Review of ‘There is no Planet B’ my Mike Berners Lee

I wonder how you feel about Global warming? The whole business of sustainability, climate change, recycling, Greta, it’s pretty hard to avoid.


If you, like me, feel the need to know and do more, can I recommend this excellent book which is crammed full of statistics and helpful ways that we can play our part. It also helps us to prioritise how we live our lives so that we can make informed choices. How bad for the environment is air travel? What are the downsides of greater efficiencies in technology? What is the problem with eating meat? I feel better informed having read this book and am accordingly looking to make adjustments to my lifestyle.


As I have walked this journey personally, I have looked at ways I can change my behaviour at work too, and the writer has an interesting chapter on People and work and asks the question ‘When is a job a good thing?’ to which the answer is when it is useful, fulfilling and appropriately paid. As a boss, I have a responsibility but this is a question that each of us in employment need to ask. It could lead to some difficult conversations with our employers!


It also pulls no punches, ‘doing our bit’ at an individual level is honourable, but unless Businesses and Governments change the way of thinking, it will make very little difference.


Mike Berners Lee writes in a jovial style that makes you think that he would likely be good company with a pint in his hand. He admits he doesn’t have all the answers, or that he can be put up as a perfect role model, but I felt that his motives were genuine and that he cares about this world and more importantly the people within it.


All of the people.


The writer does not profess to be a believer in any particular faith, (although there are certainly sympathies towards a buddhist existence) however to readers of this blog who do have a faith (as I do as a Christian) the values that are espoused are ones that should resonate. Surely to believe in a creator God requires a responsibility to responsibly steward the earth and its populace He created?


As a Financial planner, I was particularly interested to hear his views on investments. This is certainly an area in which we can all play our part.


Every financial decision is an investment in one kind of future or another. This applies whether you are a government, a huge corporation, one of the super rich or just someone popping to the shops for some groceries. Every buying decision on every scale supports some supply chains and rejects others….At the higher end of personal decisions, pensions….stand out. Pension portfolios now require scrutiny not just for the returns they offer but for the type of global future they support.


Don’t forget that at Trinity, we offer dedicated ‘Ethical portfolios’ which include a blend of passive funds which have screened out those things which are damaging to this world (so you know that your investment funds are not helping the extraction of fossil fuels that must remain in the ground, or supporting companies that create armaments that cause so much misery and oppression to so many of our fellow global citizens)  but our ethical portfolios can also include active Social impact funds which look to invest in companies that are looking to have a measurable positive impact. This latter part is exciting as thanks to the UN Social Development Goals, we now have something to measure impact against. We use the services of an excellent organisation called Worthstone who are dedicated to the measurement of Social impact in investment funds.


Perhaps the first step on your journey is to read this book. Perhaps in conjunction with that,  the second stage is to chat to a Trinity adviser.