Environmental activist Greta Thunberg is publishing a guide to combating climate change, reports Jill Lawless for the Associated Press (AP). Titled The Climate Book, the volume—featuring contributions from more than 100 acclaimed writers, activists and scientists—will be released in Britain on October 27 and in the United States in early 2023.
According to a list shared by Thunberg on Twitter, contributors include novelists Margaret Atwood and Amitav Ghosh, climate scientist Saleemul Huq, Kenyan environmentalist Wanjira Mathai, and World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. As Lucy Knight reports for the Guardian, the 19-year-old activist will also offer her take on greenwashing, which occurs when companies make false or misleading claims about their “environmentally friendly” products and practices.
Thunberg views greenwashing as both a serious problem and a source of hope. Per the book’s Penguin Random House listing, she hopes to expose the unethical practice and reveal “the extent to which we have been kept in the dark,” thereby pushing people to acknowledge the full extent of climate change and address the issue head on.
“Unless we are able to connect these dots, we will not find sustainable solutions to the climate and ecological crisis,” says Thunberg in a statement quoted by the Bookseller’s Sian Bayley. “Once we are all given the full picture, we will be able to act.”
In the statement, Chloe Currens, a senior commissioning editor at Penguin Press U.K., says that Thunberg’s passages on world leaders’ inaction will “render today’s greenwashing breathtakingly clear.” The editor describes the teenager’s “call to climate justice [as] unignorable,” adding that the book is “alive with moral purpose, which aims to change the climate conversation forever.”
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2003, Thunberg rose to fame in 2018, when she founded the movement Fridays for Future. Then 15 years old, she spent the three weeks preceding the Swedish election sitting outside the country’s parliament building with a sign reading Skolstrejk för Klimatet (School Strike for Climate).
Though the protest was initially a solo venture, the number of Thunberg’s supporters grew each day, with the teen’s efforts quickly garnering attention from the international press. After the election took place, she continued her school-skipping protests every Friday, inspiring hundreds of thousands of students around the world to host their own demonstrations.
Thunberg’s comments about climate change have made her more than a few powerful enemies, among them former U.S. president Donald J. Trump and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, the latter of whom called her a “brat” in 2019. That same year, the 16-year-old activist became Time magazine’s youngest-ever Person of the Year, and she was invited to give speeches at the World Economic Forum and the European Parliament.
In August 2019, Thunberg famously traveled across the Atlantic in an emissions-free yacht to speak in New York at a United Nations climate summit. Speaking to a room of world leaders, she delivered an impassioned comment: “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. … We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.”
The Climate Book will be Thunberg’s fourth publication. Her previously published works include Scenes From the Heart and Our House Is on Fire, both of which were co-authored by her parents and younger sister, and No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, a collection of speeches.
“Greta has proven herself to be one of our finest and most galvanizing new writers,” says Currens in the statement. “In a series of sharp, insightful and impassioned chapters, which knit the book’s different parts together, she shares her own experiences and responds to what she’s learned.”