Mark and Tom Delaney: ‘Low-Carbon and Loving It’
‘Low-Carbon and Loving It’ is an ordinary person’s, easy-to-read guide to climate change. It’s also the story of the Delaneys, an ordinary Australian family who have made some extraordinary choices to live in the slums of India. From helping negotiate better terms for residents in a slum about to be demolished, to living on $100 for a month, they’ve sought to serve – and learn from – their impoverished neighbours.
In the book, father-and-son authors Mark and Tom introduce us to several of their Indian neighbours who lead very low-carbon lives. They consider the reasons a typical Australian’s carbon footprint is ten times larger than the average Indian’s. Encouragingly, they offer many suggestions for how we in the West can live a much lower-carbon life, in a way that is fulfilling and even fun.
The Delaney family have lived alongside the poor in the slums of India for more than a decade. The boys, Tom and his brother Oscar, were born there and have spent much of their lives in slums. Their experience of moving between middle class Australia and the slums of India has given them a very different perspective on life, which allows Mark and Tom to see afresh the climate crisis to which many in the West are blind.
“This is a remarkable book. Very few westerners have had the experiences that the authors have embraced, and as a result very few can speak with the same credibility about the choices we must make as a society. I hope everyone reads this volume – and thinks, deeply, about what it means.”
~ Bill McKibben, author of ‘Deep Economy’. Founder of 350.org
“If we are to deal with the crisis of climate change as seriously as it demands, all of us need to overcome our addiction to our unsustainable carbon-based life-styles. The Delaneys, a family who have lived a lowcarbon life in the slums of India and the suburbs of Australia, show us how we can do it in style.”
~ Dave Andrews, author of ‘Building A Better World’
“We have now sold about 400 copies of Low Carbon and Loving It. We’re grateful to everyone who’s purchased our book. However, we want to spread the message of climate action as widely as possible – including those who don’t buy books. So, over the next 9 months, we will be uploading a chapter at a time, available for free download. Please read and reflect. The 37 chapters have reflection questions, so please share your thoughts by commenting at the bottom of the blog.
“Our world is in trouble. If our atmosphere warms more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, we will face more frequent natural disasters, the extinction of thousands of species, sea level rise measured in metres, food shortages and possible climate-related wars. These changes will happen within this century unless we, as a global community, limit our carbon dioxide emissions to around
800 gigatonnes for the remainder of the century. That might sound like a lot, but it averages about two tonnes per head per year for everyone on the planet.
At the moment, Australians emit 23 tonnes per year. As a global community, we’ll blow our budget by 2040 if we continue at the current rate. The awful consequences of climate change will increase in intensity within our own, and even more so, within our children’s lifetimes…”
Mark and Tom Delaney: ‘Low-Carbon and Loving It – Adventures in sustainable living from the streets of India to middle class Australia’
Paperback: AUD$19.95 E-book: AUD$9.99
» Bulk order: Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
» Website: www.lowcarbonandlovingit.wordpress.com
Book excerpts (PDF)
• Part A: The Birthday Chicken — why care anyway?
• Part B: Climate Science Demystified – what’s happening to our planet?
• Part C: Clear and Present Danger – what happens if we do nothing?
• Part D: Ruksana versus Bruce – Who is responsible?
Journey to fossil fuel freedom
Book about the path to carbon neutrality, and eventually, carbon freedom.
“Our main family car is now an EV; we have double glazed the house; we have installed 8.5kW of solar PV; we have turned off the gas. We are now well on the way to becoming a fossil fuel free family. I have documented our energy transition process and produced a book called ‘Our Household Energy Transition: Becoming a Fossil Fuel Free Family’…”
~ Dave Southgate
The book explores the actions Dave Southgate and his family have taken; why they have done what they have done; and the energy and carbon outcomes of their actions. The book also provides details on the costs.
Dave Southgate retired from the public service in July 2012 after a 31 year career as an environmental specialist in the Australian Government Transport Department and then as the Australian Government representative on the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). Since his retirement he has expanded his climate change interests and has become fascinated with renewable energy.
» Download Our Household Energy Transition: Becoming a Fossil Fuel Free Family (PDF 3.5MB)
» View the book on Scribd
By Paul Hawken, 2017
New York Times bestseller: The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world.
» More info on Amazon.com
Dr. Peter D. Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth
“‘Unprecedented Crime’ first lays out the culpability of governmental, political and religious bodies, corporations, and the media through their failure to report or act on the climate emergency. No emergency response has even been contemplated by wealthy high-emitting national governments. Extreme weather reporting never even hints at the need to address climate change.
It then reports how independently of governments, scores of proven zero-carbon game changers have been coming online all over the world. These exciting technologies, described in the book, are now able to power both household electricity and energy-dense heavy industry.
We already have the technical solutions to the CO2 problem. With these solutions we can act in time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to near-zero within 20 years.
These willful crimes against life itself by negligent governments, oblivious media and an insouciant civil society are crimes that everyday citizens can nonetheless readily grasp – and then take to the streets and to the courts to protest on behalf of their children and grand-children.
This thoroughly researched and highly-documented book will show them how.”
» More info on www.claritypress.com
Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science
By Philippe Squarzoni
“What are the causes and consequences of climate change? When the scale is so big, can an individual make any difference? Documentary, diary, and masterwork graphic novel, this up-to-date look at our planet and how we live on it explains what global warming is all about.”
» Article about the book in Grist Magazine: This graphic novelist tells the true story of climate change
» Available on www.amazon.com
‘Requiem for a Species’
By Clive Hamilton
“Australian academic Clive Hamilton which explores climate change denial and its implications. The book argues that climate change will bring about large-scale, harmful consequences for habitability for life on Earth including humans, which it is too late to prevent.”
» Home page: www.clivehamilton.com/books/requiem-for-a-species
» Wikipedia page about the book: www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem_for_a_Species
» Extract on: www.theguardian.com
» By same author: ‘Scorcher: the dirty politics of climate change’ from 2007.
‘The Climate Bonus – Co-benefits of Climate Policy’
By Alison Smith
“This book shows us how, instead of being paralysed by the threat of climate change, we can use it as a stimulus to escape from our dependence on polluting fossil fuels, and make the transition to a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future. The book maps out the links between low carbon policies and their co-benefits, and shows how low carbon policies can lead to cleaner air and water, conservation of forests, more sustainable agriculture, less waste, safer and more secure energy, cost savings for households and businesses and a stronger and more stable economy. The book discusses the ways in which joined-up policies can help to maximise the synergies and minimise the conflicts between climate policy and other aspects of sustainability. Through rigorous analysis of the facts, the author presents well-reasoned and evidenced recommendations for policy-makers and all those with an interest in making a healthier and happier society.”
» Read more on www.routledge.com
‘The Great Disruption’
By Paul Gilding
“The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces-yet also a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer: compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability. Gilding tells us how to fight-and win-what he calls The One Degree War to prevent catastrophic warming of the earth, and how to start today.”
‘Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist’
By Bill McKibben
Bestselling author and environmental activist Bill McKibben recounts the personal and global story of the fight to build and preserve a sustainable planet. Bill McKibben is not a person you’d expect to find handcuffed in the city jail in Washington, D.C. But that’s where he spent three days in the summer of 2011, after leading the largest civil disobedience in thirty years to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. A few months later the protesters would see their efforts rewarded when President Obama agreed to put the project on hold.
» Read more: www.billmckibben.com
State of the World 2013
State of the World 2013 cuts through the rhetoric surrounding sustainability, offering a broad and realistic look at how close we are to fulfilling it today and which practices and policies will steer us in the right direction.
In ‘State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?’ thought leaders attempt to restore meaning to sustainability as more than just a marketing tool. Experts define clear sustainability metrics and examine various policies and perspectives, including geoengineering, corporate transformation, and changes in agricultural policy, that could put us on the path to prosperity without diminishing the well-being of future generations.
» Info about the book: www.worldwatch.org
» Download preview: State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? Preview Edition (PDF)
32-page report about the climate problem as well about the solutions. Published by The Climate Institute.
» Download the report here: www.climateinstitute.org.au (PDF)
‘The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change’
By Al Gore
Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon
“With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change, and with his decades of experience on the front lines of global policy, Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon and offers a sober, learned, and ultimately hopeful forecast.” In ‘The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change’, Al Gore identifies the emerging forces that are reshaping our world. (…)
A deeply flawed economic compass is leading us to unsustainable growth in consumption, pollution flows, and depletion of the planet’s strategic resources of topsoil, freshwater, and living species. There has been a radical disruption of the relationship between human beings and the earth’s ecosystems, along with the beginning of a revolutionary transformation of energy systems, agriculture, transportation, and construction worldwide.”
“Provocative, smart, densely argued … a tour de force of Big Picture thinking.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“A luminously intelligent analysis that is packed with arresting ideas and facts.”
— The Guardian
Al Gore’s campaign, the Climate Reality Project, states that “We are all paying the price of carbon pollution. It’s time to put a price on carbon and make the polluters stop the carbon destruction”, and he had a new book out in February, ‘The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change’, which a reviewer in the Danish newspaper Politiken headlined, ‘Yet another climate book from Al Gore, but is anyone listening?’.
