Cover Image: The Conceivable Future

The Conceivable Future

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Member Reviews

The two authors here began this project a decade ago, out of their own anxiety over bringing more humans onto a deteriorating planet. Their organization was really groups of people with similar frustrations, getting together and “talking it out.” The idea was to help people become clearer on their own decisions, and not to push one decision as “right.” (As in, different participants may walk away more persuaded to have kids of their own, not have kids, or maybe consider other options.)

The first half of this book (or so) talks a lot about families: what makes a family, why we need to embrace different kinds of family units, and how people come to make decisions on whether or not to have their own children. The authors explore many different topics within this scope, from polyamory to adoption! And of course, reproductive rights (lower case) and Reproductive Justice (an official movement in its own right).

This book, throughout its many ideas, does consistently put forth that individual decisions, while important to our daily lives, do not “move the needle” on climate change nearly enough. While some of us may feel guilt at increasing the population, or driving a gas-fueled car, or whatever… ultimately, it’s systems that need changing. The authors urge us to remember that.

The back half is more about climate activism, and activism in general: how to get involved, how people with various talents can contribute.

I found these ideas interesting, and felt that I learned a lot from reading this book. But this book is dense, and loaded with jargon. It is not a “light” read.

Whether you are interested in having kids or not, there is a lot in here for someone interested in activism – both climate and social, and the intersection of those. There is also a lot about women’s rights, of course, as they are (generally) the ones carrying babies. This book is a treasure trove of names – both of individuals and organizations – that deal with these topics. I know that I kept stopping to look up the organizations they mention! For that, I would recommend it to people interested in these sorts of things.

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The Conceivable Future takes on climate change activism from the point of view of those who reproduce using the lens of reproduction to organize around the climate crisis. Meghan Kallman and Josephine Feroelli team up to explore how climate change affects those who reproduce, family planning as well as children who will grow up in a world experiencing a constant climate crisis. They also present information on how to actually be an activist and what actions you can take to make a difference.

Written from the heart, The Conceivable Future includes many personal statements and stories from members. Presented as a women led movement, feelings about climate change are discussed as well as the decisions women make surrounding their reproductive choices. I enjoyed these insights the most, they were thoughtful, impactful and very relatable. I liked that they took the stigma off of one person's decision to reproduce having an irrevocable impact contributing to the climate crisis. The Conceivable Future paints a big picture of the issue to move readers from avoidance and worry to engagement and action. I felt very connected to all of the discussions throughout the book as women shared very different experiences and perspectives.

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