By Danielle Richard
Climate. Crisis. Two words that instantly conjure a gut reaction. Everyone feels differently, but they all feel strongly about a topic that is becoming more and more fraught with scary statistics, shameful destruction, and a looming sense of hopelessness. As someone who has been seeking out information about our current climate situation and how to remedy it, I was thrilled to find this collection of essays and poetry was actually the opposite of scary. “All We Can Save” is surprisingly hopeful and filled with solutions and perspectives from over 2 dozen kick-ass women from different backgrounds and areas of expertise.
Editors Eyana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson (both giants among climate experts) describe it as being “about a spectrum of work that needs doing and a collective effort to make our best contributions; it’s not about heroes. So whether you are a veteran of the climate movement, a keen onlooker from the sidelines, or someone joining this conversation or the first time, we hope you will find yourself in these pages.” And the pages deliver all three as promised: truth, courage, and solutions. Because what we pay attention to grows, the book sorts these future-looking pieces into 8 areas of focus: Root, Advocate, Reframe, Reshape, Persist, Feel, Nourish and Rise.
Whether we know it or not, climate change already affects every Louisiana resident from the piney woods of North Louisiana to the marshes along the Gulf coast. In Part 8: Rise, a Louisiana perspective is skillfully submitted from Slidell native, Colette Pichon Battle, a seasoned advocate for the Gulf coast who describes herself as an Attorney, Advocate, and Multi-racial Alliance Builder. Battle found herself acting as an emergency connection point for friends and family from many states away when Katrina hit. With her functioning Washington DC cell number, she created a makeshift command center in her office and from then forward she was committed to helping the people of South Louisiana recover and rebuild.
In her essay, “An Offering from the Bayou,” Battle describes a pivotal moment a couple of years into her work after Katrina. It was the first time she was introduced to the data represented in Louisiana floodmaps. Views of the past few years showed the waters of the Gulf of Mexico seeping into every nook and cranny of South Louisiana. Views of the next few years into the future showed the erasure of the very land her own community had been anchored in for decades. Her mission was forever shifted from the short-term recovery from the damages of Katrina, to the long-term preservation of the land from disappearing altogether.
You’ll have to read the full essay to understand the beauty of her unique perspective, but Battle ends with a most uplifting message: “We can do this, y’all. We can do this because we must. We must or else we lose our planet and we lose ourselves.”
This all-female anthology features 58 authors and 2 editors — all focused on the future health and stability of the Earth’s climate.
Learn more at Allwecansave.earth
Audiobook narrated by:
- Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
- Katharine K. Wilkinson
- Cristela Alonzo
- Sophia Bush
- Kimberly Drew
- America Ferrera
- Jane Fonda
- Ilana Glazer
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus
- Janet Mock
- Bahni Turpin
- Alfre Woodard