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Analysis

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 259

Rising offers readers firsthand accounts and testimonials of those impacted by climate change. Specifically, she considers natural disasters, such as rising sea levels and record breaking hurricanes, in vulnerable and marginalized communities. Elizabeth Rush uses a combination of facts and language to offer a new perspective on these real life problems. Rush writes from a multifaceted perspective. She talks about topics ranging from the scientific process of our ecosystem to the voices of those most affected by climate change. Her writing comes at a politically important time when climate change is being adamantly denied by those in power. Ultimately, she provides citizens and animals alike one of two options: stay and risk death or flee. The U.S. obstinately refused to make a choice. However, Rush poses that this choice has been forced on too many already. She documents how coastal residents have already been forced to retreat inwards. This is information poignantly left out of dominant narratives about our environment and the policies that control it. Unlike most prominent climate change writers, Rush importantly includes an analysis of race and class in her discussion of rising sea levels. For example, she details how the indigenous community from Isle de Jean Charles has been affected by sea level rise. In addition, Rush takes into consideration the role of language in American denials of climate change. For example, are those on the coast retreating or fleeing? These language differences have grave impacts on policies. The difference between the terminology of immigrant versus refugee can have dire consequences for the individuals.

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