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What We’re Reading

Ever since I created FutureAir I have immersed myself in literature, in educational research and in enlightening reads that have left a profound effect. They have impacted me, changed how I approach the world, and helped inform the direction of the company.

In an effort to share some of the FutureAir team’s favorites with you, we are launching an ongoing series to reveal our recommendations on noteworthy, impactful and important reads.

The first is a brilliant, honest and powerful book This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein, author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine. Let me start with this caveat: it is heavy, intense reading but well worth the effort.

“Underneath all of this is the real truth we have been avoiding: climate change isn’t an “issue” to add to the list of things to worry about, next to health care and taxes. It is a civilizational wake-up call. A powerful message–spoke in the language of fires, floods, droughts, and extinctions–telling us that we need an entirely new economic model and a new way of sharing this planet. Telling us that we need to evolve.”

The introduction alone is a wake-up call but Klein delivers the details, for both problems and solutions –her own personal why, when, where and how. All backed up with well-researched facts and figures, and articulately communicated.

Here are a few points that particularly surprised me:

  • The US has been the worst barrier to climate progress. In much the same way that financial institutions and big tobacco corporations used big money to stall the reforms needed, big oil interests have followed the same path, sowing doubt to sustain corporate profits.
  • ExxonMobil holds the record for the highest corporate profits of any US Corporation, but the costs of cleaning the mess they make is still on US tax payers, while they continue receiving government subsidies.
  • ExxonMobil’s excessive carbon emissions can also be attributed to the permanent harm exacted on our wildlife – the mass extinction of 40% of our nature’s species.
  • Organizations like the Nature Conservancy, WWF and Conservation International have strong ties with the fossil fuel industries (i.e. receiving funding from oil and gas companies).

And there are so much more. You need to read the book!

On the solution side, there is of course, the potential of expanding energy production from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Ultimately, Klein believes that reviving a massive grass roots movement is the route to taking on powerful polluters. That we need a “systems change, not a climate change.”

I wholeheartedly agree.