Solutions for the climate crisis is a topic that is deservedly growing in importance, and urgency.
As an author of educational books about climate change myself, I just had to get hold of Neil and ask him a few questions.
Neil explains what motivated him to write his first book.
Q: Why did you write this book?
Carbon Choices arose from a frustration that people are still unaware of climate change facts and the serious implications for humans and nature. Without this basic knowledge, the public are not going to campaign to make the necessary changes and may not support changes that governments want to introduce.
My original intention was to write a book when I retire in ten years time, then I heard all the warnings about us needing to take action this decade. The announcement of the global climate change conference (COP26) to be hosted in my home country, Scotland, in November 2020 spurred me into action to write quickly. This critical conference has subsequently been delayed by a year.
Q: What do you think makes this book stand out among others in a similar niche?
There are lots of books on climate change. Many are very scientific and will only appeal to academic experts, others focus on green lifestyles. I couldn’t find one that appealed to me. My book is comprehensive and written in an easy to read style.
It is in three sections:
Firstly, a section that introduces carbon dioxide, climate change and the destruction of nature in a comprehensive but non-scientific way and summarises the impacts of climate change and how we have descended into an existential environmental crisis.
Secondly, an introduction to ten building blocks that will lay the foundations to enable us to make better choices for the planet.
Thirdly, a section that introduces five principles that will guide individual consumers, businesses and governments to make better carbon and environmental choices. I apply these principles to aspects of our day to day lives to illustrate what we can do if we choose to do so. The book’s conclusion includes a green action plan for governments, businesses and individuals.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge of your author journey so far?
Finding the time to write Carbon Choices, whilst holding down a full time job has been a challenge but manageable. With the Covid-19 lockdowns I stopped travelling and commuting which freed up more time. I wrote for an hour a day every day for six months. Writing a book comes naturally, but the publishing and marketing is another set of skills which I have had to master.
Q: Where are going next on your author journey?
I am now writing lots of blogs and articles for newspapers and magazines, and making contacts through twitter to try and spread the word. Of course with the internet, and Amazon, it is incredible that nearly anyone in the world can buy my book, within seconds on Kindle.
I don’t yet know if I have another book in me. Certainly, I would like to update and improve Carbon Choices. Maybe a book that goes into more detail on the solutions for the climate crisis. Some changes that are needed require societal change (taxes, subsidies, innovation) but others are behavioural changes or individual choices. Where we choose to live affects our travel needs and our dietary choices have a direct impact on carbon emissions. But a well designed city can also reduce our need to travel, whilst well designed houses reduce our energy heating needs. These are complicated issues that might merit a book of their own!
Q: What are the “four elephants in the room”?
We all know and understand that the use of electricity, driving, flying and heating our homes drives our carbon emissions. The four ‘hidden’ elephants in the room are:
- our excessive consumerism including fast fashion;
- our dietary demands including beef and dairy;
- society’s use of cement and concrete; and
- the refrigerant gases and energy used for cooling.
Q: How can I buy Carbon Choices?
Carbon Choices is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback. It will fill in any gaps on your knowledge of climate change.
One third of all profits will be donated to rewilding projects.
Further information can be found at www.carbonchoices.uk