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October 22, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
Virtual Author Series: Lee van der Voo and Levi Draheim
Books & Books and Miami Book Fair present…
An Evening with Lee van der Voo
In conversation with Levi Draheim
As the World Burns: The New Generation of Activists and the Landmark Legal Fight Against Climate Change
(Timber Press, $27.95)
Thursday, October 22, 7pm
LIVE via Crowdcast
Do children have a right to inherit a livable planet, and if so, is the government obliged to protect it? That’s the question posed by Juliana v. United States, one of the most critical lawsuits of our time.
Twenty-one young people from across America sued the federal government over climate change, charging that US actions to promote a fossil fuel economy violate their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. Their trial could be the civil rights trial of the century. But it hasn’t happened yet. While rare legal tactics attempt to stymie the case, As the World Burns follows the plight of the young plaintiffs, chronicling their legal battle through a year of drought and wildfire, floods and hurricanes, and the most tumultuous political season in modern history.
Acknowledging that forces larger than themselves are stealing their childhoods as well as their futures, the plaintiffs wrenchingly describe personal experiences with recurring “thousand-year” floods, wildfire smoke so thick they can’t ride a bike to school, drought that threatens family farms, and disappearing coastlines that send waves lapping ominously at their doors. Along the way, journalist Lee van der Voo weaves their experience into a broader narrative of America, where politics and policy threaten the very existence of our youth and our way of life. As the World Burns is climate breakdown like you’ve never seen it—through the eyes of the young.
About the Author:
Lee van der Voo is an award-winning investigative and environmental journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Guardian, among others. Her 2016 book The Fish Market, which chronicles the gentrification of the sea in the name of sustainable seafood, won an Oregon Book Award for General Nonfiction.
About the Conversant:
Levi Draheim. Age: 13, Hometown: Satellite Beach, Florida
“I work hard to protect the environment and animals near my home. I want my government to work hard to protect my future and the future of the animals and ecosystems in our country.”
“You have to find the way of nature,” is one of Levi’s messages for the world from his beloved home of a barrier island in Florida, just 13ft above sea level. His island has been impacted by environmental issues from red algal blooms to increasing storms from climate change. After Hurricane Matthew, Levi volunteered replanting the dunes at the beach, where he also does litter clean-ups. The youngest #youthvgov plaintiff, Levi has been speaking at marches and rallies in his neighborhood to bring attention to the risk climate change poses to low-lying Florida. He is also a painter and a dreamer who is part of the lawsuit to imagine and build a better future.