The World We Made: Alex McKay’s Story from 2050, by Jonathon Porritt (2013, Phaidon).
This is an imaginative, inspiring book that explores what a sustainable future can look like. Reflecting back from the year 2050, history teacher Alex McKay presents 50 snapshots of the changes that transformed the world over a 30-year period. In relation to climate change, the four shifts that made a difference were 1) putting energy efficiency at the heart of every economic decision; 2) notching up important “Quick Big Wins”; 3) focusing on CO2 in forests and soils; and 4) powering the world renewably. The narrator does not gloss over the crises, losses, and problems, yet convincingly conveys that a genuinely sustainable world by 2050 is still possible. This book provides a much-needed vision of the future, including clever and believable photos. While emphasizing the importance of technology, Porritt recognizes that a sustainable world will also require social change. The book includes a useful appendix describing transformative initiatives that are currently underway.
“I’ve also been very struck by how often people say to me ‘I just can’t see what a sustainable world would really look like’. How will we live, work, play, eat, save, sleep, travel, get born, get old, get high in 2050? Will it be better or worse than today?” (p. 275)