HOW BAD ARE EMAILS?

This article looks into how bad emails are. Is it possible that this seemingly harmless activity, when repeated by billions of people every day is having an outsized impact on the environment?

abstract-art-blur-bright-373543

The data that I am basing this article on is largely from Mike Berners-Lee’s 2010 book How Bad are Bananas: The Carbon Footprint of Everything. I really enjoyed reading this book and it is one of my all-time favourite books on sustainability.

His research revealed that the average spam email has a footprint equivalent to 0.3g of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e).

That is lower than the carbon intensity of the average email. According to Mike an average email, has a footprint of 4g of CO2e. This is created because of the power drawn for data centres and computers when sending, filtering and reading messages.

There are emails with a carbon intensity significantly higher than average. Emails with large attachments and high-resolution images have a carbon footprint of 50g CO2e. Significantly higher than average.

According to Mike Berners-Lee’s estimates, a typical year of incoming emails adds 136kg of emissions to a person’s carbon footprint. This is the equivalent of driving 200 miles in an average car. Whilst each individual email may only be responsible for a small quantity of carbon emissions, when repeated often by many people, these emissions add up.

At a global scale, the world’s data centres account for three percent of electricity consumption and about two percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. This gives data centres around the same carbon footprint as the aviation industry, when the impact of radiative forcing is not taken into account.

What you need to know

This article looked into how bad emails are for the environment.

We looked into the wide variety of carbon intensities associated with emails.

We looked into how these small releases of carbon emissions multiply over time. This is not helped by the seemingly endless proliferation of emailing in society.

We looked into how data centres are on par with the aviation industry in terms of carbon emissions. It seems strange that there is not more public focus on these emissions. I think the public struggle to make the link between their clicks online and the carbon emissions associated with that online activity.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think needs to be done to help make the connection between emails and carbon emissions from data centres?

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

BAMBOO CONSTRUCTION & CLIMATE CHANGE

This article looks into bamboo construction and climate change. It was inspired by this article that I came across last week in Indian newspaper The Tribune.

download

In Asia bamboo has been used as a versatile construction material for centuries. But its benefits for climate change mitigation and adaptation have only come to the forefront more recently.

The use of bamboo as a construction material is advantageous for two reasons.

Firstly, the majority of materials used in construction delivery such as steel, concrete, aluminium and glass are all carbon intensive and non-renewable. Therefore, any move away from these and towards low carbon renewable resources would be extremely beneficial.

Secondly, bamboo is a plant species that produces above average amounts of oxygen during its growth phase and stores above average amounts of carbon dioxide in its stems. It also grows quickly and can be harvested annually, rather than felled as it is a grass and not a tree. This has seen it rise in prominence as a sustainable construction material. Some structures made entirely of bamboo can be declared carbon negative, because the amount of carbon stored in the materials exceeds that used to create the building.

There is also the question of desirability. Bamboo structures and internal finishes are extremely eye catching. This is a key benefit, which should help this sustainable material grow in popularity as more people come to identity bamboo with sustainability and quality, leading to a virtuous cycle of growth.

Bamboo is a versatile material, that can be used to create everything from bus stops, to structures, to internal finishes to bicycles. This incredible material, could see buildings become a carbon sink, rather than a source of carbon emissions.

What you need to know

This article looked into bamboo construction and climate change.

We looked into bamboo’s 2 key advantages. Namely that it displaces high carbon materials and is itself a fast-growing low carbon material.

It should be seen as an added bonus, that it can be used to create desirable, eye catching finished structures.

Bamboo is already widely used in construction across Asia, but has only scratched the surface in Europe and North America. With more advocates and more people demanding sustainable places to live and to work, this trend could change.

Low carbon buildings are good, but carbon negative buildings are better. Bamboo is the intelligent material of choice for sustainable buildings.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think needs to be done to make more people aware of the carbon benefits of bamboo buildings.

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

WHAT DOES DRAWDOWN LOOK LIKE FOR THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT?

This article looks into what drawdown looks like for the built environment. It is comprised of the top buildings and cities solutions that made it into the 100 most effective solutions as quantified by Project Drawdown in 2017.

SolutionChart

It may surprise some people to know that no buildings and cities solutions made it into the top 20. But taken in their entirety, this is a key sector to decarbonise.

I will go through each of the solutions in order and mention their potential to reduce gigatons of carbon emissions.

27 District Heating, 9.36 GT. It may surprise some to learn that district heating was the most powerful buildings and cities solution.

