How Cities Can Lead the Climate Fight

Introducing Alex Steffen’s ‘Climate Zero’.

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It’s not every day that the author of a new book — a sharp perspective on a topic that’s central to your work — approaches you and proposes that you make the entire thing available on your website. Usually, authors are more … parsimonious with their work.

So when Alex Steffen brought his Carbon Zero to Grist several weeks ago with this offer, I wanted to make absolutely certain I’d heard him right.

I knew he’d already raised a little money on Kickstarter to write the book. And I knew he was publishing Carbon Zero under the share-and-modify-friendly Creative Commons license. Still, I had to ask.

“So, you’re sure you want us to post the entire book? Really truly? You’re not afraid it’ll hurt sales? You won’t change your mind?”

“Yeah,” he nodded. “I’m most interested in getting these ideas out there.”

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The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Slate, and Wired.