The essays of From Environmental Loss to Resistance are an example of engaged scholarship. They focus on “the plurality of ways to be active agents of change” in North America and were written by activists and academics working on climate change and other environmental and social justice issues.
The contributors analyze ways to communicate critical problems more effectively with the general public and stress the need to work more closely with marginalized communities who are most impacted by pollution and environmental racism. Chapters highlight the “slow violence” faced by Indigenous people in Canada, affected by Columbia River damming; water contamination in Flint, Michigan and the Standing Rock Reservation; and border wall disruptions to humans and wildlife alike. They declare that they are encouraged by growing public support for local resistance efforts and their strong collaborations with allied groups.
Many entries focus on the need for systemic changes. Michael Loadenthal’s review of Earth First! and the Earth Liberation Front analyzes how environmental tactics have switched from 1970s monkeywrenching to less polarizing and militant strategies like boycotts, blockades, and education campaigns. Enhanced networking between environmental groups, local communities, performers, and artists are also gaining traction. Even humor, as when transnational activists staged an international “competition” of volleyball and horseshoes across the US-Mexican border, can be an effective resistance tool.
More than one entry describes the personal challenges that activists face as they work through environmental grief and trauma. The book stresses the need for self-care to keep hopeful and mentally strong. Climate change educator Jan Inglis believes that, by participating in change and achieving and celebrating even the smallest victories, individuals can develop more complex and positive ways of thinking about, and responding, to accelerating environmental upheaval.
From Environmental Loss to Resistance is an empowering and impassioned response to accelerating environmental degradation with many positive ideas for personal and collective action.
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