Parenting on Earth
A Philosopher's Guide to Doing Right by Your Kids—and Everyone Else
Being parents and being human: building hope for our children in a fragile world.
Environmental catastrophes, pandemics, antibiotic resistance, institutionalized injustice, and war: in a world so out of balance, what does it take—or even mean—to be a good parent? This book is one woman's search for an answer, as a moral philosopher, activist, and mother.
Drawing on the insights of philosophy and the experience of parent activists, Elizabeth Cripps calls for parents to think radically about exactly what we owe our children—and everyone else. She shows how our children's needs are inseparable from the fate of the earth and the fortunes of others and how much is at stake in parenting today. And she asks the hardest question: should we have kids at all?
Timely and thoughtful, Parenting on Earth extends a challenge to anyone raising children in a troubled world—and with it, a vision of hope for our children's future. Cripps envisions a world where kids can prosper and grow—a just world, with thriving social systems and ecosystems, where future generations can flourish and all children can lead a decent life. She explains, with bracing clarity, why those raising kids today should be a force for change and bring up their children to do the same. Hard as this can be, in the face of political gridlock, ecoanxiety, and general daily grind, the tools of philosophy and psychology can help us find a way.
“How can we parent well when life seems so uncertain? Rousing, rational, and deeply hopeful, this book helped me feel strong enough to face the future—to fight for my children, and for the world.”
Kirsty Sedgman, author of On Being Unreasonable
“Parenting on Earth is a gift for anyone asking big questions about what the changing climate means for our children, and why we must act now. A deeply insightful and timely read.”
Jill Kubit, DearTomorrow and Our Kids' Climate
“Parenting on Earth is a brave, bold call to moral courage for parents who know our kids deserve a livable future. It's the reminder we need of our duty—and our potential—to create a better world.”
Elizabeth Bechard, Senior Policy Analyst, Moms Clean Air Force; author of Parenting in A Changing Climate
“Elizabeth Cripps's new book doesn't presume to tell you how to raise your children. Instead, it offers an intellectual toolkit that will help you understand the ethical choices you face in parenting, and how to discern what choices are right for you. Any parent—or grandparent— would benefit from reading it, both for the wisdom they'll gain and because it is such an enjoyable read."
Harry Brighouse, Mildred Fish Harnack Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin–Madison; coauthor of Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships
“As an ethicist and a mother of two girls, [Cripps] brings her professional expertise into a topic of deep personal concern... parents concerned with climate change should put [Parenting on Earth] at the top of their must-read list.”