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Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet

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In 2006, the documentary An Inconvenient Truth set off a heated political debate when it threatened that inaction on climate change would lead to a dark and frightening future by 2016. Well, that ten year window has closed—and we have neither resolved the threats to our climate, nor gone past the point of no return. To Mayor Bloomberg and Carl Pope, it's clear that to treat In 2006, the documentary An Inconvenient Truth set off a heated political debate when it threatened that inaction on climate change would lead to a dark and frightening future by 2016. Well, that ten year window has closed—and we have neither resolved the threats to our climate, nor gone past the point of no return. To Mayor Bloomberg and Carl Pope, it's clear that to treat climate change as either a lost cause or a non-issue is the wrong approach. Global leaders are stymied by the enormity of the doom-and-gloom scenarios. So what happens when you tell leaders that they can definitely—right now, this year—reduce the number of children who have asthma attacks, save thousands of Americans from dying of respiratory disease, cut energy bills, increase the security of our energy supply, make it easier for everyone to get around town, increase the number of jobs in their community—all while increasing the long-term stability of the global climate? That is actionable. That future is within our grasp. The changing climate should be seen as a series of discreet, manageable problems that should be attacked from all angles, each with a solution that can make our society healthier and our economy stronger. In these times, when it's less and less clear if the federal government will be willing to tackle climate change, Bloomberg and Pope lay out a powerfully persuasive argument about how cities can play an outsize role in fighting and reversing the dangerous effects of a warming planet. Together they lay out the economic and personal health reasons for businesses and individual citizens to support climate change action plans.


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In 2006, the documentary An Inconvenient Truth set off a heated political debate when it threatened that inaction on climate change would lead to a dark and frightening future by 2016. Well, that ten year window has closed—and we have neither resolved the threats to our climate, nor gone past the point of no return. To Mayor Bloomberg and Carl Pope, it's clear that to treat In 2006, the documentary An Inconvenient Truth set off a heated political debate when it threatened that inaction on climate change would lead to a dark and frightening future by 2016. Well, that ten year window has closed—and we have neither resolved the threats to our climate, nor gone past the point of no return. To Mayor Bloomberg and Carl Pope, it's clear that to treat climate change as either a lost cause or a non-issue is the wrong approach. Global leaders are stymied by the enormity of the doom-and-gloom scenarios. So what happens when you tell leaders that they can definitely—right now, this year—reduce the number of children who have asthma attacks, save thousands of Americans from dying of respiratory disease, cut energy bills, increase the security of our energy supply, make it easier for everyone to get around town, increase the number of jobs in their community—all while increasing the long-term stability of the global climate? That is actionable. That future is within our grasp. The changing climate should be seen as a series of discreet, manageable problems that should be attacked from all angles, each with a solution that can make our society healthier and our economy stronger. In these times, when it's less and less clear if the federal government will be willing to tackle climate change, Bloomberg and Pope lay out a powerfully persuasive argument about how cities can play an outsize role in fighting and reversing the dangerous effects of a warming planet. Together they lay out the economic and personal health reasons for businesses and individual citizens to support climate change action plans.

30 review for Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet

  1. 5 out of 5

    Clif Hostetler

    This is a book about climate change that is uncharacteristically optimistic in light of recent American political trends and the potential seriousness of the consequences. The premise of this book is that the reality of good business practices and local grassroots action will create movement toward saving the world’s climate in spite of what politicians do or say. The combination of authors, one a businessman/former mayor of NYC and the other former executive director of the Sierra Club, helps b This is a book about climate change that is uncharacteristically optimistic in light of recent American political trends and the potential seriousness of the consequences. The premise of this book is that the reality of good business practices and local grassroots action will create movement toward saving the world’s climate in spite of what politicians do or say. The combination of authors, one a businessman/former mayor of NYC and the other former executive director of the Sierra Club, helps bring home the point that smart stewardship of the earth’s resources is good for everyone, environmentalist to businesses to big cities and everyone between. The book provides a thorough review of practical advice and solutions regarding climate issues that private citizens, local communities and businesses can act on. This book encourages concerned citizens to emphasize the near term risks from climate change rather trying to scare people with horror stories about what will happen a hundred years from now. By focusing in short term steps and environmental challenges that we already face the path toward positive change will appear more practical and more likely to motivate action. But beyond the book’s optimism there are plenty of things that are not going to get done without national and international action together with popular public consensus. Meanwhile I’m having a hard time making the book’s optimism soak into my own vision of the future. For some reason the optimism expressed brings to my mind the vision of two canaries in a cage being carried down into a deep coal mine. It’s hard to be optimistic about how long the birds (i.e. optimism) can last. The following is a link to the transcript of an NPR interview with the two authors: http://www.npr.org/2017/04/26/5256751... Here's a link to an excerpt from the book: http://time.com/4734856/bloomberg-cli...

