Last Updated on June 8, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 461
Elizabeth Rush uses a combination of facts and personal voices from interviews to provide an in-depth look at the effects of climate change. Some of the quotes are astonishing facts she provides about the rapid climate change our planet is currently experiencing. Other quotes are a combination of the many voices she has woven into her writing, as well as her own.
In 2017...we bore witness to a string of storms so powerful that the National Weather Service had to invent not one but two entirely new colors to reflect their severity.
By 2050 there will be two hundred million [climate refugees] world wide, two million of them of whom will be from right here in Louisiana.
It's often folks with the least who share the most.
I call this new form of climate anxiety endsickness. Like motion sickness or sea sickness, endsickness is its own kind of vertigo....
Rush explains that her term "endsickness" is the result of the physical human reaction to living in a world with unusual events. She is referencing catastrophic natural disasters that can't easily be explained. Humans have historically turned to religion to explain these natural disasters. Contemporarily, climate deniers have chosen to make sense of these disasters by calling them serendipitous. The disasters seem outside the scope of human comprehension. Humans find comfort in stability and safety. However, Rush points out throughout her writing that we live in a unpredictable and unsafe world.
Essentially...it is not that you can have gratitude for everything all the time but that there is always the possibility of gratitude...
The quote above is noted by Laura Sewall in an interview referencing Brother David Steindle-Rast. During times of catastrophic natural disasters, those who are directly affected need to believe in the ability to "tap into something."
Rush compares a persimmon from Isle de Charles to a "shiny globe...full of sun and the little freshwater that still snakes its way along the island's stubborn spine" as a poetic homage to the inhabitants and surrounding geographical area.
... language can lessen the distance between humans and the world of which we are a part... it can foster interspecies intimacy and, as a result, care.
This quote exemplifies Rush's emphasis on language in her book and the barriers it can pose in coming to solutions. Language, if misunderstood, hinders discussion of a topic that is in grave need of being discussed. For example, Rush considers the development of vocabulary that describes the climate change phenomenon. Words have had to be created to describe salt drowned trees. The creation of this vocabulary is necessary for conversations to take place about our ever changing world. The question now is how do we disseminate this vocabulary so that all people have access to the conversation?