Luton author's book challenges impact of race on climate change

A Luton author has penned a new book challenging readers to question how race has impacted on climate change.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 1:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 1:34 am
Jeremy Williams' new book "Climate Change is Racist" will be released next week

Jeremy Williams is the author of "Climate Change is Racist: Race, Privilege and the Struggle for Climate Justice" which is due for release on June 10.

According to publishers, the book is "a short, essential look at how structural racism plays into climate change".

Author Jeremy notes that the largest polluting countries are predominately white nations in the northern hemisphere, while people of colour living in the southern hemisphere are seeing their lives drastically impacted by climate change.

Dad-of-two Jeremy spent part of his childhood in Kenya and Madagascar - witnessing some of the worst injustices of climate change firsthand.

He told Luton News: "I've been writing about climate change on my blog The Earthbound Report for well over a decade.

"The countries in the world that have contributed the greatest emissions towards climate change are the least punished in terms of its impact.

"There's a racial element in that people who largely cause climate change are white."

Even among climate change activists, the issue of race has often been a taboo subject.

"I debated for years with myself and others whether this was something I should be writing about," said Jeremy.

"As a British person in a country which popularised coal everywhere else, we have a legacy to contend with. While I think it's important to remember that guilt is not helpful, we do have a responsiblity, especially when, relatively speaking, we're going to get off lightly.

"When I started writing this book, I wasn't aware of any other studies about this topic - but it has started to gain traction.

"I think there is something of an awakening happening right now. We are finally seeing climate change start to happen."

Climate change has now shifted firmly on to the political stage, with all major parties pledging policies to improve the environment.

More recently, activists from Black Lives Matter and other organisations have allied themselves with environmental politics.

"Broadly speaking, people are starting to see the two things - racism and the environment - as connected," said Jeremy.

"People often think about racism as individual acts of cruelty, but climate change is structurally racist because it will affect people of colour differently to people who are white.

"Recently, we've seen over the course of the pandemic how easy it is to cut emission by doing less things. You can drop emissions by flying less or doing less driving."

The book's foreward is written by Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, bestselling author of 'This is Why I Resist'.

Speaking about Jeremy's book, Dr Mos-Shogbaminu said: "This will open the minds of even the most ardent denier of climate change and systemic racism.

"If there’s one book that will help you to be an effective activist for climate justice, it’s this one."

For more information about "Climate Change is Racist: Race, Privilege and the Struggle for Climate Justice", visit here.