  2. 5 out of 5

    HBalikov

    I don’t know about you, but I have been in the moody dumps about our future of high seas, high winds and high temperatures. I needed some “hope” and so I gravitated to a book with hope in its title. Having read it, I feel better now, and can suggest that you might want to take this route as well. Michael Bloomberg is kind of old, and you may think that he is an “old school politician” but that would be wrong. He was mayor of New York but he brings a keen business-oriented mind to new challenges. I don’t know about you, but I have been in the moody dumps about our future of high seas, high winds and high temperatures. I needed some “hope” and so I gravitated to a book with hope in its title. Having read it, I feel better now, and can suggest that you might want to take this route as well. Michael Bloomberg is kind of old, and you may think that he is an “old school politician” but that would be wrong. He was mayor of New York but he brings a keen business-oriented mind to new challenges. He is not giving us some “feel good pabulum” to get us to ignore the realities of our world today. And, both he and Carl Pope (who has headed the Sierra Club) have done marvelous work in explaining both the challenges and how we are moving (and can move) ahead to prevent local and global catastrophes. Read this book! Read it for the reality-based hope that it provides. Read it for the clear, fair and balanced explanations that if offers. I have probably said enough but I am going to share some of the essence of this book below. “Cities are actually the key to saving the planet. One reason this urgent fact doesn’t get the attention it deserves is that cities seem so contrary to nature…Why? Because most urban residents live in apartments that are smaller than the average American home and require far less energy to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. City residents…can walk, bike or take mass transit to get to work and to get around…. The average per capita carbon footprint in New York City is two-thirds smaller than the national average.” "Women (primarily women) without access to modern fuels spend one to five hours a day gathering fuel...too little progress is being made on providing access to clean cooking, because there is no magic technology solution like solar to drive the market into remote and poor villages... If families can afford propane, LPG or liquid ethanol the stoves that burn these fuels are affordable. Here is one place that (government investment) could prove critical, and where (marketing offsets) and other forms of carbon finance might be powerful development tools." (I will post others shortly)

  3. 4 out of 5

    John McAndrew

    Remarkable. Anyone involved in climate change work has a right to be cynical, jaded, angry, and despairing, especially after Trump was elected president of the US. But this book swims strongly against that flow, and makes a case for a better future for humanity if we act decisively – and profitably – on climate change. The federal government of the US now controlled by climate change deniers and henchmen of the fossil fuel industry – the most profitable, and STILL most heavily-subsidized industr Remarkable. Anyone involved in climate change work has a right to be cynical, jaded, angry, and despairing, especially after Trump was elected president of the US. But this book swims strongly against that flow, and makes a case for a better future for humanity if we act decisively – and profitably – on climate change. The federal government of the US now controlled by climate change deniers and henchmen of the fossil fuel industry – the most profitable, and STILL most heavily-subsidized industry ever – is not, the argument goes, the only, or even the most significant player when it comes to implementing climate change solutions. The book is full of real-world problems that are being solved right now, as well as pointers to impediments and how those might be removed. This is the most helpful, hopeful, practical book on climate I have read. Whereas Bill McKibben's Eaarth made me so despairing that I couldn't finish it – and don't be too comforted: our situation, thanks to decades of stalling by my generation, is dire – this book makes me want to dust myself off and get to work. Adlai Stevenson once said, "In classical times when Cicero had finished speaking, the people said, 'How well he spoke,' but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, they said, 'Let us march.'" Bloomberg (former mayor of New York) and Pope (former president of the Sierra Club) are Demosthenes in this comparison. You will likely disagree with some things said by one or the other authors. For liberal environmentalists, taking hope from someone who is pro-GMO, pro-nuclear power, pro-pipeline, and who voted for George W. Bush seems unlikely, if not unpalatable, if not something akin to heretical. Yet this is the man who partnered with Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign and retired 251 dirty coal plants since 2010. For coal miners, this sounds like the war on coal, and very bad news. Bloomberg and Pope ask you to consider yourselves, not coal miners, but energy workers, and encourage government entities to make it possible for you to leave your dying and deadly industry and be trained for other energy jobs or other work. My intention is to go back and revisit the many parts I highlighted in this book, and offer to make it available to legislators in New Mexico who may see ways to help our failed state be both a leader in climate change action, rise from the ashes of dependence on fossil fuels, and find a way NOT to be the worst economy in the country. Hope: it's a great catalyst.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dave & Lindsay Gurak

