Time to Think Small: How Nimble Environmental Technologies Can Solve the Planet's Biggest Problems
This call to climate action examines ways we can leverage the growing power of smartphones and other technologies to become effective environmental stewards to protect threatened species, reduce the risk from climate change, and stop ocean plastic.
Personal technologies are creating what the Environmental Defense Fund calls “a transformational shift” in how we address environmental problems. Time to Think Small explores how these brand-new approaches are already playing a huge role in winning some of the most difficult and important environmental struggles of our day–from fighting climate change, to ensuring drinkable water for everyone, to saving endangered animals, to keeping plastic out of the ocean.
Learn how these technologies magnify and multiply the power everyone has as individuals to save our environment and how this tremendous power is not only growing, but also has the huge benefit of being independent of sudden shifts in political leadership.
Drawing on two decades of environmental policy and a career working with endangered species mixed with his previous career in tech, Myers looks at the different ways we can be empowered to find environmental solutions.
"Time to Think Small reminds me of the first words spoken on the moon, about small steps and giant leaps. Todd Myers does, in fact, describe the giant strides from accumulated small steps that will help solve THE biggest long-term problem facing humanity today. If Big Government won’t act, WE CAN, in our own small ways!" --Donald Kroodsma, Author of Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist
"The future of environmental stewardship depends on technology and innovation. Todd Myers is a national leader on environmental policy and technology and understands how to create solutions that sidestep political gridlock." --John Connors, former Microsoft CFO
"A much-needed analysis of how we can solve complex global environmental problems by applying human ingenuity. . . and why every step matters along the way." --Benji Backer, President, American Conservation Coalition
"Addressing climate change can be such a polarizing issue. Myers's book has found a way to cut right through that with practical, applicable actions that everyone can take to make a difference." --Kevin Wilhelm, CEO, Sustainable Business Consulting
"While the positions taken by Todd Myers may be disconcerting to an old-school environmentalist such as myself, his voice is one we need to hear in the conversation about climate change. Myers makes a compelling argument that thinking small stimulates creativity, and that nimble, creative approaches can play a crucial role in achieving sustainability." -- John S. Farnsworth, PhD, Author of Nature Beyond Solitude: Notes from the Field
Praise for Time to Think Small: How Nimble Environmental Technologies Can Solve the Planet's Biggest Problems
Myers (Eco-Fads: How the Rise of Trendy Environmentalism Is Harming the Environment) proposes that combating climate change, pollution, and drought requires small, decentralized technologies, like smartphone apps, rather than top-down government programs. Environmental policy made strides in the 1970s, but Myers contends that governments are slow and politically shortsighted whereas lightly regulated companies and nonprofits are nimble innovators in a marketplace of ideas. His approach includes empowering consumers to act in their own best interests and giving them the data to make informed choices about, e.g., residential utilities, and to report if something has gone wrong (like a water leak). Myers contends that making consumers’ individual decisions even marginally more environmentally friendly can, collectively, create significant positive effects. Similarly, individual smartphone users could form a global network of environmental sensors and wildlife-conservation data gatherers; even crowdsourcing image identification or handwriting digitization can accelerate scientific progress. Myers attempts to address the privacy and security concerns raised by his proposed solutions, but he downplays their potential environmental costs (e.g., the energy use of blockchains).
VERDICT Myers’s call-to-action and survey of current tech may appeal to environmentally conscious readers.