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Summary

Climate change is the defining issue of our time - we know, beyond reasonable doubt, what that science now tells us. Just as climate change is accelerating, so too must we - summoning up a greater sense of urgency, courage and shared endeavour than humankind has ever seen before. 

The Age of Climate Change is an age of superlatives: most extreme this, biggest that, most costly ever. The impacts worsen every year, played out in people’s backyards and communities; more and more people around the world now realise this is going to be a massive challenge for the rest of their lives. 

In Hope in Hell, Porritt confronts that dilemma head on. He believes we have time to do what needs to be done, but only if we move now - and move together. In this ultimately optimistic book, he explores all these reasons to be hopeful: new technology, the power of innovation, the mobilisation of young people - and a sense of intergenerational solidarity as older generations come to understand their own obligation to secure a safer world for their children and grandchildren.

©2020 Jonathon Porritt (P)2020 Simon & Schuster UK

Critic reviews

"Brave and unflinching in setting out the reality of the hell towards which we’re headed, but even more urgent, passionate and compelling about the grounds for hope if we change course fast enough, Hope in Hell is a powerful call to arms from one of Britain’s most eloquent and trusted campaigners." (Caroline Lucas, MP) 

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Terrifying and hopeful

Horrified for what could be round the corner bit Johnathan makes me feel inspired and understand that hope is available and still justified above blind optimism about our home.

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ABSOLUTE MUST READ ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Hope in Hell runs provides a scientifically informed and anecdotally luxurious series of persuasions and exhortations for us to tackle the Climate Emergency, as the last moment before we are truly out of time.  Spoiler alert: we have 10 years.  Jonathon Porritt draws on his extensive experience as Director of Friends of The Earth; a prominent supporter of the Green Party; and more recently as the inaugural Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission; to offer an objective take on where we stand with the Climate Emergency and where we need to get to, gracefully dodging sterile ''green'' dogmas by taking a serious look at the potential of nuclear energy; contemplating the consequences of geo-engineering (faced without a choice); and taking a realistic look at what will be necessary to transition from fossil feuls to renewables, from a geo-political standpoint.  In the end, Porritt concludes, one of the primary means of achieving the necessary change is through large-scale civil disobediance (c.f. Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg etc.) And while there is little to be argued against, one feels the book might lack a new and exciting solution for those for without the money, time and resources to ''get arrested.''  Nevertheless, Hope in Hell finds light at the end of a very dark and byzantine set of tunnels, and for that reason it must be highly commended. Only a man who has dedicated his life to understanding the environmental crisis could write a book so filled with wisdom, and for this reason Hope in Hell is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in the Climate Emergency.

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Should be compulsory reading for all

A very eloquent, flowing and engaging book bringing the magnitude and pressing urgency of addressing climate change into great clarity. The author generates hope and optimism in the face of compelling evidence as to the magnitude of the challenges to the natural world, our planet and survival as a species. The book gives great insight into the entirely interlinked long established detrimental systems of unsustainable consumption, human ill health, increasingly stark social inequity, damaging farming practices, ecocide by fossil fuel industries and corruption, incompetence and self preservation of social, industrial and political elites. This should be compulsory reading to all. If only political, social and industrial elites read this book with images of their children and future generations before them.