Escapism And Inspiration


A bit of escapism has always been important and during lockdown I discovered some inspirational books that I could escape into whilst at home. So, for your enjoyment too, here are some good non-fiction reads that I would recommend:

“Humankind” by Rutger Bregman

Recently published, “Humankind” arrived at a good moment: the coronavirus crisis has displayed people at their best at the same time as we stand on the cusp of rebuilding something different. There’s no reason to be fatalistic about civil society: while markets work best in some cases and government control is better in others, underpinning it all there has to be a strong communal foundation of citizens who decide to work together. In our blog post “Wilful Kindness” we explored how Bregman’s thesis on positive human nature applies to how we should take climate action locally.

“Sapiens” by Yuval Harari

Homo sapiens rules the world because it is the only animal that can believe in things that exist purely in its own imagination, such as gods, nation states, money and corporations. Insightful in revealing how strongly we hold onto such myths, this book also sheds light on how we can break out from our imaginary constructs and move on. The climate crisis is a choice. And people have the choice and collective power to take urgent action.

“Turning The Tide On Plastic” by Lucy Siegle

A book to read while lying on the beach, before you get up and do something about that annoying piece of rubbish someone else has left in the sand. A very enjoyable read about what more we can do to stem the tide of plastic pollution. Lucy is very passionate about this subject, as you can hear when she spoke at a recent Carbon Copy online event on How Communities Can Enable The Circular Economy. If you believe recycling is the first thing you should do, instead of the last resort, then have a read or a listen.

“The Patterning Instinct” by Jeremy Lent

Packs an almighty punch. Instead of the traditional approach of assuming that the direction of human history is determined, ultimately, by material causes – geography, economy, technology – the author pursues a “cognitive history” that shows how the fundamental human urge to endow our surroundings with meaning ultimately drives people’s actions. With this perspective in mind, the book looks into the future and proposes how we can forge a sustainable future.

“Our House Is On Fire” by Malena Ernman, Greta Thunberg, Beata Ernman, Svante Thunberg.

The subtitle is “Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis”. Written by a remarkable family and told through the voice of an iconoclastic mother, Our House Is on Fire is the story of how they fought their problems at home by taking climate action. Life and work always gets in the way, if you let it. It’s a moving reflection on what really matters in life.

Each of these books can transport you to another time and place with their fine details and colourful writing. Lastly, my own book:

“Civic Revolution. A Citizen’s Guide” by Ric Casale

Civic Revolution is the prequel to Carbon Copy. In the words of Matthew Taylor (Head of the RSA), it is “a timely and readable call to arms to people who want to make life better in their local community but also understand the need for more fundamental system change.” The ecological genius of a city is that it can enable us to live better collectively while consuming, wasting and polluting less. Adds Sir Tim Smit, “Civic Revolution is about the clash between our culture and our wellbeing, and how this dissonance might be resolved.” The book is a citizen’s guide for turning the place where you live into the seat of the solution. All proceeds from the sale of this book donated to Carbon Copy.

I hope you will also be transported and inspired. As always with books, please consider buying a digital copy on your e-reader as it has a lighter impact on the environment or buying from local and independent bookshops.

Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

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