3 New Climate Reads For Mother’s Day

Below, we recommend three recent books on climate justice and motherhood that tackle the topic from perspectives personal, philosophical, and poetic. Each, in their own way, has helped us feel less alone with the weight of raising kids during a climate emergency.

Emily Raboteau, Lessons for Survival: Mothering Against ‘The Apocalypse’


APL | BlackPearl Books

What: A powerful meditation on raising kids in an era of intersecting crises by an NYC-based author, professor, and mother of two. Combining prose and photographs into a patchwork of essays that also perambulate the urban landscape, this read appeals to both the heart and the head.

This one’s for you if… you are drawn to memoirs and personal essays that also tackle big-picture topics like social and environmental justice, race, and parenthood

Sample: “I am the mother of Black children in America. It’s not possible for me to consider the threats posed to birds without also considering the threats posed to us.”

Emily Raboteau, Lessons for Survival
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Elizabeth Cripps, Parenting on Earth: A Philosopher’s Guide to Doing Right by Your Kids and Everyone Else


What: A philosophical argument for why caregiver activism on climate and racial justice is compatible with (and even a requirement of) good parenting, written by an Edinburgh-based philosopher and mom of two.

This one’s for you if… you are raising (or even contemplating raising) kids and are looking for a reasoned discussion of our moral obligation to act on climate

Sample: “If we care about our children as well-rounded human beings, we owe them a world at least basically just: a world where everyone has a shot at a reasonable life, a world without extreme suffering.”

Elizabeth Cripps, Parenting on Earth

Sasha West, How to Abandon Ship

Bookshop | BookWoman

What: a collection of poems on parenting through climate change by local Austin poet Sasha West

This one’s for you if… you prefer your climate conversations in lyrical form

Sample: “I teach you the names of creatures / and birds so you will be able to write / elegies to them”

Sasha West, “Dear Daughter,”

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