A devastating, play-by-play account of the federal government’s leading role in bringing about today’s climate crisis.
In 2015, a group of twenty-one young people sued the federal government for violating their constitutional rights by promoting the climate catastrophe, depriving them of life, liberty, and property without due process of law. They Knew offers evidence for their claims, presenting a devastating, play-by-play account of the federal government’s role in bringing about today’s climate crisis. James Speth, tapped by the plaintiffs as an expert on climate, documents how administrations from Carter to Trump–despite having information about climate change and the connection to fossil fuels–continued aggressive support of a fossil fuel based energy system.
What did the federal government know and when did it know it? Speth asks, echoing another famous cover up. What did the federal government do and what did it not do? They Knew (an updated version of the Expert Report Speth prepared for the lawsuit) presents the most compelling indictment yet of the government’s role in the climate crisis, showing a forty-year failure to take action.
Since Juliana v. United States was filed, the federal government has repeatedly delayed the case. Yet even in legal limbo, it has helped inspire a generation of youthful climate activists.
—Naomi Klein, Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University; author of This Changes Everything, The Shock Doctrine, and No Logo
“With skill and dedication, Gus Speth has documented precisely what we knew and when we knew it. This book is a shocking reminder of the chances for action we’ve already missed, and a spur to finally move with the vigor the climate crisis demands.”
—Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College; founder, 350.org
“Wondering how in the world the catastrophe of climate change could be happening and whom to hold responsible? Look no further than They Knew—Gus Speth’s enlightening and infuriating new book.”
—Van Jones, CNN commentator, author, and founder of the Dream Corps
“Gus Speth has written a history of federal action and inaction on climate change that spares neither Democrats nor Republicans. They Knew is at once a searing indictment and a fascinating read.”
—Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer, New Yorker; author of Under a White Sky and The Sixth Extinction
“Speth reveals the smoking gun of the climate crisis in the US government’s unholy alliance with the fossil fuel industry. The history presented in They Knew makes clear that democratic action is needed now to ensure a future for seven generations to come.”
—Catherine Flowers, Founder and Director, Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice; Professor of Practice, Duke University; 2020 MacArthur Fellow; author of Waste
About the Author
- Publisher : The MIT Press (August 24, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0262542986
- ISBN-13 : 978-0262542982
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.44 x 1 x 9.31 inches
- The Social Impact of Terrestrial Carbon Combustion: Global Coastlines & The Rising Sea
- Exxon Knew About the Climate Crisis
- The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability: James Gustave Speth
- Rhodes Scholars Warn of Dramatic Transformations Required by Global Climate Crisis
- Criminalizing the Best and the Brightest: Gus Speth on the Origins and Character of Our Climate Crisis | Cambridge Community Television
- Angels by the River: A Memoir: James Gustave Speth
- The New Systems Reader: James Gustave Speth
- Gus Speth & George Woodwell on Carbon Use and the Human Prospect – Thames TV 1981
As well as:
- Got a Carbon Problem? Fix it ! Part 1 – Some Prophetic & Enduring Testimony
- Overcoming the Multiple Legacies of European Colonialism: Can The West Survive Its Most Cherished Historical Myths?
- T.C. Weiskel – Statements from the United Nations + Critique of Growth Economics
Short list of some reference titles to the work of Gus Speth
See particularly, as well, the excerpt focused on the importance of the cumulative work of Gus Speth: