The Future We Choose – Review
The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis, by Christiana Figueres and Tome Rivett-Carnac, February 2020. Manilla Press, ISBN: 978-1838770822, 225 pages. RRP: £12.99 (hardback; other formats available)
Between 2010 and 2016, Christiana Figueres was the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and Tom Rivett-Carnac her senior political strategist. They were the public face of the Paris Accord of 2015, which has been called the most pivotal agreement in history, requiring radical change to the world’s economy and the way we live now. Key dates for achieving change, 2030 and 2050, are rapidly approaching, well within the lifetime of my five grandchildren.
This is a practical book for politicians, both national and global, and for the rest of us who will have to live out these changes. Ten actions, all practical plans, make up half of the book: Let Go of the Old World; Face Your Grief but Hold a Vision of the Future; Defend the Truth; See Yourself as a Citizen – Not a Consumer; Move Beyond Fossil Fuels; Reforest the Earth; Invest in a Clean Economy; Use Technology Responsibly; Build Gender Equality and Engage in Politics.
The Paris Agreement set a new target, limiting the increase in global temperature to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius. Humanity has already caused an increase of more than one degree. The authors identify the necessity of reaching net zero by 2050 at the latest, and, to have any chance of achieving this, to halve carbon emissions by 2030. The book details what we must do, and what the Green Christian must advocate, in order to achieve these reductions, abandoning the fossil fuels upon which our civilisation has depended since the beginning of the nineteenth century.
We are in the middle of a new age, the Anthropocene, the age of humans. It will not be so comfortable as the Holocene, but we can know enough to choose a sustainable future. As the authors stress, “Our collective responsibility is to ensure that a better future is not only possible for future generations but probable”. This book is a straightforward foundation of that knowledge and hope.
My only regret is that it has no index, which would have considerably enhanced the value of this important text.
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