#myphotolent2020

Christian Climate Action were looking to capture moments of their Lent Vigil which they planned to hold in front of the UK Parliament. Their devotion to the cause moved me. On the first day I decided that I would like to contribute with something so to participate in their commitment. What follows below is the outcome. Here is #myphotolent2020. 

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day 01

#myphotolent2020

Eh Oh take me

     by the hand,

Strong in solidarity

     we stand:

Pray for climate justice,

Pray for climate justice.

taken from the service sheet

day 02

#myphotolent2020

In our quest to grow

We seem to have forgotten

Our true place amongst your creations.

Instead, we prefer destruction and chaos over harmony.

Not unlike self-centred children

Craving for attention.

Gracefully you take the full blunt of our unhappiness.

Please forgive us.

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day 03

#myphotolent2020

There are signs that you,

Mother Earth,

Are struggling with our Inflammatory acts against you.

They are felt around the world.

Like a shock wave

They reach other communities

Other continents,

As we fail to understand

We are one body.

Like fingers belonging to one hand,

We belong to one earth.

And what we do to you,

We do to ourselves.

Please forgive us.

day 04

#myphotolent2020

Everything, Everywhere, is You.

Ashes to ashes,

Stardust to stardust,

We are made of the same,

Eternal dance of particles,

Staying and going.

Ground control to Major Tom,

Everywhere is Everything.

So let us live as one,

As I want to be, Am

With you everywhere.

Elementary. 

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day 05

#myphotolent2020

You hold us high,

Put us ahead of all other creatures,

So to look after your creation.

Despite all your care,

Destroyer of worlds we became.

So you weep.

So much,

Rivers are swelling,

homes are lost.

Forgive us.

Responsible, accountable and sustainable

We shall learn to be.

day 06

#myphotolent2020

But there are those who do care.

So few left though

With a profound respect for the land

And for all other living creatures.

They are gathering,

Remembering,

The primordial mission

given to human beings.

They are voicing their laments,

As too many violations.

So they are marching, and marching on,

To be heard.

And they make a stand.

And pray.

Like they never prayed before.

But too few listen, still.

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#myphotolent2020

day 07

High up they hold their colours

High up they hold their beliefs

Crusaders of peace

They march the streets

Taking humanity’s future

In hand

Before it may end

Sooner than planned

They pray day and night

Plea for the rest of us

To get it right

Let us all join

This plight

In might

#myphotolent2020

day 08

All living creatures deserve a place

In your future

Mother Earth.

The children across ALL communities,

Deserve to build their future

On solid lush grounds

As generations before them did.

And not on barren soil

Scorched by the sun

Depleted of life

Or contaminated

With past toxic legacies.

Or seeing their toys, families

And livelihood flushed away.

Chose transformation over transmission.

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#myphotolent2020

day 09

Mr Plastic, not Bertrand

More like Poly-something.

Like an eyesore

You have invaded Nature

And just hang

Hang with no aim, no purpose

No intend to create with reverence

Just to create with neglect,

Without love, no return.

Just hanging

Pointlessly

For a millennium,

8,760,000 hours.

All that

For a single-use

Of maybe 1 hour.

How selfish of you!

Enough is enough.

Get out of here.

#myphotolent2020

day 10

Polyethylene

Polyurethane

Are some of your names.

Common name: Plastic.

Since your birth, 1950s

8bn tonnes of you

Have spread worldwide

Most of you still here

Clinging

In our Landfills

Oceans

Beaches.

In Us.

 

We pick you up.

But all we can do.

Is to put you out of sight

Or re-use you

Transform you.

Flowers Blossoming in Vauxhall.

For a thousand years.

And you remain here. Intact.

But hope is here.

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We may have found

A way to get rid of you

Faster.

A bacterium that feeds on you.

A Pseudomonas.

We claim to have found

Our solution.

But the solution, Mother Nature

Is all yours.

As are all the solutions

To our problems.

Our power?

The power to look, to use

The power to do the right thing by You.

 

Inspired by the scientific article:

Toward Biorecycling: Isolation of a Soil Bacterium That Grows on a Polyurethane Oligomer and Monomer. Espinosa et al., Front. Microbiol., 27 March 2020.

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What makes us human?

Our genetic code

Without a doubt.

DNA

We all heard of

The Human Genome Project.

Humans have been

Decoded.

Science facts.

Stretched out

Our DNA

From trillions

And trillions of cells

We are made of

Could go twice around

Our solar system.

But now they say

More than half is not us.

We are more microbe

Than human.

Actually.

A Community

We are

We need

In us

So why not

Around us?

