The Violence of Climate Change

Lessons of Resistance from Nonviolent Activists

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Kevin J. O'Brien
  • Washington, DC: 
    Georgetown University Press
    , June
     2017.
     240 pages.
     $24.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781626164352.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by David Barr forthcoming.

Description

Climate change is viewed as a primarily scientific, economic, or political issue. While acknowledging the legitimacy of these perspectives, Kevin J. O'Brien argues that we should respond to climate change first and foremost as a case of systematic and structural violence. Global warming is largely caused by the carbon emissions of the affluent, emissions that harm the poor first and worst. Climate change is violence because it divides human beings from one another and from the earth.

O'Brien offers a constructive and creative response to this violence through practical examples of activism and nonviolent peacemaking, providing brief biographies of five Christians in the United States—John Woolman, Jane Addams, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez. These activists' idealism, social commitment, and political savvy offer lessons of resistance applicable to the struggle against climate change and for social justice.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Kevin J. O'Brien is dean of humanities and associate professor of Christian ethics at Pacific Lutheran University. He is the author of The Ethics of Biodiversity (GUP), coeditor of Grounding Religion, and coauthor of An Introduction to Christian Environmentalism. He holds a PhD from Emory University.

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