Reading Guide: Climate Justice

About the book

Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future, by Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland, is this year’s nonfiction selection. Robinson gives voice to farmers, activists, and ordinary people worldwide who are facing the effects of the climate crisis with courage and innovation.  Her book acknowledges the hardship and uncertainty environmental degradation has had on traditional ways of life and celebrates the resilience of people who have worked for sustainable solutions. 

Climate Justice

Meet the author

Mary Robinson is one of the world’s most respected advocates for climate justice and Ireland’s first woman, serving from 1990 to 1997. She leads the Mary Robinson Foundation—Climate Justice, a center for thought leadership, education and advocacy for the poor and disempowered in the world that are disproportionately threatened by climate change. Robinson was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009. She currently serves as a UN Special Envoy on Climate Change.

Discussion Questions

  1. Whose story did you relate to most (or which story resonated the most with you?) Why?
  2. Robinson frames climate change as something she became more aware of after her grandson was born – was this frame helpful?  How have you learned and/or become more aware of
    climate change?
  3. Robinson tells the stories of communities that have noticed their environments changing - more or less rain, previously predictable weather becoming unpredictable. Have you noticed similar changes in Minnesota?
  4. What impact do you think climate change will have on our local community within the next 50 years? 100 years?
  5. Climate Justice focuses on grassroots movements making a difference on climate change, but she also talks about the ability of governments and business leaders to create meaningful change. Where do you see the most opportunity for making a difference – individuals, governments, or businesses?
  6. Why do you think Robinson uses the word “justice” in the title of her book? Do you see this justice (or injustice) in Saint Paul? In Minnesota? How best can this justice be served?
  7. Did you learn anything new about climate change after reading Climate Justice? Did it change your perspective about climate change on a personal or societal level?
  8. After reading Climate Justice, are you motivated to take action? What would that action look like?

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