'There's a new story in the making, one in which the consequences of our actions add up - and every contribution is meaningful.' If climate change is the biggest threat humanity has ever faced, then why are we doing so little? Will the corona pandemic make it worse or better? And where do we go from here? Drawing on the latest climate science, Jelmer Mommers helps you find hope in the midst of the climate crisis. He describes how we got here, what possible futures await us, and how you can help to truly make a difference.
Originally published in Dutch as Hoe Gaan We Dit Uitleggen? Onze Toekomst op een Steeds Warmere Aarde by De Correspondent in 2019.
Jelmer Mommers is a climate journalist based in Amsterdam. He knows most people prefer not to talk or even think about climate change and that is exactly why he wrote this book. Denial and despair are not the only possible responses to the climate crisis. Five years in the making, How Are We Going To Explain This? became a bestseller in The Netherlands. With this revised and updated translation, including responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mommers brings his characteristic blend of realism and optimism to the wider world.
"I'm not exaggerating when I say this is one of the most important books I've read this year."
– Rutger Bregman, author of Utopia for Realists
"Breezy, easy to read, perky, full of good stories and all done with a brisk summary of the history of ideas"
– Sunday Times
"As a journalist, Jelmer Mommers has broken important stories about how we got in our current climate mess; as a thinker, he shows us there may still be some ways out, if we move with grace and speed. A fine account of where we stand, and where we could go if we wanted to!"
– Bill McKibben, author, environmentalist, and activist
"As more of humanity adjusts to living with crises – we need books like this, which tell us what we can do – from small steps to big ones – to find our way to a new normal."
– May Boeve, Executive Director 350.org and 350 Action Fund
"Jelmer Mommer's How Are We Going to Explain This? provides a unique take on challenge to avert a climate crisis. It provides important insights into our dire situation, but it also sketches out a persuasive path forward. A must-read if you want to know where we stand and what we can and must still do!"
– Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor, Penn State University and author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars and The Madhouse Effect
"At a time when despair, malign fabrication and partisanship are combining to prevent vital action, How Are We Going To Explain This? is a much-needed, joyful, clear and practical companion. Read this - it could save your planet. Give it to your friends and colleagues - it's their planet, too."
– A.L. Kennedy
"Shines a light on the path forward with clarity and determination."
– Christiana Figueres Architect of the Paris climate agreement, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2010-2016
"Climate change is a story so often told in the future tense. But Mommers roots it firmly in the present. The problem, the consequences and the solution - right here, right now."
– Leo Hickman, editor of Carbon Brief