31 Insulation, 8.27 GT. Insulation has long been touted as a great way to create jobs, improve wellbeing and save carbon emissions, It ranks highly as the number 2 buildings and cities solution.

33 LED Lighting – Household, 7.81 GT. LED lighting is another solution that people would be familiar with as a climate change solution. It ranks highly within buildings and cities at number 3.

42 Heat pumps, 5.04 GT. Heat pumps come in at the 4th most powerful climate change solution within buildings and cities.

44 LED lighting – Commercial, 5.04 GT. LED lighting for commercial purposes ranks slightly lower than its household counterpart, but is still a key solution within buildings and cities.

45 Building Automation 4.62 GT. This solution came in reasonably high in the buildings and cities section and in the top half. I would have thought it would rank higher, but that is not what the data says.

54 Walkable Cities 2.92 GT. This is what I liked about the Drawdown initiative, in that is shone a light on solutions that people may not have thought of, but that could have a powerful impact.

57 Smart Thermostats 2.62 GT. Again, like building automation, I would have thought this would have been higher, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

58 Landfill Methane 2.60 GT. Another surprising one to find in a top 100 most effective climate change solutions list, but this one only just missed out from making it inside the top 50.

59 Bike Infrastructure 2.31 GT. One that was probably expected to rank strongly comes in at number 59.

61 Smart Glass 2.19 GT. This is a very interesting solution, that could bring a great deal of change to the built environment.

71 Water Distribution 0.87 GT. This came in at number 71.

73 Green Roofs 0.77 GT. This is another solution that I expected to rank higher in the process, but is nonetheless an important part of a portfolio of solutions that are required.

Net Zero Buildings 79 and Retrofitting 80 included data from other solutions and so data was not available for these solutions individually. They are nonetheless important areas.

What you need to know

This article looked into the top buildings and cities solutions from Drawdown.

Some rank higher than you expect, some rank lower. Some things you never would have expected to rank are there and others you would have expected to are not.

This is why the Drawdown initiative is so important and why I promote it as much as I can. We have the technology now; we know what the solutions are now. What needs to happen is to deliver on these solutions at a global scale.

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think about drawdown in the built environment?

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

2040 Review

This article looks into the recently released docufilm 2040. If you haven’t already seen it, I encourage you to do so as it is a very good documentary on climate change. I have left a link to the trailer below.

I liked it for a number of reasons. Firstly, they packaged the documentary, which is about a complex scientific subject into a story. People have a natural affinity with stories. They make subject matter relatable and easier to remember. Those who seek to spread half truths and misinformation about climate change regularly use stories to further their agenda. It is only right that this is opposed by equally eloquent story telling by those who wish to promote action to reverse global warming.

Secondly, I liked that it was positive and optimistic. However bad the situation is, telling everyone how dreadful the situation is wont corral people into action. You have to tell people that the future will be much better than what we have now, that their lives will be far superior and that everyone will benefit when there is no longer environmental destruction taking place.

Thirdly, I Liked that they grounded most of the future scenarios in the research that Project Drawdown first released in 2017. I have been a big supporter of this initiative from the very moment I heard about it. It is important to quantify which solutions can reduce and store the most amount of greenhouse gasses in this critical 30-year period. To influence influential decision makers, these solutions need to be accompanied by financial data. Money talks, and it doesn’t matter how worthy you think your solution is, if you can’t back it up with figures, it will likely not get funded.

I think more people need to know about Project Drawdown and if they did, it’s impact could be transformational. I dedicated a whole section on my website to it and you can find a link to this below.

Project Drawdown

What you need to know

This article looked into the recently released docufilm 2040.

I thought it was a really good documentary that has the potential to have crossover appeal and pique the interests of mass audiences. This is no small feat for a documentary about climate change.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think needs to be done to engage mass audiences on climate change?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

P.S.

If you liked this article, please share it with your networks. Likewise, if you watch 2040 and you find it interesting, make an effort to tell your friends, family and co-workers about it. Word of mouth endorsements are incredibly powerful.

#36 Alternative Cement

This article looks into alternative cement as a climate change solution. It is based on the analysis of Project Drawdown, which was a 2017 initiative to map the top 100 most effective solutions to reverse global warming.

StockSnap_ZVSYCEDFHE

The authors open their section with the following:

Today, concrete dominates the world’s construction materials and can be found in almost all infrastructure. Its basic recipe is simple: sand, crushed rock, water, and cement, all combined and hardened. Cement – a gray powder of lime, silica, aluminium, and iron – acts as the binder, coating and gluing the sand and rock together and enabling the remarkable stonelike material that results after curing.”