    Thorough and interesting read Fascinating book on the environment and climate written by both an environmentalist and also a former Mayor. Regardless of ones view on climate change, there are some great ideas on how local government, business and markets can better function to help reduce environmental issues.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Pope points to climate victories achieved through the judiciary (which here means litigation), which is unusual in my experience reading these primers. Many writers focus on protests, market solutions, research and innovation, or some mix of the EPA, performance standards, and international agreements. Here, the wins come from Sierra Club lawyers making trouble for the coal industry behind closed doors. These victories are not cheap, and yet it occurs to me that billionaires wanting to move the Pope points to climate victories achieved through the judiciary (which here means litigation), which is unusual in my experience reading these primers. Many writers focus on protests, market solutions, research and innovation, or some mix of the EPA, performance standards, and international agreements. Here, the wins come from Sierra Club lawyers making trouble for the coal industry behind closed doors. These victories are not cheap, and yet it occurs to me that billionaires wanting to move the needle (for the better) on greenhouse gas emissions might do well to fund strategic litigation (sort of like Peter Thiel did to Gawker--see Ryan Holiday’s Conspiracy). Then again, these victories may be more difficult to achieve now (at the end of 2019) that the GOP has stocked the judiciary and weakened environmental guidelines. Tangentially, I was also interested to read about how complacent the coal industry was when the Sierra Club began pressing them. It was almost as though the idea that scientists might engineer alternate sources of energy was just code for “don’t bother me while we conduct business as usual.” Bloomberg encourages readers to care about cities rather than individual, national, or international action. David Roberts (Vox.com) has written that voting in governments that are friendly, or less hostile, to the environment helps. In the United States, this has meant at the state and national level voting for Democrats. Bloomberg argues that at the city level, party loyalty is less powerful (I'm not so sure), but it does seem clear that governments have a lot of influence over how the nation or community will interact with the environment, even if climate is not their top priority. Too often climate content suggests that people should act internationally (agreements), nationally (legislation), or individually (buy an EV or become a flexitarian). People who don't feel empowered to respond to international or national politics are not wasting their time if they instead focus on state, city, or county politics. Pope and Bloomberg are optimistic rather than concerned, serious, solemn, excited, or awestruck. They're almost bragging. So, tonally, it is something of an outlier. (Although I really appreciate David Wallace-Wells' The Uninhabitable Earth, I don't know that I'd recommend it as an entry level text on this content.) I wonder if this model has begun to spread as I see the optimism here in Saul Griffith's "How to Decarbonize" as well as in Rutger Bregman's Utopia for Realists. Random notes. -Bloomberg and Pope like natural gas more than I do, and I think also more than almost everyone else who is green or green leaning. In fact, it seems like the science on fracking becomes more alarming every day. Methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and a lot of it leaks into the atmosphere during fracking. We often read about CO2 levels, which are around 410 ppm last I checked. But although global CO2 emissions has slowed (levelled off the last few years but rose again in 2019), methane levels are now rising. Even if natural gas production was cleaned up, there isn't enough room in the atmosphere to keep taking in greenhouse gases while countries ever so gradually change their infrastructure. -The rhetorical appeals are fascinating, and I'm not sure I've read another climate change primer that appeals to burger eating conservatives as much as Climate of Hope. Not only is Bloomberg a Republican, or a lapsed one, but they appeal to American optimism about economic growth, independence of communities and of America against foreign powers, and to patriotic pride in constantly suggesting that the Chinese are getting ahead, at one point writing “Cities can lead the way—just as China is." Their insistence that cities can lead the way where the federal government has stalled appeals to that small government, local community ethic that one associates with the right (except when one associates it, as with many of these other values imho, with the left). Almost every story here is one of success or victory or of an underdog defeating the entrenched interests. The only problem is that these are the entrenched interests that conservatives consistently vote into or back into power. The book is also written by the sort of coastal elites that my prairie family almost stereotypically distrusts. Finally, I'm not sure any book's appeals to public health or cost can break through the Fox News hold on conservatives who will start any conversation on climate change either saying that it doesn't exist or nodding while thinking "it doesn't exist." -There is also a strong emphasis on public health and safety. They repeatedly highlight that air pollution, even what we think of as minor levels of air pollution, kills people. -Partner cities may be one way to encourage the developing world to avoid fossil fuels. Bloomberg spends a lot of time abroad advocating for clean energy, increasing albedo by painting roofs white, and creating green spaces. -This may be the first climate book I've read not blurbed by McKibben. -There are no research notes (or even an invitation to join an email list to acquire such notes), perhaps another nod to that conservative distrust of research but nevertheless a flaw. -One suggestion here that I think greens and green adjacents should rally around is an end to fossil fuel subsidies. Why spend so much on subsidizing such a profitable and advantaged industry? Further, Klein writes in This Changes Everything that these companies lobby the American government to the tune of $400K / day. I'd be happy to see that lobby and the subsidies disappear. Ultimately, Climate of Hope is an excellent primer, even if I wouldn't recommend that someone take it as the final word on this content. Readers who have read a couple of these books may also find this one a welcome change. And although I don't agree with every policy recommendation, the focus on the judiciary, cities, and public health is admirable, imho.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melora

