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A Cure For Climate Change Anxiety

New book chronicles a global renaissance in the way we feed, power, and build our world

BERKELEY, CA, UNITED STATES, May 13, 2021 / -- Climate change can be extremely overwhelming, almost paralyzing for many of us. Mainstream coverage perpetuates this feeling with dire predictions and a narrative of personal guilt.

Bright Green Future (Harmon Street Press; $14.95; on sale June 2, 2021) melts through fear and inaction with the gripping stories of changemakers who are transforming the way we feed, power, and build our world.

“When we reimagine our economy like an ecosystem capable of regenerating all of the resources it uses, we flip the script on our future. Instead of seeing fear and scarcity, we find opportunity and abundance.” Chapter 2: Human—Nature.

Professor Gregory Schwartz and Trevor Decker Cohen share insights from a global renaissance to heal the planet and empower our local communities. Four big visions emerge that provide inspiration for what the future of our dreams might actually look like:

- Clean power that grows wealth for all
- Resources that replenish themselves
- City planning driven by everyday citizens
- Farms that heal the land with every harvest

The Executive Director of The Sierra Club Foundation, Dan Chu called the book “An antidote to despair.”

A few stories from this renaissance show how people are reclaiming a bright future amidst our planet’s greatest challenges.

In West Virginia, laid-off coal miners are transforming abandoned surface mines into organic farms. Coalfield Development, an innovative non-profit, has created a family of social enterprises that trains laid-off miners in a diverse array of new skills, while building up the infrastructure of a new green economy. They’re ensuring that coal miners are included in the conversation on climate change, and are empowered to lead in the transition away from fossil fuels. “The true wealth of Appalachia isn’t underground, but within its people.” Chapter 6: Gardens in the Coalfields.

Even as we move to more renewables, the problem of global waste ripples through the ocean. Rising to the challenge, three scientists at Mango Materials, a Bay Area company, have discovered an ancient bacteria that eats methane from landfills and turns it into an extremely versatile material that can be used to make everything from plastic bottles to electronics. The material, PHA plastic, is a new kind of polymer that can biodegrade in the ocean. This one company is part of a movement of innovators that are reimagining industry as an ecosystem, where steel, concrete, and plastic cycle like nutrients in the natural world. “We’ve spent the last 100 years perfecting the assembly line. It’s now time to perfect the disassembly line.” Chapter 7: Industry as an Ecosystem.

Perhaps, the greatest risk posed by climate change is to the stability of global food systems. A decade-long drought in parts of Kansas may be worse than the Dust Bowl. But in the middle of this crisis, rancher Ken Klemm has found that buffalo can restore grasslands and reduce the summer heat by up to 20 degrees on his land. By rotating buffalo to heal the soil, he’s been able to grow thousands of acres of wheat with less water, even as the world gets warmer. The secret is building a living infrastructure in the dirt that grows stronger with every harvest. “One of the greatest building projects in history is beneath our feet. An invisible infrastructure of healthy, regenerated soil—part reservoir, part cradle, part carbon sink—may one day stretch across half-a-million square miles.” Chapter 16: Stewards of the Prairie.

Through stories like these, readers will be invited to imagine a future where our global economy coexists in harmony with the planet, and then find out how to participate in making it a reality.

For more information, please contact Trevor Cohen at 530-362-8848 or

Gregory Schwartz, PhD, is a professor of environmental geography and a thought leader on the cultural and psychological solutions to climate change. He collaborates frequently with The Solutions Project and currently advises the government of Costa Rica on environmental policy.

Trevor Decker Cohen is a writer and editor with a passion for shifting the pessimistic narrative around climate change to one of hope and inspiration. He's edited two books and works as a content strategist.

Trevor Cohen
Bright Green Future
+1 530-362-8848
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