Three Books on Climate Concerns | Science Reviews

Jane Fonda writes an urgent call for environmental action and the Dalai Lama shares a climate appeal to the world. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson gather feminist voices in the climate movement.

What Can I DoFonda, Jane. What Can I Do? My Path from Climate Despair to Action. Penguin. Oct. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780593296226. $30. NAT HIST
It is remarkable to observe a single individual attempting to change world events, but that is exactly what Fonda (Prime Time) is trying to do. Taking Greta Thunberg as her model, Fonda decided to raise awareness about caring for the climate utilizing all the resources at her disposal. She teamed with Greenpeace and protested frequently in 2019 and 2020, getting arrested at least three times for civil disobedience. The Fire Drill Fridays movement, started by Fonda and Greenpeace, combined the star power of celebrities with activists, primarily women of color, to address multiple topics related to climate change, including adverse health effects. Each chapter here covers one week and one topic going over the basics of the issue, the events of the rally, and resources for further action. As Fonda points out, the work of climate change cannot wait, and she is here to offer suggestions. Readers need not read the entire book in order to join the movement; each chapter has suggestions for specific actions people can take. VERDICT This urgent call for environmental action will have the most impact on readers already familiar with Fonda and her activism during the Vietnam War. It will also pique the interest of others wondering, What can I do?—Cate Schneiderman, Emerson Coll., Boston

All We Can SaveredstarAll We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis. One World. Sept. 2020. 448p. ed. by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine K. Wilkinson. ISBN 9780593237069. $29. NAT HIST
Published in the midst of a resurgence of young climate activists with strong voices such as Jamie Margolin and Greta Thunberg, who are fighting bold battles against systems they assert condone and perpetuate climate change, this work feels somewhat nostalgic for 1960s-style activism. Editors Johnson, a marine biologist, and author and teacher Wilkinson have highlighted statistics, included powerful quotations, and underlined the names of women who have played significant roles in the fight against climate change, making this work accessible to readers without much prior knowledge of women's climate-related work and a welcome text in college courses on environmentalism. Their introduction sets up key terminology and asks readers to contemplate ways in which environmentalism has been impacted by toxic masculinity while setting the stage for an examination that is intersectional in its attention to issues of race, class, and gender. While some contributions are stronger than others, the book overall provides space for women to explore the seriousness of climate change in essays, poems, and artwork, with a sense of urgency and beauty. VERDICT By grouping a range of women’s voices, the editors have crafted a hopeful narrative, with many calls to action.—Emily Bowles, Lawrence Univ., WI

Our Only HomeDalai Lama & Franz Alt. Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World. Hanover Square. Nov. 2020. 176p. ISBN 9781335218469. $19.99. NAT HIST
The Dalai Lama and Franz Alt collaborate again after 2017's An Appeal to the World, this time with a focus on climate change. This slim volume is written in support of young climate activists and intended to urge politicians to address the immediacy of global warming. To the Dalai Lama, environmental issues are beyond any one religious or political affiliation, and it is humankind’s ethical responsibility to make the necessary changes to ensure our survival. The first two sections are written by Alt, giving a wide view of climate change and global activism efforts. The third section presents the Dalai Lama's support of environmental issues. After lengthy interviews between the two authors regarding the ethics of caring for the environment, a poem by the Dalai Lama is presented. In conversation, the authors also reflect on topics including the 2106 Paris Agreement and the concept of universal responsibility. Further reflections by Alt conclude the book, and action points for individuals and governments are included. VERDICT This impassioned account is ideal for readers well versed in current climate change activism, especially efforts spearheaded by Greta Thunberg. Relevant for collections with a concentration on environmental issues, otherwise optional.—Anitra Gates, Erie Cty. P.L., PA

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