    Surprisingly, this really is, or at least, tries to be, what the title suggests – a hopeful book about the possibilities of countering climate change. The authors, businessman and former mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg and former head of the Sierra Club, Carl Pope, write alternating chapters describing the challenges of climate change – which they take very seriously – and the many ways that individuals, businesses, and governments can address those problems in way that would provide not just a Surprisingly, this really is, or at least, tries to be, what the title suggests – a hopeful book about the possibilities of countering climate change. The authors, businessman and former mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg and former head of the Sierra Club, Carl Pope, write alternating chapters describing the challenges of climate change – which they take very seriously – and the many ways that individuals, businesses, and governments can address those problems in way that would provide not just a healthier world but a more prosperous one. Both authors have traveled the world working on issues of environmentally sound, economically profitable practices, and their discussions of city planning, international trade, sustainable energy sources, agriculture, finance, etc. felt comprehensive and clear. Both are fine writers, and the book never bogs down in excessive detail but seems to give a nice overview of the problems and potential solutions. They point out in their introduction, scaring people with apocalyptic scenarios may be attention getting, but it doesn't generally result in changed behavior. Here, while acknowledging the catastrophic results we'll face if we fail to take action, they focus on pragmatic, lucrative motivations for change. ”Telling people that they might possibly save the Earth from distant and uncertain harm is not a great way to convince them to support a particular policy. But what happens when you tell people that they can definitely, right now, reduce the number of asthma attacks suffered by children, save their own families and friends from respiratory disease, extend their own life expectancy, cut their own energy bills, make it easier for them to get around town, improve their quality of life, increase the number of jobs in their community, and strengthen our national energy security – all while increasing the long-term stability of the global climate? We hope that what will happen is that people will sign on for changes presented in this way, but the authors also admit that there are powerful vested interests which stand in the way and which have to be confronted. Politicians beholden to donors vested in old technologies, communities dependent on certain industries, businesses entrenched in certain models all need to be motivated to try new, more sustainable ways of meeting their goals, and Pope and Bloomberg both have enough real world experience to know that this can be a formidable challenge. Still, the overall tone of the book is hopeful, and I found it interesting and encouraging.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    This was a really down-to-earth, no-nonsense, well told primer on what those who are passionate about our planet can do to look at the issue of climate change from a more broad, inclusive, fiscally conservative, economically sound, point of view. The chapters alternate between facts about how climate change actually works, and is being coped with by cities all around the world, and the financial sense behind different proposals. We can't really afford the luxury of allowing our policy makers to This was a really down-to-earth, no-nonsense, well told primer on what those who are passionate about our planet can do to look at the issue of climate change from a more broad, inclusive, fiscally conservative, economically sound, point of view. The chapters alternate between facts about how climate change actually works, and is being coped with by cities all around the world, and the financial sense behind different proposals. We can't really afford the luxury of allowing our policy makers to stand around any longer debating whether or not we can or should do something while our citizens are already coping with the aftermath of our changing planet. This book describes some truly sound ideas and my only concern is this: how do we get enough critical mass of the people who need to read this the most (from all walks of life & political points of view) to actually read & discuss it?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ford

