Climate Justice and Community Renewal : Resistance and Grassroots Solutions book cover
1st Edition

Climate Justice and Community Renewal
Resistance and Grassroots Solutions

ISBN 9780367228491
Published April 15, 2020 by Routledge
266 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book brings together the voices of people from five continents who live, work, and research on the front lines of climate resistance and renewal.

The many contributors to this volume explore the impacts of extreme weather events in Africa, the Caribbean and on Pacific islands, experiences of life-long defenders of the land and forests in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and eastern Canada, and efforts to halt the expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure from North America to South Africa. They offer various perspectives on how a just transition toward a fossil-free economy can take shape, as they share efforts to protect water resources, better feed their communities, and implement new approaches to urban policy and energy democracy.

Climate Justice and Community Renewal uniquely highlights the accounts of people who are directly engaged in local climate struggles and community renewal efforts, including on-the-ground land defenders, community organizers, leaders of international campaigns, agroecologists, activist-scholars, and many others. It will appeal to students, researchers, activists, and all who appreciate the need for a truly justice-centered response to escalating climate disruptions.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Climate Impacts, Extractivism, and Land Defense 1. The Climate Abuse of Climate Inaction 2. Grassroots Megadam Resistance at Muskrat Falls, Labrador 3. Petroleum and Eucalyptus Monoculture in Brazil: The Vicious Cycle of Climate Change 4. Moving Away from State and Capital: Climate Change, Hegemony and Resistance in Indian Forests 5. Sea Level Rise, Marshall Islands, and Environmental Justice 6.Resistance is Fertile: Direct Action vs. Fossil Fuels across North America 7. Resistance to REDD: Lessons from the Ground 8. African Climate Justice Part 2: Reclaiming Community 9. Hurricane María, Agroecology, and Climate Change Resiliency 10. Small is Beautiful 11.The Unsettling of Detroit 12. Indigenous Just Transition: Reflections from the Field 13. An Ecofeminist Analysis of Grassroots Activism for a Just Transition from Capitalism to Commons 14. "Green City" Initiatives in Europe 15.Energy Democracy in the Northeastern U.S.

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Brian Tokar is a Lecturer in Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont, USA, and the author and editor of six previous books on environmental issues and movements.

Tamra L Gilbertson is the climate change and forest policy advisor of the Indigenous Environmental Network. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Tennessee, Department of Sociology, where she completed her PhD. She works in the nexus of environmental, climate and social justice, social movements, and extractive industry research, as well as carbon pricing, forests, and land related to development policies.


"Climate Justice and Community Renewal demonstrates why the expanding climate movement’s best chance at substantially transforming current failed climate policies lies in the twin goals of climate justice and community renewal. This exceptional collection by Brian Tokar and Tamra Gilbertson, two of the world’s most knowledgeable and accomplished climate researcher-activists, demonstrates why the most farsighted and constructive responses to the climate emergency stem from embracing the re-communalization of social life on the basis of egalitarian, post-capitalist, horizontalist, and non-patriarchal principles. This is also one of the first volumes to tackle the seemingly intractable question of the systemic convergence among transformative alternatives. By outlining a workable horizon for climate-driven radical change, the authors give us back the possibility for living otherwise and for reclaiming the future". -- Arturo Escobar, Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA, and Ad-hoc Professor, PhD Program in Environmental Sciences, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia

"The iron law of climate change is, the less you did to cause it, the sooner and harder you suffer. That means that fighting the climate crisis, as these remarkable leaders and thinkers make clear, is first and foremost a matter of justice. The leadership in that fight comes precisely from these people and these places, and so this book is an invaluable resource". -- Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar, Middlebury College, USA

"As this volume shows, nation-states prevaricate, but everyday people now lead on climate change, building new models of democratic politics, at once grassroots and globally collaborative". -- Ariel Salleh, author and activist, author of Ecofeminism as Politics (2017) and Eco-Sufficiency & Global Justice (2009)

"This volume comes as a breath of unpolluted air, shining rays of light through the often clouded debates on climate, providing sharp critiques both of the crisis as also grounded alternatives that can provide the just transition to a world where humanity makes peace with the earth". Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh / Global Tapestry of Alternatives, India 

"These activists and scholars alert us to the value of local community experiments as ‘living alternatives’ and show how a climate justice lens simultaneously enriches these precious adventures while carving pathways to the range of systemic alternatives we all desire". -- John Foran, Professor of Sociology and Coordinator, Environmental and Climate Justice Studies Hub, University of California Santa Barbara, USA


Climate Justice and Community Renewal does not offer a detailed, theoretical or even philosophical discussion of what the editors and authors understand climate justice to be. Instead, and this is largely because of the book’s insightful contributions from many parts of the world, the volume offers valuable lessons drawn from a global perspective. The book’s potpourri of case studies and thoughtful illuminations on the issue of global warming offers an indispensable contribution to the current debate on climate justice.’

Thomas Klikauer and Meg Young, Western Sydney University in Philosophy in Review Vol. 41 no. 4 (November 2021)

‘Climate Justice and Community Renewal grounds a promising vision of what may be accomplished through authoritative reports and analyses of what is already happening in many areas around the world. The book also suggests the potential of a strengthening of international climate justice efforts and their broadening and convergence as a "movement of movements" that can effectively address the most urgent threats of our time.’

Bob Spivey,