The Handbook: Surviving and Living with Climate Change 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       September 10, 2015


Author  Jane Rawson & James Whitmore

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 978-1921924-93-4
Publisher:         Transit Lounge
Release Date:    


Written in an attempt to help prepare people for the steady progression of climate change, this is a handbook you should go out and purchase. It is filled with an intelligent look at what is happening to our world climate and the many things you can do to be well prepared to help yourself.

It is not meant to frighten you, but to present to you a wide and varied range of options that are both cost effective and practical. Some of the suggestions put forward are completely free and surprisingly, have been around for generations.

The problem has been with the advent of air-conditioning and ease of transportation, electronic media and the trappings of modern life, so very many of these ideas, which were once part and parcel of everyday life, have been forgotten.

That there are already many, many people out there going about changing the way they live, reducing their carbon footprint and preparing for the long, hot dry days of the summer months, or the increasingly cold winter months, goes without saying.

You have suburbs beginning to reform their community ‘village’ structures, where caring for each other and knowing who your neighbours are, is once again becoming important and could indeed save a life. Residents are also beginning to investigate and create the community gardens of the past in an effort to re-introduce the vegie garden to their small suburban space. Rain water tanks, compostable loo’s, solar efficiency for home heating and waste removal are all being reassessed.

Whether you believe in climate change or not it is an indisputable fact that our climate is changing for one reason or another. It may be simply the march of time and earth doing what it has always done, or man’s constant meddling with a wide variety of resources which is adding to the issue, but whatever is going on, and regardless of what the scientist and politicians are currently spruiking, the final and end note is that it is really up to you to discover how you, your family and friends will cope with the severe changes which are heading our way.

As a complacent society we need to make the changes to self-preservation, many of which are listed in the Handbook. The section or rather the first component of the book deals with ‘Reducing Your Vulnerability’, which is something all people should take a good look at, especially after the devastation of the recent bushfires in America, the Maryborough tragedy, the fires in Victoria and South Australia last summer and the flooding in Queensland.

Being prepared and knowing what you need to do can make the difference to you and your family’s survival. There are lists and suggestions to help you be well prepared for any eventuality, even if you think you are OK. Remember the terrifying fires which swept thorough Canberra in 2003, laying to waste suburban homes, which their residents thought would never be attacked by bushfires.

Self-sufficiency is a long term plan and is also an area that needs to be addressed and introduced to everyday life, as it too will make a big difference to the quality of your life.

The grief which goes with natural disasters has also been addressed and makes interesting reading; It certainly helps you understand the complexities, which even when well prepared, follows on from such trauma.

Overall, the book encapsulates so many of the basic things various agencies, groups and people have been touting for years: be prepared, learn how to become self-sufficient once again, look after your neighbours and neighbourhoods.

It also raises the question of, ‘Does it have to be this way?’ and alternatively by acting now can we as a people, make a determined difference.