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The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  265 ratings  ·  42 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
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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
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.
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
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 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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. Its 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
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 ...more
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 two worlds we would end up with if we don't take drastic actions to
Ryan Mizzen
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This offers a sense of hope about climate change. The authors also speak about the importance of mindset and taking time for ourselves when we need it and I think that's absolutely crucial.
Dawn M. Gaetke
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just the right balance of sobering facts and reasons for hope

I have been studying sustainable management for over two years. The authors have helped me articulate in just a few hours what months of studying could not. I will be returning here often for persuasive quotes.
Marie-Helene Fasquel
Thank you Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, Manilla Press and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this amazing book! I have been sensitive to environmental issues for decades and we, as a family, do everything we can to improv eour way of living in order to protect the Earth, so this was an excellent read!
We cannot wait any longer and this book is pointing out what could happen if our leaders and if we individually do not act now. I found the book informative but also engaging with
Charlotte Jones
*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Like a lot of people, I am trying to change my lifestyle to better the environment and this was the perfect book to pick up. In conjunction with Greta Thunberg's No One is Too Small to Make a Difference which I read earlier this year, this is was a great book to read to learn more about what I can actually do about the climate crisis.

As well as setting out scenarios of what would actually happen should we
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac, Bonnier Books UK and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review of The Future We Choose Surviving The Climate Crisis.

This excellent informative book is divided into several sections. A section describes the earth in 2050 given two scenarios. With the failure of COP25 to resolve Article 6, much of the east coast of Australia on fire and a general lack of political will, the scenario of devastation seems to be the most probable.

There is
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. They painted vastly different views of the world in the future, based on action we could take right now.

But it turns out that this is only a small part of the book. The book is OK...short, if nothing else. It does provide a bit of motivation and ideas as to small steps each one of us can take individually. But on the whole it's an
Barbara Piotrowska
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
First, full disclosure: I was waiting for this book since I heard about its inception. I'm an avid listener of the podcast run by the two authors together with Paul Dickinson and in general, a reader deeply concerned and motivated by the topic.

What is lovely about the book is the stark motivation and clarity of solutions it proposes. The three parts (the choice, the attitude/philosophy necessary to adopt and the actions for different time horizons) are very well laid out and well-argued. As
I wish I could just hand this to my composition students and tell them to read it over the weekend. Its a model of persuasion.

Early, authors Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnan (Figueres was on the ground floor of the Paris Accords that our Cheeto-in-Chief pulled us out of recently) give us a Worst Case Scenario for Planet Earth: syrupy air, lack of resources, a constant barrage of collapsing ecosystems in the news. Eventually a kind of living death in the industrial world. I read it and
Saptarshi Ghosh
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everybody needs to read this book. URGENT. NOW !!!! I URGE WE ALL DO!!!

2050 could be the year the world is on fire, coastal countries inundated, irregular weather patterns devastate nations with droughts and floods, the soil no longer bountiful, the air deadly and poisonous, and the global population has reached 10 Billion. Imagine the quality of life in that future we choose today. Climate Change is as real as it gets.

It took extraordinary amount of time and billion different factors for the
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an optimistic book about climate change. It is extremely accessible and a joy to read.

Christiana Figueres, former head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (who led the Paris Agreement) and her lead adviser, Tom Rivett-Carnac jointly lay out their thinking in relation to the path ahead. They argue that it's not too late to solve the problem of climate change; that if we can get cracking over the next decade we can save the planet. We need to halve global emissions by 2030 so
Mar 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Short, practical, realistic but hopeful...The "behind-the-scenes" look at the Paris Climate Accord negotiations is certainly inspiring and builds confidence that monumental change can happen. I especially appreciated the "10 Actions" section and think my high school readers would too. The authors strike a nice balance between individual action and collective movement-building/voter strategy, smartly linking these approaches and pointing out how they inform one another. The authors are careful ...more
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When someone writes an impassioned book about fighting climate change, its difficult to be overly critical of it if you are feeling like youre of the same view. On the other hand, when its a short book that doesnt have a lot of meat on the bones so to speak, its also hard to overly praise it. Theres a lot of broad information and advice in here and none of it is especially revelatory. The way its written had me thinking at one point that it might be good for high school students or someone ...more
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
Tatjana Dzambazova
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
a much needed book of hope and call for very concrete actions that we ALL can do to to stop the frightening future scenario of climate change. through facts and beautiful stories that support the validity of the various calls to action, @cfigueras and @tomcarnac send a clear message that we all own the future and that we can still do something about it. We have to get away from the mode tgat the problem is too unsurmounyable and DO something. the book filled me with a hope and a list of action ...more
Michele D
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An imperative MUST READ for every citizen of this world. A succinct, amazingly scary revelatory prediction of whats to come to us all if we , each, dont choose to commit and participate in actions to save our world and our species. I screech at the thought that my actions now could doom our planet, vanquish all humanity for all time in the next 10-20 years, do you? Read this book. You cant help but embrace the authors vision and explicit action plan. Theres much we can do alone and together to ...more
Cristina Balan
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
One of the best motivational, solution-oriented, realist-optimistic book Ive read (actually listened in) lately. Its about embeding hope, agreement, change, commitment, leadership and shared existence in the new future we should build once Covid-19 is over.

The two authors, both having amazing pasts and being so present in their own lives, did an amazing job. Kudos!

One quote I want to take with me: From this moment despair ends and tactics begin. It is a mural thought attributed to Banksy in
Joseph Torsney
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We face a critical decade as a species, we must halve our carbon emissions by 2030 if we are to be on track to limit global warming by +1.5C. This is our immediate priority. We may feel powerless against this monumental challenge, but The Future We Choose presents a 'practical, optimistic, and empowering' call to arms. I implore everyone to read it.

But don't take it from me, take it from the countless public figures on the inside covers that urge you to do the same.

We can do this together, now.
Thomas Boulben Meyer
This books is quite straight forward; it lays the current problems from all angles of how our society deals and talks about climate change, and proceeds to show the concequences of our unaction if we don't act NOW. It gives a true but hopeful vision of our future, I repeat, if we act now.
The cool thing the author gives ideas for the people completely oblivious on the things they could do or change in their way of living to lower their carbon footprint, and that's appreciated.
Donna Jones
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Everyone must read this book. Climate change is a crisis -- our planet will go on existing but humanity will not -- at least other than a few tribes who eek out an existence on the few places on our planet that can support human life. The authors paint a realistic picture of what life will be like if we continue as is, and what it will be like if we take action now. And, because the topic is overwhelming, global, and caused by so many things, we often throw up our hands and give up because we ...more
George Cook
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A rare positive book about the climate crisis. It starts by describing two worlds in the year 2050, the decimated world that we are currently heading to or the one we can still achieve it we turn this around. We need to half our emission in the next decade if we are to do this. Sets the reader a challenge to reduce their emissions by 60% and how to do it. I will be sharing this one around.
Charlotte Newman-West
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Short, easy to ready and definitely the clearest and most powerful thing I've read on climate change. It not only explains the emergency we face and the science behind it, but gives clear and practical ideas on how each of us can choose the future we want.
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