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The Memory We Could Be (PDF)
Overcoming Fear to Create Our Ecological Future
The Memory We Could Be moves beyond the sterile, technical language around climate change and ecology to humanize the abstraction of global warming and bring different voices into the conversation.
Drawing on sources from anthropology to hydrology, botany to economics, agronomy to astrobiology, medicine to oceanography, physics to history, the author weaves a lyrical and powerful story of our relationship with nature.
The book has three parts:
“Past” addresses memory. Our inability to comprehend our staggering present partly lies in our ignorance of our staggering past. We peer into the black box of history to understand how we got here. We go on a journey across the roots of our ecological crisis, from the Roman Empire to the forests of Burma, from Congolese rubber plantations, to Colombian oil fields.
“Present” illustrates how climate change is shaping our world today, explores how it relates to poverties and inequalities, and equips readers with a set of intuitive instruments to understand climate impacts.
“Future” looks at alternatives and strives to illustrate in human terms the world we could lose and the world we can win. It asks what we can do and develops a transformative vision of a more ecological and equitable economy.
The Memory We Could Be is vital reading for all of humanity.
Daniel Macmillen Voskoboynik is a journalist and activist with writing in Pacific Standard, Open Democracy, and New Internationalist. He co-founded and is co-editor of www.worldat1C.org, a communications initiative designed to humanize the ecological crisis and clarify its causes.
"The Memory We Could Be" provides a gripping review of where we've been, where we are, and where we may be headed. Which future will we choose? Will we head down a path of continued environmental degradation rendering the planet unlivable for future generations, or will we act in time to avert catastrophic climate change and environmental ruin? This book makes an impassioned plea that we choose that latter path, and in so doing, assure that that be our legacy, the memory that future generations will have of us."
Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor, Penn State University and co-author, The Madhouse Effect
"As we navigate our way through the Anthropocene, we need young writers' voices more than ever. Clear, poetic, and full of insight, Macmillen Voskoboynik's book offers an exhilarating introduction to our ecological crisis, what caused it, and how we can imagine a better future."
Jason Hickel, anthropologist, Goldsmiths University and author, The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions
"This book is a timely call to action to prevent climate breakdown. Those who care about protecting this planet should read Daniel's work and prepare to build a new way of living."
Caroline Lucas, Co-Leader, Green Party of England and Wales
"What is missing in climate change literature are bold, compelling voices, accounts that are accountable to the dignity of the afflicted... Macmillen Voskoboynik's work is a beacon in this regard."
Asad Rehman, Executive Director, War on Want
"Macmillen Voskoboynik offers a sweeping overview of the ecological predicaments and choices that confront us in the 21st century. He's a hopeful realist — exactly the sort of storyteller and analyst we need at this fraught moment."
Richard Heinberg, author, The End of Growth
Coming Ashore in a World Adrift
Limits and Prospects for Human Survival
How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth