Cover Image: The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis

The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis

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By far the most prominent, urgent and important environmental issue our planet has ever faced, the climate crisis we currently find ourselves in means we are disappearing into the abyss and the topic can no longer be ignored if it is to abated. Regardless of what your opinion is on the main players in the arena such as extinction rebellion, young and bold climate activist Greta Thunberg, or David Attenborough their message is an extremely important one.

The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis is a passionate ode to reality, a powerful call to action and a tour de force written by experts in their respective fields and immaculately and comprehensively researched to ensure it is equal parts accurate and fascinating. Although not an issue for me due to knowing this area quite well I am pleased to report that it’s a highly accessible read even for those with no prior knowledge and/or interest in the area.

We no longer have the luxury of time to decipher the statistics and cultivate a thorough plan of attack yet it is of the utmost importance that we act now. In unity. Because we as a species cannot be saved unless we set aside and cast asunder our differences and evolve as a society. What is crucial to point out is that I have read many books that touted themselves as a climate saviour prior to this but this is by far the most empowering, eye-opening, inspiring and most appealing, and it gives us tactics to put into action to work each towards our own goals which will end up working collectively

Honestly, you would be both shocked and utterly dismayed by the climate books I have perused that leave you somewhat scared by their facts but offer no points of action to make a difference and seem reticent to offer anything but a depressed outlook and pessimistic doom and gloom. Seriously, though, it felt like the authors got some perverse pleasure out of terrifying the reader to death about the future of our species before basically admitting defeat. Thank the lord that this is a different kettle of fish altogether! Many thanks to Manilla Press for an ARC.
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This excellent book sets out practical ways in which WE (not they) can alleviate the climate crisis and keep global temperature rise to below the critical1.5 degrees by 2050. It’s OUR choice.

Stay under 1.5 degrees, and have hotter weather, but the capacity for food and living conditions that are livable.
Go above 1.5 degrees, and have runaway weather conditions, possible a 5 metre sea level rise (bye bye most several countries, and several US states, and nearly all of the Pacific Islands), and regular massive fires the like we have seen in Australia in recent months, California and the Amazon, last year, Indonesia the year before… Go outside only in facemasks, and byt the way, safer to ear them indoors as well, where you work rest and play, although the temperature only reaches comfortable sleeping temperatures between 2 and 4 am. In formerly temperate regions like Northern Europe.  Oh, and have I mentioned the refugee problem?

I have conversations most weeks about ‘what can I do?’ Recycling, using the car less, buying locally grown food, all seem to be very small things compared with the magnitude of the effort needed, and who am I among the 8 billion on the planet?  What difference can I make?

Christiana Figueras has had these conversations at lofty levels, United Nations levels to be precise, with representatives of every nation party to the forum.  She gives not only the implications of a choice to act or not act, in her two scenarios for life in 2050, but also insights into the difficulties of getting the Paris Agreement of 2015 agreed.

The situation is: we know what we need to do to achieve these targets.  There is very little that is technically a barrier.  Socially (and that includes the social side of economic arguments) it is more difficult—getting people to CHOOSE to change their habits and sometimes their belief systems (not religion, most religions believe in moderation and clean living), to stop this planet of ours becoming basically uninhabitable.

So Figueras sets out the mindsets needed to achieve the changes necessary, and then some more practical steps to halving your carbon emissions.

I find the mindsets very helpful, especially post-Brexit.  Start to put in the smaller actions, and I start to see problems… mainly, in how to reach the majority of people to explain these mindsets and persuade them to adopt them..

The mindsets give me a set of principles by which to continue to fight for a reasonable future. However, I have little hope that the people who will not read this book will ever be persuaded to act on the contents.  I find it equally difficult to believe that Boris Johnson, who has signed the UK up to be zero-emissions by 2050 (which is the target), has any intention of putting in any policies that might get us there.  He will say the proud thing, and do exactly what will best fill the pockets of himself and his cronies.

So, this is an excellent book, which everyone should read and act on.  You could even decide to change one of your habits a day, or week, in order to take us closer towards a zero-emissions world.  Apart from the book’s website wechoosethefuture.dom, you could follow Erlijn van Genuchten’s excellent journey on 365 Sustainable Decisions Challenge for ideas that you can do too.  Blog your own.

But how are we going to get these messages through to those whose culture is deeply engrained in me, me, me?  

I’m sure the United Nations have somebody on the case.  Let’s help them.
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Part blueprint for the next decade, part call to action and part self-help book, The Future We Choose is an important read in the run up to the COP26 climate negotiations, which will take place five years after the vital Paris agreement put together by the authors. Thought-provoking, though I couldn't agree with everything in the book - repeated calls for mediation and mindfulness seemed somewhat out of place.
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Thank you Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, Manilla Press and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this amazing book! I have been sensitive to environmental issues for decades and we, as a family, do everything we can to improv eour way of living in order to protect the Earth, so this was an excellent read!
We cannot wait any longer and this book is pointing out what could happen if our leaders and if we individually do not act now. I found the book informative but also engaging with some kind of humour (the two scenarios for what will happen in 2050 if we do / do not act now are so telling, the analysis is so comprehensive and logical that it cannot leave people unmoved.
I found very useful information and ways to improve our way of life and do recommend this book to all!
#TheFutureWeChoose #NetGalleyFrance
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Thank you Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac, Bonnier Books UK and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review of The Future We Choose Surviving The Climate Crisis.

This excellent informative book is divided into several sections. A section describes the earth in 2050 given two scenarios. With the failure of COP25 to resolve Article 6, much of the east coast of Australia on fire and a general lack of political will, the scenario of devastation seems to be the most probable.

There is an outstanding section describing how individuals can act locally to reduce impact.

I recommend this book, particularly to our political leaders.
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We are faced at this very moment with a climate emergency. Christina Figueres is Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. She took the role shortly after the failed COP15 in July 2010 and led the delivery of negotiations that resulted in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Tom Rivett-Carnac was the Senior Political Strategist. As a result, they feel like suitably qualified people to guide us through the nature of that emergency and provide some hope and crucially action that we can all take to face it.

The first section of the book covers the junction that we currently stand at and the two potential directions that we can choose to take. The differences are extremely stark depending on the future we choose. We can try to keep going down our current route, burning fossil fuels, over consuming and competing to pile pressure onto our planet’s resources and ecosystems, or we can seek to transform the way we live and accept that we are part of one whole and need to live in balance with the planet that sustains us. Both will transform our planet and our quality of life, but in radically different ways.

The next section considers the mindsets that are required to take on the task that we face. This is about the determined optimism and ultimately resilience that we will need in order to find hope in our current situation. We cannot stare into the future like rabbits into headlights. It is also about moving our mindset away from competing for resources that are perceived to be scarce (and creating scarcity through the dysfunctional behaviours of competition) towards collaborating to provide what each person needs at the point that they need it.

Having now set the scene and laid some groundwork the meat of the book looks at what we can actually do to face the crisis of climate breakdown. It is essential to understand that we can make a difference and that we need to take action individually, as well at the structural level, if we are to succeed in the transformation that our planet and species needs.

The suggested actions are a mix of orientations, ways of looking at the way we live and realigning some of our basic assumptions about what makes a good life, and specific things that we can do collectively and as individuals to move towards a new regenerative economy and culture. It is essential if we are to succeed in the grand vision that we each take personal responsibility for moving our own individual lives towards that vision.

We also need to understand that this is not about moving backwards or diminishing the human experience, but is rather a positive and creative vision of moving forwards into a way of life that combines both the awe and wonder of the natural world and the best of human ingenuity. The future is a move away from exploiting the earth and its resources to collaborating with it (and as an intrinsic part of nature ourselves) in a creative, regenerative project.

We are in the midst of an emergency, but The Future We Choose reveals that we are also fortunate to be alive at such a defining moment in our history. This is our opportunity to understand the meaning of our lives and to become a part of the bigger picture of life on earth in a positive way. The last 50 years have been a destructive search for meaning through consumption, a race to accumulate, but the next 25 or so are our opportunity to reshape our culture to the natural patterns of birth, death and regeneration and truly take our place in the world.

The Future We Choose is an urgent read, but it also requires an urgent response from us all. Take the first step now.
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*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Like a lot of people, I am trying to change my lifestyle to better the environment and this was the perfect book to pick up. In conjunction with Greta Thunberg's No One is Too Small to Make a Difference which I read earlier this year, this is was a great book to read to learn more about what I can actually do about the climate crisis.

As well as setting out scenarios of what would actually happen should we not reach the targets of the Paris climate agreement by 2050, it explains what we can do as individuals and organisations. Engaging and informative, this book inspired me to make several changes in my own life and to use my vote to elect change.

4 out of 5 stars!
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