Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity: drastic reduction of carbon emissions is vital if we are to avoid a catastrophe that devastates large parts of the world. Governments and businesses have been slow to act and individuals now need to take the lead. The Earth can absorb no more than 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year for every person on the planet if we are to keep temperature and rainfall change within tolerable limits. Yet from cars and holiday flights to household appliances and the food on our plates, Western consumer lifestyles leave each of us responsible for over 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year - four times what the Earth can handle. Individual action is essential if we want to avoid climate chaos. How to Live a Low-Carbon Life shows how easy it is to take responsibility, providing the first comprehensive, one-stop reference guide to calculating your CO2 emissions and reducing them to a sustainable 3 tonnes a year.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Getting from 12 Tonnes to 3 Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide per Person * The Extraordinary Cheapness of Fossil Fuels * The Scope for Government Action * The Inadequacy of Alternative Means of Reducing Emissions * No One Else Is Doing Much, So You'd Better Do Something Yourself * How Our Lives Generate Emissions and What We Can Do about It * Home Heating * Water Heating and Cooking * Lighting * Household Appliances * Car Travel * Public Transport * Air Travel * Food * Other Indirect Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions * Domestic Use of Renewable Energy * Cancelling Out Emissions * Conclusions * Afterword * Appendix: Sources of the Main Averages
Chris Goodall is chair of telecommunications software company Dynmark International, a member of the UK Competition Commission and Utilities Appeal Panel, and the Green Party‘s Parliamentary Candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a former director of Which? Ltd.
'This is the definitive guide to reducing your carbon footprint.' New Scientist 'Goodall's well-rounded view of the green world also encompasses the bigger-picture issues that governments and societies face. So if you're fed up with reading about all the little things you can do for the planet and fancy getting stuck into some proper green living, this is the book for you.' Your Environment (Environment Agency UK) 'Valuable ammunition for those who want to do something about global warming.' The Guardian 'Chris Goodall's thoroughly researched book sets out in detail how we can each help the planet pull back from the abyss - not through any high-powered international initiatives, but by ordinary individual actions in our daily lives. We ignore his advice at our peril.' Robert Napier, Chief Executive WWF-UK 'This is by far the best guide to the carbon implications of daily living that I've seen. Chris Goodall has both done his homework and presented it all in an accessible way. This book will give you a good understanding of what the biggest carbon issues are in your lifestyle, how the emissions arise and what you can do about them. He's transparent in his analysis and about where his data comes from, so you can make up your own mind whether you agree with him at every step.' Mike Berners-lee 'As this admirable guide demonstrates so clearly, a low-carbon lifestyle can be elegant, fun, rewarding and save us all a lot of money - as well as the planet!' Jonathon Porritt, CBE (Founder Director of Forum for the Future and author of Capitalism as if the World Matters) 'Should be snapped up by schools whose teachers are already busily outlining the dangers facing our environment...an invaluable guide to halting climate change.' Education Journal, April 2007 'This is one of the best books on its topic that has been published for some time. The details are clear, the writing is good and it speaks of the sensible and practical. t will appeal to students on a range of levels from the clarity of writing (always good to see, and rarer than we'd like) to the idea of calculations (think multi-disciplinary) and the overall idea of actually getting up and doing something. Get a copy (and make sure your library does). Better still - do something! Ecological and Environmental Education (British Ecological Society) 'Chris Goodall takes a no nonsense, financial approach to low-carbon living - what is the cheapest way to cut carbon emissions, what is practical and what is just wishful thinking? Therein lies the key difference between this book and the many published before arguing why we should reduce our carbon footprint, or advocating one solution over an other for ideological rather than economic reasons.' Peter Shield www.naturalchoices.co.uk 'This is a brilliant book. 300 odd pages bristling with facts, statistics and meticulous analysis of the make up of our average UK carbon footprint and how we can reduce it to a sustainable level. I will be using this book as a reference on a weekly if not daily basis for blogging, work and checking my own random thoughts.' Gareth Kane, Environmental Consultant 'If you�ve ever felt overwhelmed by the multiplicity of environmentally conscious choices you have to make every day, then try this book for size...For both sustainable construction students and professionals, this book is a useful read, not least because you can take time out to think about other aspects of carbon generation (food miles, for example), but also because it won�t be long before you�re faced with a client who has read it from cover to cover.' Get Sust 'This thorough and wide-ranging handbook provides all the information needed for people and families to understand their impacts on the world�s climate...[w]ritten in an optimistic tone, it shows how easy it is to take responsibility and reduce our personal carbon emissions.' CIRIA Newsletter, Mid-June Highlights, 2007 'An absolute mine of information on virtually everything to do with global warming and climate change...this is the one-stop reference for detailed information, statistics and hard facts.' Women's Environmental Network 'A must for people worried about the effects of global warming and determined to do something about it.' Food Ethics, Spring 2008, Volume 3 Issue 1 'Climate change isn't someone else's problem, we all have to play our part. It's time for us all to go on a carbon diet, and this book shows you how.' Charles Dunstone (CEO of Carphone Warehouse and a founding partner in The Climate Group's partnership to promote climate change solutions) 'An excellent, practical and reassuring guidebook to the most important issue on everybody's to-do list this year. Why not buy a few and distribute them to your friends next time they wring their hands and ask 'What can I do?'' Green World