Living Well in Litchfield County, Connecticut

Babies vs Climate Change
February 9, 2024

Babies vs Climate Change

Many ask themselves: What harm will a hotter and meaner and less stable and less predictable world do to my child?

On February 9 at 6:30 pm, The Cornwall Library will present a stimulating evening with Meghan Elizabeth Kallman and Josephine Ferorelli, authors of The Conceivable Future: Planning Families and Taking Action in the Age of Climate Change. They will discuss the ways in which the climate crisis is a reproduction crisis, and what you can do about it. The book offers fresh answers and practical steps in connection with tough questions:

—How do I decide to have a baby in the face of environmental collapse?
—How do I raise a child in the middle of the climate crisis?
—What can I actually do to help stop global warming?

Kallman and Ferorelli explore what the real threats are to reproductive, gestational, and infant health (spoiler: the threats are inequality, heat, and fossil-fueled pollution). They debunk the idea of the personal carbon footprint, invented by an ad agency to deflect guilt for climate change from an oil company to you. They challenge the population control remedy for climate change, which blames those with the least responsibility and the least power to address the problem.

The authors examine the experiences of women-led movements around the world, and share what they’ve learned through ten years of organizing to bring attention to the interrelationship of reproductive crisis and climate change. They conclude on a hopeful note, looking at what can be done about the climate crisis today. By taking these steps, we can both understand the crisis on its own terms and stay rooted in what scholars call the human scale–subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom–where our lives retain their full meaning.

Here is what the dean of American writing on climate change has to say about this book:

“I know so many young people trying to figure out what a burning world means for their most important choices—they email me often, to ask if they should have kids. Now I’ll be able to send them this wonderful book…[which understands] that the only alternative is to build joyful and humane societies that work for all of us, including those who haven’t gotten here yet!””—Bill McKibben, Founder of Third Act and author of The Flag, The Cross and The Station Wagon

Kallman is a professor in the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at UMass Boston, a state legislator, and climate organizer based in Rhode Island, who has deep roots in Cornwall and is a frequent presence there. Ferorelli is a writer, illustrator, and yoga instructor who lives in Chicago, Illinois. They have been friends, collaborators, and co-directors of Conceivable Future, the organization that inspired this book, for a decade.

This event is free. A Q&A and book signing will follow the discussion. Attend in-person or by Zoom. Registration required:

The Cornwall Library
30 Pine Street
Cornwall, CT 06753

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