CLIMATE CHANGE IS THE DEFINING ISSUE OF OUR TIME. IT IS BY FAR THE GRAVEST CHALLENGE HUMANKIND HAS EVER FACED – INCLUDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
In Hope in Hell Jonathon Porritt confronts that crisis head on, demanding an unprecedented sense of urgency, courage and shared endeavour. He believes that we still have time to do what needs to be done. But only if we move now – and move together. While laying bare the disturbing truth about climate science, he goes on to explore all the reasons to be hopeful: new technology; the power of innovation; the mobilisation of young people; and a sense of solidarity as older citizens come to understand their own obligation to secure a safer world for future generations.
Thanks to the publisher – Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of this book and to Tandem Collective for organising a readalong of Hope in Hell over on Instagram.
I honestly think this is one of the most important books you could read right now, clearly it’s an area I am interested in (worried about) hence signing up for the readalong, but I was shocked how much I didn’t know, how informative this book was and how successfully it managed to be an accessible read whilst also capturing the right level of concern about the situation we now find ourselves in.
Addressing a range of issues over a number of chapters the author details the current situation in relation to climate change, where we are now and what needs to happen. It has widely been suggested that we have this decade to make significant changes before ‘it’s too late’. The author was clear on this, we need to take action now to prevent further warming of the planet, the warmer the planet the more catastrophic the impact. We see some of this already and I think it is helpful to think for a moment about the forest fires, in Europe, in American, Australia, the localised flash floods in UK and Germany the signs we are seeing now. These will get worse and more people will be affected. Have a think briefly about who will be affected; as we move on to think about social justice…
I was surprised to learn much is in place to support a significant global transition and plans in place heartened me. I was very interested to learn about the relationship between social justice and climate change. On reflection this shouldn’t be surprising; the consumerist world we live in, the business model we live by… the list goes on but broken down this becomes more interesting when we look at the motivation to support fossil fuels, the division of wealth and the needs of a few driving the ongoing damaging practices.
The pandemic has slowed things down, we know this right? But I do wonder if that will be the Covid 19 legacy that we look back on? The catalyst for behaviour change that we really need.
Despite its grave subject matter I found this book highly readable and although whilst reading I experienced feelings of helplessness and resignation, I also experienced hope and on finishing the book felt very motivated personally to make some significant changes in my life.
Prior to reading I knew there was room for improvement in my personal life but also felt that I was doing ok, was on the right path. This book has encouraged me to do more and specifically look at my own consumer influence by making sustainable choices, with energy providers and financial products.
My husband will be reading this book next as I am optimistic that together we can make some bigger changes. Because time is running out, we have time but we do need to act now, we need to reflect, we need to make some tough choices, maybe give up some things we really like, but it will be worth it, we need to regroup for the planet and for the future; our children’s future. We need to live better and in making these positive choices other changes will occur, the world will become more equal and just. And better…
Will you be reading this one, have I persuaded you? I hope so!
About the Author
Jonothan Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, is an eminent writer, broadcaster and campaigner on sustainable development. Established in 1996, Forum for the Future is now the UK’s leading sustainable development charity, with 70 staff and over 100 partner organisations, including some of the world’s leading companies.
In addition, Jonathon is President of Population Matters, President of The Conservation Volunteers and a Director of Collectively (an online platform celebrating sustainable innovation). He was formerly Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90), co-chair of the Green Party (1980-83), of which he is still a member, a Trustee of World Wildlife Fund UK (1991-2005) and between 2000-2009 he was Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, providing high-level advice to government ministers.
Jonathon was installed as the Chancellor of Keele University in February 2012 and he received a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection.