The Future We Choose: The Stubborn Optimist’s Guide to the Climate Crisis

Written by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac


OPL BOOK SUMMARY:  The Future We Choose makes it clear that two dates are essential to combatting the climate crisis: 2030 and 2050. By 2050, humanity must have stopped emitting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the planet can naturally absorb through the ecosystems. To do this, we must begin significantly reducing carbon emissions now, with the goal to reduce our emissions by 50% by 2030. This decade is critical to mitigating the worst of the climate crisis. We must take action now.

Figueres and Rivett-Carnac give us a glimpse of the dire consequences should we not meet our goal. They state that the majority of people understand and “acknowledge the evidence but take no action because they don’t know what to do, or because it is far easier not to think about climate change. It is scary and overwhelming.” It is this global majority that can make a difference and we need to act.  Where do you fall on the climate crisis emotional spectrum? The Future We Choose puts the onus on us, on humanity, by showing how our choices and actions will ultimately doom or save the planet.

Figueres and Rivett-Carnac share 10 actions we can take to move towards meeting our 2030 reduction targets. One of them is changing your mindset to see yourself as a citizen, not a consumer.  Changing this point of view lets you step back and think. Is this something I really need? Is this good for my quality of life and the planet? Changing your point of view can open new doors and enable you to take small actions for change.

The Future We Choose is both scary and optimistic.  Figueres and Rivett-Carnac suggests ambitious ways to make a difference.

Available used at BetterWorldBooks.


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