Unsustainable is an urgent call to reimagine our social, political and economic systems so that we might transform to a sustainable society. It considers whether an alternative economic model is possible and examines the factors needed to enable such a transition to occur. The scale and pace of change is unprecedented and the author examines the actions needed by governments, business and individuals if we are to address the environmental disaster that confronts us. Much needs to change but ultimately, this is a book of hope, believing that evolution to a better, more sustainable society is possible.
Part 1: The State of the World
1. Setting the Context
2. The State of the World
3. Implications of COVID-19
Part 2: The Process of Change
4. Preparing for Change
5. Effective Government Intervention
6. The Energy Transition
7. Moving Away from Growth and Profit
8. Factors Critical to Successful Change
9. Barriers to Change
10. Perceptions and Reality
Part 3: The Call to Action
11. The Great Transition
12. Action Plans for Governments
13. Personal Accountability
14. A New Political Movement
15. Can We Make It?
Richard Joy is actively involved in environmental politics and during 2019-2020 he worked with a task force advising on policy options for green growth, headed by the leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey. Early in his career, Richard worked for IBM, as a business transformation specialist. He subsequently worked as a strategic change facilitator, supporting organisations to implement major transformation programmes. More recently, Richard founded The Low Carbon Strategy Network to support organisations and collaborate on sustainability initiatives.
"Few any longer doubt that we're already experiencing the impact of accelerating climate change – but our response to that knowledge remains hopelessly inadequate. Richard Joy's Unsustainable explains why, in clear and forthright terms, before mapping out exactly what needs to happen next."
– Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future
"This is a screaming wake up call to the reality of climate change. It doesn't just tell it like it is but ventures into why we are so lackadaisical about it – and how to change."
– Baroness Featherstone, Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords
"As a passionate environmentalist, Richard's powerful analysis reinforces the wicked problem we face to save our planet, and challenges us all to step-up and make the sacrifices required."
– Jonathan Ager CBE, British Antarctic Survey
"This is a groundbreaking book! To address the urgency of climate change the book challenges us to address the social and economic issues of our civilisation as well. The technological solutions can only go so far: we need to go further and embrace a new paradigm. This book gives the readers a most comprehensive understanding of the climate problems as well as the climate solutions."
– Satish Kumar, Founder, Schumacher College and Editor Emeritus, Resurgence & Ecologist
"Richard Joy dares to face reality and surprises with advantageous outcomes of refraining from economic growth. An inspiring, versatile master reflection on sociopolitical systems for realists and doers!"
– Kirsten M Florentine Weber, Climate Physicist at the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, University of Sheffield and Co-chair of the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG), Great Britain & Ireland
"An insightful, sobering yet ultimately empowering book. The depth of the research is extremely impressive, the arguments clear and persuasive. A must-read for anyone interested in the future of the planet."
– Charlotte Uhlenbroek, biologist, writer and TV presenter
"Richard has produced an evidenced and detailed consideration of our difficulties and state of inertia, but is optimistic and sets out how we can transform our lives. He puts climate change and the avoidance of global warming at the centre and calls for a new commitment for our sustainability. This book is a crucial part of this commitment."
– Jeff Gold, Professor of Organisation Learning at Leeds and York Business Schools
"Unsustainable is a cogent description of the urgent problem confronting industrial civilization – the ecological peril of climate change – and of what we absolutely must do to solve it."
– William Ophuls, scholar of environmental politics and author of Plato's Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology
"Revelatory! Richard Joy unwinds the complexity in the perils of continuing our free market economic models to deliver timely prescriptives for an environmentally sustainable, socially equitable and achievable economic recovery."
– Amos White, Vice Chair Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force (USA), Founder and Chief Planting Officer of 100K Trees for Humanity
"This book helps wake our species up from being hypnotised by admiration of ourselves!"
– Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of The Eden Project and executive chair of Eden Project International Ltd
"A great manual on how to get the planning and action for dealing with climate change right – borrowing partly from the principles of successful transformation processes in organisations. But does the capacity to do it exist? This is the worrying question we are left to contemplate."
– Vicky Pryce, former Joint Head, Government Economic Service