We are at a turning point in human history. To stop climate breakdown and extinction, environmental movements need to be actively anti-racist and join struggles for social justice.
In 2019, Carola Rackete became publicly known for docking the sea rescue vessel “Sea-Watch 3” in Italy and thereby challenging a national decree that contradicted international obligations to engage in sea rescue. Due to this act of civil disobedience and her public confrontation of the Italian far right and the structural racism of the EU’s Fortress Europe policy, Carola became a powerful symbol for people seeking to take practical action for a world based on justice and equality.
Carola Rackete volunteered for sea rescue NGOs in the Central Mediterranean between 2016 and 2019 and was arrested as captain of the “Sea-Watch 3” vessel in 2019. Currently, her activism is focused on justice in nature conservation and connecting the dots between climate and anti-racist movements.
Carola has worked in the polar regions since 2011 and holds a degree in natural resources management. Consequently, her book shows how the ecological crises we are facing today are rooted in social and political power structures. The book details moments of the rescue mission but also connects the dots to forced migration and the urgency of our environmental predicament. Overall, it is a call to engage and act, to become part of initiatives and movements struggling for social and environmental justice.
The English translation of the book includes a new afterword focused on centring justice and human rights in nature and biodiversity conservation — a topic often overlooked by climate activists in the Global North.
This edition was supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation with funds from the German Federal Foreign Office.
The Time to Act Is Now
A Call to Combat Environmental Breakdown
Carola Rackete with Anne Weiss
Translated by Claire Wordley
Preface by Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
English edition of the German paperback published 1 September 2021
175 pages | ISBN 978-3-948250-39-3