Unlikely Alliances

Unlikely Alliances – by Tony Emerson
– Book review by Barbara Echlin

Tony Emerson was the inspiration behind Green Christian’s Joy in Enough initiative. In his new book, Unlikely Alliances, he tells a story which brings all those JiE insights and wisdom together to show how the alternative economic theories could all actually work out in practice.

We glibly talk of reaching net-zero, of sustainable cities, and low carbon homes. Many are finding new ways to reduce the carbon emissions from our own homes, the clothes we buy and the way we travel. But what will it take to get whole towns and cities to re-organise their way of operating to keep those carbon emissions dropping?

Tony Emerson can give you an insight. In his latest novel, Unlikely Alliances, he weaves a vision of how we can enjoy life in a low carbon future with a story of love and relationships in a leisure and tourist resort on the south coast in the foothills of the Downs. To implement this vision won’t be easy. He shows how we’ll need prophets, community leaders, business people, educators, trade unions, and local churches working together to make it happen. He sets the story in 2029. Environmental refugees have already arrived, from drought and heat in Africa, and also from the Netherlands where the dykes have broken and the sea water has flooded the land. The summer heat is intense and almost unbearable.

Those of you who heard Rob Hopkins at Green Christian’s online Festival in autumn 2020 know that much of what we need to do is already happening somewhere in the world at a small scale. We need to scale up these projects. And because we are starting two decades later than we should we’ll have to deal, at the same time, with the consequences of climate catastrophes both in the UK and overseas.

Tony’s engrossing story has a wide cast of characters. Conflict, love, friendship, fear keep one turning the pages. Will the love between Hannah and the local Catholic priest end in tears? Can that cocky trade union leader really work with the local business managers? Tony brings together ordinary people thinking outside the box, finding workable and realistic solutions, making unlikely alliances to provide much needed local jobs while safeguarding the climate.

To get to net-zero, and the possibility for our children to thrive, means persuading the movers and shakers in every part of our society to work together and in different ways. Attitudes are beginning to change – even in unlikely places. Witness this quote from HM Treasury in their 2021 report on biodiversity: “The solution starts with understanding and accepting a simple truth: our economies are embedded within Nature, not external to it.”  If the UK Treasury can say that maybe there is hope.

Unlikely Alliances is available on https://silverscribblers.wordpress.com/tonys-books-page

Price £7.50 plus £2 postage, £2.50 of which will go to Green Christian.

Barbara Echlin



Author: Barbara Echlin | Date: 28 September, 2021 | Category: Book Reviews Climate Change JiE | Comments: 0

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