68 pages 2 hours read

Ed. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ed. Katharine K. Wilkinson

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis

Nonfiction | Anthology/Varied Collection | Adult | Published in 2020

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Important Quotes

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“It’s time to change our mindset toward implementing solutions. A vibrant, fair, and regenerative future is possible–not when thousands of people do climate justice activism perfectly but when millions of people do the best they can.”

(Part 1, Chapter 1, Page 7)

Xiye Bastida gives a call to action to the adults reading her essay, calling the climate crisis an emergency that requires all people to engage with the reality of the issue rather than shutting it out. No one will be a perfect climate activist, but this is not as important as strength in numbers.

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“If humans are to help reverse global warming, we will need to step into the flow of the carbon cycle in new ways, stopping our excessive exhale of carbon dioxide and encouraging the winded ecosystems of the planet to take a good long inhale as they heal. It will mean learning to help the helpers, those microbes, plants, and animals that do the daily alchemy of turning carbon into life.”

(Part 1, Chapter 2, Page 13)

Janine Benyus focuses on the need for a mutualistic relationship with nature. She writes that collaborative healing can take place when we return to our role as nurturers. Several writers featured in this collection suggest that this is one reason why women—who have traditionally been their families’ and communities’ nurturers—should play a leading role in the climate movement.

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“We must also recognize that climate change is only one symptom of a larger problem. Human beings have fallen out of alignment with life. Their beliefs and ways of being have shifted dramatically from those of their ancestors, taking them further and further away from the sources of their survival. As a result, people have forgotten how to live in relationship with the rest of creation […] the greatest contribution that Indigenous peoples may be able to make at this time is to continue providing the world with living models of sustainability that are rooted in ancient wisdom and that inform us how to live in balance with all of our relations on Mother Earth. This will require non-Indigenous people to stand with us and ensure that our lands, waters, and ways of life are not further eroded by government and industrial intrusion.”

(Part 1, Chapter 4, Page 20)

Sherri Mitchell, Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset of Penawahpskek Nation, emphasizes the importance of Indigenous knowledge in climate change. Centering Indigenous knowledge will guide us back to a place of respect toward the Earth and in turn, the environment will benefit. This idea of returning to a prior relationship with the Earth is one that recurs even in the more policy-driven essays in this collection—for example, in Amanda Sturgeon’s description of biophilic architecture as more in line with how humans have traditionally built and lived.