The one sentence summary
Many books on climate change want to scare you or preach at you – this one provides the facts – exactly what you need to help save our planet.
- This book is all about the facts. It is a short and punchy handbook that provides invaluable knowledge and insight to act. As the author put its “it can be quoted in the pub or at a dinner party or even in Parliament”.
- Facts have the power to change the world – here are some examples:
- In the second half of the 18thcentury the Industrial Revolution occurred in one place – Britain. Within 50 years it had spread to the whole of Europe, North America and Japan. The Industrial Revolution led to the age of pollution – with waste materials being dumped into rivers, lakes, soil, oceans and the atmosphere.
- In 1950 the global population was 2.5 billion. In 2020 the global population was 7.8 billion. A rise of over 5 billion in 70 years.
- An average American now uses over 10,000 watts per day to power their cars, homes, offices and the rest of their lives, equivalent to running about 160 old-fashioned lightbulbs – compared to just 6 lightbulbs equivalent use by our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
- We have added 2.2 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. 25% of this extra ‘anthropogenic’ carbon dioxide has come from the USA. 22% from the EU. Less than 5% from Africa.
- We have made enough concrete to cover the whole surface of the Earth in a layer 2 mm thick.
- We have created over 170,000 synthetic mineral-like substances, such as all plastics, concrete, steel, ceramics and many artificial drugs. (There are approximately 5,000 ‘natural’ minerals).
- There are 1.4 billion motor vehicles, 2 billion personal computers and more mobile phones than people on Earth.
- We make over 300 million tonnes of plastic per year, equivalent in weight to 1 billion African elephants or every single person on Earth.
- The current weight of all land mammals in the world is made up of 30% humans, 67% livestock and 35% wild animals. 10,000 years ago wild animals made up 99.95% of the weight.
- We are not all equally liable for the mess we find ourselves in. The richest 10% of the world’s population emit 50% of carbon pollution into the atmosphere. The richest 50% of the world’s population emit 90% of carbon pollution into the atmosphere. The poorest 3.9 billion people have contributed just 10% of the carbon pollution in our atmosphere.
- Poor people in developing countries can spend up to 80% of their income on food. Americans spend less than 10% of their income on food.
- We produce enough food to feed 11 billion people. 825 million people do not have access to enough food.
- The fossil fuel industry, political lobbyists, media moguls and individuals have spent the last 30 years sowing doubt about the reality of climate change – where none such doubt exists.
- The world’s 5 largest publicly owned oil and gas companies spend approximately $200 million per year on lobbying to control, delay or block binding climate-motivated policy.
- Currently the fossil fuel industry receives $5.2 trillion in subsidies. The largest subsidizers are China ($1.4 trillion), United States ($649 billion), Russia ($551 billion), European Union ($289 billion) and India ($209 billion).
- Western countries have produced over half the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, while India has produced just 3%.
- What to Do – Individuals: Talk about climate change; Switch to a more vegetable-based diet; Switch to a renewable energy supplier; Make your home energy efficient; Use cars less; Stop flying; Divest your pension from fossil fuels; Divest your investments from fossil fuels; Refuse/reject excessive consumption; Reduce what you use; Refuse as much as you can; Recycle as much as you can; Use your consumer choice; Protest; Vote.
- What to Do – Business: Be ambitious (and agile); Be open and transparent; Set emission reduction targets; Focus on energy; Apply the circular economy; Encourage employee power; Link into supply and value chains; Change the whole conversation; Influence governments; Create a new wave of social and environmental entrepreneurs.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- It’s simple and powerful and will provide anyone with ammunition to drive change.