Back in 1992, Al Gore wrote the book ‘Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit’ — the title in itself tells you his message — and in 2007, he published ‘An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming’ which was also made into a famous documentary film.
» Read more about ‘The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change’ on Amazon.com
Making the climate crisis into a drama, a Canadian film company started communicating about ‘the climapocolypse’ already in 2008, creating the kind of narrative that scientists with their reports and conferences have not been able to.
‘Burn Up’ is a high stakes conspiracy thriller set against the backdrop of the oil industry. “It is a story that mirrors the world in which we live – where we struggle to be both economically successful and globally responsible.”
“We follow the charismatic and ambitious Tom McConnell who, at first glance, seems like the perfect man to take over as the new chairman of Arrow Oil. But after an Inuit woman lights herself on fire, in protest against what the oil companies are doing to her native land, Tom begins a dangerous inquiry into the dealings of his company. ‘Burn Up’ is an eviscerating tale where the stakes are terrifyingly real.”
Gemini Award Winner. Produced by SEVEN24 Films, one of Canada’s leading production companies.
‘Climate Code Red’
By Spratt & Sutton
“This is a call to action to stop emissions now before the earth’s climate systems reach a point of no return.
The authors present a compelling argument for the unacceptable inaction of politics and business as usual. A realistic framework is proposed that will tackle the emergency the all of the earth’s inhabitants will face.”
‘The Weather Makers’
By Tim Flannery
“In this groundbreaking and essential book, Tim Flannery argues passionately for the urgent need to address – NOW – the implications of a global climate change that is damaging all life on earth and endangering our very survival.
This book is unimpeachable in its authority, deftly and accessibly written in its vision for what each of us can do to avoid catastrophe. It is a global call to arms, laying out plainly if not controversially what we know, what we think might happen, and what tools we have available to us to make a difference. The Weather Makers will change your life.”
‘Storms of My Grandchildren’
By James Hansen
‘Storms of my grandchildren: the truth about the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save humanity’
Dr. James Hansen, the world’s leading climatologist, shows that exactly contrary to the impression the public has received, the science of climate change has become even clearer and sharper since the hardcover was released. In ‘Storms of My Grandchildren’, Hansen speaks out with the full truth about global warming: The planet is hurtling even more rapidly than previously acknowledged to a climatic point of no return. In explaining the science of climate change, Hansen paints a devastating but all-too-realistic picture of what will happen in our children’s and grandchildren’s lifetimes if we follow the course we’re on. But he is also an optimist, showing that there is still time to take the urgent, strong action that is needed – just barely. The book was published in 2009.
» Read more on Amazon.com
» Home page for the book: stormsofmygrandchildren.com
‘The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars’
By Michael Mann
“Michael E. Mann, lead author of the original paper in which the Hockey Stick first appeared, shares the real story of the science and politics behind this controversy. He introduces key figures in the oil and energy industries, and the media front groups who do their bidding in sometimes slick, bare-knuckled ways to cast doubt on the science. Mann concludes with an account of the “Climategate” scandal, the 2009 hacking of climate scientists’ emails. Throughout, Mann reveals the role of science deniers, abetted by an uninformed media, in once again diverting attention away from one of the central scientific and policy issues of our time.”
» Read more on Amazon.com
‘Merchants of Doubt’
By Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway
“How can it be that scientists who study the matter are so certain that human activity is causing global warming, yet there be so much doubt among the general public? Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway’s book goes a long way toward explaining this anomaly. Further, it exposes the individuals who are doing their best to seed this doubt, and who have successfully muddied the picture about scientific results in the past. Climate denial is part of a broader pattern of casting doubt on science, perpetrated by people who care less about the truth than about economic dogma and their own vested interests.”
» Review on books.gather.com
‘Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic’
By Anna Rose
“Anna Rose, environmental crusader since the age of fourteen and co-founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, is on a mission. This is the story of her biggest challenge yet: a whirlwind journey around the world with conservative powerbroker and arch climate sceptic Nick Minchin.”
» More info on www.annarose.net.au/books
‘Living in denial: Climate change, emotions, and everyday life’
By Kari Marie Norgaard
“In Living in Denial, sociologist Kari Norgaard searches for answers to this question, drawing on interviews and ethnographic data from her study of “Bygdaby,” the fictional name of an actual rural community in western Norway, during the unusually warm winter of 2000-2001. (…)
Norgaard traces this denial through multiple levels, from emotions to cultural norms to political economy. Her report from Bygdaby, supplemented by comparisons throughout the book to the United States, tells a larger story behind our paralysis in the face of today’s alarming predictions from climate scientists.”
