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Articles, News & Updates

Earth Day 2013

To commemorate Earth Day 2013 we have put together a selection of quotes from our authors – some of the leading voices on the topics being covered. Our Earth Day online catalog is also available for you to browse, featuring a list of some of our most relevant books.

The theme of this year's Earth Day is The Face of Climate Change. Find out more here.


"We can no longer 'let it be'. Letting things be is the thinking that has got us to our present situation. As natural and human systems come under intense pressure to 'let it be' will no longer serve. But what? Here comes the main chance. This is a problem worthy of our species. For humanity to act as one on sustainable agendas towards global renewal. Not a lot to ask? Of course it is but, without an inspired and inspiring goal we are not going to realize our potential and, in that realization know that our potential is all wrapped up with so much more. Not so much 'let it be' as 'make it happen'." – Simon Bell, co-author of both Resilient Participation and Sustainability Indicators

"Earth Day is particularly important in today's world as it enables a refocusing of attention on the plight of many communities that are facing loss of resilience based on complex processes linked to environmental degradation (caused by both human and natural processes), globalization that may be both a blessing and a curse for enhancing resilience of communities, and political and economic instability that weakens opportunities for local stakeholders to improve response processes that may help increase community-level resilience. Probably never before has the importance of understanding challenges that affect resilience of vulnerable communities been greater than in a world that is facing ever greater environmental, socio-economic and political threats at different geographical scales." – Geoff Wilson, author of Community Resilience and Environmental Transitions

"The transportation sector has made no real effort to decarbonise, and its carbon emissions continue to grow. This growth will continue, as car ownership in cities globaly increases substantially over the next 20 years. Radical action is needed now, using technology to reduce the need to travel, innovative urban planning to shorten trip distances, substantial investment in public transportation, walking and cycling, and limiting the use of cars through pricing and demand management. The car itself should be redesigned to be small, shared or hired, slow, suitable for short distances and possibly electric. Different combinations of all these opportunities need to be taken in every city to achieve sustainable mobility." – David Banister, co-author of Transport, Climate Change and the City

“The theme of Earth Day 2013 is ‘the face of climate change’. But climate change has many faces; it means different things to different people in different places. Some of these are suggested in my book Exploring Climate Change through Science and In Society which takes a unique look at the recent history of climate change as an idea that has induced fear and hope, conflict and cooperation, apathy and activism.” – Mike Hulme, author of Exploring Climate Change through Science and in Society

'"Recent scientific studies warn of the chasm between our efforts to combat climate change and the internationally proclaimed ambition to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Current national emissions mitigation policies will lock us into a world transformed by global average warming of 4 degrees or more by the end of this century, with calamitous social, economic and ecological consequences well before then. We must ask our governments whether these outcomes are their aim. Perhaps then the ‘ambition gap’ will be bridged and emissions cut dramatically during this next critical decade." – Peter Christoff, editor of Four Degrees of Global Warming

"Earth Day 2013 is dedicated to climate change. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our times. It is not a distant vision of a troubled future, but very much a reality of today that requires urgent action. It is therefore essential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions now to tackle climate change. In addition, enabling development in a carbon constrained world requires a new development model, which focuses less on economic growth and exploiting finite fossil fuel resources and instead focuses more on fair and equitable human development within the limits of our planet. Low carbon development is urgently needed as a new development model, which aims to mitigate climate change and achieve development simultaneously." – Frauke Urban and Johan Nordensvärd, editors of Low Carbon Development

"In 1965, ecologist Rachel Carson asked us to nurture a child's sense of wonder about their natural world. This year on Earth Day I suggest we also need to nurture a child's sense of wonder about their democratic world and the extraordinary possibilities of ordinary people acting together to effect change for a more just and sustainable, common future." – Bronwyn Hayward, author of Children, Citizenship and Environment

“The theme of Earth Day this year is ‘The Face of Climate Change’. It’s a face we claim to know: a warming planet, rising sea levels, displaced peoples, endangered species, violent storms, drought-stricken crops. But is this the real face of climate change, or are these just the symptoms of a deeper problem – our pursuit of economic growth at all costs? If we’re serious about tackling climate change and the other big environmental problems then we need a new economic model, one where the central goal is enough, not more. The good news is that hundreds of researchers around the world have been working on the changes that would be needed to achieve such an economy. The bad news is that there are many vested interests aligned against achieving it. So let’s make this the Earth Day where we put an end to the madness of more, and embrace the wisdom of enough.” – Dan O’Neill and Rob Dietz, authors of Enough Is Enough

"Over 40 years after the original Earth Day, we are still grappling with key questions related to how to manage water, land, and other resources to better serve equity and sustainability goals—concerns that are even more important with emergent realities such as those associated with climate change. For water in particular, international consensus has increasingly emphasized the sense that water is scarce, and that markets and participation are necessary for improved governance. Yet, we oftentimes know very little about how these ‘realities’ came to be, or how they play out in diverse contexts." – Leila Harris, co-editor of Contemporary Water Governance in the Global South

"On Earth Day, let's face the future with confidence. Look towards a clean, green, low-carbon world. We already have the tools - renewable energy, sustainable farming, recycling, energy efficiency, forest conservation programmes. Now we need to inspire behavior change: stop over-consumption; learn that less can be more. Work to share that vision, and there is no limit to what we can achieve." – Alison Smith, author of The Climate Bonus