Book Review: Picturing a Better World: The Climate Action Handbook

Willard Scott (for the young ones out there: America’s weather person) once said: “Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody ever seems to do anything about it.”

You could say the same thing about climate change. There is no shortage of books about climate grief these days, and I empathize, but I also think we as a planet shouldn’t go down without a fight.

Which was why I was pleased to come across The Climate Action Handbook: A Visual Guide to 100 Climate Solutions for Everyone by Heidi A. Roop.

Across 10 categories, including Travel and Work, Community Engagement and Health and Well-Being, Roop packs in 100 actions, some small and some not so small, but all worth knowing. Many of these will all too obvious to readers of this blog — actions such as “Go Solar” and “Cut Down on Your Food Waste.” But there were tidbits along the way that I enjoyed discovering, such as that many schools are trying to prevent drivers from idling their cars while waiting for their children, and the practice is illegal in California, Hawaii, New Hampshire and New York City. An estimated 6 billion gallons of fuel is wasted each year by this ridiculously wasteful practice.

And, yes, saving the planet takes practice. We have to unlearn old habits and learn new ones. Like leaving those single-use plastic bottles behind when traveling and carrying your own bottle (but don’t fill it before security, a mistake I keep making). Many of the tips include infographics and data to put everything in context.

What I most appreciated about the book was the recommendation to give up eating meat in favor of plants. It’s the one thing we can all do without spending any more money and with the added dividend of getting a bit healthier along the way. Not to mention saving countless animal lives.

This book would make a great addition to the family library, providing everyone with a good understanding of the problems we face and many ways forward.

We may not be able to change the weather. But we can all, in our own ways, change the way we think about the future and our actions. And this alone is reason for hope.

The Climate Action Handbook: A Visual Guide to 100 Climate Solutions for Everyone
Heidi A. Roop
Sasquatch Books

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