I’ve always had the impression that Tim Flannery is a nice bloke, the kind of hard-working, intelligent, diligent, thought-provoking chap you want on your team. A fact that Australia’s government of the day shared when they set him up as Chief Commissioner of Independent Advisory Committee – The Climate Commission in 2011. The love affair was however, short lived. The government shafted him and his team back in 2013, sacking Tim and shutting the committee down after less than two years. Thankfully, Tim and his team secured crowd funding to re-open as the Climate Council proving just how popular and needed they were and how out of touch the government continues to be.
But that’s another story.
So it was with an air of excitement that I purchased and got stuck into this book, keen to find some nuggets of information to help drive me forward in what can often seem like bleak times environmentally.
The book was good but it was obvious from the first half of it that Tim is still sore over what the government did to him and who can blame him really. He must feel like he is shovelling muck up hill here in Australia, the country still funded by dirty mining. Tim didn’t miss an opportunity to say ‘I told you so’ and ‘look suckers, I’m still here’ to those who have scorned him and that didn’t make for a great reading experience.
That said Tim doesn’t just know his stuff he is enthusiastic about it. The great thing about Atmosphere of Hope is how it points you to all the good things that are being funded around the world (often through private enterprise). The big ideas, out-of-the-box thinking and new perspectives. This does give me hope although I must say that after reading about some of the initiatives I do question the sanity of the sponsors but hey ho.
That brings me to one last thought on this book and it’s title. Hope is a curious word and one that can often be said with passive intentions especially when being used as a noun:
But I prefer to interpret hope as a verb – a real doing word – and take ownership of my future:
I came across this deadly snake on my path and walked past it carefully, all the time hoping that it would let me go without a fight.
So I’ll end by saying this. I actively hope that people like Tim Flannery continue to be able to do their work, to be heard and to drive positive change and for that reason I was more than happy to help him on his way by reading and appreciating his work with this book.
And yes, the snake did leave me along. Thank goodness.