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Climate: A New Story

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  376 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Flipping the script on climate change, Eisenstein makes a case for a wholesale reimagining of the framing, tactics, and goals we employ in our journey to heal from ecological destruction
 
With research and insight, Charles Eisenstein details how the quantification of the natural world leads to a lack of integration and our “fight” mentality. With an entire chapter unpacki
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by North Atlantic Books
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Average rating 4.44  · 
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Doug Della pietra
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: next-reads
This has been both one of the most challenging and disturbing books and the most visionary, compassionate, and holistic writings on climate, environment, Humanity and our Species that I have ever read.

Having previously adopted a mechanistic and quantitative approach to climate change and global warming, Charles Eisenstein’s invitation to consider our world and relationships through a different narrative — one of Interbeing instead of Separation — challenged the very place from which I had found
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Erik
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
I wasn't going to review this book, because I like Charles Eisenstein and I appreciate what he's trying to do in general with his career, to integrate humans better with the natural world. With a spiritual bent, Eisenstein has also inspired people around the world to think more creatively, to open their hearts and to make positive changes in their personal lives. For that, he should be encouraged and applauded.

So, when I found his book on climate change frustrating, I was just going to let it go
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Bryan Winchell
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion, if you are concerned about the converging crises of the ecology and the economy, and the social and political ills that trouble the modern world, Charles Eisenstein is one of the most important voices out there.

In this book, he dares to expand the conversation around climate change from one that is increasingly ineffective because it is based on motivating us to act by using our fear of mortality and a horrible, climate-damaged world to one that recognizes that climate change is p
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Noah Skocilich
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eisenstein’s greatest work to date.

Completely reframed my understanding of climate change.

So grateful for this book, and Charles’ work writing it.
Paul
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“If we want a living world, we have to act from the place where the world is alive.”

— Charles Eisenstein
Valerie Saint-Pierre
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, a warning: this is going to be a long review. In fact, this book has taken me (someone who can read two books a day with no problem) nine months to read. Why has it taken me this long? And why have I stuck at it? Simply because, like the climate change debate, this book is complicated, nuanced and fascinating, and it deserves to be carefully read and its discussions and conclusions properly considered. It reframes the whole climate change debate in different, non-binary terms. It tries ...more
Dave
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I've been listening to Charles Eisenstein for a long time. I've read most of his books and feel pretty much the same way about this one as I do about all the others. Some of it is great and some is just really terrible. I honestly love about half of what he says. He really does get a lot of the things that everyone else is missing. Unfortunately, I can't stand the other half. And from my experience, it's the bad half that his readers seem to be most influenced by. I've been recommending Sacred E ...more
Narayan Silva
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a visionary work and very different from most of what I’ve been reading on climate change and sustainability in the last years.

Without trying to adjust to any mainstream view on how to deal with the incredibly complex issues we have created as a society, he invites us to totally change the questions we’ve been asking ourselves in order to get to the root of the problem.

