“Climate of Hope” was published immediately after the 2016 presidential election in the United States. Its appearance could not have been more timely.
Authored by two men on opposite ends of the American political spectrum, this book argues for climate change policies in a way that’s neither conservative nor liberal. Michael Bloomberg, the former Republican mayor of New York City and founder of a major Wall Street corporation, makes a compelling (if at times overwhelmingly dense) case that benefiting the environment is a sound financial decision. Carl Pope, an executive with the Sierra Club for several decades, provides more of the science behind climate change theory, and describes the successes and failures he’s witnessed as an advocate for Earth’s environment.
Both authors recognize the environmental threat posed by the Trump administration, yet argue that effective climate change policies are best implemented by cities and states, rather than Washington bureaucrats. They also claim that the best way to address climate skeptics (you know, the people who refuse to believe the data that show the rise in planetary temperatures) is not to warn of potential hazards, but rather to relate success stories. The improvement of the atmosphere’s ozone layer, for example, demonstrates how environmental policies, such as the reduction and eventual banning of chlorofluorocarbons, can have an immediate impact on the planetary climate.
If you don’t believe climate change is real and has at least partial human causes, don’t bother reading this book — you’ve already demonstrated the impermeability of your so-called intellect. But if you believe the data that’s been presented, and are looking for inspiration in this politically dispiriting time, you will find a lot to like here.