    Learned some new things which is why I read another book on climate change. They did address several of my concerns. One was let rivers flow free by getting rid of most dams and allowing rivers to flood into nature's flood planes. The other was quit fighting the oceans tide and storms. Bring back the wetlands, swamps and dunes and build on the high land not the low lands. Bloomberg said in the opening pages he supported nuclear energy but never touched the subject again. Nucs can generate power Learned some new things which is why I read another book on climate change. They did address several of my concerns. One was let rivers flow free by getting rid of most dams and allowing rivers to flood into nature's flood planes. The other was quit fighting the oceans tide and storms. Bring back the wetlands, swamps and dunes and build on the high land not the low lands. Bloomberg said in the opening pages he supported nuclear energy but never touched the subject again. Nucs can generate power night and day, wind or no wind and release zero CO2. They do not address the science of the electrical grid (megavars) or the fact solar can not generate megavars.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    I agree totally with the themes of the book: we must address climate change for the benefits now and to mitigate future risk. that the action is mostly at the local level because our federal Gov is dysfunctional and most state governments are too. I like that the book as of today is surprisingly up to the minute. I like that it's very optimistic at a time when the news seems all bad. I think the fact that I agreed with this is what I liked least about it. I feel like part of the story may be miss I agree totally with the themes of the book: we must address climate change for the benefits now and to mitigate future risk. that the action is mostly at the local level because our federal Gov is dysfunctional and most state governments are too. I like that the book as of today is surprisingly up to the minute. I like that it's very optimistic at a time when the news seems all bad. I think the fact that I agreed with this is what I liked least about it. I feel like part of the story may be missing. Perhaps I'll watch some Fox News now to make sure it's not just confirmation bias :)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Accessible and non-depressing book about climate change and how cities and businesses can lead the charge in reducing emissions and adapting to current situations. Bloomberg is kind of a wind bag, but I appreciate his approaches to finding and advancing solutions nonetheless. Pope's chapters focus less on business and more on nature. It was nice to read about climate change and not have it all be doom and gloom. These guys did a nice job of proffering optimism. Also, it was current, even referen Accessible and non-depressing book about climate change and how cities and businesses can lead the charge in reducing emissions and adapting to current situations. Bloomberg is kind of a wind bag, but I appreciate his approaches to finding and advancing solutions nonetheless. Pope's chapters focus less on business and more on nature. It was nice to read about climate change and not have it all be doom and gloom. These guys did a nice job of proffering optimism. Also, it was current, even referencing the new presidential administration in the United States, which was impressive.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    When you listen to the news, you hear about all the things we're not doing at the national level to prevent and prepare for climate change. This book highlights the progress that cities and businesses are already making; this kind of encouragement can keep us all from throwing up our hands in despair and giving up. We still need to elect national leaders who are ready to get to work on climate change, but it's good to see that things are starting to happen! When you listen to the news, you hear about all the things we're not doing at the national level to prevent and prepare for climate change. This book highlights the progress that cities and businesses are already making; this kind of encouragement can keep us all from throwing up our hands in despair and giving up. We still need to elect national leaders who are ready to get to work on climate change, but it's good to see that things are starting to happen!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    This book explores the dangers and challenges of climate change and yet manages to be profoundly optimistic. The authors offer many changes that can save our planet and also provide benefits here and now. I wish we could get our President to read this. (Heck, I wish we could get him to READ!). Butin the meantime, if you are concerned about our planet, this is worth the time.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    The authors clearly spell out pragmatic and cost-effective ways municipalities, businesses, and individuals can assume leadership in combating the negative effects of climate change. These recommendations are especially important in light of the current U.S. federal government's astounding lack of urgency - and active denial - of this issue. The authors clearly spell out pragmatic and cost-effective ways municipalities, businesses, and individuals can assume leadership in combating the negative effects of climate change. These recommendations are especially important in light of the current U.S. federal government's astounding lack of urgency - and active denial - of this issue.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Hovel

