A geographer and energy specialist who has witnessed climate change’s creeping effects and whose book Carbon Choices addresses common-sense solutions to our climate and nature crises.
I am a geographer and energy specialist from Scotland. I have written my first book, Carbon Choices, on the common-sense solutions to our climate and nature crises. I had a mid-life career change from accountant to working in sustainable development then energy. I now work for a public sector agency promoting the opportunities for business to benefit from low carbon heating and water technologies.
I was brought up in Perth and always enjoyed the countryside, nature and the mountains. I still live in Scotland but have travelled extensively including to Namibia and Greenland — hot and cold! I have witnessed the creeping effects of climate change locally; less snow, warmer temperatures, more landslips and the Perth Flood of 1993.
This book arose from my frustration that so many people lack a basic understanding of climate change and its serious impacts. Education is the first step towards taking action. The announcement of the global climate conference to be held in Glasgow spurred me into writing this book, subsequently aided by the covid-19 lockdown. My aim is to help as many people and communities as possible to understand climate change and its serious consequences — and to help them to act on this knowledge.
Coming from Scotland, host of the global 2021 climate conference, Carbon Choices tells the most remarkable story on planet Earth. How one group of sociable animals came to emit 40 billion tonnes (40,000,000,000) of an invisible gas each year, changing the chemistry of the atmosphere and the oceans, and steadily destroying the environment and life support systems that we depend on. The endless extraction of raw materials and excessive consumption, primarily by wealthier people and countries, has unwittingly driven the world into climate and wildlife crises.
Carbon Choices considers the psychology that drives us to buy more ‘stuff’ and whether this makes us happier. In plain language, it describes ten building blocks that provide us with a foundation to build sensible climate change solutions; and five common-sense principles to guide us in the decisions that we make.
By applying these principles to our daily lives — our diets, homes, travel, shopping and leisure activities — we can regenerate nature and improve our society, make us healthier, happier and lead more fulfilled lives.
This popular science book concludes with a green action plan for government, business and individuals to make better Carbon Choices.
Neil has contributed a piece on his book, Carbon Choices, to our Creative Showcase portfolio, an evolving collection of new and recent works from our members. See Carbon Choices.