How many lightbulbs does it take to change a planet?

Problem is, how many people it takes to make the change?
Problem is, how many people it takes to make the change?

95, according to Tony Juniper, Executive Director of Friends of the Earth in UK, in his book of the same title. When I first saw this book at Central Library, I thought it had tips and nitty-gritty details about how one can do his part for the environment in his daily actions. Coming from his background as an activist, this book is far from a step-by-step guide but instead a huge tome for policymakers to think about the many environmental issues that plague us ranging from climate change to biodiversity. His perspective is very British but the vast range of recommendations are very useful in any context. Some of his 95 ideas are quite overlapping and repetitive and not all are very solidly supported by data, but otherwise he makes quite good arguments for his recommendations. He infuses a lot of his personal experiences with Friends of the Earth, and it touches me to see how much has been done by activist groups for the environment, despite its being David in a David-versus-Goliath battle against Big Government and Big Multinationals.

I cant possibly list all 95 ideas here, but I have spent the past few days compiling them into Word document. I dont own this book after all, and it will be good for me to remember and keep in mind all these ideas that can come in very useful in future if I decide to go into environmental activism. An idea I found interesting is the creation of corridors for wildlife to migrate as a result of climate change, rather than creating static, fixed-border reserves that do not allow animals to migrate poleward for instance in the event of rising temperatures due to global warming. It seemed like quite a “duh!” solution but it has not been implemented yet. His being an expert on birds brings another dimension to his ideas, which care a lot for biodiversity and bring a very local, on-the-ground view about the effects of environmental ruin on wildlife.

The book is not just a must-read for environmentalists and environment activists but also for policymakers and politicians who need to know and be concerned about the environment because of its wide-ranging impact not just on biodiversity but also on equality and democracy for example. He supports his ideas with justifications that are economic as well, so he is not exactly one who advocates for a poorer quality of life for us all so that Earth can be saved.

Go borrow this book from the library now!

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