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The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,640 ratings  ·  432 reviews
Climate change: it is arguably the most urgent and consequential issue humankind has ever faced. How we address it in the next thirty years will determine the kind of world we will live in and will bequeath to our children and to theirs.

In The Future We Choose, Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac--who led negotiations for the United Nations during the historic Paris
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published February 24th 2020)
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Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By far the most prominent, urgent and important environmental issue our planet has ever faced, the climate crisis we currently find ourselves in means we are disappearing into the abyss and the topic can no longer be ignored if it is to abated. Regardless of what your opinion is on the main players in the arena such as extinction rebellion, young and bold climate activist Greta Thunberg, or David Attenborough their message is an extremely important one.

The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate
Matt Kimsal
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Hmmm...not quite what I had expected. I heard about this book through a review in The Guardian. They ran two excerpts from the book, which I found quite intriguing. The excerpts painted vastly different views of the world in the future, based on hypothetical actions which humanity can undertake right now.

But it turns out that these alternate future scenarios form only a small part of the book. They serve really as the attention-getting prelude to the remainder of the book, which is based on lar
Viv JM
This is an absolutely excellent book. A book on climate change could (quite rightly) be depressing, but not this one. Yes, the climate emergency is real and frightening but the authors argue not only that we must act but also give examples of what this might look like. They lay out what we need to do and how to go about doing it and the overall tone is optimistic and inspiring and very readable. I highly, highly recommend this book to everyone on this beautiful planet.
Melania 🍒
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction

- Book Riots 2020 Read Harder Challenge -15.Read a book about climate change -
I wanted to like this book but it appears to be aimed at an audience already converted. The two scenarios are just that and the fact the USA is not in the Paris Agreement is skirted around. Yes, individuals matter and their mindsets.

I expect most people who read this book already do most of the recommended 10 actions such as challenge consumerism, plant trees, source their power from renewable energy,active on politics and eat less meat. Saying that I liked the ten actions.

Let go of the old wo
'The Future We Choose' joined my to-read list due to positive goodreads reviews. I then bought a copy from the Edinburgh International Book Festival bookshop, as festival events whetted my appetite for a hopeful and inspiring book about action on climate change. Feeling in need of some optimism, I started reading it at the weekend. Unfortunately, while it is well-written and clearly structured, I did not get on well with it. I believe the reasons for that relate to me, the pandemic, and the cont ...more
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Okay. I know everyone is going to have opinions about this book, the author(s--remember, there's two of them!) and what "climate" people think about it. I'll start.

First, it could have been 3 or 4 stars. It depends on why you read. For me, the extra star is personal; I like reading about issues that I'm engaged in, within contexts that I have experience of. (Which is to say, I'll consume almost any content about social movements and/or the UN; in lieu of current content available, I settle for
Amy Minh
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I hear of climate change news, I am one of those people who still live in a bubble believing that it is something in the distant future. I am not emotionally invested in the issue. I do my share of recycling, biking, reuse, etc but I don't believe these small things would have any real impact. I know we are damaging our world but I don't have a real sense of urgency to fix it. 

The authors did a an amazing job outlining the two worlds we would end up with if we don't take drastic actions to
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, read-2020
ok I'm in a weird headspace for this one because I read the first half weeks ago when I was feeling all-too-sanguine coronavirus and then finished it this week when I am feeling MUCH LESS SO but I'm gonna go with a resounding ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I don't actually know what I hoped to get from this but there was very little new or groundbreaking information and I found the science and projections to be less rigorous than other books. I was looking forward to the list of concrete individual actio
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
For anyone looking for somewhere to start with books on climate change I would 100% recommend this. It's the most understandable and well laid out book on the topic I've read so far. Even my brain fog tainted brain could absorb it without having to reread and that's quite the achievement with such a heavy topic. For those already deep in the black hole of climate change it might be a little simplistic.
"Anger that sinks into despair is powerless to make a change. Anger that evolves into convict
Juan Farfán
Very unsystematic and colloquial tone. The recommendations are vague for the extent of the book
Dec 08, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Imi by: Matt Haig
I am very unimpressed. Such a disappointment after hearing so many good things about it, but I got nothing from this. Maybe this would be a useful book if you knew literally nothing about what it's currently taking place on a planet (but then would you ever pick up this book), but I found it patronising, strangely self-congratulatory in tone (we've done nothing, yet, NOTHING), and extremely light on the substance. The two chapters on our possible futures (one the bad, one the good) were just biz ...more
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was my first particular reading about the climate change. Since the authors were the main persons of the 2015 Paris Agreement, I was after knowing the specific actions the common citizens could take in relevance to the treaty. To make the best out of this, in choosing our future, I recommend doing a pre-reading. A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future , the next I read, is a very good material. Direct information on the international treaty is available on ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a book of hope in an uncertain time. It invites one to an adventure against overwhelming odds.

The book is a great introduction to anyone not too familiar with climate change and a way to move beyond thinking towards acting.
In tandem, the book can be interesting to one who's been in the field for a while - a refresher of the basics, some great new examples, referenced meticulously and with suggestions for further reads. I enjoyed the suggested actions to take, especially action 2 "f
Camelia Rose
Apr 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Future We Choose is a climate change manifesto. Science have proved over and over again that if no radical actions are taken on top of promises made in the Paris Agreement, the world will be 3c warmer by 2100. If the world can't reach carbon neutral by 2050, all hopes will be lost. The goal is to reach carbon neutral by 2050 so that the global temperature will only be 1.5c warmer by 2100. First and foremost this is a goal for the world as a whole, including every nation on every continent.