While walking through the different views and nuances around our current state of unsustainability, we are invited to
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Alissa
May 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
My partner suggested that I stop reading this book because I was bitching about reading it. I feel like this treads very familiar ground for most social justice- and nonwestern thought-aware people, especially if they pay attention to non-white points of view: we are connected to the earth, the earth is full of complex interdependent systems. There, now you don't have to read this self-important New Age faux-academic book by a privileged spiritualist. Read Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Chan ...more
Tammie
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it
The climate crisis isn't new and there isn't a one-fits-all cure or a miraculous technological solution (if not there wouldn't be a crisis). But Eisenstein's holistic perspectives in this book serve as urgent reminders of why every facet of society has to work towards the same goal. A lot of drive has to start organically from ground up, and I'm appreciative of his views on the commercial aspects. ...more
Sachi
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5/5
Eisenstein flips conventional climate change narrative on its head by proposing ecological conservation and regenerative practices instead of focusing all our energy on fossil fuels. He links the destruction of ecosystems to what we call climate change. Counting CO2 distracts us from the real problem; destruction of natural systems as we know them.
He is an advocate of ‘Interbeing’ a belief that earth is a living being and all animals, birds, plants in addition to water, soil, clouds, and a
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C.J. Shane
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Charles Eisenstein’s book Climate: A New Story is full of compassion and insight about human alienation from the natural world that has led to our current climate crisis. His is fundamentally a book of philosophy that challenges readers to reevaluate many widely-held cultural beliefs and assumptions that could very well end up killing us and everything on the planet. Philosophy books are not easy to read. Readers must be willing to read carefully and to do some serious self-reflection to fully u ...more
Abilasha Bhohi
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book gives a really interesting and insightful perspective on how we should look and tackle climate change. Eisenstein has such an awe and a love for the earth and it’s ecology which is hugely inspiring for the reader. Despite the challenges we face with global warming it’s his optimism in providing and focussing on solutions which makes this book one worth reading!
Cindy
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking and intriguing potential for a new future. Roots of the current story challenged against changing social agreements. What do we choose next?
Camia Young
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After reading 'The Uninhabitable Earth' I needed some way to see a way forward. 'Climate: A New Story' is the antidote to the overwhelming crisis we face. I appreciate it is not a silver bullet but a shift in our world view and consciousness. Charles Eisenstein taps into our innate intuition and draws out the essence of life as a way to heal our past and create a path where all life flourishes in an abundant matrix of inter related ecosystems. A must read if you are looking for answers and ways ...more
Vince
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a transformative book. It calls for a wholesale change in how we think about climate change and environmentalism - putting love for the earth as a living organism at the center of our actions, rather than techno-utopian talk of emissions targets.
Dimitris Hall
I first found out about Charles Eisenstein through his amazing essay The Coronation (audio version read by him here), where he looked at the coronavirus pandemic crisis as a crisis of humanity, its collectively pernicious relationship with death and its obsession with safety.

Then I listened to this discussion with Rebel Wisdom on roughly the same topic, and his appearance on the Rune Soup podcast where he presented his new book, Climate: A New Story.

What can I say? I'm positively stunned by this
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Todd Lejnieks
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a revolutionary deep dive into how we think about climate, the Earth and our role as humans. I was lucky to see Charles speak just as the book was being published and he blew my mind with his eloquent description of how the Earth is a living being, the rainforests, rivers, wetlands, oceans and more are all the glands, tissues and veins of a system that is alive, and yes, conscious. That we can perhaps tap into that consciousness and join as partners with our beautiful planet gives m ...more
Anton Autushka
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s a fresh new look on the climate change. What is climate change after all? Is it all about CO2, the Arctic methane monster, solar panels, sustainable development and Tesla’s mission to save the world through more consumption? Not really, the author claims. It’s all about us, humans, destroying our habitat, our forests and lakes and wetlands, the whole web of life. The book itself feels quite repetitive and meandering, if you have read the other books by the author you pretty much know what h ...more
Jaron
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, I really did. But it's a very worrying read. It's so bad in fact, it's hard to know where to start writing a review.

It's just so full of exagerrated strawman arguments, misrepresentations of science and the scientific method, vague language (eg "war thinking" and "money thinking"), and excessive use of capitalisation (eg Story of Interbeing, Story of the World, Age of War, Age of Separation, Other, the mind that is steeped in Separation etc). Why do new age writers f
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Rachel Greenberger
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Climate has taken me six months (and I consume books). Dense with interwoven ideas on densely interconnected subjects, it required many pauses.

Charles Eisenstein points to so many doors and windows that I have long sensed might be there but could never really see. In relation to planetary doom, instead, I've grown accustomed to tightness, listlessness, and doubt. All his pointing in these pages has let some fresh air in.

