The Only Future That Will Sustain the Human Race
People around the world recognize the dire threat posed by climate change. Governments, businesses, and individuals are making commitments to shift to renewable energy sources, trim consumption, and otherwise reduce their carbon footprints.
But what if these well-intentioned steps are likely to be woefully inadequate to ensure the future health—or even the survival—of the human race? What if the most popular goal being pursued by today’s climate activists—net zero carbon emissions—is actually a recipe for human disaster?
That’s the dramatic warning being sounded by scientist, engineer, and entrepreneur Peter Fiekowsky . . . along with an urgent call to refocus our rescue efforts on a much bigger, bolder, yet fully achievable goal—the goal of restoring the climate to the healthy state that will allow human beings to thrive.
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"Effective and galvanizing . . . An invigorating, thought-provoking plan to address climate change.”
"With inviting clarity and an engaging optimism, Fiekowsky considers four promising solutions [for climate restoration], presenting the possibilities with persuasive power."
What Will It Take to Restore Our Climate?
Today, CO2 levels are around 420 ppm and rising about 2.5 ppm each year. Meeting the goal of net zero emissions will leave us with a level of about 460 parts per million, more than 50 percent higher than human beings have ever experienced. This is not good enough. We need to go much further—to return the world to atmospheric and climate conditions that we know are safe and healthy for humans.
As Fiekowsky explains in Climate Restoration, this will require removing a trillion tons—that is, 1,000 billion tons—of excess CO2 from the atmosphere. The good news is that this task, while enormous and technically challenging, is eminently feasible.
Scientists and engineers have developed four major technologies for carbon removal and storage:
Ocean pasture restoration uses biomimicry—the imitation of natural processes, such as iron-rich dust storms—to stimulate photosynthesis and cause phytoplankton to multiply. This helps many types of sea life to flourish, while capturing a huge amount of excess atmospheric CO2.
Synthetic limestone manufacture uses captured CO2 to produce synthetic limestone—high-quality rock that can be used to make roadbeds and concrete while further reducing atmospheric carbon.
Seaweed permaculture produces “ocean forests” of kelp that is useful in making dozens of consumer products, from cakes to toothpaste—and that also capture huge amounts of atmospheric CO2.
Methane oxidation adds a fine mist of iron chloride molecules to those that are continually forming naturally over the ocean. Then the sea air becomes a sponge soaking up methane—another greenhouse gas that is contributing to global warming.
Peter Fiekowsky is an MIT-educated physicist and engineer, a serial entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and a social innovator. He has worked at NASA and the Fairchild/ Schlumberger Artificial Intelligence Lab in Palo Alto; taught at MIT; and developed his own machine vision company, Automated Visual Inspection LLC (AVI). He holds 27 patents and is on the board of Solar Capex, a fintech company designed to help complete the global transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2040 by tripling the rate of investment in solar projects.
Fiekowsky’s mission in life is “to leave a world we’re proud of to our children.” In service to that mission, Fiekowsky has a 30-year track record as a citizen lobbyist for global poverty reduction and climate policy.
An award-winning journalist, Carole Douglis has specialized in writing about climate, biodiversity, and sustainability since the 1990s, when she worked with Lester Brown at the Worldwatch Institute. Her work has been published in The Atlantic, Harper’s, Psychology Today, and in National Geographic Society (NGS) books, where her chapter on climate and civilization was the NGS’s first major foray into climate change. She has been communicating on climate restoration with Peter Fiekowsky since 2019.
Douglis worked in Africa for over a decade, creating publications and delivering communication trainings for international development organizations including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UNICEF, USAID, NGOs, and several research institutes. Her seven environmental policy documents for UNEP, recast as children’s storybooks, were translated into several languages and have reportedly influenced environmental ministers as well as kids.
Douglis holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University and an M.A. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
What People Are Saying
"Peter Fiekowsky has written the consummate book for our time. It is a must-read for anyone who cares about life, the Earth, and future generations. His science is impeccable, and his capacity to see what’s missing and provide it is sheer brilliance. This book lays out the path forward with clarity, honesty, and integrity — the tide-turning, revelatory message we have been waiting for.”
—Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money and co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance.
"Fiekowsky proposes what may be the most important strategy for saving the planet from climate chaos—restoring a safe climate, rather than just trying to slow down our climate emissions. His logic is compelling, and his message is powerful, persuasive, and, most of all, empowering."
—Durwod Zaelke, President, Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development
“Peter Fiekowsky continues to shift the climate paradigm from despair to realistic hope. Our opportunity to restore the climate is monumental but brief, making this book both timely and essential.”
—Rick Wayman, CEO, Foundation for Climate Restoration
“With inviting clarity and an engaging optimism, Fiekowsky considers four promising solutions [for climate restoration], presenting the possibilities with persuasive power. He simplifies the science for easy comprehension, and makes the case with such hopeful vigor that the book becomes something rare: a dead-serious, no-illusions look at climate change that doesn’t stir despair.”
—Publishers Weekly BookLife
"An invigorating, thought-provoking plan to address climate change....In brisk chapters supported by wide-ranging research, this work details not only the theoretical validity of the steps proposed, but also their workability....The book's prevailing tone of energetic optimism ultimately carries the day; readers of climate change classics like The Uninhabitable Earth(2019) by David Wallace-Wells will find these calls to specific, doable action intensely refreshing."
“Peter Fiekowsky is the textbook definition of a visionary. While others have pursued the critical goal of reducing carbon emissions, Fiekowsky has inspired thinking and action on carbon removal, an often ignored yet critical tool in achieving our ultimate goal, climate restoration.”
—Sam Daley-Harris, Founder, RESULTS and Civic Courage
“If ever there was a time for vision and innovation in human society, this is it. Peter Fiekowsky is laser-focused on the values that should unite us all, especially leaving a planet of which we can be proud to our children--and he speaks clearly and passionately about climate restoration as a crucial complement to mitigation and adaptation. Let's find a way to make it happen.”
—Phoebe Barnard, CEO/Executive Director, Stable Planet Alliance, Co-Founder,
GirlPlanet.Earth, and Affiliate Full Professor, University of Washington
“Finally, someone has done the math on our #ClimateCatastrophe in a way that gives us concrete solutions. Peter Fiekowsky offers a bold, scientifically-grounded strategy that is both practical and immediately implementable. Yes, we have an enormous lift to remove the one trillion of tons of legacy carbon in our atmosphere. Luckily, as Peter shows, there are permanent, scalable, and financeable options for achieving this. Let’s stop tweeting #ClimateEmergency and start tweeting #ClimateRestoration.”
—Dr. Christopher K. Tucker, Chairman, American Geographical Society
"Peter Fiekowsky's work on climate change restoration is beyond bold. It is inspired, pushes boundaries, and offers a realistic solution to the climate change crisis. It deserves a wide audience."
—John Englander, oceanographer, President of the Rising Seas Institute,
and author of Moving to Higher Ground and High Tide on Main Street.