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Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet Hardcover – April 18, 2017
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"In their new book, Climate of Hope, Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope provide readers with a wonderful, in-depth analysis of how municipalities, businesses and private citizens are proving to be a bold force in solving the greatest challenge of our time―the climate crisis. This book gives readers the opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of two highly successful individuals who have taken distinct paths to ensuring that their own communities and organizations have a tangible impact in securing our sustainable future. Climate of Hope is an inspiring must-read for anyone who wants to know how their local actions can have positive and significant impacts on the world." ―Former Vice President Al Gore, Chairman of The Climate Reality Project
"If Trump is looking for a blueprint, he could not do better than to read a smart new book, Climate of Hope." ―Thomas Friedman in The New York Times
“Meeting our world’s growing energy demands will require contributions from science, business and government. As Climate of Hope shows, Michael Bloomberg has a unique understanding of the importance of this collaborative approach. Michael’s leadership and optimism remind us that by working together, we can develop breakthrough innovations to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of clean energy technology.” ―Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“Climate change threatens to reshape the future of our world's population centers. Bloomberg and Pope have been leaders on fortifying our cities against this threat, and their book proves that victory is possible―and imperative.” ―Leonardo DiCaprio
"A book that glows with the optimism of levelheaded reason. Keenly attuned to political realities, Climate of Hope bypasses the fraught debates over long-term climate change, focusing instead on the immediate consequences of pollution." ―New York Magazine
“A hopeful book of strategies for delivering the planet from our worst environmental depredations. …a thoughtful, eminently reasonable set of proposals.” ―Kirkus
“Upbeat, pragmatic, eloquent, and supremely well-informed, Bloomberg and Pope present striking statistics, cogently describe diverse examples of energy reforms and innovations across the U.S. and around the world, and make clear on both personal and social levels why a low-carbon future is possible, necessary, and of great benefit to everyone.” ―Booklist (starred)
“[Bloomberg & Pope’s] divergent insights offer a three-dimensional examination of the crisis as well as accessible solutions, innovative suggestions and a plethora of benefits. Most importantly, their positive, forward-looking attitude is inspiring and attainable. Bloomberg and Pope's collaborative work epitomizes the unity needed to solve climate change, and they set an example to follow.” ―Shelf Awareness
“Thanks in no small part to Michael Bloomberg, mayors around the world are proving day after day that cities can tackle climate change. There are three things we need to do: act, act and act again. This is the first book that explains how.” ―Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris
“Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope show that cities demonstrate how a bottom-up approach to climate action is not only possible, but also necessary―and how all of us have a role to play.” ―Carol Browner, former EPA Administrator & White House Climate Advisor
“Climate of Hope couldn’t be more timely―or more necessary. Its optimistic and can-do spirit is exactly what made a global agreement possible. Now, Bloomberg and Pope provide a roadmap for making it a success.” ―Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC
From the Back Cover
"If Trump is looking for a blueprint, he could not do better than to read a smart new book, Climate of Hope." Thomas Friedman in The New York Times
"Meeting our worlds growing energy demands will require contributions from science, business and government. As Climate of Hope shows, Michael Bloomberg has a unique understanding of the importance of this collaborative approach. Michaels leadership and optimism remind us that by working together, we can develop breakthrough innovations to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of clean energy technology." Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
"Climate change threatens to reshape the future of our world's population centers. Bloomberg and Pope have been leaders on fortifying our cities against this threat, and their book proves that victory is possibleand imperative." Leonardo DiCaprio
"Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope, in their new book, Climate of Hope, make a powerful argument that we need a new conversation to ensure we save the planet from global warming. It is a necessary look at the threat and an urgent call for all of us to act immediately at the local level. They bring knowledge, experience and passion to a subject that demands our attention." Charlie Rose, anchor and executive editor of Charlie Rose, co-anchor of CBS This Morning, and correspondent on 60 Minutes
"A hopeful book of strategies for delivering the planet from our worst environmental depredations. a thoughtful, eminently reasonable set of proposals." Kirkus
