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Carbon Detox: Your step-by-step guide to getting real about climate change. Paperback – 15 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gaia Books Ltd (15 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856752887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856752886
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 702,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

George Marshall is Director of the Climate Outreach and Information Network and has over 17 years' experience in research and campaigning for environmental organisations. He has worked as a senior campaigner for Greenpeace and the Rainforest Foundation, and as a policy consultant to the German and Papua New Guinean governments. He has authored fifteen major reports and won nine awards for his video documentary work. Location: Oxford.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dave Watton on 8 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
In his 2006 book Heat, George Monbiot set out a bold and inspiring vision of how Britain could reduce its carbon emissions by 90% by 2030, thereby keeping runaway temperature rises at bay and mitigating the worst effects of climate change. The only problem with Monbiot's tightly argued and highly convincing call to action is that it demands a prompt and sweeping response at government level and beyond, which can seem awfully remote and disempowering to the ordinary individual wondering what he or she can do personally to make a difference.

Cue veteran green campaigner George Marshall to enter the climate change fray with Carbon Detox, an irreverent, humorous and immensely readable guide to getting to grips with this thorny issue on a personal level. Replacing piles of dull statistics with vivid metaphors for understanding climate change - a rollercoaster ride we are about to embark on and cannot climb off - Marshall skilfully conveys the nature and urgency of the problem. He also excels at revealing Humankind's seemingly limitless capacity for denial, drawing an analogy with the tobacco industry-sponsored campaign of the 1950s to expose the phoney contemporary industry of climate change scepticism. And through an incisive analysis of personality types borrowed from the field of marketing, Marshall offers some clever ideas for those seeking to convince sceptical friends, family and colleagues.

But Carbon Detox's ultimate purpose is to serve as a step by step guide to taking positive action on climate change.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By mark twain on 25 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
The climate crisis is an absolute emergency, yet all of us who've been working towards personal, social, and political change know how stuck in a rut we are with our methods communicating the urgency of the situation. George Marshall's approach is hilariously and utterly original, irreverant and inspiring, and a must-read, must give to loved-ones. It's a movement building book, and it speaks, in it's self-help genre format, to a wide, diverse audience, not just environmentalists (who actually herein get a bit of a boot). We'll be hearing a lot more from this man! Make this book a success and we'll be contributing to solutions....
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Drizzle on 26 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
OK, so we know the science, but how do we get action? We need to tackle full-on the psychology of denial out there, and to talk to different types of people on their own terms. We need new ways of talking about climate change, new stories and new metaphors. In this readable, informal, down-to-earth and straight-talking new book, George Marshall makes great strides into this territory. There's no other book on climate change quite like it. Read it to find out why you should say no to sackcloth, how to side-step the bystander effect, and how to relate to your Evil Carbon Twin. Then pass it on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shane Hyde on 24 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the last year ive read 8 books on climate change because i realised that i was fairly ignorant of the facts. The best one ive read so far is Heat by George Monbiot and it was from there that i was led to George Marshall and Carbon Detox.

George Marshall is the co-founder of 'Rising Tide' and director of the 'Climate Outreach and Information Network' and a pioneer in the campaign for greater understanding and action in climate change in the UK. Unfortunately however, I found his book the least interesting or helpful of all that ive read so far.

There seems to be no definitive book on climate change that covers everything, and so Carbon Detox contributes many valuable ideas, facts, links and opinions to the mix and i would definitely recommend that people read it. I especially found interesting the 4 personality types and how each one could be influenced in a different way. But my main objection is that the book adopts a kind of motivational, inspirational, self-help style that i find grating at times. This style creates so much padding that you could ditch 2/3rds of the book and still get across the same message.

The best chapter for me was the last one where George starts to talk about himself. For once he takes his own advice on 'the golden rule for amplifying climate change' and succeeds in reaching an audience by allowing me into his own personal world and how he has tried to make changes in his own life. This led me to his yellowhouse website which will be useful as i myself attempt to improve the energy efficiency of my 19th century home.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Williams on 17 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
George Marshall quite correctly concludes that the science is covered elsewhere, and focuses his book on the social and psychological aspects of climate change instead. Carbon Detox is about climate change in real life, and all the questions that entails - why do people not get it? How can people who do get it still fly? Why is it climate change an unacceptable dinner party conversation?

Marshall sets out to provide "fresh ways of coming to terms with climate change... new and original metaphors, images and arguments," and aims to empower and inspire rather than scare.

Having motivated the reader to change in the first half, the second half of the book tells you how. There are extensive notes on working out your carbon emissions, and then step-by-step guidelines for how to reduce them. It is comprehensive without being over-complicated, and much more reliable than online carbon calculators.

Like all the best books on climate change, Carbon Detox is also positive. "When you decide to detox you are not just taking a stand against climate change" writes Marshall. "You are also making a strong statement for a cleaner, healthier and fairer world."

For that, and its practical advice and refreshing perspective, Carbon Detox is a great book. It's also honest, personal, and very funny. Other people deal with the science or the politics in much more detail, but if you're only going to read one book on climate change, Carbon Detox is the one you should go for.
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