environment | November 28, 2012

Winning The Fight Against Climate Change: Alex Steffen's Carbon Zero

Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet, the newest project from Alex Steffen, "redefines what being a successful city means in a rapidly warming and increasingly urbanized world," reads an article in TreeHugger. They describe Steffen's work on environmentalism and the future as being a "source of inspiration." In the article, Steffen sits down with the outlet to share his inspiration for the project that began on kickstarter and is now being released as an ebook. 

While many people are now starting to have a serious discussion about the future of the planet, the biggest problem tends to be that there are few practical steps that the average person feels they can follow to make a difference. "The idea behind Carbon Zero," Steffen says, "is to give the reader a way to think about the systems and patterns that make up our cities, and how to actually change things at a level that matters." However, he says that the book is not meant to be a blueprint that promises to provide a foolproof solution to beating climate change. Rather, it's an exploration of different ways of thinking about climate change meant to get the ball rolling and provide people with somewhere to start in terms of making changes in their own city.  "Ultimately," he says, "it's an invitation to the reader to imagine actually winning the climate fight." 

His hope is that the book will act as a jumping off point to get people thinking critically about climate change, and inspire people to work towards unique solutions that will work in their cities. "What we need," Steffen argues, "is a million people pondering these questions, adapting them to local realities, and working on smart, rapid implementation." The book, he explains, should bring to light the need for a fundamental shift in mindset to battle climate problems. Steffen merges together practical sense, visionary insight and humor in his writing and speeches to draw people in to the important material he covers. He tells us why we need to make changes now to secure our future, while also helping us to think critically about how we can achieve those changes.