Our House Is On Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis

by Malena and Beata Ernman; Svante and Greta Thunberg, 2018 (translated into English 2020)

I’ve read many articles by scientists, researchers and environmentalists – see quotes and resources on on my other website www.lynhervalley.co.uk/quotes – but this book, ‘Our House Is On Fire’, is absolutely inspirational. It is an account of an extraordinary family facing their own difficulties and the responsibility of being alive at this moment when our immediate collective decisions will determine the fate of life on Earth. I could have quoted from every other page, so I’ve had to be very selective:

‘Feminism is standing outside one door stamping its feet, eager to get in. The door is locked but you have to get inside in order to move ahead. A little further away are the other movements – humanism, anti-racism, the animal-rights movement, those who fight for refugees, or against mental illness, or economic differences and so on. Everyone is standing by their own door and wants to get in and move forward. The climate movement has a key that fits all doors, but no-one wants to accept help from it. Either they’re too proud, or else they don’t see that the solution is right there in from of them. Or they don’t want to lose all the privileges that the climate movement opposes.’

‘Our collective ignorance about the climate and sustainability crisis has become one of the world’s greatest economic assets. You see, that ignorance is a prerequisite for continued business as usual. Ignorance is our new currency.
Because the moment we realise the extent of the sustainability crisis, we will have to change our habits and take a few steps back. Such insights do not benefit an economy based on us continually filling our cars and aeroplanes with the remains of fossils, while manufacturing and buying as many objects and items as we can as fast as possible.

‘The connection between growing economic prosperity, increased emissions and lost biodiversity is as clear as day. But that connection doesn’t reach us. It gets drowned along the way.

‘Taking steps back is inevitable. The question is, will we take them now, while we can still do it in an orderly way – or wait until later …. ?’ p157

‘The speed, the volume, the intensity, the demand for profitability and results permeate everything.’

More on my Climate Emergency page

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