#myphotolent2020

day 11

Day 12

#myphotolent2020

Fauna or Flora

Two worlds

Different

Not only with

Power-engine and fuel

But mostly with

The inside-outside

Relationship.

Flora

Don’t move

Fauna

We do.

Motion.

We are designed

To get up and go.

The birth of our brain

Was not to think or feel

But first to control movement,

So says Prof Daniel Wolpert.

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And thanks to another chap

Newton

We know a few things

On motion.

His first law:

Unless we are acted upon

We don’t move.

Is that so? True.

A kick in the bud

Always got me going.

Spot on then.

So what will it take

To get all of us going

And sort out

The Biggest Crisis

In human’s history;

Climate Change.

Not another

Chicxulub, please.

Be gentle

With our awakening.

#myphotolent2020

day 13

Human beings came to your world,

A world full of your living things.

For a while harmony reigned.

But humans were not content.

God like they wanted to be.

Creation of a new world, they went.

A world full of plastic things,

In numbers that surpass

Your living things.

Forgive our trespasses.

According to an EPA study conducted in conjunction with UN Task Force on Global Development Impact, consumer-product diversity now exceeds biodiversity. 

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#myphotolent2020

day 14

Your Gardens are full of

Living creatures

Our lives are filled

With things

And we all have somewhere

Small gardens of unattended things

Let us stop hoarding

And not be afraid

Let us be true to ourselves

Confront our wounds

We are trying so hard

To forget.

To our Unattended Gardens.

#myphotolent2020

day 15

Where has our pursuit of wealth

taken us so far?

A total dependence

On fossil fuels

Depleting our precious

Savings we are.

When we so easily

Could survive on income alone.

Best employer without say

Our Sun.

Instead we have chosen

A road paved with bad intentions

With a time of fairness

Far Far Away

Forgive us

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#myphotolent2020

day 16

We can see the signs

And yet we do nothing.

We can see your distress

And yet we chose to ignore it.

But it has begun.

That inexorable path towards

Cascade failure

And system shutdown.

Let us act now

While we still can.

And be the change

We all want so to see.

Awaken us.

#myphotolent2020

day 17

I come to you

Dressed in Amber

Autumn long passed

To present my plea.

I am so dressed and not in Green

As too many of my creatures

Are without a home,

All your doing.

I am so dressed and not in red

As it is not too late

For my burned pastures

To again go green.

There is only one home

Me, Earth.

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Day 18

#myphotolent2020

Why choose a life in Amber?

Where life must clamber.

Chosen have you not

But let it unfold,

Have you.

Life in Amber

Like life on Mars

Should stay on Mars

And not infest

Our life in Blue and Green.

For that, Will, we need

And Love

Not just for others

But for oneself

First of all.

#myphotolent2020

day 19

Spring is here

Showing us the beauty

Earth can be.

Even our city trees

Can shine

Against the blue sky.

In times most dire

When the earth stood still,

Came we to realise

How we

Have partaken

In the spread of dust

Found so much in the air.

Air we breathe

Air we need

Air we must,

Keep clean.

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#myphotolent2020

day 20

We have for generations

Worked our hardest

To contain you

In our glittering worlds

Of Glass and Steel.

Despite these efforts

You find your way back in

Through cracks

To re-take your rightful place.

So rather than living

In opposite worlds

We are learning

To reconcile our differences

In a harmonious

Mutual beneficial

Co-existence.

#myphotolent2020

day 21

Not all of us

Are profit driven

With the only intention

To rip you apart

And use each drop

To the last

To fill their bank account

And grow so large

Like the stomach

Of a Titanausor.

You showed us then,

This way of Life

Was not sustainable.

So without a doubt

You pressed the reset button.

Please don’t as yet

Reset.

Let us learn

Make a pause

And let us reset

Our own way of life first.

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#myphotolent2020

day 22

Monsieur V. Corona

Hello, Bonjour, Ciao, Hola

Hallo, Cześć, Hallå…

Many countries

Have greeted you

Unwillingly.

Your multi-pass shows no limits

And grants you access to all humans

From all nations or creeds.

Diseases have no borders.

Despite our need to belong

To smaller groups.

It is time to think

as Citizens of the World.

Accepting that all things

Are interconnected.

We are in mourning

And in prayers

For the shadows

We have casted

And the lights

We have stifled.

Today we must

Include our own brethren.

Many have fallen

To a sweeping plague

Reminiscent of biblical times.

Let us cast aside

Our furies on the whys

And focus our thoughts

On the families in grief

By sending them

Much love and prayers.

