Book review: ‘Out of the Wreckage’ by George Monbiot

Out of the Wreckage book review George Monbiot

Our political system has been terrible at solving our environmental problems. Journalist and author George Monbiot proposes a new way. 

Buy the book $16.95
Buy the audiobook $23.50

It’s not surprising George Monbiot has written this book. His regular column on the environment in The Guardian is always a great read – cutting, well researched, eloquent – but in total, well, a tad depressing. Or should I say challenging?

Challenging as with each article you think: we (humans) are in deep shit. Monbiot articulates the many, major things going wrong on the environmental front. And to make matters worse, there are solutions staring us in the face.

The underlying snag, as Monbiot so often points out, is our dumb politics getting in the way.

No wonder then Monbiot started thinking about changing politics itself. You know, so it might help make life on the planet better, rather than worse.

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Best Environmental Books of All Time

Best environmental books

Here in one place you’ll find the best environmental books. It’s a comprehensive list of the most important, influential, interesting and thought-provoking books on the environment and sustainability.

We’ve put these in categories for you – so you can seek out books in a specialty area you might be interested in. You’ll also see here the range of issues around the environment – everything from the big issues of addressing climate change and new economic thinking to matters closer to home – like food and cities.

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The Best Environmental Events in the World

best environmental events world

We’ve compiled a calendar of the world’s best environmental events and awareness days …

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The Best Environmental Events in Australia

Environmental events Australia

Bob Brown at the Sustainable Living Festival (Pic: SLF)

If you have an interest in the environment and sustainability, it makes sense to get along to, or get involved in, an environmental event. Events are a great way to get ideas, be inspired, meet like-minded people, and maybe even make a small difference.

Home base for us is Down Under. We’ve compiled a list of the best environmental events and awareness days in Australia.

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Michael Reynolds – inspiring words from the maverick eco architect

Michael Reynolds was the focus of the award-winning film ‘Garbage Warrior’ – a documentary about his 40 year struggle to build sustainable houses.

The Environment Show recently interviewed Reynolds as part of our new series on environment leaders. We found so many great Reynolds quotes in our research, we thought we’d compile them for good keeping. (We couldn’t bear to let them get away.)

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The Best Environmental Films of All Time

Best Environmental Films

Al Gore in the iconic ‘An Inconvenient Truth’

Up until now, it’s been hard to track down the best environmental movies. Sure, there’s the odd ‘top 10’ list here and there. Those lists tend to be short and pick off a few of the obvious films (like An Inconvenient Truth.) But in fact there are many great green films out there.

In this list, you’ll find a comprehensive round-up of the best environmental movies – new and old – here in one place. We’re up to 100 environmental films and counting as we keep adding the best of the new releases.

To make sense of this big list we’ve grouped them by topic or genre. These categories begin to give you a feel for the range and depth of green films. The first films here are fictional feature films, however, if you keep going you’ll find this list is predominantly documentaries.

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Is Global Warming Speeding Up?

Climate change record

New figures released by NASA have stunned the world’s climate scientists. The average global temperature for February this year has smashed the previous record. A record set only the month before.

This comes on the back of the warmest year on record 2015, which broke the previous record set in 2014.

And if you’ve been following this story, you’ll know already there are other worrying changes – like the Arctic melting faster than all expectations over the last few years.

So are we seeing a speeding up of climate change? And is the long stretch of warm weather we’ve felt here in Sydney linked to the global picture?

The Environment Show caught up with Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, a leading climate scientist from Germany’s Potsdam University. In this podcast he answers those questions and outlines how his own country is getting on with the job of implementing one of the most important solutions – renewable energy.

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The Fall Of An Environmental Leader: Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed

Who is Mohamed Nasheed and why does he matter?

Until last week Nasheed was President of The Maldives – a string of 1200 tiny islands in the Indian Ocean where the average elevation is just 5 feet above sea level.

After Nasheed came to office in 2008, he made world headlines when he declared the Maldives was in the market for a new homeland for its doomed population – given predictions of sea level rise due to global warming.

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Compare The Cost: More Natural Disasters v. Doing Something About Climate Change

This dramatic video shows the beginnings of Queensland’s “inland tsunami”. This body of water, along with other tributaries, flowed into the Lockyer Valley and killed 14 people last week. From there it went on to inundate Brisbane, the city I grew up in. The worst floods there since 1974.

When I was a kid, they told us the ’74 flood was a once in 100 year event. That was 37 years ago.

Did climate change cause the recent floods here in Australia?

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Why We Need A “Fundamental Shift” To A Sustainable Economy

Professor Jeff Sachs: "We need to re-think economic development."

Last year I heard a speech by Professor Jeff Sachs which crystalised a lot of things for me. (Sachs is a Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.)

I’m giving a speech myself soon at The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. It’s for Design Week and it’s about ‘the importance of creativity for sustainability’. In preparing I’ve found myself coming back to Sachs’s talk at Sydney Uni.

Reason being Sachs puts the whole damn thing in context. He describes how we got to where we are now, how special our time is, and how we are at a watershed moment in human history where we’re going to have to make a fundamental shift to a sustainable economy.

In this post I’ve included a synopsis of the Sach’s speech and links to a podcast of it. I’ve also posted some notes from my proposition that creativity is going to be key in re-thinking and changing how we live.

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