Jessica Haider
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great read about climate change with actionable suggestions for you as an individual. Highly recommend!
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is my first proper reading (outside of any school requirement) on climate change and it reads as a succinct and impactful situationer on the status of the global efforts to address the biggest existential threat to humanity. As such, we are currently living in a critical decade where global carbon emissions must be lowered by half its number. Come the next decade, we have to reduce that count further - all of this towards a net-zero carbon emission by 2050. The climate emergency needs no mo ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review is from my blog Live Many Lives at

We are faced at this very moment with a climate emergency. Christina Figueres is Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. She took the role shortly after the failed COP15 in July 2010 and led the delivery of negotiations that resulted in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Tom Rivett-Carnac was the Senior Political Strategist. As a result, they feel like suitably qualified people to guide
Ok I'm not sure if I want to give non-fiction star-ratings or not, so for now, I'm not gonna rate it while I ponder (love that word).

This book is a weird one. It's not really anything new (for me, at least). Whilst I think this may be helpful to those who are just learning about climate change, there was a distinct lack of factual information to back up the claims. I found that to be rather frustrating as it makes the book less impactful. I do agree with what they say, somewhat, however skeptics
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I want to press a copy of this book into the hands of everyone I know.

I really needed this fierce, hopeful little book at the moment. For the last few months I've felt increasingly anxious and hopeless about climate change, but this is a reminder that what we need to do is clear and possible if we take responsibility now.
Eric Grote
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The major takeaway from this climate change book was optimism and attitude. Helped me with reframing my thoughts and narrative in the face of terrible news every day.
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Written by the head negotiator for the Paris Climate agreement. The book is a short, quick read. It assumes you already know most of the facts of climate change and so does not waste time trying to proves or convince. Instead, it focuses on the practicalities of when needs to be done and what the reader can do personally to help the process along. Some of the optimism of the book is based on finding technological solutions that do not exist yet. It does, however, recognize that economic growth a ...more
Anjum Haz
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
While I was reading the book, there has been unusual heavy raining here. People of my country living in the riverside lost their land because of flooding. On sunny days temperature rised upto 36°C where the app indicates "feeling like 44°"

The planet never exposed to such man-made calamities before. And standing at the eleventh hour the humanity should thrive to catch the last train to fight climate crisis. This is not easy. Not like a 100 meter sprint or a 90 minutes of football match. Our finis
Jemima Pett
This excellent book sets out practical ways in which WE (not they) can alleviate the climate crisis and keep global temperature rise to below the critical1.5 degrees by 2050. It’s OUR choice.

Stay under 1.5 degrees, and have hotter weather, but the capacity for food and living conditions that are livable.
Go above 1.5 degrees, and have runaway weather conditions, possible a 5 metre sea level rise (bye bye most several countries, and several US states, and nearly all of the Pacific Islands), and re
Roxanna López
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.8 stars.

A short and easy read with just enough facts to wet your appetite and a good dose of inspirational thoughts. This book reads like a self-help manual for climate activists and their allies. I liked it, but it left me wanting something more that I cannot put my finger on. Highly recommended for those who are in despair about the climate crisis and need some mood uplift.
Dan Connors
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-books
For all of history, mankind has seemed to live on the edge of disaster. The ever-changing climate of the earth has threatened to wipe humans out just like the dinosaurs several times. Luck has provided us with a relatively stable climate for the past 10,000 years, and we take it for granted at our peril. Our comfort zone is maddeningly tiny. If climate is too cold, we can't grow anything and survival depends on keeping warm. If the climate gets too hot, our bodies get over-stressed by the heat ...more
Ali Hassan
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is phenomenal work. If I would say it one of the best books of 2020, I would perhaps not be wrong. And for the people who are conscious of the atrocities of climatic changes, this book is not less than a gift.
"The Future We Choose" is written by the authors who are architects of the Paris Agreement of 2015, which compelled all the 195 countries of the world to gather together in Paris in December of that year. The world was willing to make a comprehensive strategy to keep the growing tempe
Eric Bea
Mar 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was written by the "architects of the Paris Agreement". Immediately, this should let the reader know what the authors' positions are. Unfortunately, this reads too much like a defense of the increasingly-untenable Paris Agreement (four years later, we are still no closer to completing the Paris Agreement rules, especially on Article 6) in the first two parts ("Two Worlds" and "Three Mindsets"). "Stubborn Optimism", "Endless Abundance", and "Radical Regeneration" sound more like somethi ...more
Jacob Aron
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Part blueprint for the next decade, part call to action and part self-help book, The Future We Choose is an important read in the run up to the COP26 climate negotiations, which will take place five years after the vital Paris agreement put together by the authors. Thought-provoking, though I couldn't agree with everything in the book - repeated calls for mediation and mindfulness seemed somewhat out of place.

ARC provided by NetGalley
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When someone writes an impassioned book about fighting climate change, it’s difficult to be overly critical of it if you are feeling like you’re of the same view. On the other hand, when it’s a short book that doesn’t have a lot of meat on the bones so to speak, it’s also hard to overly praise it. There’s a lot of broad information and advice in here and none of it is especially revelatory. The way it’s written had me thinking at one point that it might be good for high school students or someon ...more
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