The authors go on to explain that:

Its use continues to grow – significantly faster than population – making cement one of the most used substances in the world by mass, second only to water.”

Let’s look at the numbers that allowed alternative cement to be ranked as the 36th most powerful solution to reverse global warming. The authors research revealed that alternative cement could reduce CO2 emissions by 6.69 gigatons, for a net cost of -$273.9 billion. They concluded that net savings were too indefinite to be modelled.

The authors highlight the hotspot that makes cement so carbon intensive when they reveal that:

Decarbonising limestone causes roughly 60 percent of the cement industry’s emissions. The rest are the result of energy use: manufacturing a single ton of cement requires the equivalent energy of burning four hundred pounds of coal.”

To produce one ton of cement results in nearly one ton of carbon emissions. This has seen cement alone account for 5-6% of the worlds carbon emissions. A significant segment that requires urgent action.

To address this, the authors propose the following:

More efficient cement kilns and alternative kiln fuels, such as perennial biomass, can help address the emissions from energy consumption.”

The authors go on to explain the following:

“To reduce emissions from the decarbonisation process, the crucial strategy is to change the composition of cement. Conventional clinker can be partially substituted for alternative materials that include volcanic ash, certain clays, finely ground limestone, and industrial waste products, namely blast furnace slag… and fly ash.”

The authors also point to UNEP research, which reveals that:

The average global rate of clinker substitution could realistically reach 40 percent (accounting for all alternative materials) and avoid up to 440 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

What you need to know

This article looked into alternative cement as a climate change solution. It was based on the analysis of Project Drawdown, which was a 2017 initiative to map the top 100 most effective solutions to reverse global warming.

We looked at how vast concrete use has become worldwide.

We looked at how the decarbonisation process is a carbon hotspot for the cement industry. This can be addressed by changing the composition of cement.

Action is urgently needed to address carbon emissions coming from this industry.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think about alternative cement?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

P.S

If you liked this article, please share it with your social media networks, it makes a really big difference.

WORDS ARE POWER

Words have power, words are power, words could be your power. Those are not my words, but the words of Mohammed Qahtani, in his seminal Toastmasters International talk that made him a world champion in 2015.

He also says the following:

Words when said and articulated in the right way can change someone’s mind, they can alter someone’s belief.

If you have not watched Mohammed’s video then I strongly encourage you to do so. It is a masterclass in public speaking.

This week I was planning on writing about the Flybe rescue deal and how it is one of the greatest mis-allocations of capital this country has ever produced.

But then I came across something on Thursday that shocked me. I am not someone who is easily shocked.

It jolted me from me seat and made me think deeply about how manipulation like this could be used on an industrial scale. This is only the tip of the iceberg. We haven’t seen anything yet.

What I came across on Thursday was the Shell slogan “Drive Carbon Neutral.”

Drive carbon neutral

When I heard it for the first time, it was over the radio, and then in every advert break I heard it over and over again. Surely this couldn’t be correct, an oil company couldn’t be making such claims? But they were.

Further research uncovered that they have a product Go+. Quoting from their website, they claim:

With Shell Go+ any fuel purchase made will automatically be offset by Shell on behalf of the customer.”

This is the thin end of the wedge and if you ask me, the Advertising Standards Authority need to step in, because these claims are fantastic.

I will refer my readers back to Kevin Anderson’s Nature article: The inconvenient truth of carbon offsets.

 To quote the most memorable phrase from the article, he says the following:

Carbon offsetting is without scientific legitimacy and is dangerously misleading.

The inconvenient truth of carbon offsets

What worries me is that people will see advertising like this by Shell, see that it has obviously been sanctioned by the Advertising Standards Authority and so assume it is correct.

What Shell is implying, is that by buying this product, you will drive, with 0 carbon consequences. As their slogan dictates you will “Drive Carbon Neutral.”

Further investigation reveals that their plan is to:

Balance out the carbon emissions from the production, distribution and use of fuel.”

This is better than I would have expected, as they could have just covered the use phase. But it is nowhere near enough and driving is responsible for a whole host of carbon and non-carbon related problems. None of which are healed by this offset.

There are carbon emissions associated with the manufacturing of vehicles, the building and maintenance of roads and non-carbon impacts such as deaths from road traffic accidents and air pollution. The mere act of covering some of the carbon emissions associated with the vehicle’s fuel with an offset does nothing to address these.

