book cover

The slow birth of a book

book coverBack in a previous life, when I was environment and energy editor at The Conversation, me and my deputy editor James Whitmore had a brilliant idea. We decided the world needed a book that answered questions like ‘do I need to move to another country if I want to survive climate change?’. No one else seemed to have done it, and everyone still seemed to be talking about stopping climate change, as though that was something we could still do. Keen as we were to see emissions drop and climate change slowed, we thought it was about time someone started thinking about how to deal with the crazy weather, disruptions to the food system and distress we were pretty sure were heading our way. It turned out that someone was us, so we started thinking about it. Barry Scott at Transit Lounge reckoned the idea made sense, and we got to work.

We wandered around Australia talking to people who’d already changed the way they were living. We asked experts of all sorts about different scenarios and what might work to keep people safe and sane.  We were really grateful to the people who’d lived through floods and fires and told us what it was like. I was also deeply pleased to get three weeks at Varuna to work on the final draft, and we were both overwhelmed when Clive Hamilton agreed to write a foreword. Now the advance copies of the book are back from the printer. I feel nearly as weird as I did last time – I still haven’t worked up the nerve to open one and see if there are words inside. But part of the deal with writing a book is you tell people about it, so we’ve made a website (thanks to ace developer Jonathan Butler). We wanted a place where we could talk with readers about what’s in the book, and try to answer any questions we didn’t cover in print. We also have a load of references in the book, so we’ve put those online to make it a bit easier for you to click through and read the original sources if you’re interested.

The Handbook: surviving and living with climate change will be out on 1 September. You can have a look at the website now: (it includes a blog post about why we wrote the book). And if you like to use Goodreads, you can add the book here.


8 thoughts on “The slow birth of a book

  1. Congratulations Jane! It’s been interesting reading snippets of the writing process, and I’m so glad you got over the humps and are now about to launch this book onto the world.

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