68 pages 2 hours read

Ed. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ed. Katharine K. Wilkinson

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis

Nonfiction | Anthology/Varied Collection | Adult | Published in 2020

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Part 5Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 5: “Persist”

Part 5, Chapter 30 Summary: “We Are Sunrise” by Varshini Prakash

Varshini Prakash writes about growing up aware of the impending climate disaster while also knowing that there was no one doing anything about it. In college, she began attending and leading demonstrations against fossil fuel companies and oil companies; this action allowed her to feel that she was actually doing something for climate change. Out of the urgency of climate change reports and statistics, the Sunrise Movement was born.

This movement has a three-part theory of change: people power, political power, and people’s alignment (188). People power—”an active and vocal base of public support” (189)—encourages the public to become engaged in climate activism. Prakash shares a valuable statistic: “[I]t takes just 3.5% of a population getting active—voting, donating, taking to the streets, talking to their neighbors—for a campaign to win” (189). She urges us to translate our passive support for climate action into active support in order to reach that 3.5% threshold.

Political power involves ”a critical mass of deeply committed public officials” (189).Prakesh lays out the failures of recent political leaders in the United States and the ways in which they deprioritized climate action. People power without political power is ineffective; political leaders must be allies for climate activists and the environment.