In 1984 George Orwell wrote: “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.

I fear that this is what is about to happen with claims from corporations with carbon offsetting and carbon neutrality. The general public is not set up to be able to verify such claims.

I believe we are only at the beginning and I expect to see a lot more of these claims coming out which promise sustainability, with no need to change your behaviour, lifestyle or technology. Anything that sounds too good to be true, almost always is.

What you need to know  

This article looked at a number of things.

We looked at Mohammed Qahtani’s talk ‘The Power of Words’ and if you have not seen this I strongly encourage you to watch it.

Then we looked at the Shell “Drive Carbon Neutral” slogan with their Go+ fuel and what the implications of this are.

We looked into Kevin Anderson’s Nature article: The inconvenient truth of carbon offsets.

 We looked into George Orwell’s quote: “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words” and how this might foreshadow how language can and will be manipulated by corporations eager to conceal the true nature of their sustainability.

It is my opinion that we are only at the beginning of what will be a deluge of greenwashing and half true information from companies that will promise the same product as before, but with 0 guilt because of offsetting.

We are in a war for information and sadly, the first casualty, when war comes, is truth.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think about carbon offsetting schemes?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

P.S

If you liked this article, please share it with your social media networks, it makes a really big difference.

2019 A YEAR IN LITERATURE

This article provides a short commentary on every book that I read or listened to in 2019. I normally like to try and read at least 1 book each week. I am a little under that this year, but it is important to focus on quality and not quantity.

1. David Schwartz – The Magic of Thinking Big

This is probably one of the books that I owned for the longest amount of time without actually reading. It was so long in fact that I cannot actually remember how it came into my possession. I think I probably bought it after seeing it in a charity shop, because of the 6 million copies sold logo on the front cover.

The book has some important messages though and it is important to think big. It doesn’t make following through and actually executing any less important, but if you don’t think big, you fall at the first hurdle.

2.  Carmine Gallo – Talk Like Ted

There cannot be many people who have access to the internet, who have not watched at least 1 Ted Talk. But have you ever wondered what separates the talks that do millions of views and captivate the audience, from the talks that bore the audience and do very little views? If you have, Carmine does an excellent job of breaking down exactly what you need to do to be a standout speaker.

Whether you speak to small groups at work, or larger groups as part of your career, we all need to speak publicly and communicate our ideas at some point. I would definitely recommend this book as it is cram packed full of ideas and analysis that can help you with your speaking endeavours.

3.  Hunter S Thompson – Hey Rube

I am a big fan of Hunter S Thompson. Without his inspiration, I may very well not be sat here writing this article. This is more of a collection of articles than a book, but as with everything by Hunter S Thompson, his signature style comes through on every page.

This is one of the books that was released towards the end of his life. If you have not read one of his books before, I would probably not recommend this as a first one. But it is definitely worth reading at some point.

4.  Donella Meadows – Thinking in Systems

This was one of the best books that I read in 2019 and is one of the best books that I have ever read. Donella Meadows is a fantastic writer, but also possessed powerful ideas. I am always surprised at how systems thinking is not more prominent in debates around social, economic and environmental problems. Oftentimes rushing to solve one problem can lead to unintended consequences that make other problems worse. Systems thinking is challenging, but it is necessary if we are to solve many of today’s most pressing challenges.

5.  Mark Earls – Herd

I really enjoyed reading this book. You can tell by reading that Mark is very creative. There was lots of important information in here if you are looking to take ideas that you have and share them with mass audiences. I would definitely recommend this book if you are looking for insights into mass behaviour and how it can be influenced.

6.  Seth Godin – Small is the New Big

I like all the Seth Godin books that I have ever read and this one is no exception. Seth is the master of striping writing back to its bear essentials. Anyone can make a book more complicated than it otherwise needs to be. It takes skill and experience to make a book accessible and interesting.

7.   Elkington, Burke and Hailes – Green Pages

This was certainly not what I expected when I pulled it off the book shelf to read it earlier this year. It is not so much a book as a collection of articles from 1988. I found it to be very much frozen in time, without much to offer a reader of today. I bought it originally as I am a big John Elkington fan, but unless you are supremely interested in owning his entire bibliography, I would not recommend purchasing this book.

8.  Seth Godin – What to Do when It’s Your Turn (and It’s Always Your Turn)

I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this offering from Seth Godin was supremely well put together. Seth’s message is normally pretty consistent as always, partly trying to educate and partly trying to motivate his reader. This is an excellent book and I definitely recommend it.

