First things first, what is the Anthropocene? National Geographic defines it as "an unofficial unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems. Parenting in the Anthropocene — edited by Emma Johnson, and published by Freerange Press — is an intelligent book dealing with parenting, now and in the future, with an eye on climate change and our the world we are going towards.
Here are some of the observations that resonated with me.
Jess Berentson-Shaw, senior research associate, explores stories for the children of the Anthropocene:
"Climate change and racism have related stories at their heart."
"Our stories have to be rich in their diversity, like the ecosystems that sustain us, rather than emerging from a monoculture of thinking."
Climate change activist Mia Sutherland from Christchurch explores the ethics of having children in the climate change world:
"We younger generations are fighting for more than just the planet. We're fighting for our futures."
Briohny Doyle, author and lecturer, writes about the choice of childlessness:
"Parenting stakes a claim on people. Not parenting leaves space for other kinds of love and action."
Leonie Pihama, Professor of Māori Research, talks about traditional knowledge:
"The future of te ao Māori is reliant on the wellbeing of our tamariki."
Writer Brannavan Gnanalingam says:
"We tell our kids not to bully, that they should say sorry, that they need to think about the consequences of their actions. Yet, we accept our governments doing the opposite."
Sacha McMeeking, Head of School at Aotahi, the School of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Canterbury, talks about her 3-year-old:
"We also share in the knowledge that she is part of an intergenerational movement to create a better future mō kā uri a muri ake nei (for the generations that follow), and that every generaton has a responsibility to craft their own tools for the distant horizon they can imagine".
The book finishes with Christchurch City Libraries' selectors Jane and Terrisa recommending books for challenging times (aimed at kids and caregivers).
Enter this easy competition to win a copy of Parenting in the Anthropocene, courtesy of the awesome Freerange Press.
You will also get a copy of the novel Lost Children Archive, signed by author Valeria Luiselli, courtesy of the DUBLIN Literary award team. This book won the 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award. Libraries around the world get to nominate for this prestigious award, and Christchurch City Libraries has nominated Sprigs by Brannavan Gnanalingam this year. And Brannavan is one of the writers featured in Parenting in the Anthropocene.
Competition Closed: this competition ran from 5 August to 20 September.
Congratulations to the winner - Nicola Stapley.
- Find parenting resources at the library