Climate: A New Story [book review]

If someone were to proclaim that *anyone* over 150 lbs is unhealthy, you’d call that person crazy, right? What about adjusting it for age, height, body type? So when we talk about climate change, why do we only talk about carbon emissions? That’s what Charles Eisenstein examines in his book Climate: A New Story.

What’s the gist?

Conventional thinking on climate change focuses exclusively on carbon emissions. Eisenstein makes the case for broader thinking of the Earth as a living, interconnected system of which humans are part of. Our approach should consider the health of the rivers, forests, soils, and animals that also play a large role in climate. We must shift our focus on averting doomsday scenarios to take real, actionable steps that protect the planet.

Should I read this?

Yes. And to be fair, I wouldn’t bother reviewing this if I didn’t think so. I’m confident that the material will be thought-provoking for you. And if you’re into science, this book doesn’t shun that either. There’s a lot of interesting things people study that I never knew about. The kind of stuff I’m sure that mainstream media would ever tell us. Lastly, as you may have noticed, there’s a general media narrative of “we’re completely fucked” when it comes to climate change. This book takes a more optimistic viewpoint and shows us that the Earth is actually pretty resilient and able to regulate itself well if we work with it.

Notable quotes

“Healing on any level contributes to healing on every level.”

“I am not saying that there is never a time for a fight. I am warning, rather, of the habit of conditioned response of addressing all problems this way.”

“When we rely on metrics to make policy, it becomes biased toward the things that we choose to measure, and that are intrinsically amenable to measurement. Furthermore, what gets ignored often corresponds to cultural blindspots and prevailing social, material, and economic practices.”

“Conditions like ADHD, depression, and anxiety often improve or disappear entirely when the individual interacts regularly and meaningfully with the natural world. The healing of individuals, society, and the world go hand in hand.”

“People have a compelling desire to contribute meaningfully to the well-being of society and the planet, but that pressure to earn a living prevents them from doing so. Or they must struggle against economic pressure to do what the world needs most right now. This suggests a malfunction in our economic system, which, ideally, is supposed to encourage precisely those things that serve the world. Instead, it encourages those things that serve the program of growth, domination, and conquest, the Ascent of Humanity. These goals no longer confer meaning and fulfillment to most of the people who serve them.”

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