In tough times—and there’s no doubt that 2020 qualifies as tough times—those of us who love to read turn to all kinds of different books.
Earlier this year, I published a book called How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. One of the main reasons I wrote it is that young people are showing so much passion for dealing with climate change. I made a free download of it available for any college or university student, anywhere in the world.
Young people are holding their governments accountable and insisting that they commit to eliminating their carbon emissions. As a result, they’re making those commitments. Now what we need is a plan for getting to zero. That’s what I put forward in my book.
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need is about all the steps we need to take to keep the planet livable for humans. We need to revolutionize our entire physical economy, including the way we move things around the planet, produce electricity, make things, grow food, and heat and cool our buildings.
That’s going to take a ton of innovation in both technology and policy. Which means young people need to play a special role. In my experience, they’re the ones with the most new ideas, and the most energy to pursue them.
Getting to zero emissions will be the hardest thing people have ever done. But I believe we can do it. I’m optimistic about what science and technology can accomplish, and even more important, I’m optimistic about what people can accomplish. If all of us—and especially today’s young people—apply their ingenuity to this problem, we can avoid a climate disaster.