"Upbeat, pragmatic, eloquent, and supremely well-informed, Bloomberg and Pope present striking statistics, cogently describe diverse examples of energy reforms and innovations across the U.S. and around the world, and make clear on both personal and social levels why a low-carbon future is possible, necessary, and of great benefit to everyone." Booklist
"Thanks in no small part to Michael Bloomberg, mayors around the world are proving day after day that cities can tackle climate change. There are three things we need to do: act, act and act again. This is the first book that explains how." Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris
"Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope show that cities demonstrate how a bottom-up approach to climate action is not only possible, but also necessaryand how all of us have a role to play." Carol Browner, former EPA Administrator & White House Climate Advisor
"Climate of Hope couldnt be more timelyor more necessary. Its optimistic and can-do spirit is exactly what made a global agreement possible. Now, Bloomberg and Pope provide a roadmap for making it a success." Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC
- Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781250142078
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250142078
- Product Dimensions : 6.45 x 0.96 x 9.58 inches
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press; American First Edition (April 18, 2017)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 1250142075
- Best Sellers Rank: #500,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Most of the material will likely be familiar to the people likely to read the book, though perhaps not in such detail. I found myself surprised by only one section of the book, about economic abuses by coal companies in the powder river basin (abetted by the federal government).
The book drags a little towards the end, and it tends to oversimplify some of the challenges. Even the historical review tends to credit good intentions more than it probably should. Yes, a huge number of coal plants were shuttered, but 90% of the credit should probably go to plummeting energy prices, not 100% to the Sierra Club as Pope would probably like you to believe. The final chapter, with its list of problems remaining to solve, is particularly mystifying. The list includes broad categories like "political failures," "monopolies," and "poorly designed incentives," and saying "all we need to do is solve these problems" is a little like saying "colonizing the asteroid belt will be easy once we develop free energy and develop a way to breathe in a vacuum." Listing huge problems is not the same as solving them. I also wish the book had an index.
The book has, I think, two theses: first, that these problems can be solved, and second that city governments are most likely to take the lead. Both points are reassuring and the book is worth reading.
I do not always agree with former Mayor Bloomberg. However, I respect and agree with many of his viewpoints so I was eager to read this book Everyone knows Bloomberg is (in his own words, no less) an unapologetic capitalist. This is true. He is also a capitalist who wants to see a world that exists for future generations and has a healthier climate. One of the common arguments I hear about combatting climate change is that it "hurts business too much". Mr. Bloomberg is the owner of a multi-billion dollar company, and he is here to explain why that does NOT have to be the case. He also makes a case for why we as a society have a duty to prepare for the worst that could come from climate change as an insurance policy- our earth is worth it. In this book, along with Carl Pope, he explains ways that businesses and cities can do just that, without the federal government. Obviously, it would be better if all levels of government were on board with smart climate policy. This book truly did give me a ray of hope when the top level of government began to fail at even attempting this, so the title is very fitting. Some of the points Mr. Bloomberg addresses are initiatives taken by NYC to help the climate, ways that the market is actually moving toward favoring cleaner energy sources, and discussing how certain government programs unfairly help dirty industries like coal. The writing is easy to understand- I was a biology major in college, but this was written toward a general audience. It made it a very enjoyable read, and I ended the book feeling energized and more aware of ways I could help the climate, understand energy policy, and get involved with changing our system for the better. Again, this is a MUST read.
They also describe stupid solutions that didn’t work. An example is when Mexico City began restricting driving on alternating days based on the license plate. That was a highly disruptive solution that inconvenienced most people greatly and in the end it didn’t work. Solutions that sound good to some people may badly backfire. You really need to understand economics and ask questions such as “what could possibly go wrong” before trying to implement ideas.
The book contained a lot of interesting facts and information. A few interesting facts:
* 80% of global GDP is generated by cities
* Coal pollution is killing 13,200 Americans per year, and costing $100 billion.
* For over a century, mining and energy companies have been able to privatize coal’s profits while socializing its costs.
* Renewables can supply 80% of our electrical supply, despite the intermittency problem.
