Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

THE CITIZEN’S GUIDE TO CLIMATE SUCCESS: Overcoming Myths That Hinder Progress by Mark Jaccard book review

  • Written by  Laura Cole
  • Published in Books
THE CITIZEN’S GUIDE TO CLIMATE SUCCESS: Overcoming Myths That Hinder Progress by Mark Jaccard book review
23 Apr
2020
by Mark Jaccard • Cambridge University Press • £12.00 (paperback)

For climate policy expert Marc Jaccard, slowing climate change is ‘manageable’ if only we change our ways – and debunk myths. Highlighting one of these, he describes a day in the life of Steve, a friend who is climate conscious but outside the field. ‘Steve read about the jobs and tax revenue a proposed oil pipeline would generate. In that one morning he read the same message in an op-ed, the main editorial, a news article, and an info-ad designed to resemble a legitimate news article,’ writes Jaccard. ‘Later that day, driving home from work he passed a bus emblazoned with the message “powered by natural gas: the green energy future”.’ It’s an accurate portrait of the mixed messages from the fossil fuel industry, which defends itself with perhaps the most pervasive myth of all – that the fossil fuel project is still necessary. 

Next, Jaccard takes on well-intentioned green ideas, demonstrating that many are simply own goals. The idea that renewables have already won, he argues, is a myth that slows momentum for essential regulations and carbon pricing. As for carbon offsets, he draws parallels with the ‘sin-offsetting’ practised at Middle Age churches, in which wealthy worshippers offset transgressions with surplus good deeds. ‘Can we pay someone to expiate our sins of emission,’ he asks, ‘or is this another myth that interferes with our ability to act effectively on the climate energy challenge?’ 

The suggestion that these practices are counterproductive is a powerful, if alarming, one. Luckily, his solution is straightforward. ‘Compulsory climate-energy policies,’ such as regulation and carbon pricing. And fast. 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MONTHLY PRINT MAGAZINE!
Subscribe to Geographical today for just £38 a year. Our monthly print magazine is packed full of cutting-edge stories and stunning photography, perfect for anyone fascinated by the world, its landscapes, people and cultures. From climate change and the environment, to scientific developments and global health, we cover a huge range of topics that span the globe. Plus, every issue includes book recommendations, infographics, maps and more!

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Books

There's something fresh for everyone this April. Read on for…

Books

by Lesley Newson & Peter Richerson • Oxford University Press

Reviews

Elizabeth Miki Brina is a teacher and author. Her debut book,…

Books

March's top non-fiction reads

Books

Laurence C Smith is a professor of environmental studies and…

Books

Jini Reddy is the author of the acclaimed Wanderland: A…

Books

Rana Foroohar is the author of Makers and Takers (2016) and Don't Be…

Books

A broad selection of Geographical's top books this February for your…