Book Review – Earthshot: How to Save Our Planet by Colin Butfield, Jonnie Hughes

About the Book:

A book of action and optimism to save our planet.

With an introduction from Prince William and contributions from Sir David Attenborough, Shakira Mebarak, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Naoko Yamazaki and Christiana Figueres, EARTHSHOT shows us how, by working together, we can solve earth’s greatest challenges.

As Prince William, founder of The Earthshot Prize, said, ‘The Earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate, and problem-solve. People can achieve great things. The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth.’

The Earthshot concept is simple: Urgency + Optimism = Action. We have ten years to turn the tide on the environmental crisis, but we need the world’s best solutions and one shared goal – to save our planet.

It’s not too late, but we need collective action now.

The Earthshots are unifying, ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for all of us, for the rest of life on Earth, and for generations to come. They are to:

Protect and Restore Nature

Clean our Air

Revive our Oceans

Build a Waste-Free World

Fix our Climate

EARTHSHOT: HOW TO SAVE OUR PLANET is the first definitive book about how these goals can tackle the environmental crisis. It is a critical contribution to the most important story of the decade.

Published by Hachette Australia – Imprint: John Murray

Released 12th October 2021

My Thoughts:

This was a tremendous book. One of those books that everyone needs to read. I’m not going to summarise what it’s about, the book description above encapsulates everything you need to know. What I am going to say is that this book has had quite an impact upon me. I thought that I was across environmental issues and fully aware of how to go about reducing my carbon footprint. Turns out what I knew was not even the tip of the iceberg on both accounts. And that’s why this book is so incredible. It’s so comprehensive, an actual global look at all the environmental crises we are facing, what needs to change, what has already changed, and what we can do within our own backyard to contribute.

I particularly enjoyed the contributors’ essays that preface each chapter, but the entire book was so easy to read, no mean feat given how scientific it got in many parts. I loved how once I’d finished reading, I was armed with some actual plans that can be immediately implemented into my life and household with very little effort, just a change of thinking and doing on all our parts. I have already been changing my consumption and waste for the last few years, but this book has pointed out the ways in which I can do better. For me, I need to really concentrate on my fashion purchases with a view to buying pieces that have more longevity and making a conscious move away from fast fashion. I had been actively doing this in recent years but for the last few months I’ve been working for a store that very much falls into the fast fashion category and a requirement for working there was wearing the latest fashions of their clothes, so I’ve ended up buying quite a bit over the last few months that I wouldn’t normally have done. I’ve just gotten a new job so this will be easier to change than it might have been had I still been working for that store. I also need to do better on buying consumables that are not packaged in plastic. I love the idea of rewilding your backyard and this already falls into plans that my eldest son and I have been making for planting more trees. We have a lot of native bees in our backyard that happily buzz around a huge overgrown hedge that lines our pool. The hedge really needs a trim, but we’ve decided to only trim where the path is, for access into the pool, leaving the rest to grow wild and be a home for the bees. It has pretty flowers on it too and if you trim the hedge right down, as has been done in the past, you’re just chopping off all the flowers.

This book has made me really excited about the things that we can action. It’s also made me hyper aware of the challenges ahead and how critical this next ten years is for earth and humanity. It is so crucial that we hold our politicians accountable for their policy decisions and use our votes wisely. It is absolutely insane that Australia builds anymore coal fired power stations, yet presently, the National Party are pushing for a new one in Queensland. Australia doesn’t get much of a mention in this book in terms of positive action already occurring, except for some farming innovation, but we were mentioned in the list of countries that will be partially uninhabitable within a decade if change is not made. And that is a crisis that seems to be completely ignored by our current Federal Government. Reading about all the different countries and the actions they are taking and the laws they are changing honestly made me ashamed of our own government. There is so much that needs to be done to do better, to make more of a positive impact, to permanently effect change. If you are interested in finding out more, Earthshot is essential reading and will hopefully inspire you, as it has done with me, to think more globally about climate change.

“The take-home message of this book, and of The Earthshot Prize, is that optimistic, determined people make a difference. That ideas, actions and inspiration can be transformative. We cannot all be technical innovators. But we can all play our part in changing the world: through how we live our lives, how we communicate, and perhaps more importantly how we join and collaborate with other to shape our shared communities. Repairing our world will take more that fifty prize winners over a decade; it needs millions of Earthshots from millions of people.

It can feel overwhelming to change everything at once, but if we all asked ourselves what we could do year on year over the next decade, then suddenly it becomes more achievable.

One person will rarely change the world alone. But one person can light the spark that changes a lot, or can carry a torch lit by others. So be and inspirer and an enthusiastic follower. It’s of course true that many of our biggest problems need governments and the business community to make the biggest changes. Saving the world cannot be achieved by individual actions alone. But each of our actions – and our collective attitudes – ultimately determines what is normal or acceptable in a society. We can make the political weather that will ultimately decide the real weather.” – Earthshot: How to Save Our Planet.


Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

8 thoughts on “Book Review – Earthshot: How to Save Our Planet by Colin Butfield, Jonnie Hughes

  1. I have heard this before, about fashion retailers requiring ‘an edgy look’ or an ‘in fashion’ look, but that was in designer boutiques (as in Chapel St) and it didn’t mean that employees were required to buy the employer’s brand, thus regularly losing some proportion of their wage to the retailer. Where is the union that ought to be putting a stop to this pernicious practice?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. It’s ridiculous. They offer staff a 60% discount, which seems fantastic, until you realise that even with the discount, you’re still spending too much out of your wage on clothes you wouldn’t normally buy. Unionism was not mentioned nor was membership offered, a stark contrast to my new job where a union rep met me on the first day and outlined the program and benefits along with costs.

      Liked by 2 people

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