There are many things I agree with in this book. The tragedy of the commons, when people and companies use our common resources to benefit themselves individually while imposing harm on society. Pollution is an example. In a properly functioning market, coal companies would have to account for the costs they impose on society. This is what is called an externality, a type of market failure. Market failures can and should be corrected, polluters should pay for their destruction. Using the free market/capitalism to fight pollution and climate change via the right regulation is the best way to do it. Innovation without regulation won’t work. I also support Nuclear Power like Bloomberg.
However, I disagree with Bloomberg when he says we should focus on local health effects from pollution and not on climate change. Even though some older people are set in their ways and have a hard time seeing the big picture and have a difficulty considering long term effects, that is not as true for young people who are increasingly concerned about climate change. They understand it is their future. Another disagreement I have is regarding his disbelief in national policy. Many countries around the world have enacted effective national carbon emission policies, for example, carbon taxes. I am especially in favor of a national fee and dividend. The fee on carbon emissions will effectively quickly reduce emissions whilst returning the proceeds to consumers will prevent harm to the economy and it will help the poor. There are good national level solutions. I am all for Bloomberg’s and Pope’s proposals, but I thought they took a too narrow cities-only approach. National policy can make a big difference once the political will is there, and that time will come. Overall, this was a pretty interesting and unique book.
Top reviews from other countries
Working with Sustainable Nation Ireland, we are tasked with tackling climate change through entrepreneurship. Making sure Ireland Inc. gets a disproportionate size of the biggest business opportunity since the internet.
The perfect business storm in capital expenditure (1 trillion in the next 20 years), financial metrics (non-sustainable is deemed risky ), government regulations and consumerism.
Climate of Hope
So when I picked up “Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet” by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope, I was hoping for something interesting.
Not going dark
The book does not focus on the dark scenarios, which is that if the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tailspin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat
Lets make money
Instead of arguing about making sacrifices, let’s talk about how we can make money. Instead of pitting the environment versus the economy, let’s consider market principles and economic growth. Our kind of language. However, the book does not deliver on its promise. It is dark, and it is very vague about how to make money.
Climate change is like cooking spaghetti sauce
The book is very good at explaining climate change. It is really quite simple. We have overloaded the atmosphere with heat-trapping gas, and the rest are just details. Look what happens when you heat up a pan of spaghetti sauce. Bubbling and splattering away. That is the weather effect.
The recipe of carbon dioxide, black carbon, methane, nitrous oxide (fertiliser), chlorine, fluorine and bromine will make the weather more volatile. The cost and impacts are enormous:
Coastal storm damage could grow to $35 billion annually.
Agriculture could face yield losses of more than 10 percent.
Increasing power demand caused by rising temperatures could cost ratepayers an additional $12 billion annually.
According to the World Health Organization, seven million people die from air pollution each year.
If all the glaciers in the world were to melt, sea levels could rise as much as 230 feet, putting most of the world’s population centres underwater.
High-Tide flooding in Miami Beach has increased by 400 percent.
By 2100, as a result of rising sea levels, Boston could flood twice daily.
Around three billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein, or as a source of income.
More than 90 percent of the increased heat we’ve created over the last century has ended up being stored in the oceans.
Hotter temperatures will expand the areas in which mosquito-transmitted diseases like Zika, West Nile virus, and dengue can thrive
the cost of Coal exceeded $100 billion.
In Europe, coal power production causes over 22,000 premature deaths a year.
In India, it causes 100,000 premature deaths a year.
Every new coal-fired power plant in Indonesia is projected to kill more than 24,000 over its forty-year lifetime.
American’s throw away $218 billion of food each year (that is 1% of their GDP).
Agriculture generates 30 percent of total methane, mainly from livestock and rice paddies.
Oil now accounts for 34–36 percent of fossil fuel emissions.
About 25 percent of global black carbon comes from either stationary or mobile diesel engines.
“imported emissions” are now 55 percent of Great Britain’s total climate impact.
