söndag 23 januari 2011

Pär Holmgren & Jessica Cederberg Wodmar: "Klimatkoden" ("The climate code")

Finished Pär Holmgren & Jessica Cederberg Wodmar's "Klimatkoden" ("The climate code", Medströms förlag 2009). The authors are a meteorologist and a journalist who've turned to informing people about climate issues, and it's very didactically conceived and executed – margins in different colors for different chapters, margin notes to emphasize certain points, point-by-point advice on how to reduce the climate and environmental impact of activities like cleaning, at work, and from events like parties, weddings, etc.

Unfortunately, they overdo it a bit with the didactic stuff, possibly a side effect of being too well-trained "communicators" working in a commercial environment. For example, they waste quite a bit of pages on repeating advice they've already given – if you've told the reader that he/she shouldn't leave stuff on standby in one chapter, repeating it in the next chapter, and then next chapter, gets a bit repetitive after a while. Also, they waste one chapter – thirty pages of the book's 190 pages – on celebrities sharing their five best climate saving tips, another (fortunately shorter) on various more or less significant differences between men's and women's behavior and opinions, and another on a Cosmopolitan-style test of the reader's "climate profile". This dilutes the main and best parts of the book, which are about how to live a more climate-friendly life. 

The book isn't a waste of time, there is plenty of good advice in it (even though it could have been shorter and more to-the-point), so it's still worth your time. I'd also recommend Marit Paulsen's much shorter "Lurad av laxen – sant & falskt om maten" ("Tricked by the salmon – truths and falsehoods about food"), though. Paulsen is both a writer and a politician, and has a very thorough knowledge about food and the politics behind it. She offers solid advice on how to reduce your carbon print (main advice: don't throw food away. Really. Don't), plus some interesting things to think about, and she does it in a very readable style.

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