    Excellently woven analysis of the current and historical state of climate activism and the market forces and policies at play in our path forward. Bloomberg & Pope both draw on deep experience and different view points to arrive at solid policy recommendations and outline steps local and national governments, as well as business, can take to work toward a better planet.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ann Alton

    Important information on bringing liberals and conservatives together to solve this problem. Learned a lot, but it's not a comprehensive pro/con format of every idea. It just discusses current problems associated with climate change, innovative ways that cities are working to solve them, and language that can be used to bridge gaps in our communications. Important information on bringing liberals and conservatives together to solve this problem. Learned a lot, but it's not a comprehensive pro/con format of every idea. It just discusses current problems associated with climate change, innovative ways that cities are working to solve them, and language that can be used to bridge gaps in our communications.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dimas

    A great insight on how we can save ourselves from the changing planet by not overly reliant of government actions. There's already a great movement in our society and this book help uncovers plenty of solutions to help ensure our survival. The use of a wide-ranging perspective of NGO leader and also city & business leader is a good contrast. A great insight on how we can save ourselves from the changing planet by not overly reliant of government actions. There's already a great movement in our society and this book help uncovers plenty of solutions to help ensure our survival. The use of a wide-ranging perspective of NGO leader and also city & business leader is a good contrast.

  17. 5 out of 5

    B. Adriana

    I really like it, for the ones who are sick worry about the our planeta, like me, it really gives some hope even in the Trumps era, but at the same time encourage all to act!! I like the authors combination of views, the Pope the environmentalist and Bloomberg the business man!

  18. 4 out of 5

    James AC McDermott

    No mention of the real problem - legacy carbon While the book is well written and clear, it misses the biggest issue in climate. The fact that there is 400x more CO2 in the atmosphere than all annual emissions.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark Bailey

    Convincing on the now case that the U.S. can meet or beat our goals for the Paris Accord without the help of the White House or Republican Congress. Bloomberg particularly good at talking the business language of cost savings and ample opportunity in the coming green future.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bernard Fensterwald, III

    Hope after Trump nixed US participation in Paris I was despondent after President Trump nixed US participation in the Paris Agreement. This book renews my faith that we will continue to tackle climate change with or without him. Well written and referenced.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Bloomberg and Pope offer a lot of environmentally productive ideas for thought. Although Bloomberg gives much credit to other people and cities, he's a bit self promoting. Maybe he's planning a run in 2020. Pope writes very succinctly about the issues. Bloomberg and Pope offer a lot of environmentally productive ideas for thought. Although Bloomberg gives much credit to other people and cities, he's a bit self promoting. Maybe he's planning a run in 2020. Pope writes very succinctly about the issues.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Arturo

    A very positive overview of climate resilience actions that have been put in place. Even though it puts a lot of hope on positive actions, and I was expecting something extemely wishful, I was surprised on how real and down to earth it actually is. I highly recommend it

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    I was fortunate enough to win this book in a giveaway. I enjoyed reading this book . Highly recommend !!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary Mckernan

    This narrative continues to keep me informed on the science and world actions regarding climate change. Thank you Bloomberg and Pope!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pat Carson

    Good read. The authors remind us that we can improve ourselves as a nation in all climate and energy issues by starting locally.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Loh

    Well Written and informative

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Well researched, practical, honest but hopeful. I learned a lot.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Arya Harsono

