Are we screwed? How a new generation is fighting to survive climate change

Geoff Dembicki

Book - 2017

The millennial generation could be the first to experience the doomsday impacts of climate change-- and the last generation able to do something about them. Dembicki provides a wake-up call for the biggest challenge of our era, told through the stories of people fighting for their survival.

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New York, NY : Bloomsbury USA 2017.
Main Author
Geoff Dembicki (author)
Physical Description
xii, 305 pages ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-290) and index.
  • Introduction : Time is ticking down
  • Part I. Rejecting the status quo. Alone on a little island
  • Capitalism's worst nightmare
  • Citizens of Planet Earth
  • Beyond right and left
  • Part II. Building a new one. Why Wall Street is changing
  • Staying alive in Paris
  • The true meaning of sharing
  • Radical goes mainstream
  • Afterword : So are we screwed?
  • How to not screw up the climate : a guide for daily living.
Review by Booklist Review

Canadian journalist Dembicki tells a global story of youth in revolt, energized by fear of rising sea levels to reject the status quo in economics and government. Polling data and climate science findings as well as several profiles of artists and activists portray Millennials in opposition to the entrenched power of older generations. What empowers Millennials is a global identity that transcends borders and sees national interests that prop up a flagging fossil-fuel economy over a surging renewable energy industry as myopic, selfish, and immoral in how short-term profits are valued. While describing this group as progressive yet apolitical, Dembicki shows younger voters energized by policy positions but ultimately disappointed by elected leaders at the 2015 climate talks in Paris as well as in recent elections in the U.S. and Europe. One chapter is cautious in its examination of Silicon Valley's sharing economy as a new economic model that younger people could embrace. Recommended for readers interested in the environment and the Millennial generation.--Smith, Paul Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Vancouver journalist Dembicki uses the life choices of a few millennials to explore his generation's efforts to fight climate change. This focus on individual choices results in an unsatisfying work that doesn't feel representative of the generation as a whole, despite the author's insertion of general survey statistics. Dembicki readily identifies the fossil fuel industry-and its political supporters-as the enemy of life on Earth, so the decision by one of the millennials, the pseudonymous Bradley Johnson, not to work in that industry is hardly radical. Similarly, Peter Janes's choice to live mostly off the grid on a small British Columbian island isn't going to change material conditions for most people. Activists Phil Aroneanu, who aided efforts against Keystone XL, and Chloe Maxmin, a participant in the movement to persuade universities to divest from the fossil fuel industry, come across as stronger leaders. Dembicki powerfully elucidates the contrast between native people fighting against fossil fuel interests, including Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, and the founders of Silicon Valley's "sharing economy" who claim to honor aboriginal lifeways. Noteworthy figures such as Bill McKibben and Bernie Sanders also make appearances. Readers may be skeptical of Dembicki's declaration that "a new vision of the future is taking hold" but he suggests a few ways that readers can make that future a reality. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

In this spirited manifesto against the status quo, journalist Dembicki highlights the stories of Millennials who are combating climate change. Covering the historic battle over the Keystone XL pipeline, the Paris climate talks, and more, the author reveals how this generation has tired of watching world leaders make decisions whose results they will not live to see. Whether quitting their jobs and going back to the land in a rejection of capitalism or running for office, many Millennials are taking a stand against the system in extremely diverse and powerful ways, such as when organizer and activist Phil Aroneanu and a small group of college students, with the help of their advisor Bill McKibben, formed, the biggest group working to stop climate change today. Dembicki deftly analyzes and critiques many organizations that claim to be effecting change, including Bernie Sanders's election campaign, and effectively demonstrates that Millennials do care about the future, so much so, that they are willing to fight for it. VERDICT Young and old activists alike will be inspired by this hopeful call for change.-Venessa Hughes, Buffalo, NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A young Canadian journalist argues that a unique generational values shift is occurring that may upend just about everything to save the planet.In 2014, Dembicki, a Vancouver-based reporter for the The Tyee, an online news journal, produced a series of articles titled "Are We Screwed?" for that site. Here, the author expands and updates those pieces. In Dembicki's view, it falls to his generation, millennials, to bear the brunt of the climate disaster facing the planet in coming decades. The author argues that millennials view the world differently than their elders and, contrary to what some believe, are not apathetic and cynical when it comes to politics. "It seemed that people of older generations were much more interested in speaking to usor about usthan in listening to what we had to say," writes Dembicki. To support his thesis, he profiles a number of young people working for change: a young man choosing to live off the grid on a small island near Vancouver; a group of Middlebury College graduates who, with distinguished professor and author Bill McKibben, made the Keystone XL pipeline a global issue; an American college student who started the movement that persuaded hundreds of universities to divest trillions of dollars from fossil fuel industries; and a young Canadian activist who spurred the turnout of the youth vote that ended the career of fossil fuel-friendly Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The author also cites Bernie Sanders, who turned a fringe candidacy into a passionate social movement by tapping into this already existing revolution. Dembicki can be repetitious and sometimes comes across as self-righteous or smug; however, his profiles are wide-ranging and well-researched. He concludes that despite the presence of a climate denier in the White House, millennials are not going to be screwedif they take action now. A hortatory call to arms for young people and a harsh critique of their ruling elders. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.