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Readers share their visions for fossil-fuel-free life  » Yale Climate Connections

The essays in the third section of “Not Too Late,” edited by Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua, imagine a future in which the clean energy transition is successful and people live fulfilling, community-driven, and fossil-fuel-free lives.

Book club member Arlene Williams was moved by the conversation between editor Thelma Young Lutunatabua and activist adrienne maree brown titled “Imagination is a Muscle.”  

“Imagination is a stronger catalyst for most people than facts,” Williams wrote. “Once people can begin to imagine something new, it becomes possible to attempt to create it. Trailblazers will imagine what the future could be and then share it will others so they can see it too.”

Thinking about a good — even beautiful — future was powerful for other book club members. “I don’t think many of us take the time to imagine a future wherein we do what is needed to address the climate crisis,” wrote Stacy Porter from Ohio. Susie Crate from North Carolina was inspired by the hope that the essay authors held for the future. She wrote: “Hope begets hope. It is contagious!!” 

We asked book club participants to tell us about their visions for the future. Here’s what they shared:

  • “I want a future that is aligned with nature, that sees us as connected not only to other humans but also to the natural world and all her creatures. These essays instilled a sense of tremendous grief which needs to be honored and at the same time they open the door to possibility.” — Anonymous, Wisconsin
  • “I want a future of care and community. The essays deepened my sense of longing and resolve for that future.” — Vickie Atkinson, North Carolina
  • “I would like a more responsible and equitable future, including reducing the harm of climate change and associated disparate impacts. I don’t think these essays changed that, but they did make me think more about children and their futures.” — Sharon Hausam, New Mexico
  • “I have researched, taught, and written about climate change since the early ‘90s and I know that one of the most important things we can do is build community. It was great to see how others feel the same way.” — Susie Crate, North Carolina
  • “I want a simpler and cleaner future. One where we recognize that we want the same things and can share them more equitably. One where all inhabitants on Earth, all of them, are treated with dignity and as the sacred beings that they are.” — rachele, California
  • “I want pretty much what the writers of these essays want — a future filled with love, equity, caring, and consideration for others (not just humans). One based more on reciprocity and richness of experiences than the endless accumulation of stuff.” — Stanley Wang, California

Our book club is global. Check out where members are reading:

Don’t forget that there’s still time to join our book club. We’ll be gathering for a webinar on Sept.5 at 7 p.m. Eastern time. You can register for the webinar now regardless of whether you’ve read the book.

Samantha Harrington, director of audience experience for Yale Climate Connections, is a journalist and graphic designer with a background in digital media and entrepreneurship. Sam is especially interested…

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