    The alarmist nature of media concerning climate change and global environmental issues makes it difficult for ordinary world citizens to feel hopeful about the state of the planet. In Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens can Save the Planet, Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope offer insight into what policies and initiatives both the public and the private sector are undertaking. Addressing the complex scape of the “climate change” problem, they examine the public perspective of env The alarmist nature of media concerning climate change and global environmental issues makes it difficult for ordinary world citizens to feel hopeful about the state of the planet. In Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens can Save the Planet, Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope offer insight into what policies and initiatives both the public and the private sector are undertaking. Addressing the complex scape of the “climate change” problem, they examine the public perspective of environmental issues, the science behind them, and the various sectors that are involved and impacted by lasting environmental changes. They conclude with a note of optimism, suggesting that individuals and organizations look forward to a human-dominated world powered by clean energy rather than a dystopian future incapable of fostering humanity. The book appears as a response to concerns that, with an unexpected rise of populism, progress on climate change mitigation would come to an abrupt stop. Thus, Bloomberg and Pope’s strategy appears to want to appeal to the masses by addressing the impacts of a changing planet to individual sectors. They examine the anthropogenic causes and effects of the energy sector, agriculture, transportation, and many more sectors to demonstrate how humans have created modifications in the environment and follow it up with how those modifications impact humans. But the authors assert that humanity is progressing rapidly in combating these modifications through technological innovations as well as generating a market for clean energy. There are still many obstacles, both financially and politically, but the authors are hopeful. Bloomberg and Pope call for actions that individuals, businesses, and governments can do to implement a sustainable future, including fixing political failures and creating solutions at the city level. It is clear that Bloomberg and Pope hope to pave the path to a better future with this book, anticipating that readers will become motivated to make a difference in their lives and maybe their respective countries. Though the book is written in a way that readers can easily engage with the content, Bloomberg and Pope try to fit an incredible amount of information into almost 300 pages, which left me exhausted with how much information I was trying to cram into my head. I would like to commend them for how they displayed the statistics, which did not feel overwhelming. It may have served them better to be more country-specific, assuming that their reader base will be mostly educated, English-speaking professionals. I would like to see a series of books that examine similar topics but are specific to a country’s environmental policies, allowing the authors to discuss more in-depth the problems facing a particular country’s environmental situation. Other countries may learn by example from learning of other countries’ plights. I also found Bloomberg to be rather adamant about the power of cities in making impactful policy to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint. While cities, and their mayors, definitely have standing in this discussion, it all falls on whether or not they will stay true to their word. Playing devil’s advocate, Sam Brooks, a former director of the D.C. government’s energy division, calls for more accountability from cities in order to ensure that municipal policy meets the goals that they are so lauded for attempting to reach. In other words, mayors and their cities claim to adhere to certain climate goals, such as those associated with the Paris agreement, but it will be a long-time before we see any direct change. I am inclined to be as pessimistic as Brooks is, though Bloomberg’s optimism is certainly persuasive. Even at the local scale, policy implications are still fairly invisible to ordinary citizens. Each author takes turns in each section of the book describing the “inconvenient truth” of the situation we are stuck in, but then offer solutions or initiatives that aim to alleviate those concerns. While both present very balanced discussions, Bloomberg and Pope were effective in not incorporating a sense of alarmism. Recent studies have shown that the “fear tactic” only drives people further away from wanting to address environmental issues and climate change, and I sincerely believe that the message from this book is one of hope, one that encourages readers to look forward at all the great progress we are making toward a more sustainable future. Climate of Hope is a worthy endeavor to provide the necessary facts and information to address fears that the world is not doing enough to fight climate change. Bloomberg and Pope are appropriate authors for the subject; if it were anyone else, the book would not necessarily be less credible but it certainly would not have as much impact. Bloomberg has been a mayor of New York City, an entrepreneurial champion of the business world, and a name among the political elites, but above all, he has been a pioneer and advocate of the environmental movement since its conception. Pope has been the executive director for the Sierra Club and a distinguished leader of environmental activism and clean energy since the 1970s, much like Bloomberg. Much like the marketing strategies of the entertainment industry, Bloomberg and Pope’s “star power” is likely to cast a wide net and generate a large audience of not only environmentalists but also people who want to make a difference in their community and the world at large. The writing is easy to read and flows well; were it any denser, it would have deterred readers from continuing. The quantitative evidence they provide was not overly complex and was easy to follow, especially in terms of its relevance to the topic. The structure ties everything together nicely by beginning and ending the book on the larger-scale ideas and focusing on the details in the middle. These are all important considerations when writing about environmental science and climate change. Often, these types of problems consist of many elements that make them appear complex, and I feel that the combination of the intelligible writing, coherent use of data, and lucid structure that makes this particular book appealing to me. As I mentioned earlier, the positivity angle will not only aid in drawing in readers but also leave them with a sense of hope and desire to make appropriate changes in their daily lives and their business practice. An ordinary consumer who picks this book up may decide to take public transportation more often; a venture capitalist may start researching investments into RECs or emerging clean energy companies. With imminent fears of climate change, Climate of Hope is an apt title. Yes, our climate is changing – not to one of desolation, but to one of hope.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sean Meriwether