Show the love.

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#myphotolent2020

day 23

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#myphotolent2020

day 24

Our curiosity and technological advances

Lead us at an ever increasing rate

To open new doors,

Expose us to New Worlds

We at times struggle to fully comprehend.

Some doors unleash new possibilities

Some others new dangers.

 

Before a door is opened

All consequences must be considered.

But it is human to err.

Failures are part of us.

And sometimes harm results,

Unintentionally; naturally.

So we learn not to do

The same again. Our duty.

 

Still part of us too, are Violations

Causing harm with intent.

Unacceptable we say.

Together in once voice

We say

STOP.

Do NO harm.

#myphotolent2020

day 25

At human distance

An expression much better known by Film directors and the world of cinema

Has just reached new meaning today.

And this is no movie,

It’s real and it is scary.

 

I am a Wellbeing and Sustainability Champion

At my work place.

Sitting at home in fear, anxious, is not healthy.

My medicine to combat my anxieties: Photography.

It gets me up and about.

“It’s ok to go outside”

So said Chief medical Chris Whitty.

For essentials only though.

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Nature is here to welcome us.

The very same Nature we are trying so hard

To conquer and suffocate.

It will be free to roam National Trust parks

To enjoy Nature’s Gifts

While the plague continues.

Just keep your distances from your own kind.

At human distance.

 

And if you are looking to capture

Close-up images of thorns on stems

Like I did yesterday

Mind the slippery terrain

And don’t let the rosebush dampen your fall,

Ouch!

And you will be just fine.

For All of Nature’s Gifts.

We are Thankful. 

For the last few entries I have slightly diverted from the original format. Time to go back to it.

#myphotolent2020

day 26

Unbalanced Energies

Are flowing among your midst.

How do we know?

Autumn leaves and spring flowers

Seen together

In November

For one.

What is the cause of

Your discord?

Difficult to pin down

But human without a doubt.

Cause and effect.

It must play out.

Consequences we will see,

Before your energies

Are balanced once more.

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#myphotolent2020

day 27

Social Distancing

Another term

In the floodlight.

Humans began

To withdraw

Since the creation

Of our own world,

Folding back

From our true reality,

The physical world

We all are born into,

For reasons like

Hurts, trauma, fear

Or just not wanting

To change.

And slowly

Losing our ways

Of Togetherness.

Distancing.

Creating other worlds

Virtual Worlds

Worlds of One.

Help us to cope

And Hold on

On what makes us human.

#myphotolent2020

day 28

Beware

Earth

Source of cures

Willow bark tree

Mould

Nature

Our Cradle of Life

Survival.

Intrusions

Forgive us

Earth

Nature

Cradle of life

Biosystems

Artificial

Corporate organism

Pursuit of wealth

Secrecy

Fool is useful

Fair is not

Antithesis of Wisdom

Destruction

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Day 29

#myphotolent2020

Out of the woods

You come

Like any mother

Wanting to stand up

Protect

Warn

Teach

It’s offspring

The Next Generation

To stand on their

Own

Feet, hooves, paws

Independent

Integrated

Free.

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Free from Anger

Free to love

Free to create

Free to be.

Do show us the way

In our darkest hour

Before we

Reach

Our point of no return.

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#myphotolent2020

day 30

We are getting closer

To that Day

That day we put you high

On a Cross

Nailed

Bang Bang

To Die

To Shout

“Forgive Them”.

To have your

Last Breath

Sorry Bro.

To Resurrect

To sit next

To Your True

Father

For Eternity.

You will be back

One day.

So they say.

I think Bro

You are back

Everyday

Every second

In every act

Of Love

Of Compassion

Of Creation.

We can see you

If we have our eyes wide open.

You are always here

Never left.

Forgiven me

You have.

Open my eyes

I will more so.

Create with reverence

I will more so.

Amen.

#myphotolent2020

day 31

Pascha

Will not be business

As usual

Instead

Easter will be celebrated

Away from the crowd

In isolation

In a room

An upper room perhaps?

Not unlike

The first Christians.

Focus on the content

We shall indulge

As rituals

We can't.

Outbreak

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Social distancing

Oh yeah bugger!

Too much focus on the form

Can distance us

From true meaning

Content.

Reminder

Each form has a content

As each content comes

In a form.

Hand in hand

Like 2 sides

Of a brain

Working together

One in Thought

One in Words

My love to you

Big Guy

Amen

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day 32

#myphotolent2020

Pasta Sunset,

I entitle this composition.

The sun has come down

On the world of Pasta

Who have fallen

Victim of this thing

That stalled our economies.

