Climate Insurgency: A Strategy for Survival, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Climate Insurgency

A Strategy for Survival, 1st Edition

By Jeremy Brecher


170 pages

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eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315635514
pub: 2015-11-17
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Twenty-five years of human effort have failed even to slow climate change, let alone reverse it. Climate Insurgency lays out a strategy for protecting the earth's climate: a global nonviolent constitutional insurgency. This short book starts with a brief history of official climate protection efforts "from above" and non-governmental ones "from below" that explains why climate protection has failed so far. Then, it proposes a global nonviolent insurgency for climate protection to overcome that failure. Historian and longtime activist Jeremy Brecher presents a public trust doctrine that can legitimate global climate insurgency in national and international law. He shows how to make national economies climate-safe and points the way toward justly distributing the global costs and benefits of climate protection. In addition, he lays out a new strategy to make governments and economies meet their obligations to protect the climate.


“A crisp, clear, and savvy synthesis of key concepts and ideas that will help the global climate justice movement to succeed. Brecher outlines many feasible climate solutions that should give all of us hope, despite the odds.”

—Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine

“An exceptionally valuable contribution to thought, feeling, and action on this greatest challenge that has ever confronted humanity as a whole. All in all, the most stimulating response to climate change that I have encountered. I think it is one of those books that could make a difference!”

—Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice, Princeton University

“Deeply informed, and also wise, Jeremy Brecher lays out a persuasive strategy for a global popular insurgency that just might save the planet. Brecher knows a great deal about movements, so read this book, take heart, and join up!”

—Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology, City University of New York Graduate Center, and author of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America

Table of Contents

Preface: Climate Insurgency after Paris


Part I Why Climate Protection Has Failed

Chapter 1 Discovering the Inconvenient Truth

Chapter 2 Climate Protection from Above

Chapter 3 Climate Protection from Below

Chapter 4 What Climate Protectors Have Accomplished

Chapter 5 Why Climate Protection Has Failed

Part II A Plausible Strategy for Climate Protection

Chapter 6 A Global Nonviolent Constitutional Insurgency

Chapter 7 Climate Protection as a Legal Duty

Chapter 8 Making a Country Climate-Safe

Chapter 9 A Global Trust Fund for the Global Public Trust

Chapter 10 Movement Enforcement of Public Trust Duties

Chapter 11 Overcoming the Obstacles to Climate Protection

About the Author

Jeremy Brecher ( is the author of more than a dozen books on labor and social movements, including Save the Humans? Common Preservation in Action and his classic labor history Strike!, which was just published in a revised fortieth anniversary edition. He has been writing about climate protection strategy since 1988; he is a founder of the Labor Network for Sustainability (; he was arrested in the first White House protests against the Keystone XL pipeline. Over the course of half a century, he has participated in movements for nuclear disarmament, civil rights, peace in Vietnam, international labor rights, global economic justice, accountability for war crimes, and many others. He holds a Ph.D. from the Union Graduate School and has received five regional Emmy Awards for his documentary film work.

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