» The book can be purchased on amazon.com
Reports and summaries – Free downloads online
IPCC AR5 Summaries for Policymakers
By United Nations’ climate panel IPCC:
WG I: The Physical Science Basis – 2013
WG II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – 2014
WG III: Mitigation of Climate Change – 2014
» Read more: www.ipcc.ch
‘Climate Change: Evidence & Causes’
By Royal Society
» Read more: www.royalsociety.org
‘What We Know: The Reality, Risks and Response to Climate Change’
Report by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science
» Read more: www.whatweknow.aaas.org/get-the-facts
The great climate experiment
Reports with an Australian focus
‘Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan’
By Beyond Zero Emissions
Launched in 2010
Beyond Zero Emissions is developing a detailed, costed blueprint for the transition to a completely decarbonised Australian economy within a decade. The Zero Carbon Australia Project (ZCA2020) will consist of 6 transition plans covering the 6 sectors of energy, buildings, transport, land use, industrial processes and coal exports. Stationary Energy Plan
The plan demonstrates that 100% renewable energy is achievable and affordable. It designs a fully costed and detailed system of concentrated solar thermal plants and large scale wind farms, and it proves that with commercially available and proven technologies renewable energy can power Australia within 10 years.
‘Screw Light Bulbs: Smarter ways to save Australians time and money’
By Green & Minchin
“Do we risk crashing our economy by tackling climate change? Should we stop eating chocolate for the good of the planet? How did cheap petrol become so expensive? And what’s the real story behind Australia’s light bulb ban? ‘Screw Light Bulbs’ is the book for Australians who want environmental solutions that go beyond changing light bulbs.”
The authors are making a mistake with what they write about fracking and gas mining, but apart from that this book is worth reading.
‘Four Degrees of Global Warming’
Edited by Peter Christoff
“ ‘Four Degrees of Global Warming – Australia in a Hot World’ is an important book that addresses the defining question of the 21st century: Can we really afford to let the world slip down the warming slope – towards the 4 degrees mark or even beyond? The authors provide compelling evidence from the Australian perspective that the answer reads “no”. Peter Christoff should be praised for initiating and editing this colossal intellectual effort.”
– Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
» Read more on www.amazon.com
‘Rich Land Wasteland’
By Sharyn Munro
“For nearly a year Sharyn Munro travelled through rural Australia, visiting communities in coal-mining areas. She found a war zone.”
“Every Australian politician ought be locked up with this book and not let out until they’ve read it; and then they should all be frog-marched around the devastated moonscapes that the mining industry has made while they were looking in some other direction.”
– Fred Baker, Knocklofty Press
‘Big Coal: Australia’s Dirtiest Habit’
By Guy Pearse, Bob Burton and David McKnight
“Former lobbyist and political insider Guy Pearse, media and politics commentator David McKnight and environment writer Bob Burton cut through the spin to expose the underbelly of an industry whose power continues to soar while its expansion feeds catastrophic climate change.”
» Read more on www.newsouthbooks.com.au
‘The Critical Decade 2013: Climate Change Science, Risks and Responses’
By Climate Commission (now the Climate Council)
‘The Angry Summer 2013/2014’
‘Be Prepared: Climate Change and the Australian Bushfire Threat’
‘Heatwaves: Hotter, Longer and More Often’
Climate-related fiction literature
Climate change fiction, often referred to as ‘cli-fi’, is an emerging literary genre that focuses on the calamitous consequences of climate change, examining the impact of pollution, rising sea levels, and global warming on human civilisation.
‘Anna – A fable about the Earth’s climate and environment’
By Jostein Gaarder
‘Anna’ is a fabulous story that glides back and forth between time frames and the two main characters Anna and Nova. The plot of this exciting novel goes beyond the limits of possibility. At the same time, this is a serious story about how things may turn out for the Earth if we do not come to our senses and recognise our responsibility as residents of this planet. It’s still not too late. Is it? We can certainly be given another chance?
The book is being translated into Czech, German, Greek, Indonesian, and Spanish.
By RP Siegel and Roger Saillant
‘Vapor Trails’ is an eco-thriller by RP Siegel and Roger Saillant — the first in a series covering the human side of various sustainability issues including energy, food, and water in an exciting and entertaining format.
With stories derived from real world events, the book exposes intrigue at the highest corporate level which unravels when one senior executive defects from the dark conspiracy in order to escape from the burden of his past, regain self respect and perhaps open himself to the potential of a new love. Written by two authorities on sustainable business and the environment.
