A hopeful, inspiring, and honest take on the environment
Yes, the world faces substantial environmental challenges — climate change, pollution, and extinction. But the surprisingly good news is that we have solutions to these problems. In the past 50 years, a remarkable number of environmental problems have been solved, while substantial progress is ongoing on others.
The Optimistic Environmentalist chronicles these remarkable success stories. Endangered species — from bald eagles to gray whales — pulled back from the precipice of extinction. Thousands of new parks, protecting billions of hectares of land and water. The salvation of the ozone layer, vital to life on Earth. The exponential growth of renewable energy powered by wind, water, and sun. The race to be the greenest city in the world. Remarkable strides in cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink. The banning of dozens of the world’s most toxic chemicals. A circular economy where waste is a thing of the past. Past successes pave the way for even greater achievements in the future.
Providing a powerful antidote to environmental despair, this book inspires optimism, leading readers to take action and exemplifying how change can happen. A bright green future is not only possible, it’s within our grasp.
While many environmentalists wring their hands in despair, Boyd (The Right to a Healthy Environment), an environmental lawyer, remains optimistic. A lot has changed for the better in recent decades, he writes, including an explosion of affordable, renewable energy sources and the resurgence of endangered species such as the bald eagle and black-footed ferret. Boyd provides examples of companies, cities, and entire countries working to make the world a better place for coming generations. This isn't about teenagers cleaning up a beach; it's about massive industrial changes at the cost of billions of dollars, toughened government regulations, and impressive technological advances. Boyd describes change on a sweeping scale that filters down to touch individual lives. Far from intimidating, his vision is electrifying and inspiring. Boyd's book is a reminder that "saving the world" isn't an obscure ideal or a nefarious liberal agenda. It's necessary, practical, and possible. And he adds that anyone can get in on the action by buying a stylish, recyclable office chair, installing a rooftop solar panel, or eating organic soy. This solidly researched and informative book is also a pleasure to read, especially in a world where bad news often drowns out the good.