The Violence of Climate Change: Lessons of Resistance from Nonviolent Activists

November 28, 2020
The Violence of Climate Change: Lessons of Resistance from Nonviolent Activists

Climate change is viewed as a primarily scientific, economic, orpolitical issue. While acknowledging the legitimacy of theseperspectives, Kevin J. O Brien argues that we should respond toclimate change first and foremost as a case of systematic andstructural violence. Global warming is largely caused by the carbonemissions of the affluent, emissions that harm the poor first andworst. Climate change is violence because it divides human beingsfrom one another and from the earth.O Brien offers a constructive and creative response to thisviolence through practical examples of activism and nonviolentpeacemaking, providing brief biographies of five Christians in theUnited States John Woolman, Jane Addams, Dorothy Day, Martin LutherKing Jr., and Cesar Chavez. These activists idealism, socialcommitment, and political savvy offer lessons of resistanceapplicable to the struggle against climate change and for socialjustice."