Mori Terrae: Our Dying Earth

Summer Wyatt-Buchan reviews ‘The Future We Choose” and praises its suggestions for making the world a greener place.

The overall message of Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnacs’ The Future We Choose is abundantly clear from start to finish: it is “our world” and “our choice”. We are in control of our climatic future and we are not yet too late. However, the next decade is our final chance to change before the Earth faces irreparable damage.

This incredibly honest book expresses the reality of our future and provides us with an insight to the two possible outcomes for our world. Focusing on the key years of 2030 and 2050 Figueres and Rivett-Carnac create a vivid picture of what the world could be, expressing that 2020 is the absolute final year for people to determine what the future will look like and to prevent further damage to a planet that’s already barely breathing.  2050 is only thirty years away, and to reduce the world’s carbon emissions to net zero is a challenging task. The first part of the book acknowledges that if we do not achieve our goal of net zero emissions the world will change irreversibly meaning that future generations will be born into a life where constant destruction and pain is the norm. However, reading each page leaves you with a sense of optimism even when faced with these facts of despair. The scenario presented paints the picture of what the world could become and forces the reader to face the true reality and seriousness of the global climate crisis.  The tone of writing is very much one of positivity and has a constructive nature; with the purpose to raise awareness, motivate and educate individuals in ways to reduce the damage that humanity has caused.

Arguably, the most important information to take away from The Future We Choose are the ten actions outlined in part three. This is because these are the changes that each individual can implement to allow the world a chance of survival.  What is admirable about the way these ten actions are structured is that Figueres and Rivett-Carnac also outline what each individual can do in order to fully engage with the specific task. These specifications are not unattainable and reduce the larger issue of climate change into much more manageable activities for an individual to complete on a daily basis.  For example, Action Six is “Reforest the Earth” and the specifics of acting on an individual scale are as simple as “boycotting companies that contribute to deforestation” or to “plant trees”.

The final chapter of this book dedicates itself to what can be done now. It breaks down into six sections of generalised actions that should be undertaken over different time periods. Starting today with the simple decision to “commit” to climate action and ending in 2050 with the challenge of being at “net-zero emissions”. The way this list is written enables a flow of logical order and does not overwhelm the reader at all; if anything this acts as a motivator and excites with the possibility that everyone can, and should, make a difference.  This is a really positive way to end such a brilliant book and shines light on to how we can save our future.

Overall, The Future We Choose is the book that everyone must read; the book that will lead to the survival of our planet and to the survival of our species. It provides an optimistic outlook for what could be a bleak future and articulates how humanity still has a chance for redemption. Every individual must recognise their vitality in this fight and remember that it is “our future” and “our choice”.  

The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis is now available in paperback.

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