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Hope in Hell

A decade to confront the climate emergency

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‘Brave and unflinching in setting out the reality of the hell towards which we’re headed, but even more urgent, passionate and compelling about the grounds for hope if we change course fast enough, Hope in Hell is a powerful call to arms from one of Britain’s most eloquent and trusted campaigners.’ Caroline Lucas, MP

'Extraordinarily powerful, deeply troubling, scathing but ultimately purposeful and hopeful. This book is a clarion call to action, and action now. After reading this, we know for sure that nothing, not even a pandemic, must divert us from the most serious problem facing every living creature on the planet. In plain language, Jonathon Porritt is spelling it out. This is our last chance. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest. Then act.' Michael Morpurgo

Climate change is the defining issue of our time - we know, beyond reasonable doubt, what that science now tells us. Just as climate change is accelerating, so too must we – summoning up a greater sense of urgency, courage and shared endeavour than humankind has ever seen before. 
 
The Age of Climate Change is an age of superlatives: most extreme this, biggest that, most costly ever. The impacts worsen every year, played out in people’s backyards and communities, and more and more people around the world now realise this is going to be a massive challenge for the rest of their lives. In Hope in Hell, Porritt confronts that dilemma head on. He believes we have time to do what needs to be done, but only if we move now – and move together. In this ultimately optimistic book, he explores all these reasons to be hopeful: new technology; the power of innovation; the mobilisation of young people – and a sense of intergenerational solidarity as older generations come to understand their own obligation to secure a safer world for their children and grandchildren. 
 

Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, is an eminent writer, broadcaster and campaigner on sustainable development. Established in 1996, Forum for the Future is now the UK’s leading sustainable development charity, with 70 staff and over 100 partner organisations, including some of the world’s leading companies. 

In addition, Jonathon is President of Population Matters, President of The Conservation Volunteers and a Director of Collectively (an online platform celebrating sustainable innovation). He was formerly Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90), co-chair of the Green Party (1980-83), of which he is still a member, a Trustee of World Wildlife Fund UK (1991-2005) and between 2000-2009 he was Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, providing high-level advice to Government Ministers.

Jonathon was installed as the Chancellor of Keele University in February 2012 and he received a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (June 25, 2020)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471193293

'Hope in Hell provides a brilliant analysis of humanity’s impact on the Earth. Jonathon Porritt still allows us a little hope, but absolutely no excuses for further delay, urging radical political action. Don’t read this unless you are prepared to strive for the rest of your days in service of future generations; you will be emotionally enlisted, and unable to claim ignorance in your defence.' 

– Helen Browning, Soil Association

'We teeter, like the coach at the end of The Italian Job, on the brink of irreversible disaster. Pulling back from that peril may be seen as impossible, but Jonathon Porritt’s Hope in Hell shows us how it can be done. It’s so full of wisdom, clarity and inspiration that it should be compulsory reading for every world leader; and, more importantly perhaps, for every young person looking for real hope in today’s encircling gloom.' 

– Joanna Lumley

'Not for the first time, Jonathon Porritt has put his finger on the pulse - not the flickering pulse of a Covid-19 patient, but the racing pulse of the whole of humanity in extreme danger as a consequence of the existential threat of climate change. And he's absolutely right: the coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a realisation that the social and economic priorities of the past cannot be those of the future.' 

– David Puttnam

'Hope in Hell will become an indispensable handbook in the pre-eminent planetary struggle of our times. It is truthful, trenchant and yet refreshingly hopeful.' 

– Sting

'Is there time? Just. Is there hope? Plenty. Hope in Hell is brave, urgent and wise - in fact, one of the most important books any of us may read.' 

– John Vidal

'Perhaps the greatest strength of this brilliantly vigorous book is its insistence on the interconnection of all the issues that matter most for our future. 'Climate justice' is bound up with all other sorts of justice – with all the challenges of racial, social and gendered inequality; with the fate of democracy itself; with the nature of human intelligence and compassion. Combining urgency and hopefulness with rare clarity, Jonathon Porritt reminds us that we have the information, and we have the technology: what we need is imagination and will, and the trust that allows us to take the brave collective steps that are needed now. It’s a terrific book, and couldn’t be more timely – the post-COVID world will need just this kind of synoptic picture and I hope the book will be recognised as a major tract for the times.' 

– Rowan Williams

'Jonathon Porritt has produced a book which is a roadmap, a bible and a manual all in one - to fill the very heart of all those supporting progressive politics and today's Green New Deal. Our job has just begun, and in Hope in Hell, we've been given the best piece of ammunition to help us do our duty to the planet. It should be read aloud in every classroom, university and home in the land. Thank you, Jonathon.' 

– Gordon Roddick

'Jonathon Porritt draws on five decades of experience to present this vital book, one that will change how you think about climate change and transform what you will want to do about it - hopefully, just in time to save our collective future.'

– Tony Juniper, environmentalist

'This book offers real hope as to how we might re-set our economies, post the coronavirus crisis. But that hope has to be earned; as Porritt puts it: 'There is no hope whatsoever in another ten years of incremental change.' Radical transformation is needed, including mass civil disobedience - this really is the last chance saloon for avoiding climate-driven societal collapse. When Jonathon Porritt says this, the world has to listen.' 

– Prof. Rupert Read, University of East Anglia, author This Civilisation is Finished and national spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion

'Despite daunting obstacles, and a rapidly shrinking window of opportunity, Jonathon Porritt argues that the balance of factors at play can still lead to a positive outcome as we grapple to find our balance within the natural world. Will we make it? Not without confronting the status quo and the elites that defend it, with civil disobedience and the solidarity of the engaged young and old offered as crucial ingredients. The decade of the 2020s will be decisive, and Hope in Hell offers a blueprint for determining which fork in the road we will take.' 

– Chris Rapley CBE (Professor of Climate Science, University College London)

'This excellent book does not shy away from the terrifying facts of what is happening to our planet. Porritt lays them out calmly and precisely. Yet he also has hope - hope that the COVID pandemic has helped to kindle. Hope in Hell provides a blueprint of how we can rapidly decrease emissions, lessen inequalities and capitalise on this unique moment for change, ensuring a better world for all. Essential reading.'

– Rosie Boycott

'Yet another brilliant book from Jonathon Porritt. An eloquent, thoughtful, and compelling affirmation that we can address the climate crisis if we set our minds to it.'

– Christiana Figueres