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Article  •  9 November 2022


A sustainability officer shares why everyone should read Greta Thunberg’s new book

Jordan Artery, Sustainability Officer at Penguin Random House ANZ, shares why she loves The Climate Book.

As Sustainability Officer at Penguin Random House ANZ, it’s no surprise that Jordan Artery is constantly trying to spread awareness about climate change. Fittingly, she is currently reading The Climate Book by Greta Thunberg and has been fervently recommending it everywhere she can. She has sent out email blasts to her colleagues, pressured her family to pick it up, decided to gift it to friends for Christmas and even answered this Q&A for us about why she loves this book so much! 

Read on to hear from Jordan herself about why The Climate Book should be your next read. 

What is one aspect of The Climate Book that you are enjoying?

So many people have written pieces for this book, but every 50 pages or so, Greta has her say. I love how she passionately provides personal insight into the topics discussed. After reading the facts written by many scientists, you get to read an emotional and moving piece by Greta. It keeps me inspired.

What are 3 interesting takeaways you’ve gotten from the book?

  1. The wealthiest 10% contribute to 48% of global greenhouse gas emissions. I knew the number was big but not that big!
  2. Urban environments only make up 0.6% of the total global land use – the rest is non-forest vegetation, forests, grazing and cropland.
  3. Climate change and conflicts are so closely linked. Violent crimes and civil unrest increase during warm periods, which may only cause further conflict when resources decline, natural disasters increase and people become anxious. . . another reason why it’s so important to solve the climate crisis!

Who should read this book?

Anyone and everyone! I understand that as a big book it’s not everyone’s cup of tea,but the amount of information it provides is incredible. This book summarises my entire undergraduate degree – that’s a lot of scientific papers I had to read! Anyone who loves learning, is interested in helping solve the climate crisis, or is concerned about our future should read this book.

What is The Climate Book about and how is it written?

It’s about every little piece of the climate change puzzle. Climate change is such a complex topic and can be hard to digest. It's also really scary to approach, given the countless influences on and impacts of climate change. 

This book has a small 1-5 page chapter (or mini-essay) on most of the relevant topics, giving you a detailed look into the climate crisis. It’s written in a way that lets you decide how you want to read it. You can read one essay at a time, picking and choosing what you’re most interested in. For a full overview, read from front to back beginning with 'The Deep History of Carbon Dioxide' and ending with 'Mending our Relationship with the Earth'. The book offers easy-to-understand essays on everything you can think of, from soil and floods, to consumerism and equity.

Is the book approachable? 

Absolutely. It can look quite big (and overwhelming) to begin with but once you open it, you see it is broken into small, digestible sections, littered with graphs, photos and stand-out quotes.

As a sustainability officer, you already know a lot about climate change, but is there anything in the book that surprised you? 

There is a chapter by Margaret Atwood called 'Practical Utopias' that describes the role of the creative arts in providing hope and solutions. Throughout history, the arts have served as a space for people to express their political views and difficult emotions, providing utopias (or dystopias) to which people can escape. Most of my work and past studies have focussed on facts and practicality, but now more than ever, we need hope and inspiration. Literary works and the arts are super important in generating that hope, and this chapter was a solid reminder to me that the climate crisis involves everyone. Each of us has the capability to help!  


Are you  more of a fiction fan? Check out some of the most popular cli-fi (climate fiction) books

Feature Title

The Climate Book
The world's leading climate activist has gathered over one hundred voices to tell the biggest story in the world
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