Given Half a Chance: Ten Ways to Save the World

By Edward Davey

How to address the world’s environmental challenges and make life better and more peaceful for people, nature, and the planet

Friday, 20 January 2017

82%; 5 recent interviews; encouragement from my editor; next steps...

Dear All,

A short note, a few hours before Donald Trump's inauguration, to say that it's been an encouraging couple of weeks for 'A Restored Earth: Ten Paths to a Hopeful Future' -- my modest contribution to setting out how we might, together, bring into being a better, more peaceful and more sustainable world in the years and decades ahead.

The first and most important bit of good news was that my kind and thoughtful editor, Phil Connor, has given the first draft 20,000 words a helpful, acute and warm-hearted assessment, with a number of really constructive editorial suggestions which I have taken fully on board. 

The fact that the editor's suggestions coincided with those of my beloved wife, Davina, the book's dedicatee, who returned from two days' of successive commutes with the first draft emblazoned in scribbles and crossings-out, as well as with those of Tony Juniper, my friend and mentor, and environmental writer extraordinaire, was cause for further encouragement.

In summary, the advice is: more and better stories needed; less technocratic language; a more personal tone; more vivid; more immediate; a greater attempt to draw the reader right in at the beginning of each chapter; more vivid immediacy & greater story-telling.  Michael McCarthy gave similar advice in his interview for the book several months ago, available here:

And the spirit of the comments is closely aligned, too, with the thoughts of another friend and supporter of the book, Alex Evans, whose own brilliant book, The Myth Gap, was published last week to wide acclaim.  I will do my best to oblige, especially in the frenzied three months to follow before our first child comes into the world...

Meanwhile, funding levels went up to 82%, which was also encouraging, with a number of friends rallying; it feels as if the end is in sight; but I must keep pushing, with your help; and so please, as always, do let me know if you know anyone who would be susceptible to receiving a note from me...

Finally, Unbound has kindly uploaded recent interviews with Paul Polman, Georgina Mace, Shelagh Whitley, Jakob Von Uexkull and Sir David King, links to which follow below.  All are fascinating in their different ways, with Paul Polman characteristically inspiring about the world and being a 'prisoner of hope'; Georgina Mace on biodiversity, population and conservation; Shelagh Whitley on the vital issue of fossil fuel subsidy reform; Jakob Von Uexkull on the big picture, the role of young people, and on his Council's innovative prizes to reward excellent projects, leadership and laws; and Sir David King on Mission Innovation, Bill Gates, Paris, renewables and the art of climate diplomacy.

Sir David King:

Paul Polman:

Prof Georgina Mace:

Jakob Von Uexküll:

Shelagh Whitley:

All best wishes,




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