With the climate and nature crisis already reaching most parts of the planet, we all need to become Earth Heroes. In September 2022 we explored the stories of people who have been fighting for our future.
“The period of 2020-2030 will be both a terrifying and a golden era for humanity.”
- Eric Holthaus, author of The Future Earth.
To kick off this blog post, here's an introduction to the shortlisted books...
All We Can Save: Truth, Courage and Solutions for the Climate Crisis
Edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Dr. Katherine K Wilkinson
Published by One World
"We've read a lot of books on the climate and ecological crisis and what we can all do about it. They often leave us with a mix of fatigue and fear of the reality of what we're facing as well as ideas for what we might do. All We Can Save is different. Not just because of the splattering of powerful poetry but principally because it's a collective work. Described as a 'provocative and illuminating essays from women at the forefront for the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward.'
If we heed its words and inspiration, there is hope.
As it concludes: "It is a magnificent thing to be alive in a moment that matters so much. Let's proceed with broken-open hearts, seeking truth, summoning courage, and focusing on solutions."
A Bigger Picture: My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis by Vanessa Nakate
Published by One Boat
"Africa will be one of the worst-hit regions, despite having done least to cause the climate crisis."
A fascinating close-up, step-by-step story of how a young Ugandan woman started bravely protesting about the climate crisis. Inspiring by doing rather than talking.
Vanessa explains how the world's second largest rainforest in the Congo is under huge threat and how the drought being caused by climate change are creating one of the biggest famines and refugee crises in history in the horn of Africa.
Our Biggest Experiment: A History of the Climate Crisis by Alice Bell
Published by Bloomsbury Sigma
Although most of us understand the science of climate change and why it's happening, do we know who discovered the problem and why it's taken so long to be taken seriously?
Did you know the link between carbon dioxide and global warming was first suggested in the 1850s? Climate change books are usually about the future, but Our Biggest Experiment instead asks how we got into this mess.
Join Alice Bell on a rip-roaring ride through the characters, ideas, technologies and experiments that shaped the climate crisis we now find ourselves in...and how we can get out of it.
About All We Can Save
Our winning book, voted for by Rebel Book Club members was... All We Can Save.
All We Can Save is an anthology of writings by 60 women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward. The book was edited by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson.
Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, writer, and Brooklyn native. She is co-founder of the non-profit think tank Urban Ocean Lab, co-founder of the climate initiative The All We Can Save Project, and co-creator of the podcast How to Save a Planet. You’ll find her at the nexus of science, policy, and communication, focused on climate solutions.
Dr. Katharine Wilkinson is a bestselling author, strategist, and teacher, working to heal the planet we call home. Time magazine featured her as one of 15 “women who will save the world.” Her books on climate includes The Drawdown Review (2020, editor-in-chief and lead writer), the New York Times bestseller Drawdown (2017, lead writer), and Between God & Green (2012). She co-hosts the podcast A Matter of Degrees, telling stories for the climate curious with Dr. Leah Stokes.
Throughout September, we shared essay recommendations from this important + beautiful book. Here are a few of them...
Indigenous Prophecy and Mother Earth
by Sherri Mitchell, Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset - p.16
The millennia-long knowledge acquired by indigenous people through living in harmony with nature begins to finally be acknowledged, when scientists discover what Sherri's ancestors knew long ago.
As an activist, she's identifying biases, beliefs and racial ideologies that led to the systematic exploitation and silencing of indigenous people. As a storyteller and custodian of indigenous wisdom and traditions, she's highlighting prophecies foretold by her ancestors, pointing to the climate crisis we are facing and the choices we have. She blends powerful arguments with indigenous wisdom to lead us on 'a pathway back toward life'.
by Naomi Klein - p.39
One of the original writers on climate (This Changes Everything, which was book#3 at RBC in 2015), Klein explains why young people are so clear about what needs to be done and why the "Green New Deal" is a unique opportunity to solve several interlocking crises at once.
'Inequality & climate change are the twin challenges of our time, and more democracy is the answer to both.'
- Heather McGhee
How we can talk about climate change
by Kathrine Hayhoe (p.105)
'Today when I encounter someone who's doubtful about the reality or relevance of climate change, I don't start talking about the science, instead, I try to identify something we have in common.'
Truth be Told
by Emily Atkin (p.113)
Talks about why we - as a global society - haven't yet accepted the fact that we are in a crisis and responded appropriately.
We Are Sunrise
by Varshini Prakesh p. 187
"Our generation is living at the crossroads of life and death."
"It takes just 3.5% of a population getting active - voting, donating, taking the streets, talking to their neighbours - for a campaign to win. That's about 11.5 million in the US, about 2.1 million in the UK. We can do it."
Rebel Book Club's September Events
As usual, we hosted 3 member events to close out September - online + in Bristol at Framework and London at XandWhy, Whitechapel.
For our online event, we heard from Charly Cox. Charly is a fully trained coach, professional facilitator, Founder of the Climate Change Coaches. She is also the co-author of the first book on climate change coaching, which is a discipline that her team pioneered.
Charly spoke about what some of the common feelings are that she encounters within the people she works with. For example, the overwhelm, the despair + the possible solutions. Such as how do you feel less stuck and more empowered to motivate us all into action.
"What coaches do that is so useful in this space is, we don't reduce the size of climate change, we increase the size of the person to tackle it." - Charly Cox @ our Rebel Book Club Global Event.
If you or your business are interested in finding out more about Charly's work, check out her website here.
September's events also included a climate quiz, to test our general knowledge and then critically we focussed on an action framework put together by Dr. Ayana Johnson - editor of All We Can Save. Here's a link to Dr. Johnson's blog for more detail about how it works. It's a tried and tested exercise to get creative about how you can play your part in tackling climate change, whilst importantly playing to your strengths, enjoying the process and not burning out...
Or you can watch the TED Talk here...
RBCTV Rewind: Q+A with Kendra Pierre-Louis
In March 2021 we gathered with Kendra Pierre-Louis for a Campfire Conversation. Kendra contributed to All We Can Save with ‘Wakanda Doesn’t Have Suburbs’ (p.138) - learn more about Wakanda and how Kendra's essay made it in the book by watching the recording here.
Next up at Rebel Book Club...
In October we'll be moving onto the theme WISE. Our members have voted already and our next book is... BREATH by James Nestor.
If you'd like to read along with us, check our our membership page or the links below for more info. We'd love for you to join us!
IF YOU’RE NEW HERE, WELCOME!
We are Rebel Book Club, a global nonfiction book club.
We’ve been reading together for 5+ years and we exist to accelerate your reading habits, connect you with like-minded thinkers + doers and take positive action in a changing world…
We have an event at the end of each month, where we hear from experts in a relevant field to the books we’re reading – which is how this blog post came about.
If you’d like to find out more, check out our website, follow us on Instagram or email our Membership Manager at email@example.com.
We can’t wait to welcome you aboard!
Not Your Average Book Club.