Standing Up for a Sustainable World

After 2021's United Nations Climate Change Conference last week, we take a look at how we got here and how to create a sustainable future for our planet

Standing Up for a Sustainable World: Voices of Change

ed. by Claude Henry, Johan Rockström, and Nicholas Stern E. Elgar, 2020
496p bibl index, 9781800371774 $195.00, 9781800371798 $60.00, 9781800371781 $48.00

Standing Up for a Sustainable World: Voices of Change book cover

Henry (Sciences Po, France), Rockström (Univ. of Potsdam), and Stern (London School of Economics) want the world to become more equitable, resilient, and sustainable. This is a collective call to action, urging steps to hold back the threat to environmental systems that have supported remarkable economic growth and poverty reduction since World War II. The 61 chapters (averaging seven pages each) explain what is wrong, diagnose what must be done, and provide examples of actions to reverse the degradation. Each chapter, an informative vignette targeting lay audiences, fits into one of seven parts. Part 1 provides contextual chapters on scientific background, followed by six parts each focusing on hopeful tales: “Defenders,” “Litigants,” “Coming Generations on the Front Line,” “Entrepreneurs,” “Investors,” and “Communicators.” The text is frequently passionate, but never shrill. The breadth of coverage is impressive both topically and geographically. Chapters range from, e.g., green finance in China to carbon taxes in Sweden, even addressing climate litigation on behalf of New Zealand’s Māori peoples. Contributing authors include leading scientists and activists. The science is accurately depicted, and tales are realistically explained. This unusually well-written book is available directly from the publisher via open access. The title of chapter 60, “From Climate Scientist to Climate Communicator: A Process of Evolution,” tells all.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.
Reviewer: R. E. O’Connor, National Science Foundation
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Environmental Studies, Food and Agriculture
Subject: Science & Technology
Choice Issue: Sep 2021

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