I Want a Better Catastrophe: Navigating the Climate Crisis with Grief, Hope, and Gallows Humor
Published by: New Society Publishers
Imprint: New Society Publishers
Sales Date: 2023-02-14
Published: February 2023
Imprint: New Society Publishers
Page Count: 416 Pages
Illustrations: 30 black and white illustrations, plus 3-fold out insert
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
416 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.02 in, 30 black and white illustrations, plus 3-fold out insert
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An existential manual for tragic optimists, can-do pessimists, and compassionate doomers
With global warming projected to rocket past the 1.5°C limit, lifelong activist Andrew Boyd is thrown into a crisis of hope, and off on a quest to learn how to live with the "impossible news" of our climate doom.
He searches out eight of today's leading climate thinkers — from activist Tim DeChristopher to collapse-psychologist Jamey Hecht, grassroots strategist adrienne maree brown, eco-philosopher Joana Macy, and Indigenous botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer — asking them: "Is it really the end of the world? and if so, now what?"
With gallows humor and a broken heart, Boyd steers readers through their climate angst as he walks his own. Boyd's journey takes him from storm-battered coastlines to pipeline blockades and "hopelessness workshops." Along the way, he maps out our existential options, and tackles some familiar dilemmas: "Should I bring kids into such a world?" "Can I lose hope when others can't afford to?" and "Why the fuck am I recycling?"
He finds answers that will surprise, inspire, and maybe even make you laugh. Drawing on wisdom traditions Eastern, Western, and Indigenous, Boyd crafts an insightful and irreverent guide for achieving a "better catastrophe."
This is vital reading for everyone navigating climate anxiety and grief as our world hurtles towards an unthinkable crisis.
Prologue: It's the End of the World. Now What?
Chapter 1: Impossible News
Chapter 2: Guy McPherson
Chapter 3: Tim DeChristopher
Chapter 4: The Five Stages of Climate Grief
Chapter 5: Meg Wheatley
Chapter 6: Existential Crisis Scenario Planning
Chapter 7: Gopal Dayaneni
Chapter 8: How to Be White at the End of the World
Chapter 9: Joanna Macy
Chapter 10: Is There Hope
Chapter 11: Jamey Hecht
Chapter 12: What Is Still Worth Doing
Chapter 13: adrienne maree brown
Chapter 14: Robin Wall Kimmerer
Chapter 15: Thought and Hearth Experiments at the End of the World
Chapter 16: Another End of the World Is Possible
"Urgent, sobering reading."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"The most realistic yet least depressing end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it guide out there."
—Foreword Reviews, starred review
"The book is stunning. By delivering its devastating news in imaginative, engaging, and sometimes even hilarious ways, it marks the emergence of a new and genuinely exciting kind of realism."
—Brian Eno, musician and environmentalist
"A profound meditation on how to live in a world on the brink of collapse. Boyd moves gracefully beyond the usual talk of hope and despair to provide a startling vision of a future shaped not only by chaos, but also by compassionate care."
—Jenny Offill, author, Weather and Dept. of Speculation
"A heartfelt and humorous take on how to show up at 'the end of the world as we know it'."
—Britt Wray, PhD, Human and Planetary Health Fellow, Stanford University and author, Generation Dread
"I Want a Better Catastrophe is unlike anything else I've ever read about climate change, and how to keep living through it. For a start it's extremely funny. It is also angry, passionate, curious, honest, surprising, and very well-researched. Beyond its signature gallows humor, it brings a kind of deeply felt "gallows love" for the beauty and wonder of the world, and how we must fight to defend it."
—Nick Hunt, co-director, Dark Mountain Project, and author, Outlandish
"Time is clearly short—but I Want a Better Catastrophe proves it's never too late for a good laugh, a good cry, and a good call to action!"
—Bill McKibben, author, The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon
"Through expert interviews, compassionate analysis, and deliciously dark wit, Boyd beats a path through the messy emotional and psychological terrain we must travel in order to face the future."
—Onnesha Roychoudhuri, author, The Marginalized Majority
"A rowdy, taboo-busting get-together of climate emergency thinkers."
—Josephine Ferorelli, co-founder, Conceivable Future
"A must read for its wit, and for the insights it offers."
—Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky