Rough Guides long ago diversified their successful line in travel guides to help people navigate their way around issues as well as cities. Duncan Clark wrote their Guide to Ethical Living in 2006 and today sees the launch of his follow up: ‘Rough Guide to Green Living’.
We are particularly pleased to welcome this new arrival to the bookstores, since within its covers, Duncan tackles the complex issue of emissions trading and, importantly, its impact on our ability as individuals to make a difference. He recommends emissions trading permit cancellation, and Sandbag, as a way to ensure the environmental impact of your energy-saving deeds are not traded away via the carbon market. For this we are very grateful – calls on individuals to take action to deliver us from the threat of climate change seem to be multiplying and yet the existence of policies like emissions trading have a serious impact on what we can actually do to go further than the levels at which legal emissions caps have already been set. And since these caps now apply to half of all Europe’s emissions it is an important issue that needs much more attention devoting to it, both in the media and in policy making.
Another reason we are very happy is that the publishers decided to make a donation to Sandbag to compensate for the estimated 35 tonnes of CO2 that were released as a result of the print and distribution of the book. This follows the Guardian doing the same last year, to acknowledge the carbon footprint of their new office refurbishment. We didn’t really imagine our combination of permit cancellation and campaigning work would attract any corporate supporters, especially given the state of the economy and the relatively high price of EU permits compared to other ‘carbon offsets’. So we were delighted to receive this donation and would of course be very happy to discuss similar arrangements with any other companies out there interested in an alternative way to make a difference.
So, although clearly we are biased, if you want a wonderfully written, detailed, reliable guide to how to navigate through the complex issue of ‘being green’ we heartily recommend Duncan’s book and hope it proves to be a best seller!