Reader for this Time of Reckoning

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E C O C I D E  ·  R A C I S M  ·  P A N D E M I C  ·  A U T H O R I T A R I A N I S M


In the wake of recent episodes of racial violence in the U.S., the connections between ecocide, racism, the pandemic and the rise of authoritarianism are increasingly apparent.

In the current work of the CUHF, we consider what this time of reckoning portends and offers in our online Council sessions. One prompt we ask people to consider is:

How do you understand the relationship between

the loss of the polar ice caps and the deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of police
the rise of authoritarianism and the fires that killed one billion animals in Australia
extremes of flooding and drought in the Himalaya, the acidification of the oceans,
and misogyny world-wide
the increasing extinction of birds and insects, and the objectification of people of color?

If, together, you bring these conditions to mind, what do you see?

And in the selections for this Reader, we include reflections from people who, in a variety of ways, speak to how these forces come together.

The readings are in chronological order by publication date.

Alnoor Ladha & Martin Kirk

Seeing Wetiko: On Capitalism, Mind Viruses, and Antidotes for a World in Transition

Heather Cox Richardson

How the South Won

the Civil War

Achille Mbembe

The Universal Right to Breathe

Mary Annaïse Heglar

A Translator for the Climate Crisis, Grief Included

Adam Serwer

The Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying

Eric Holthaus

The climate crisis is racist. The answer is anti-racism

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

I’m a black climate expert. Racism derails our efforts to save the planet.

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Greed Does Not Have to Define Our Relationship to Land

Nafeez Ahmed

White Supremacism and the Earth System

Hop Hopkins

Racism Is Killing the Planet

Elizabeth Yeampierre

Unequal Impact: The Deep Links Between Racism and Climate Change

Frederick Hewett

‘Racial Justice Is Climate Justice’: Why The Climate Movement Needs To Be Anti-Racist

Rhiana Gunn-Wright

A Green New Deal architect explains how the protests and climate crisis are connected

Justin Worland

America’s Long Overdue Awakening to Systemic Racism

Jesse Remedios

Where can I learn more about environmental racism?

Sam Grant

How Climate Crisis And Systemic Racism Are Deeply Connected

Fintan O’Toole

The Unpresident and the Unredeemed Promise

Mary Annaïse Heglar

We Don’t Have To Halt Climate Action To Fight Racism

Claudia Rankine


Cornel West

On US Protests: The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

Charlotte Du Cann

Sitting with the Trouble

Nina Lakhani & Jonathan Watts

Environmental justice means racial justice, say activists

John Holloway

A Cascade of Angers: My COVID 19 Fantasy

Jeffrey Sachs, Joseph Stiglitz, Mariana Mazzucato & others

Letter from economists: to rebuild our world, we must end the carbon economy

Wade Davis

The Unraveling of America

Mary Evelyn Tucker

Expanding the Spirit of Democracy

Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures

Preparing for the end of the world as we know it

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

A time of fire and smoke: What story are we living?

Terry Tempest Williams

A Burning Testament

Joanna Macy

Entering the Bardo

Mary Annaïse Heglar

The Whole World Is on the Ballot

Abrahm Lustgarten

The Great Climate Migration Has Begun

Post Carbon Institute

The Great Unraveling?

Joan Halifax

Yes, We Can Have Hope

Amanda Gorman


Elizabeth Dias & Audra D.S. Burch

Emerging from the Coronavirus