Pasta has left the building.

Sounds surrealistic. Not.

Just for a fortnight

Some of us were without

PASTA.

While others had plenty.

The Vanishing of the Pasta.

Horror movie. Not.

Reality. Yes.

The day workers went home

With no essentials

Will be remembered.

Self-centredness,

Is really the plague

That consumes us.

Like children

Stuck for ever

In the egocentric stage.

Me, Me, Me, Me, Me.

The perspective of others

That defines adulthood

Eludes them.

Economy of Zombies and Unicorns

Will be the key words

Defining the beginning of this 21st century.

Disconcerting, it is.

Asleep, we are.

Awaken, we must.

Challenge our fears, we will.

#myphotolent2020

day 33

Creatures of the night.

Up all night to get lucky

To get some… fun

Working, planning, Preparing

For the opportunities

That the new day will bring.

They are up, also,

Christian Climate Action

All nights

For 40 days

Not to get some fun

But to raise the bar

Holding a Vigil

Praying

For us to wake up

To come to our senses

For us to do the right thing.

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They pray to save our ways

Our planet

So it will keep spinning.

And spinning.

Round of applause

To those silent warriors.

Blessings

To all silent warriors.

In these

Time of Crisis.

Amen

“Like the legend of the phoenix

All ends with beginnings

What keeps the planet spinning

The force from the beginning

We've come too far to give up who we are

So let's raise the bar and our cups to the stars”

Daft Punk (Get lucky)

English Ivy

A story of hope

Is spreading across our city

Of sadiqkhanian proportion.

English Ivy walls rise

Around our city schools

To catch that dark matter

We call particulate matter;

To stop this destroyer of breath

So to protect our most precious

Investment, our children

Our future.

And all thanks to NASA.

Yes, our space guys

Who put at the top of the league

Of air-filtering plant system,

The English Ivy.

So hail the Ivy.

Stopper of all dark matter

Now showing in our neighbourhood

Like in a good old fashioned fairy tale.

But this is our reality

No fairy tale nor science fiction

Just our way of using

Science data

For better living

For smarter living

In our metropolis.

Funding is here

All we need is

To believe the data, to act.

A leap of faith lies

behind all new steps

Into the unknown,

Behind all new beginnings.

Faith is the drive force of all act.

May Faith be with us always.

May Faith be our guide, our strength,

To collect even better data

For even smarter living.

Only to become better humans.

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#myphotolent2020

day 34

There is nothing more brutal

Than a change in form.

Earth creatures are most vulnerable

When shedding or moulting.

Growing is inevitable.

Just another constant of life.

Our circle of life

Begins with a push

Into the limelight

Where the spectacle

Never ends only

With a hasty brutal darkness

And a deafening silence.

Some of us experience

Their stage exit

lent_day35 ripples some plastic and a bi

Like a slow descent

Of a landing plane

And are here to tell.

Some are called to re-ascend

Only to continue their journey

Towards another destination

Unplanned.

To live on borrowed time

Is extra-ordinary.

Philosophers named it

La petite mort.

Knowing that our soul

Should swim in the

Abyss of nothingness

But is not,

Reignites the spark of life.

Awakenings.

Only at the precipice

Do we evolve

Do we grow

And find a will

To change.

To new beginnings.

#myphotolent2020

day 35

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Man-made things,

Products, stuff,

The world of objects

is growing

Larger and larger

Now threatening our own existence

And taking a good chunk

Of the Natural World

With it

To the crisis point:

Consumer-product diversity

Now exceeds biodiversity.

Objects served us well

Since Homo erectus.

So Homo technologicus

What’s up?

One word: Junk

Objects of no purpose

Planned obsolescence.

Overconsumption is a disease

At the heart

Of All our environmental problems.

Consuming us. Ironically.

Like a bad indigestion.

Or chocking on vomit.

Clotting of our sewers

Drinking water contaminations

Are just a few symptoms.

It is us that are in need of healing.

It is us who are in need of attention.

It is us who are in need of care.

We change, change will follow.

Our path to salvation:

Purchase with care and conscious.

Ethically.

But mostly remember

The best thing in life

Are not things.

Big Virtual Hug to all.

Inspiration: affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic Thomas H Naylor, John de Graaf, and David Wann

#myphotolent2020

day 36

Bricks, stones and buildings

Form our cultural matrix,

We are born into

Imprint upon and grow out of.

And for some

Found residence in death for millennia.

Nothing is for ever.

Teaches us nature.

Even mountains go

With the flow

Only to become part of something else.

