Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

1 Mar 2023

The Climate Book

Posted by Michael Keating

When the most influential young woman in the world writes a book it’s worth reading. Greta Thunberg, famous for mobilizing people around the world to push for climate change action has turned to print. The Climate Book, is a collection of short articles by Thunberg and 105 scientists, writers, economists, historians, philosophers, indigenous leaders and environmental activists.

It explains what climate change is and how the world is failing to do enough to stop the crisis. The book is about more than how the climate works. It covers everything from melting ice shelves to economics, from fast fashion to the loss of species, from pandemics to vanishing islands, from deforestation to the loss of fertile soils, from water shortages to Indigenous sovereignty, from future food production to carbon budgets. It’s a handbook for people who want to know how the world is changing. At 464 pages it’s not a quick read but it’s a lot easier than the thousands of pages of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It’s also more candid since these are personal pieces, not controlled by governments.

In 2018, Thunberg then 15, started spending Fridays outside the Swedish Parliament calling for stronger action on climate change and holding up a sign reading School Strike for Climate. Her dedication and blunt, candid style inspired millions of young people around the world to demonstrate for climate action. She goes from protests to speaking to the rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the US Congress and the United Nations.

Greta Thunberg
as a schoolgirl calling for climate action

Thunberg’s writing burns with the anger and sense of betrayal young people feel when they have been promised something important by older people who fail to deliver. She hopes the book will help inform and mobilize enough people to demand serious change that it will move our political and business leaders to the kind of dramatic action needed to head off a climate catastrophe.

Her message is clear and blunt. Forget about incremental change. It won’t be enough to save us. “The climate crisis cannot be solved within today’s systems,” she writes. Thunberg, who has become an expert on climate says, “…we need immediate, drastic, annual emission reductions on a scale unlike anything the world has ever seen.”

The book is a cri de coeur from a young woman who will grow up in a world in which the climate is becoming more hostile to us humans. It is especialy a call for the rich, high consuming people of the world to stop destroying the environment before it collapses taking our civilization with it. She compares our high polluting lifestyle to walking on thin ice. We risk falling “…into the deep, dark, cold waters. And if that should happen to us, there will not be any nearby planet coming to our rescue. We are completely on our own.”

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