Written in straightforward, engaging language, the first section of the book outlines key environmental issues in the broad areas of water, air, land, biodiversity loss, and related social and political issues. Each key issue is briefly outlined with some statistics and specific examples and given a Feasible Planet Index Rating indicating an individual's level of control over the issue. However, it seems you need to buy Kroes' other book Feasible Planet - A Guide to More Sustainable Living to fully find out how to exert control over the issues.
The second, more detailed, part of the book focuses on how individuals may be impacted by the environmental issues discussed in the first half of the book. This section covers mental and physical health impacts, employment and lifestyle impacts, social impacts and emergency preparedness and includes ideas on reducing the impact environmental issues have on these areas of our lives (though not how to address the issues themselves). There are some excellent ideas for reducing stress, learning to turn worry into action and reducing the impacts of specific issues, for example a lot of ideas for improving air qualilty in your home and details about specific types of food to make a point of only buying organic or to avoid altogether. Ideally these sorts of lifestyle measures need to be combined with campaigning to reduce pollution, but that aspect isn't covered in this book.
I really liked the advice to tell stories about how the climate is changing rather than to overwhelm people with statistics.
Oddly the book includes a list of travel destinations that are likely to be lost to climate change but the reader is advised to go visit these places as soon as you can rather there being any message about cutting down on flying to reduce climate impact!
This is a good introduction to many of the environmental issues facing us and does well in bringing things together to show how environmental issues affect standard of living and financial security as well as how increasing consumerism and the selfishness of the 'What's in it for me?' mindset have a negative impact on the environment. It also includes a good number of recommended books and websites for further information on the issues. I read this book quickly to review it, but it is probably better as a slow read, keeping it as a reference book to help you and the people around you to cope with the challenging times we live in.
Personally though, I would have liked to see this book and Kroes Feasible Planet (mentioned above) combined into one book, as after all, it is vital to both protect our lives from the impact of climate change and to take the steps both personal and political to actually change things.
Feasible Living: Dealing with Ecological Anxiety While Adapting to our Changing World by Ken Kroes is available from Amazon or these stores.
Visit the Feasible Planet website.
Disclaimer: I recieved a free e-copy of this book in return for an honest review.