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We are witnessing unprecedented climate change. And we are attempting to respond to the threats and the challenges brought about by a warming planet. The great global transition for our survival has begun.

In The Winning of the Carbon War, Jeremy Leggett deals with the “power and the politics on the front lines of climate and clean energy.” In the accompanying video he features the top ten stories driving the great global transition. According to Leggett, “in 2013, the tide began to turn. By 2015, it was clear the war could be won.”

Humanity is in a race, a kind of civil war.

On the light side the believers in a sustainable future based on clean energy fight to save us from climate change. The dark side defends the continuing use of fossil fuels, often careless of the impact it has on the world. (Source: The Winning of the Carbon War prologue).

Top Ten Stories of the Great Global Transition

Credit: IEEE PVSC presentation: Solar PV’s role in the great global energy transitionJl ieee pvsc

  1. Policy makers are getting serious about climate change.
  2. Civil society is awakening in critical mass.
  3. Regulators are beginning to regulate climate risk.
  4. Disruption is moving very fast.
  5. Utilities are racing to escape a death spiral.
  6. Divestment is snowballing.
  7. Incumbency spending is being squeezed.
  8. The shale boom is going bust.
  9. The oil and gas industry is facing talk of twilight.
  10. The legal system is fast becoming a driver.

In the following video presentation, Leggett spends a few minutes on each story to show why he’s now become cautiously optimistic that we can indeed win the carbon war. Only a year ago he was largely pessimistic and tired of banging his head against a brick wall.

Published on Jun 13, 2016
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There are troublesome signs that the Paris Agreement may be in jeopardy. Major countries and the EU have yet to ratify the agreement and the overall pace of ratification is disappointing. As of June 29, there are 178 signatories to the Paris Agreement but a mere 19 countries have also ratified the agreement. This accounts for a mere 0.18 % of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Post-Paris Era

But Jeremy Leggett, now sailing with a fresh wind of cautious optimism, looks at the post-Paris era with more rosy spectacles. Following are a few excerpts from the Epilogue of his latest book.

The agreement achieved there shows what we can do, when we pull together: all 195 of our governments in harness with so many civil-society actors, of such great variety. There can be little doubt that the collective success will encourage governments to attempt other acts of multilateral gymnastics.

Can all this amount to a direction of travel for sapiens, in the post-Paris world, wherein we might be able to organise ourselves well enough…. to take steps back from the brink of many of our worst problems?

A world well on the road to being run 100% on renewable energy, and all the other social benefits a global action plan consistent with the Paris Agreement would bring, can still find itself sliding into darkness scenarios, all too easily.

We are in a race against time….The carbon war is not won…But one thing is clear to me. What happened in Paris in December 2015, and the run-up to it from 2013, keeps the dream of human renaissance alive. I do not think it would still be breathing, had Paris failed to send a strong signal.


climate ironyRolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of BoomerWarrior.Org. He’s a Climate Activist and a blogger. He’s a member of 350.Org (Ottawa), Climate Reality Canada and Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Ottawa). Rolly has been published widely in both print and online publications. You can follow him on FacebookTwitterLinkedin and Pinterest.


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  1. I would feel a lot more optimistic if CO2 did not accumulate in the atmosphere and oceans – and if the tangible current warming effects such as ice shelf melting were actually in equilibrium with the current global average temperature.
    Clearly for the best outcome we need to stop burning fossil fuels today without regard to economic implications and even then it is clear that we will still suffer centuries of uncomfortable weather and slowly increasing sea levels.
    Incorrectly pricing fossil fuels got us into this mess and yet we still have not corrected that basic mistake.

  2. I wish I felt as confident as this report, but it’s optimism is overshadowed by recent world events, especially in the US and Europe where mass killings, murders of innocent people and fear has become a daily occurrence filling the headlines on TV, radio, and newspaper!
    Not many news reports are interested in reporting on climate change – that is old news to them. But there are some recent buried reports that paint a very gloomy picture for our future if we do not introduce carbon pricing. Left alone, our climate will introduce an uncertain future for every man, woman and child on the planet


    The above link is mentioned toward the end of the article on flassbeck-economics…it too has not hit mainstream news. We need to be very worried.

    This link, also taken from the same flassbeck-economics report accuses main stream media of deliberately not reporting on climate change events (actually attributing floods,storms,heat waves to the heating climate caused by climbing greenhouse gasses). It goes on to accuse them of pandering to the giant oil and energy companies…
    “If the mainstream media were doing its job responsibly, they wouldn’t just tell you the estimated cost of disaster relief, they would tell you that according to Citibank, the estimated cost of climate inaction is around $44 TRILLION globally.”

    Meanwhile on UK news today, IS killing of French priest, dealing with hate crime, Jeremy Corbin, and Russian Olympic doping made the headlines. Lesser stories including Actor Harrison Ford court case on violating health & Safety on the Star Wars movie set (when a faulty door broke his leg), and the half brother to president Obama says he will be voting for Donald Trump. The final insult of virtually non-news on our front pages was a motorist fined £300 for carrying 800 kilos of rice in his car!

    I find it insulting to listen to entertainment sensationalism when more serious reporting would be welcome. Indeed, after the Brexit vote, there has been more scaremongering, and hounding of our politicians by the media than ever!

    • Colette – I share your frustration with the triviality of mainstream media reporting. Most of it is mindless and truly insignificant. And as you point out, “insulting” to intelligent people who care about the world they live in, and who want a better world for their children and grandchildren.

      Thank you for sharing those links in your two last comments. I particularly like the one re climate malpractice.

      I wish more people were interacting with you and responding to your comments on BoomerWarrior. But please stay with it.


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