Climate Opportunities Knocking at Your Door

William Mebane

Publisher: William Meband Pages: 199 Price: (paperback) $27.84 ISBN: 9781940387093 Reviewed: July, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

It’s hard to think of an issue with more literally far-reaching implications than climate change, and its treatment in these essays originally written for Wall Street International Magazine is just as wide-ranging and weighty.

This globe-traversing book—and its equally peripatetic author, a Texas-born, Italy-based energy expert—-covers a wide array of topics, delving into psychology to suggest that the “toxic,” “warrior role model” for men has driven feckless energy use, and into politics to assert that “dark money” influence in Washington has hindered meaningful government action.

However, author William Mebane also finds inspiration in individuals like climate activist Greta Thunberg and in movements like those for racial justice and labor rights, expressing hope that broad-based groups can unite around the climate issue.

Similarly, Mebane doesn’t succumb to cynicism about government’s role. He blasts the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord, but in counterpoint praises the EU’s Green Deal push for a six-year, 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

On a less lofty plane, Mebane stresses throughout that spending more time in green spaces can be pleasant and even therapeutic. But despite the suggestion that “if people spent time in forests … they would want to protect them,” this idea seems only tenuously connected to the society-wide action required to transform how we all access and use energy.

The book loses its way with some other out-of-place digressions, such as an unrewardingly extended analogy between Breaking Bad and the “epic moral degradation [of] Big Oil and Gas’s coverup and making of climate warming.” And at times Mebane’s prose stumbles, as when he predicts “gardens in Seoul will be raised with good care and turned into culture and projects representing the city.”

However, such issues aside, Mebane makes his ideas clear, and his effort to express them in terms of pop culture and everyday life is commendable. Despite sometimes struggling to pull its thematic threads together, this treatise should strike a chord with sympathetic readers.

Also available as an ebook.

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