Changing stories - or even considering a new one - is no small task. It ta
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Chris Jerrey
Step outside of the campaigns that seek to change the course of the climate crisis and try to listen with a dispassionate ear. You will hear a lot of numbers being called out in a game of eschatological bingo.
“Only TEN years to save the Earth”
“SIX feet of sea-level rise by 2100”
“76 MILLION climate refugees by 2050”

This begs a question: are people influenced by numbers? Scientists and economists certainly are as they understand the context in which the numbers are presented. Politicians who liste
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Susan
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Eisenstein advocates for less focus on co2 and more focus on the heart center of environmental activism - protecting local ecosystems. There is a strong argument in here about framing, that unfortunately occasionally gets undermined by his enthusiasm for trendy, anti-scientific tangents. :-/
Curious George
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Interbeing doesn’t go so far as to say, “We’re all one,” but it does release the rigid boundaries of the discrete, separate self to say that existence is relational. Who I am depends on who you are. The world is part of me, just as I am part of it. What happens to the world is in some way happening to me. The state of the cultural climate or political climate affects the condition of the geo-climate. When one thing changes, everything else must change too.”

Powerful ideas, communicated badly
This
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Sarah Flynn
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A shifter, this book is. That is, it will shift your understanding and perspective on climate change. And that’s saying a lot for me, I have been a climate activist for a while, have read and learned extensively about the issue, and have a background in both science and philosophy. My point being that I didn’t really expect to read anything at this point in e game that would dramatically change my fundamental understanding of the issue.
But this book did just that. And that’s what I loved about
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Ganesh Ubuntu
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There is a story of a drunk man who lost his keys in a middle of a night and decided to search under a street lamp because it was too dark in the place where he has actually dropped them. The main argument of 'Climate: A New Story' states that we are following the same pattern when we reduce the mind-boggling complexity of the environmental issues into a single metric - the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. In this book Charles argues that focusing on a single factor is not only reducing o ...more
Stephanie
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a useful book for those just starting to understand climate change. Eisenstein does a good job of providing an overview of the systems issues that result in global warming: environmental degradation and mismanagement, and the role of modern capitalism in driving these changes. He wants to shift the focus of climate change discussions from the simplistic emphasis on reducing CO2 emissions, to a broader recognition of how modernity and notions of progress figure at the root of not just env ...more
Gwen Harris
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: environment
Charles Eisenstein presents a powerful argument that the fundamental problem - climate, social justice, species extinction - is the prevailing reductionist view, the cost-benefit mindset, the standard narrative.

This paragraph is just one example of Eisentein's ground-shaking examination of the need for humans to change individualistic thought and perspective to a practice and outlook of "interbeing."

"Ecological deterioration is but one aspect of an initiation ordeal propelling civilization into
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Christophe Jospe
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nori
As someone who works in the carbon credit market (and cares about fixing it), Eisenstein's critique of carbon credits and his description of the carbon reductionist mindset hits home. He uses examples in the book — like is a removing a mountaintop for coal extraction as something non-fungible with carbon credits — to point out the folly of reducing the world to simply a carbon lens. I agree and think that the complexities that emerge in climate solutions need to factor in the various levels impa ...more
Lydia
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an extremely thought-provoking book, which radically challenges mainstream environmental narratives without dismissing the seriousness of the current ecological crisis - if anything Eisenstein takes it more seriously.

There were various parts of this book which I did not agree with, or on occasion, did not understand. However, I found Eisenstein's basic argument ultimately compelling. He suggests that we ought to focus as much on the protection and restoration of valuable ecosystems rath
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Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His writings on the web magazine Reality Sandwich have generated a vast online following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events, and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts. Writing in Ode magazine's "25 Intelligent Optimists" issue, Da ...more

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52 likes · 19 comments
“The point here is not that emissions don't matter. It is a call for a shift in priorities. On the policy level, we need to shift toward protecting and healing ecosystems on every level, especially the local. On a cultural level, we need to reintegrate human life with the rest of life, and bring ecological principles to bear on social healing. On the level of strategy and thought, we need to shift the narrative toward life, love, place, and participation. Even if we abandoned the emissions narrative, if we do these things emissions will surely fall as well.” 4 likes
“We never were separate from nature and never will be, but the dominant culture on earth has long imagined itself to be apart from nature and destined one day to transcend it. We have lived in a mythology of separation.” 4 likes
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