What problems does Kimmerer identify and what solutions does she propose in Braiding Sweetgrass?

The main problem that Kimmerer identifies in Braiding Sweetgrass is the current climate crisis, and the solution she proposes is the intertwining of scientific knowledge with Indigenous wisdom.

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Kimmerer identifies many problems within Braiding Sweetgrass, the most pressing of which is our current climate crisis. Climate change is not only threatening human welfare and prosperity but is already tangibly damaging many species and ecological systems throughout the world. However, in her exploration of humanity's relationship to the earth, Kimmerer also identifies many other problems that underpin the climate crisis.

Although Western science may provide some solutions to mitigate global warming and other harmful effects of climate change, Kimmerer believes that these solutions alone will not provide a permanent resolution. In this way, the question we ought to be asking ourselves is not "How can we fix climate change?" but rather "Why have we actively facilitated climate change at such a rapid rate?" The prevailing Western worldview treats the earth not as a partner or teacher but as an inanimate resource that can be exploited in order to foster humanity's economic prosperity.

Thus, Kimmerer posits that the real problem we are facing is the abusive relationship between humanity and the earth. Her solution, therefore, is to interweave Western science with Indigenous wisdom in order to heal both the planet itself and our relationship to it. This is because it is only through learning gratitude and respect for the earth that Kimmerer believes we can sustainably rectify climate change.

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