cover image What Climate Justice Means and Why We Should Care

What Climate Justice Means and Why We Should Care

Elizabeth Cripps. Bloomsbury Continuum, $18 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4729-9181-2

Climate change is a moral issue according to this impassioned treatise from philosopher Cripps. She highlights the “radical discrepancy between those who have a say and those who feel the pain,” noting how decision-makers in wealthy countries set global policies that inevitably negatively affect people in poorer countries. Drawing connections between climate injustice and environmental racism and sexism, she suggests “women of colour face the greatest threats” from climate change, and points out that Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters devastated predominantly Black neighborhoods. There are things society must do “to protect the most vulnerable,” she urges, and in a section called “But What Can I Do?” she argues that activism makes a difference, as does changing one’s lifestyle habits to avoid driving, flying, and eating dairy and meat: “Changing your lifestyle,” she writes, “shows you’re willing to accept legislative or corporate adaptations.” Cripps does well to avoid guilting her readers into action, offering instead a case for acting out of one’s sense of decency: “Being able to help is, itself, a moral reason for helping... if you can save someone from severe suffering, comparatively easily, you should.” Sincere and substantial, this offers bountiful insight into the movement for climate justice. (Apr.)