How Women Are Transforming Leadership for Climate Justice

An International Women’s Day love letter – By Mallory McDuff | Magazine of the Sierra Club

“Imagine wrapping an extra blanket around the planet, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe has said, causing its temperature to rise. To describe our warming planet, Hayhoe uses the analogy of a fever caused by carbon emissions. Much like a raging fever can threaten a child’s life, the difference of a few degrees, of course, carries catastrophic impacts. “How could I not do everything I could to fix this huge global challenge?” Hayhoe asked back in 2016. 

This comparison made sense to me: A mother of two who has stayed up many nights tending to my daughters’ fevers, I know what it’s like to do everything in my power to care for someone. As a professor of environmental education at a small college in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, I also know what it’s like to spend time with young people daunted by the enormity of the climate crisis. For my children and my students, I set out to explore how women across the country are confronting the climate emergency—and I discovered that unconditional love, much like how it affects our relationships in ordinary life, can shape climate leadership.”

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