There’s a review today in Pacific Standard, an online and print magazine. The book is paired with Andrew T. Guzman’s Overheated – The Human Cost of Climate Change which appears to be a sober look at the realities of the looming climate crisis. The reviewer, the accomplished energy writer Lisa Margonelli, says A Newer World is “a shot of green cheer.” She writes that “The overall effect is to somewhat dispel Guzman’s gloom, and replace it with a vision of the future that may be less likely, but is a great deal more likable.” So far, so good.
However, Margonelli seems to think that the only good news I have to bring to the discussion is the likelihood that clean tech will rescue us from our folly. Yes, as I’ve reported here and in the book, there are astounding advances in clean tech that are taking place – not in the future, but now. Is this the only place I hang my hat? Hardly. There is a world of smart, focused action that is confronting the special interests and the laggards among our policy makers and in our media: in the streets, in the courts, in the schools, and, as I point out in the book at great length, in our corporate headquarters and the halls of finance. From CEOs to smallholder farmers, people get sustainability.
Here’s what I write in the introduction:
Some of my students and others have asked me over the last several years if we are addressing the climate crisis in time and with sufficient force and focus to avoid a planetary catastrophe. I tell them I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that we are forging new tools for much more sustainable, much cleaner and smarter ways to live. We have been realizing progress in areas like renewable energy that even ten years ago people in the field would have told you was not possible by now. We have a long way to go, but what we are seeing happen is incontrovertible evidence that there is a path to sustainability, that we can, in the words of the environmental prophet Barry Commoner, make peace with the planet.