people, mo
So happy I read this so early in the year and already have my five-star read and probably one of my favourite reads of 2020 already! Mary Robinson is just a gem!

In Climate Justice, Mary Robinson talks to different people (mostly female, POC and from indigenous tribes across the world) about the actual effects they have seen, lived through and battled of climate change and how it has changed their daily way of life. From women in Chad who have suffered both flooding and drought, and people believ
Apr 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
White people and their usual cry: humanity (the Whites) has to thrive. Never mind how many of the darkies would die, Robison has decided: 9 billion is too many anyway. An ugly story going again and again.
* 13th century they were taking back the Holy Land by plundering any settlement found along the way and taking all valuables from travellers, because God has asked them.
* 15th century they were bringing the Gospel and taking all the gold, because Jesus has asked them.
* 18th century they were tra
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 change is a global problem
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
Wallis Greenslade
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it
An interesting look at the historical role (or lack thereof) of indigenous voices in climate activism. The author uses people to illustrate the truth that those who are least responsible for climate change are those that have to live with the greatest brunt of its effects. I found the structure of the book difficult to engage with, and the story failed to reach a clear crescendo.

Nonetheless, great stories and a really important connection to make about the role of women in driving better enviro
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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.

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