The Planet You Inherit: Letters to My Grandchildren When Uncertainty's a Sure Thing
For the first time ever, love letters consciously written by elders of one geologic epoch to the young of another.
Our children's and grandchildren's generation will face a different world, one affected by climate instability, mass uncertainty, and breathtaking extinction. In fact, the next generation will face the reality that human activity is changing the planet from one geological epoch to another.
From this vantage point--two generations across two geological epochs facing a fundamentally changing planet--Larry Rasmussen writes to his grandchildren. As a grandfather invested in a green earth and climate justice as well as a scholar of faith-based earth ethics, Rasmussen bridges this gap between generations to write to the future about climate change, global citizenship, democracy, and legacy. In topics ranging from "A Viable Way of Life" and "Democracy" to "Where We've Come From" and "Who We Are Now," Rasmussen explores the large questions of justice, meaning, and faith, encouraging us to speak to and look to the future generation and their future world.
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About the Author
"There's real wisdom in this book, not just for the next generation but for those of us making the decisions right now. Those of us of a certain age have a very real responsibility to do everything we can to pass on a working planet to those who come after!" --Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar, Middlebury College, and author of The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened
"The Planet You Inherit is a profound offering of wisdom and love, imparted by one of the preeminent ethicists of our time to his own grandchildren. What a blessing that we are invited to listen in, absorbing colorful pieces of history, mind-expanding glimpses of metaphysics, and a bedrock case for cultivating those 'bonds of love and belonging' that are essential to life. Beautifully written, unflinchingly honest, and deeply personal, this book is a guide for all who seek to live a full and moral life in this unprecedented time in which 'we are not only the ark but the flood.'" --Karenna Gore, author, activist, and executive director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary
"Larry Rasmussen has written a wise and compassionate book, precisely the sort of book our Anthropocene world needs. Don't let the title fool you. This is a book for young people, but it is also for all adults who now (and quickly) need to learn the art of becoming good ancestors." --Norman Wirzba, Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished Professor of Theology, Duke University, and author of This Sacred Life
"Larry Rasmussen is one of the few great Christian ethicists of the last half-century. This profound and powerful text to the younger generation is a gem!" --Cornel West, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary
"Larry Rasmussen has created a unique collection of letters that will resonate not only with his grandchildren but with all those seeking a way forward through the climate emergency. To have anxiety about the future of the Earth community is to be awake in a broken world. Larry shows us how we might navigate this with empathy, compassion, and courage." --Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
"Earth-honoring ethicist Larry Rasmussen pours out a lifetime of environmental knowledge, prophetic witness, and personal experience. His letters will inspire the rising generation--and the older folks reading over their shoulders--to ever-bolder love for this precious biosphere, its unjustly divided inhabitants, and the Living Presence that sustains all things and summons us to responsibility." --Mark R. Schwehn and Dorothy C. Bass, grandparents of six and coeditors of Leading Lives That Matter
"The relationship between generations, especially between grandparent and grandchild, is essential to the path ahead. The open-eyed wonder of childhood, in tandem with age's studied wisdom, is exactly what we need. The Planet You Inherit models the way forward for us all. It is a book of extraordinary hope in a time of urgent need." --John Philip Newell, author of Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul
"Many of us thirst to hear about the climate emergency in a manner that sparks imagination; places us wide-awake in a future defined by displacement and vulnerability; breaks, opens, and activates our hearts to care and do more. These letters from Grandpa, whom many of us cherish as Prof. Larry Rasmussen, do this humanizing work justly and with fearful grace." --Rev. Fletcher Harper, executive director of GreenFaith