It’s easier when you know

Someone is going to ask you. They probably already have.

A co-worker, a boss, a politician, a kid… they’ll ask you about sustainability, the climate, investments, choices to be made about the future.

This is the Cliff’s Notes and guidebook for that moment.

We make choices every day. Choices about what to buy, whether to recycle something, what to drive, who to vote for, how to produce and whether to go for more or for less. We make choices about the future, often with considerable consequences.

But we’re confused. Often deliberately, by forces that would rather we didn’t make up our own minds, who prefer that we don’t learn what need to learn. And sometimes we’re confused simply as a side effect of a complicated situation made even more complicated by a flurry of charts, graphs and opinions.

We need to make up our own minds.

Over the last 9 months, I’ve learned an enormous amount. Changed my mind about things I was sure were true. I’ve discovered thoughtful analysis and significant falsehoods. When I volunteered to help organize the Carbon Almanac, I didn’t know that thousands of people in more than 90 countries would volunteer to join the process, and I’m so glad they did.

And today’s the day the book arrives in the US and Canada, with worldwide editions coming soon. (I’d avoid the audio edition, as it’s really designed to be a browsable, shareable almanac.)

We have two slogans:

Don’t take our word for it and It’s not too late.

You’re already being asked to decide. Knowing what’s going on and being able to look up authoritative data gives you the chance to make up your own mind. There are more than 1,000 sources, all online, all organized in the Almanac. Isn’t it better to know?

And it isn’t too late to make an impact. But we need to begin. We need to see the systems and make a decision about whether they’re the systems we want to hand off to our kids.

I’m grateful to every person who contributed to this all-volunteer effort, and to you, for caring enough to learn about what’s happening. I hope you’ll get a few copies, share them and join with people around the world to learn what’s happening.

Thank you.

PS We’re doing a worldwide book signing on Saturday. I’ll post more details later in the week.