» Available as e-book on Amazon.com
‘Wool’ is a science-fiction’s underground hit, a New York Times bestseller. The story takes us to a ruined and toxic landscape, where a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.
His fateful decision unleashes a drastic series of events. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to whisper. Uprising.
» Available on Amazon.com
By Ian McEwan
“Solar is an engrossing and satirical novel which focuses on climate change. It is a stylish new work by one of the world’s greatest living writers about one man’s ambitions and self-deceptions.”
» Read more on: www.ianmcewan.com
By Liz Jensen
‘The Rapture’ by British-Danish author Liz Jensen is an electrifying psychological thriller that explores the dark extremes of mankind’s self-destruction in a world on the brink.
In a merciless summer of biblical heat and destructive winds, Gabrielle Fox’s main concern is a personal one: to rebuild her career as a psychologist after a shattering car accident. But when she is assigned Bethany Krall, one of the most dangerous teenagers in the country, she begins to fear she has made a terrible mistake. Raised on a diet of evangelistic hellfire, Bethany is violent, delusional, cruelly intuitive and insistent that she can foresee natural disasters — a claim which Gabrielle interprets as a symptom of doomsday delusion.
But when catastrophes begin to occur on the very dates Bethany has predicted, and a brilliant, gentle physicist enters the equation, the apocalyptic puzzle intensifies and the stakes multiply. Is the self-proclaimed Nostradamus of the psych ward the ultimate manipulator, or could she be the harbinger of imminent global cataclysm on a scale never seen before? And what can love mean in ‘interesting times’?
A haunting story of human passion and burning faith set against an adventure of tectonic proportions.
» Available on Amazon.com
By Barbara Kingsolver
‘Flight Behavior’ is Barbara Kingsolver’s fourteenth book. The novel is a heady exploration of climate change, along with media exploitation and political opportunism that lie at the root of what may be our most urgent modern dilemma.
Set in Appalachia, a region to which Kingsolver has returned often in both her acclaimed fiction and nonfiction, its suspenseful narrative traces the unforeseen impact of global concerns on the ordinary citizens of a rural community. As environmental, economic, and political issues converge, the residents of Feathertown, Tennessee, are forced to come to terms with their changing place in the larger world.
The book was in the New York Times bestseller list in June 2013. (Harper; November 2012; $28.99)
» Read more on www.kingsolver.com.
» Review on www.telegraph.co.uk.
You can search for climate fiction – ‘cli-fi’ – on Amazon, which will instantly give you a choice of over 730 different books.
Whereas 10 or 20 years ago it would have been difficult to identify even a handful of books that fell under this banner, there is now a growing corpus of novels setting out to warn readers of possible environmental nightmares to come.
Nathaniel Rich’s ‘Odds Against Tomorrow’ is set in a future New York, about a mathematician who deals in worst-case scenarios.
Australian author James Bradley’s ‘Clade’ from January 2015 is “a provocative, urgent novel about time, family and how a changing planet might change our lives”.
Missy Higgins wrote about it: “‘Clade’ begins with a scientist working in Antarctica while his wife is trying to conceive via IVF in Sydney. He becomes increasing frustrated with society’s refusal to heed the warnings of climate change, which leads him to feeling more and more anxious about the idea of bringing a child into this world. The book goes on to span multiple generations, showing the slow but devastating results of climate change on future generations. It is epic.”
Australian author Mireille Juchau’s third novel ‘The World Without Us’ from August 2015 is not about climate change, rather it is “a whispered account of the calamity facing an overheating and over-exploited planet” and the effects of the of the mining and fracking which spreading over the district where the story takes place. However, it has often been mentioned as part of the rapidly growing canon of ‘cli-fi’.
The South African-German film ‘The Lost Future’ tries to visualise what humanity’s post-apocalyptic future would look like – in a world where jungles, forests, primeval wetlands and deserts have obliterated civilisation.
» RenewEconomy – 4 December 2014:
Interstellar: Climate Change and the Evolution of Cli-Fi Movies
The evolution of Cli-Fi movies and climate lessons for the present. Article by Roberto Mera
» Grist – 8 April 2014:
Climate change: The hottest thing in science fiction
Some call it “cli-fi” — sci-fi infused with the increasingly frightening impacts of climate change. By Dave Burdick
» The Guardian – 31 May 2013:
Global warning: the rise of ‘cli-fi’
Unlike most science fiction, novels about climate change focus on an immediate and intense threat rather than discovery. Article by Rodge Glass
More about cli-fi
» Dan Bloom is a passionate cli-fi blogger and reporter. In 2014, he posted almost 500 blogposts in his blog ‘Hollywood goes Cli-Fi’: www.klima101.blogspot.com.au