A gallon of tar sands oil from Alberta uses only 10 percent of its energy content to power a car on the streets of Chicago. The rest is wasted in mining, shipping and refining the oil, internal heat losses in the engines, and idling.
Since the 1980s the number of registered weather-related loss events has tripled, and inflation-adjusted insurance losses from these events have increased from an annual average of around $10 billion in the 1980s to around $50 billion over the past decade.
The number of Chinese cities experiencing flooding has doubled since 2008.
One-Quarter of the world’s population already faces water scarcity.
It is easily solvable
For example, solar panels, small batteries, and LED lighting make it possible to do away with the whole grid and instead light households, minimally, for a one-time cost that seems to average about $200 a family. It the ability to bear the full upfront cost that is killing it. Climate-friendly infrastructure is typically cheaper to operate than the traditional models but more expensive to build, because the technology has to be paid for up front.
Buildings are another example. Buildings are responsible for consuming more than half the world’s electricity, along with plenty of gas, oil, and HFCs to power boilers, air conditioners, and refrigerators. Also, construction materials—cement, steel, plastic, glass, aluminum—are another major driver of emissions. At one point during China’s construction boom, one-third of its carbon emissions were associated with making cement. However, It is very easy to make better buildings down to net zero.
You have to wonder why it is not happening yet
The question to ask is where are governments, development agencies and banks investing? Believe it or not, governments are still tilting in favour of fossil fuels. Globally, governments provided $493 billion in subsidies for fossil fuels in 2014. Because lobbying is a $3 billion industry in Washington alone—and that is not counting the lobbying that goes on in state capitals and city halls. That money (the lobbying and the subsidies) should be spent on climate impact measures.
Power to the cities and nature
The authors think that cities are the solution. Power to mayors to implement local solutions. They believe nature itself can solve. Trees, forests, environmentally friendly agriculture, flood plains, wetlands. Mangroves, oysters and spending money on restoring what we have destroyed. Biomimicry at massive scale. Why reinvent what nature does best?
Open source innovation
They belief in open source innovation. For example, Embrapa. Embrace is the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation. It tests and disseminated a broad system of agricultural interventions suited for tropical conditions. In the ten years after its launch, agricultural production rose by 365 percent, without genetically engineered private patents and without destroying rain forest for new cropland.
We can stop global warming. Not by slowing down economies but by speeding them up. Not by depending on national governments but by empowering cities, businesses, and citizens. Not by scaring people about the future but by showing them the immediate benefits of taking action. If we accomplish this, we will be healthier and wealthier. We will live longer and better lives. We will have less poverty and political instability.
Here is where the book really falls down. All we need to do is (in no particular order, but maybe start with 7).
reform the subsidies
invest in natural resources
force monopolies to compete
fix the political failure
The success stories
Finally, the ask for more people to tell climate success stories.That we can do. Look at the over 900 entries for Climatelaunchpad, the biggest green business idea accelerator in the world. In Ireland look at Mimergy, Hexafly, Oxymem, MagGrow, NanoPower and I can go on for a while (and happy to do so on request). If you know of Irish examples, let us know.
The future is bright. Green entrepreneurship is the future.
The main thesis of the book is that cities backed by citizens and businesses can tackle climate change effectively. It is a bottoms up approach and needs the support of national governments as well as international community. This is the first book that explains how city level action to tackle climate change is not only possible but also necessary.
The book deals in detail how we are already on our way from coal to clean energy, from petrol and gas based transportation to electric vehicles. It also tells us how we should eat and how we should live to meet the challenge of climate change.
The book also mentions several market failures which are perpetuated by special interests, like continuation of fossil fuel subsidies. Such market failures that privilege fossil fuels have to be addressed by national governments. We also need to devolve more powers to cities , power to borrow funds for infrastructure and power to manage transportation systems.
But a transition from coal to renewable energy and sustainable energy will result in loss of jobs and unemployment .We must create solutions to such serious problems, in the interest of meeting the challenges of climate change.
Citizens have to understand these solutions and then communicate to other citizens. This conversation must be led by ordinary citizens and local leaders on a continuous basis.