Thursday, September 21, 2023

A Review of "Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility," edited by Rebecca Solnit & Thelma Young Lutunatabua


It’s not lost on me that I’m reading Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility (Haymarket Books) as I take a fuel-guzzling flight cross country. As much as the 28 essays that Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua have gathered provide hope, ammunition, community, congratulations for small gains along the way, as much as I don’t need to be in the slightest convinced that our human-caused climate crisis is destroying our planet (I also have recently left Maui a mere four days before Lahaina was consumed), I stand accused, too. And let’s not even get to our beloved vintage gas-burning Wedgewood stove….

Of course, how can’t we all take the boiling/flooding/drought-stricken/on fire end of the world personally? A collection like Not Too Late by its very nature tends to speak more to the converted no matter how hard its authors hope otherwise, and even the converted among us always yearn we might somehow be exceptions. It certainly helps that’s it’s only a few pages into the book when co-editor Lutunatabua asserts, “The question shouldn’t be Will my actions be enough? but Will our actions be enough? This is a communal quest in which everyone can bring their talents, visions, desires, access—and if one person struggles, we can help each other up.”

Care to read the rest then do so at the California Review of Books.

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