Rebecca Solnit, based in San Francisco, has authored seventeen books on topics ranging from the environment, geography, art, and feminism. She has championed environmental and human rights issues since the 1980s, providing a voice and standing as an activist ally in these instances. Solnit has won many awards including the Lannan Literary Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Below Solnit has provided a statement outlining the imminent dangers of climate change and her support for divestment at Georgetown University.
What would you do if your house caught fire? What would you do if the world was under attack by aliens? In the movies we all grew up on, people recognize the catastrophe, the alien invasion, the enemy attack, the epidemic or other great danger. Climate change is an alien invasion, a plague, a famine, a war, and an unending series of weather disasters from droughts and fires to floods and polar vortex winters, even the potential failure of the Gulf Stream, as well as dramatically acidifying oceans and concomitant die-off. Climate change savages our agriculture and food and creates mass hunger and even famine, our health as tropical diseases spread, our economy as systems of survival are undermined and millions become climate refugees, even the life in our oceans and the pattern of our seasons. In the movie version, the authorities recognize great dangers and act appropriately, with leadership, which is why disaster movies are ultimately reassuring. In the reality of life on earth during climate change, the very term leader is questionable; for the most part those in power have had to be pushed, pressed, cajoled, and talked into responding–I wouldn’t say acting appropriately, because other than a few elected leaders in small, impacted countries no one has responded on a scale commensurate to the danger and destruction.