Book recommendation – Climate Change is Racist by Jeremy Williams.
People often say that everyone is on the same boat regarding climate change. That might be true, but while the first world is on the upper deck sipping cocktails, people on the lowest decks are already drowning. Jeremy Williams very well explains this analogy in his latest book Climate Change is Racist.
It is a highly recommendable book because it is easy to read and relatively short (only 128 pages). It helps anyone understand the “structural racism involved in climate change and the stark disconnect between the causes of climate change and its consequences. Those most responsible for damaging the atmosphere face the lowest risks, while the greatest dangers fall on those who are least responsible. This is the injustice of climate change.”
Nature can handle some GHG emissions and still be in balance. However, the first world countries have used up way more than their fair share of Greenhouse gas emissions. You could say that they are in ecological debt to those who did not use theirs. But we used up more than their share of GHG emissions, which is one reason why we are currently in a climate crisis.
He emphasizes that one can have many types of privilege: white privilege, male privilege, heterosexual privilege, economic privilege, the privilege of being an English native (i.e. access to more information), and many more. Jeremy Williams explains that we cannot be blamed for being privileged, but we can be held responsible for what we do with it.
This brings us to climate privilege; the privilege of being untroubled by climate change to experience no negative effects (yet). It is up to us to stand up and push for change and justice because there are already many people who suffer from climate change today.
We can take our responsibility by reducing our carbon footprint, by speaking up for climate injustice happening today, with our political vote, by not overconsuming, by eating plant-based and mostly seasonal and local, by investing more responsibly. Speaking up is very important – we need the weight in numbers for systemic change.