9.  Stephen Covey – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This was another book that I owned for a long time before reading. Despite the cheesy book title, there is a lot of good advice and information in here. Habit number 2, begin with the end in mind and habit number 5 seek first to understand, then to be understood were the ones that stood out for me. I would definitely recommend this book as there is lots of helpful advice in here.

10. Richard Branson – Losing My Virginity

This was the first Richard Branson book that I have read and I really enjoyed it. He certainly had an interesting and exciting life whilst he built Virgin Group from its humble beginnings into the company that it is today. If you are looking for an interesting business autobiography to read, look no further.

11. Chris Anderson – Ted Talks

You wait for ages for a book on Ted Talks and then two come out at once. This one is slightly different from the Carmine Gallo book that I mentioned earlier. Chris Anderson is the head of Ted and so can provide a lot more context to what makes a Ted talk special. I really enjoyed reading this and if you would like to improve your speaking abilities then I would definitely recommend this book.

12. Seth Godin – This is Marketing

This is Seth Godin’s most recent and I would say best book of his. It has a much more conventional cover and title, which makes it easier to recommend and gift to people who may not be typical Seth Godin followers. He puts a heavy emphasis on the reader to create the type of marketing that will engage with their audiences in the most authentic way possible. If you are looking for a way to get into Seth Godin’s work, despite it being his most recent book, this is a good place to start.

13. Henry Hazlitt – Economics in One Lesson

Economics is a funny discipline; you can see two professors or experts tell completely different explanations about real world phenomena. Both will think that they are absolutely right. I had seen this Henry Hazlitt book recommended from a number of different places. It was certainly eye opening and had a number of different examples that get you to think differently about the world.

 

14.  E. F. Schumacher – Small Is Beautiful

This was one of the best books that I read in 2019. I found it to be packed full of useful information and a really good read. I think everybody could learn something by reding this book as it offers an excellent critique of the bigger is better ideology that pervades so much of society.

15. Jeremy L. Caradonna – Sustainability: A History

I had high hopes for this book, but it ended up being something of a damp squib. Even though the content was important and relevant, there was no storyline woven together to keep you turning page after page.

16. John Elkington and Julia Hailes – Manual 2000

I found this to be a reasonably interesting read. The sections on air pollution and recycling were good, albeit worrying that people have been warning about these issues since 1998 and yet they persist. If you are looking for a John Elkington book to read, he has many better than this.

17. Carmela Ciuraru (Editor) – Beat Poets

I got this book as a present and it did not disappoint, there are loads of great poems in there from an iconic generation. If you are keen to learn more about the Beat Generation, then I can definitely recommend this book.

18. Meegan Jones – Sustainable Event Management

I thought this was an excellent contribution to the literature on how to make events more sustainable. Even if you are not directly involved with event management, it is an interesting read nonetheless. It has lots of useful information and insights for the reader to go away with.

19. Niko Koeffeman (Editor) – Meat the Truth

This book is a collection of essays on an incredibly important topic. What we eat is very important, it determines the health outcomes of our own life, but it is also increasingly influencing the health outcomes for the planet. This book is an excellent critique of how the meat industry functions, why it is dangerous and the damage that it is doing. I definitely recommend that you read this book in 2020.

20.  Seth Godin – Leap first

This book is all about creating work that matters. Creativity involves risks, but Seth lays out why this is important and takes the reader through that process. There is lots of good advice and information that the reader is left to take away with them, so this is an excellent book.

21. Goldstein, Martin & Cialdini – Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion  

I bought this because of how much I liked Robert Cialdini’s earlier book Influence. I had high expectations and this did not disappoint. There is lots of great advice in here for how you can here yes more often, with is something that we all want.

22. Colin Pooley – Promoting walking and cycling

This was a book that I really enjoyed reading in 2019. It was exceptionally well written, with lots of useful information to help the reader learn more about cycling infrastructure. Lots of the solutions were not what you would think. Overall, this was a great book that I recommend to anyone interested in cycling.

 

23. Pablo van der Lugt – Booming Bamboo

This is an incredibly well written, detailed and important book. I very much enjoyed reading this in 2019. Pablo has a tough case to make, the construction industries in Europe and North America are not set up to be accepting of new material such as bamboo. But the detail and infographics in each chapter allow Pablo to make this case methodically. By the end of it, you are left utterly convinced about this. This is a great book that everyone working in sustainability should read.

