Dana Fisher, in conversation with Kevin J. Patel and Andrea Cañizares-Fernandez, discusses Saving Ourselves

Dana Fisher

We've known for decades that climate change is an existential crisis. For just as long, we've seen the complete failure of our institutions to rise to the challenge. Governments have struggled to meet even modest goals. Fossil fuel interests maintain a stranglehold on political and economic power. Even though we have seen growing concern from everyday people, civil society has succeeded only in pressuring decision makers to adopt watered-down policies. All the while, the climate crisis worsens. Is there any hope of achieving the systemic change we need?

Dana R. Fisher argues that there is a realistic path forward for climate action--but only through mass mobilization that responds to the growing severity and frequency of disastrous events. She assesses the current state of affairs and shows why public policy and private-sector efforts have been ineffective. Spurred by this lack of progress, climate activism has become increasingly confrontational. Fisher examines the radical flank of the climate movement: its emergence and growth, its use of direct action, and how it might evolve as the climate crisis worsens. She considers when and how activism is most successful, identifying the importance of creating community, capitalizing on shocking moments, and cultivating resilience. Clear-eyed yet optimistic, Saving Ourselves offers timely insights on how social movements can take power back from deeply entrenched interests and open windows of opportunity for transformative climate action. (Columbia University Press)

Kevin J. Patel is a distinguished climate justice activist and social entrepreneur based in Los Angeles, California, with over a decade of experience advocating for a sustainable and equitable world. He envisions a future where young people can access the resources they need to implement climate solutions and combat environmental injustice. Patel is widely recognized for his pioneering work in establishing the Youth Climate Commission, which he passed in 2019. As the architect of this initiative, Patel has enabled youth voices to be heard more effectively in addressing the climate crisis. In 2022, Patel was appointed to the Youth Climate Commission as a Commissioner. In addition, he is the founder and Executive Director of OneUpAction International, a non-profit organization that supports and empowers young people to implement and accelerate climate solutions in their communities. Patel's commitment to sustainability has earned him numerous accolades and ambassadorships. He serves as a UN Togetherband Ambassador for Goals 7, 13, and 14 and was named a 2020 National Geographic Young Explorer. He is also a member of several influential organizations, including the LA28 Next Gen Council, The Environmental Media Association (EMA) Activist Board, the World Economic Forum's 1t.org US Stakeholder Council, the Ingka Young Leaders Forum, Youthtopia World: Circle of Youth, the Climate Power Council, and many more. Patel's exceptional achievements have been widely recognized, and he has been awarded the MensHealth 20 Under 20 in 2020 and the 2021 NowThis News Sustainability Honoree. Kevin recently received his undergraduate degree in Political Science at Loyola Marymount University. Patel remains committed to his mission of creating a sustainable and equitable world for all.

Andrea Cañizares-Fernandez is an artist, writer, actress, and climate justice organizer. She is a redhead Ecuadorian-American who grew up in many places, but mostly Austin, Texas. She now lives in LA. Her work has been published by the Los Angeles Times, HipLatina, LatinaMedia.Co, and Veggie Mijas. Themes that often come up in her work are cultural identity, generational trauma, body image, perfectionism, and social justice. She is a distributed organizer for Sunrise Movement. Follow her at @byandreacf for her most recent visual art work. www.andreacf.com

Event date: 
Monday, April 8, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Book Soup
8818 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Event Type: 
Saving Ourselves: From Climate Shocks to Climate Action By Dana R. Fisher Cover Image
ISBN: 9780231209304
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Columbia University Press - February 13th, 2024