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Books, films, articles and more


You’ll notice I am giving ISBNs rather than link to the Big A… I’m hoping you will get these from your local bookshop. Also, do send me your suggestions for further reading! The Future We Choose, Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac This is a book about two worlds - the one we are creating, heading for 3°C warning, andthe one that is still possible. It is a book that describes the mindset necessary to take us to the possible world. And it offers ten actions each of us can take, among them defending the truth and taking agency as a citizen, not consumer. ISBN: 978-1786580375 Falter, Bill McKibben Coming from one of the most important voices in environmentalism, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, an urgent warning that the 'human experiment' is at peril, an appeal to stop breaking one planetary boundary after another. Bleak in its realistic assessment but that's what's needed now, too. ISBN: 978-1472266514 The Ministry For the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson The author himself calls this a 'utopia'. But it is not a nice shiny utopia, it is rather grim and requires a decades-long fight by the protagonists to achieve. Yet they never give up - and neithe should we. ISBN: 978-0356508863 Blowout, Rachel Maddow With her usual clarity and wit, Maddow describes just how deeply interlinked politics and Big Oil are in the US. And since the US, as a country, is the largest consumer and second-largest CO2 emitter, this matters on a global scale. Essential for understanding how the fossil fuel industry blocks attempts to save this planet. ISBN: 978-1529113204 This is just a selection of recently published books. Further reading, explaining how this planet’s systems work: ‘The Sixth Extinction’ by Elizabeth Kolbert. ‘Six Degrees’ by Mark Lynas (trigger warning: this is tough but realistic reading). ‘When a Billion Chinese Jump’ by Jonathan Watts. ‘We Are the Weathermakers’ by Tim Flannery. ‘Storms of My Grandchildren’ by James Hansen. ‘When the Rivers Run Dry’ by Fred Pearce. ‘Prosperity Without Growth’ by Tim Jackson (a new approach to economics).

Films & TV

Can you find inspiration for your own climate stories from these examples? What can we learn from these films about how to move people and make them care about climate matters? As always, I’m happy to receive tips for further films and shows (please include a short summary with your link). Documentaries Guardians of the Earth (2018) tells the story of the 2015 COP that resulted in the Paris Climate Accord. A thrilling and moving account of how this supremely important treaty almost failed but for the tenacity of people like Christiana Figueres and John Kelly. Breaking Boundaries (Netflix, 2021). Johan Rockström and David Attenborough examine Earth’s biodiversity collapse and how this crisis can still be averted. (Also check out Johan Rockström’s TED article on planetary boundaries where he summarises the scientific concept.) Seaspiracy (Netflix, 2021): I put this up here with a small caveat. I haven’t seen it yet but have heard quite a bit of criticism about sloppy research and misleading presentation. Judge for yourselves. The Devil We Know (Netflix, 2018): exposing how DuPont did not act on their knowledge that they were basically poisoning their employees and neighbours with their star product: Teflon. IMHO better and more moving than the Ruffalo film (see below). Virunga (Netflix, 2014). Oscar-nominated true story of the rangers risking their lives to protect Africa’s most precious national park and its endangered gorillas. Fiction Just a few recent(ish) releases, and some of my favourites that show how satisfying and entertaining it can be to fight for a clean environment… Dark Waters (2019): Corporate defence attorney Mark Ruffalo takes on a chemical company (in real life: DuPont) in a law suit that exposes a long history of pollution. Based on a true story - see also the documentary The Devil We Know. Michael Clayton (2007): ‘Fixer’ George Clooney must decide whether or not to fix the situation after a colleague’s breakdown threatens to expose his law firm’s client, a chemical company faced with a multibillion-dollar class action suit. Erin Brockovich (2000): An unemployed single mother (Julia Roberts) becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply. Based on a true story. … and last but definitely not least: send me a link to YOUR film about the future you want!

Articles, TED Talks etc.

This is where you can fill in the blanks! Send me links to any inspiring articles you come across (ideally with a two-sentence summary), either via the site’s contact form or on one of The_Ecotopian social media accounts or groups, and I will put them up here. This is not a section for disaster doom and gloom, but for news about climate writing and for featuring solutions and people who make things work in the face of climate challenges.

  1. https://grist.org/fix/october-2021-climate-fiction-issue/

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