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

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  760 ratings  ·  139 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 4.18  · 
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 ·  760 ratings  ·  139 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 ...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 ...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 ...more
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 ...more
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
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 ...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 ...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 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 ...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 ...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
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 ...more
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
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 ...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.
Sarah M
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic and important read filled with testimonies from those at the front lines of climate change. Informs us that to tackle issues of poverty and inequality around the world, we must also face the issue of climate change, as it is those who are least responsible for the degradation of the environment who will suffer, and are currently suffering, the most. It's not an easy or uplifting topic but I found this book fundamentally hopeful and inspiring, a call to arms instead of admitting ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookclub
This is a hopeful book! Robinson introduces us to those most directly affected by current climate change: mostly women, mostly poor, mostly indigenous and/or non-white people and tells us how these people are making the world better for all of us.
Mel Auffredou
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eoin McGrath
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Informative, enlightening, approachable, and a bit bland.
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.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enlightening and terrifying. Full of facts (especially in the latter end of the text) which we all need to hear in this time of environmental emergency.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health-wellness
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!
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.
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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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