A hopeful, inspiring, and honest take on the environment
Yes, the world faces substantial environmental challenges — climate change, pollution, and extinction. But the surprisingly good news is that we have solutions to these problems. In the past 50 years, a remarkable number of environmental problems have been solved, while substantial progress is ongoing on others.
The Optimistic Environmentalist chronicles these remarkable success stories. Endangered species — from bald eagles to gray whales — pulled back from the precipice of extinction. Thousands of new parks, protecting billions of hectares of land and water. The salvation of the ozone layer, vital to life on Earth. The exponential growth of renewable energy powered by wind, water, and sun. The race to be the greenest city in the world. Remarkable strides in cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink. The banning of dozens of the world’s most toxic chemicals. A circular economy where waste is a thing of the past. Past successes pave the way for even greater achievements in the future.
Providing a powerful antidote to environmental despair, this book inspires optimism, leading readers to take action and exemplifying how change can happen. A bright green future is not only possible, it’s within our grasp.
About the author
Dr. David R. Boyd is one of Canada’s leading experts in environmental law and policy and an adjunct professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. He has advised the governments of Canada, Sweden, and Iceland on environmental and constitutional issues and is the co-chair of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Team along with Mayor Gregor Robertson. He is a member of the IUCN’s Commission on Environmental Law, the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment, the Forum for Leadership on Water, and the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW).
David Boyd is the author of several bestselling and award-winning books as well as more than a hundred publications related to environmental law and policy, including Unnatural Law: Rethinking Canadian Environmental Law and Policy and The Right to a Healthy Environment: Revitalizing Canada's Constitution. His current research focuses on the effects of enshrining environmental rights and responsibilities in national constitutions.
- Short-listed, George Ryga Award for Social Awareness
“Is there hope for the future? Yes, as David Boyd brilliantly demonstrates, because of the energy and commitment of people who know the problems and take action to solve them. And because of the power of the human brain for good when it is in harmony with the human heart.” — Jane Goodall, PHD, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Institute of Peace
“A surprising, uplifting, and inspiring book. Boyd has assembled a dazzling array of success stories guaranteed to brighten your outlook about the future of this beautiful blue-green planet.” — Maude Barlow, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and author of Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever
“Boyd, one of the real leaders of the Canadian environmental movement, provides an uplifting view of our collective accomplishments and the path forward.” — Tom Heinztman, co-founder of Bullfrog Power
“Boyd has a remarkable ability to educate and inspire the reader on the critical environmental issue of our time — while at the same time creating a page-turner of a book. Pick this up, read it, and lend it to a friend!” — Paul Richardson, CEO of Renewal Funds
"In The Optimistic Environmentalist, Boyd inspires hopefulness, particularly for young people." — BC BookWorld
Other titles by David R. Boyd
Thirst for Justice
The Rights of Nature
A Legal Revolution That Could Save the World
Cleaner, Greener, Healthier
A Prescription for Stronger Canadian Environmental Laws and Policies
The Right to a Healthy Environment
Revitalizing Canada's Constitution
The Environmental Rights Revolution
A Global Study of Constitutions, Human Rights, and the Environment
Dodging the Toxic Bullet
How to Protect Yourself from Everyday Environmental Health Hazards
David Suzuki's Green Guide
Rethinking Canadian Environmental Law and Policy
Best Contemporary Canadian Nature Writing