    A number of climate change themed books track how we got to this (tipping) point and paint disaster-porn scenarios of our continued inaction. Cities underwater! Millions of climate refugees! Runaway temperatures! Melting icebergs! They raise multiple red flags and back up their statements with statistics and data trends. They rightfully lay blame on obstructionist government officials (looking at you U.S. Republican party), the oil and gas industry which continues to receive billions in governme A number of climate change themed books track how we got to this (tipping) point and paint disaster-porn scenarios of our continued inaction. Cities underwater! Millions of climate refugees! Runaway temperatures! Melting icebergs! They raise multiple red flags and back up their statements with statistics and data trends. They rightfully lay blame on obstructionist government officials (looking at you U.S. Republican party), the oil and gas industry which continues to receive billions in government subsidies despite being the most profitable industry in the history of the world, and decades of over-consumption in developed countries. We have seen a growing number of increasingly alarmist reports that document the interrelated real time impacts of rapid climate change including: melting glaciers, rising sea levels, changes in the water cycle, more intense and frequent storms, more frequent and intense forest fires, warmer average temperatures, increasing death tolls, and the human-caused six extinction event (Anthropocene extinction). However the story is pitched, these actual consequences have had little impact on changing our behavior. In fact, despite knowing about the impact of increased global greenhouse (GHG) emissions from burning fossil fuels (among other causes) for more than 100 years, we have made only minimal progress in reducing our global carbon footprint. This hard-won progress is quickly being reversed by the Trump administration. If we continue to point figures, or try to get climate science deniers on board before taking any action, we will only waste more time and energy. We cannot count on the government to take the lead, we must take matters into our own hands. While Climate of Hope forecasts many of the most likely outcomes of rapid climate change, it also outlines some practical approaches to sustainability with thoughtful urban planning. This book is a collaborative effort between an environmentalist, Carl Pope, and a self-avowed capitalist, Michael Bloomberg. They divide each chapter between them with slightly different takes on several climate change topics, using solutions tailored to urban challenges as examples. They outline long-term green and gray infrastructure projects that not only improve quality of life, they can save—even earn—money. As the forward-thinking ex-mayor of the capital of the world, New York City, Bloomberg writes about the challenges in creating and implementing PlaNYC, which began to prepare the flood-prone city for sea level rise. New York is now one of the greenest cities in the world and continues getting greener under a new administration. Pope documents achievements made by Beyond Coal and the Sierra Club to protect the environment and human lives. Both use an economic approach to sustainable development, which not only saves cities money and lives in future environmental disasters, but can also generate new tax revenue in development while improving the quality of life. Leading the charge, mayors from around the world have forgone government obstructionism to address the urban challenges of climate change with innovative solutions that create jobs. Some projects are costly, such as waterfront development, but have long-term savings in protecting already developed land from rising sea levels. Projects such as parks that double as rain catchment basins, restoration of wetlands, and thoughtful infrastructure in low-lying coastal areas are discussed. Solutions are not one-size-fits-all, nor are they all expensive. Many projects are affordable with substantial impact and offer a quick return on investment (ROI). For instance, green infrastructure, such as planting trees, bioswales, green roofs, and rain barrels can divert runoff from wastewater treatment plants, recharge aquifers, clean the air of particulates, reduce ambient temperature, provide wildlife with green spaces and improve the mental health of human residents, which reduces costs and creates jobs. And as a side benefit, this also reduces GHG emissions. An underlying theme of the book is about marketing. The green movement has been driven for the last 40-50 years by a passionate sense of urgency, but has not gained much traction with politicians who create policy nor investors who are looking for yield. Short term strategies and long term projects do not play well together. An example used in the book clearly depicts this divide. In arguments to close aging coal-fired power plants, activists use warming temperatures and environmental impact studies, but Beyond Coal takes data that shows how many avoidable deaths would be caused by air pollution and how many millions of dollars rebuilding/replacing the coal plant would cost in comparison to replacing the power plant with natural gas or renewable energy. This dollars and cents approach sidesteps any environmental controversy and boils it down to the bottom line. Saving money, and lives, is an easier story to engage politicians and impacted voters. Beyond Coal has used this strategy to close 271 coal-fired power plants across the U.S. to date. A proverb used toward the end of the book summarizes their optimism quite succinctly. “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time in today.” We may be behind the curve in addressing climate change, and we may be too late to reverse it, but we can adapt and learn to live with these changes now, and preserve our planet for future generations.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ken Boyce

    Loved the Carl Pope half, felt the Bloomberg half was meh and frequently irritating.

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