As for all, there is a big bang beginning

A Middle and an End.

Buildings are built to serve

And deserve to R.I.P.

With too much looking backwards

So does disappear our

Ability to see afar.

Nature recycles.

Another constant.

We resist.

We hold on. We hoard.

Wouldn’t our future be better

Preserved by directing

Some of our prodigal expenditures

To humans in need now

To preserve human biodiversity

Rather than to persist gilding

Brittle bricks.

What purpose would serve

If our worldly family mansion

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Cost us the right to live

On this planet

Leaving nothing but

A worldly family tomb

For our children to reside.

Ever changing landscape is LIFE.

Ever changing cultural landscape

Protects us from procrastination

And Self-annihilation;

From cultural fibrosis.

End of civilisations

We had many, too many

And here we are again

Repetitive cycle of blunders

Of Egos

Losing sight of what is truly precious - LIFE

We ARE,

Not bricks.

 

Inspiration: Walden by David Henry Thoreau

#myphotolent2020

day 37

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Crisis

Not all crises are the same.

Some cause just one crack,

Some others create rifts

Visible from space.

In time of crisis

The new enters by force.

In front of a crisis

We have to judge and to decide

Should I stay or should I go,

Good or bad,

Left or right,

Live or die -

The ultimate decision.

No matter the type of crisis,

What is done is done

What is lost is lost.

But whether we look

At a crisis as a failure

Or as a learning opportunity

Remains our point of view

And choice, always.

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#myphotolent2020

day 38

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“Urban Crisis Landscape

Is the title of this series of compositions.

They were taken in my street

Less than 50 metres from my flat

In a time where the planet

Experiences, its most dramatic changes

In landscape yet

Due to climate change

And pandemics.

Ice melting,

Storms breaking umbrellas.

Let this be our opportunity

To learn, to rise

And build a better us.

Inspired by Times of Crises by Michel Serres, Bloosmbury, 2009.

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In this together

We are

Echoes in courtyards

Across cities

With the sounds of applauds.

But we were always together.

So when did we feel

Not connected

Detached

And alone?

Disconnect to better connect

So does a neurone

When in need

Of maintenance or repair.

Too many injuries

From others

Left unattended

Un-repaired

Un-resolved.

So there is only one

Place to hide;

Home alone,

With only things as comfort

As too many of us have.

 

How to escape from the rat race

From routines

Unplug.

Simple.

Now take your time

To heal

To turn inwards

Tend to these unattended places

Close the gaps, the cracks

Become whole again.

Then re-connect

As a whole human being

Without gasping for attention

But ready to create new momentum

Of life that will echo

And resonate

To the end of time

#myphotolent2020

day 39

#myphotolent2020

day 40

I would like to finish with a quote that I found most fitting to conclude this reflection on climate emergency and on our future not just on this planet but in the Universe among Everything Everywhere.

Bertrand de Jouvenel, the eminent French political philosopher has given description of a ‘western man’ where without a doubt we can recognise our modern economists

  

“He tends to count nothing as an expenditure, other than effort; he does not seem to mind how much mineral matter he wastes and, far worse, how much living matter he destroys. He does not seem to realise at all that human life is a dependent part of an ecosystem of many different part of an ecosystem of many different forms of life. As the world is ruled from towns where men are cut off from any form of life other than human, the feeling of belonging to an ecosystem is not revived. This results in a harsh and improvident treatment of things upon which we ultimately depend, such as water and trees.”

Thank you

Pascal

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Acknowledgements

First I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Vanessa and Tim in trusting me with the job. It was a real pleasure to cover the 40 day Lent Vigil organised by the Christian Climate Action (CCA). I would like to thank mostly Ruth and Melanie but also the entire CCA community for providing a friendly audience and for their encouragements when moral was low. Without them, you would have missed out on 20 days. It was an experience to dedicate one's life to a 40 day spiritual journey. Also a big thank you to Anita Kapila and Christopher Ramsey, good friends of mine for their continuous kindness and moral support. And at last but not least, a big thank you to my most precious new family, the community at St Anne and All Saints Church in Vauxhall, my local.

References

"Nothing comes from Nothing" I am a fervent reader as I believe that we should all be students of life for life. Explicit references have been cited in texts above but my mind has been forged by many authors over many years. Still how I run the network of my knowledge is mine. Here are just a few:

  1. Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered the  economist E. F. Schumacher. H Blond & Briggs, 1973.

  2. The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change by Al Gore, Random House, 2013.

  3. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein, Penguin Books, 2014.

  4. Nature in Cities by Lise Bourdeau-Lepage, 2013

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