24. Simon Sturgis – Targeting Zero

This is another really important book that I read in 2019. Buildings and the materials that they are comprised of are responsible for massive amounts of carbon emissions. This needs to change. Simon Lays out his strategy based on his life’s work in a clear and concise manner. This is a must read for anyone working in sustainability.

25. Stanley McChrystal – Leaders: Myth and Reality Hardcover

I had seen a lot of the press promotion for this book when it first came out and I knew it was a book that I wanted to read at some point. I really enjoyed reading this. Even though it was broken down into different sections, which were all quite compartmentalised, it is well written and keeps you guessing about what is next.  Stanley McChrystal had an amazing military career and so is a major authority on the subject of leadership. If you are looking to learn more about this subject in 2020, read this book.

26. Blake Masters and Peter Thiel – Zero to One

I originally read this book in paper copy in 2016, but I decided to buy the audiobook version in 2019 so that I could listen to it whilst exercising. There is so much good advice in here, a lot of which is relevant for people who are thinking of starting their own business, but some of it is just good life advice. I definitely recommend reading or listening to this book in 2020.

 

27.  John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan – The Power of Unreasonable People

From the cover of this book, you would definitely not be able to predict what was inside. I was really looking forward to reading this book after I bought it and it did not disappoint. Social entrepreneurs have a big role t0 play to make sustainability happen in the 2020s. If you want to learn about this, then you should definitely read this book.

28. Mike Berners-Lee – There Is No Planet B

This was probably one of the only books released in 2019 that I read in 2019. I have to say that I had high hopes for this book, as How Bad are Bananas is one of my favourite books. But on the whole, I found this to be quite disappointing. There were one or two facts in it that were just plane wrong. I also felt that it came across as the sustainability industry talking to itself.

 

29. E. Freya Williams – Green Giants

I really enjoyed reading this book, and I was very inspired by all the incredible case studies that it contained within it. Sustainable companies can inspire their employees, customers and other stakeholders to achieve incredible economic success that does not damage the environment. That is a positive, optimistic future that I think a lot of people can buy into.

30. Patrick Moore – Green Spirit

This is absolutely one of the best books on forestry that I have ever read. You can tell that Patrick is an experiment forestry as it is supremely detailed. Patrick is also an extremely good writer.

 

31. Yvon Chouinard – Let My People Go Surfing

I really enjoyed this book. Yvon has an amazing story to tell about how he built Patagonia into a successful and sustainable enterprise. If you work in sustainability, you should read this book.

32. Thomas Friedman – Thank You for Being Late

This was one of the more challenging books that I read in 2019. T was challenging, but worth it. Thomas weaves together an interesting story about technology, the environment and accelerations. I thought the whole book was very interesting. Except for the last 2 chapters on Minnesota, I think all bar U.S readers may get bored by them. But overall, I recommend reading this book.

33. Roberto Escobar – Escobar

I was really looking forward to reading this book on holiday and it did not disappoint. Roberto had a close relationship with his brother Pablo and tells of the many amazing stories and experiences that they shared together as they built their notorious criminal empire. This book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there was a lot I learned about Colombia and Pablo Escobar by reading this book.

34. Hunter S Thompson – Kingdom of Fear

I really enjoyed this Hunter S Thompson book. I had heard that it is not considered to be one of his best, but I very much enjoyed reading it. There were lots of things that I learned about his life and his legal struggles that I found out by reading this book. Whether you are a die-hard fan or looking to learn more about this mercurial figure, this is a good place to start.

35. Sylvia Ann Hewlett – Executive Presence

I listed to this audiobook on the way back from my holiday in January. I found it to be extremely useful and full of information that can help you succeed in the workplace and in life.

36. Steve Hilton – Positive Populism

I am a huge fan of Steve Hilton’s other books Good Business and More Human. So, I had high expectations before I even begun to listen to this audiobook. I think more authors should narrate their own audiobooks, as I think it makes them a lot more engaging. Steve has a great set of arguments in this book about how populism should be seen as a positive force for change. It is well thought out and well argued.

 

37. Charles Mackay – Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Listening to this audiobook, which I only finished recently was a huge highlight of 2019. This book has lasted for so long and become a classic, because it is extraordinarily well written and researched. I question anyone to look at society the same way after listening to this audiobook.

What you need to know

This article provided a short commentary on all the books that I read in 2019. I hope you found it to be useful.

I did not read as many books last year as I would have liked to and I will try to do better this year.

That being said I did read a number of exceptionally high-quality books this year, quality not quantity should be the goal.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. What was the best book that you read in 2019?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby