Unit 5 Destination Discussion: Hurricane Sandy

Advance Reading: Members of the group should read Chapters Nine and Eleven of This Changes Everything, and the section from Chapter 10, “Fossil Free: The Divestment Movement”.


What is your understanding of what Klein means by the section heading “All in the Sacrifice Zone” in Chapter Nine?

  • What does Klein name as different about climate change, in contrast to previous ecological disasters?

Our theological inheritance as UUs includes such ideas as universal salvation and the interdependent web of existence, connecting us to all of life.

  • How would you articulate connections between these core elements of UU theology and the idea of “all in the sacrifice zone”?
  • As you read about the various climate justice struggles chronicled in these chapters, which of these stories, if any, most resonated with you?
  • Have you participated in or been affected by some of these struggles yourself?
  • What thoughts and feelings arise for you as you think about different climate justice strategies described in these chapters? Do you regard some as more effective or appropriate than others? How so?

Please have someone from the group read the following quotation aloud:

[blockquote]In Montana, the Sierra Club’s Mike Scott told me bluntly, ‘I don’t think people understand the political power Natives have as sovereign nations, often because they lack the resources to exercise that power. They can stop energy projects in a way we can’t.’

In New Brunswick, Suzanne Patles, a Mi’kmaq woman involved in the anti-fracking movement, described how non-Natives ‘have reached out to the Indigenous people to say “we need help.”’ Which is something of a turnaround from the saviorism and pitying charity that have poisoned relationships between Indigenous peoples and well-meaning liberals for far too long.”[/blockquote]

How do you understand the themes of this passage in light of our unit this week on “Bearing Witness”?

  • What kinds of dangers arise from “saviorism,” as Klein calls it?
  • How can we resist some of these dangers in our own justice-seeking? Can Chapter Eleven of This Changes Everything assist us?

A major theme of these chapters is the forging of “unlikely alliances” that climate justice work makes possible.

  • What feelings have arisen for you from this aspect of the chapters?
  • How can these chapters help us to become better allies, even in situations when we may be unlikely ones?

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