Book list: A Better World is Possible: What needs to be done and how we can make it happen

BRUCE NIXON: A Better World is Possible: What needs to be done and how we can make it happen

A Better World is Possible:
What needs to be done and how we can make it happen


We face the biggest challenge in our history. Climate change is just one symptom of our failure to live in harmony with mother earth and all life on it, including each other. These 5 issues confronting us are inseparably linked:

  • Climate change – potentially out of control and irreversible – possibly only 36 months before we reach the tipping point
  • Peak everything – not just Peak Oil. Fossil fuel, embedded in almost everything we consume, made our extraordinary way of life possible. We’ll have to do without it – it’s “gold”
  • We are destroying the ecosystem on which all life depends, poisoning the air all creatures breathe, the water of which life is made, the oceans and the earth
  • Poverty and economic injustice
  • Violence, war, terrorism and the threat of nuclear annihilation

Governments are diverted from tackling these priorities by an economic crisis, brought about by reckless greed and debt. The current system transfers wealth from those who create it to rich and powerful elites. It increases inequality. Continuous growth, based on ever increasing consumption, defies common sense when we’re already consuming 30% more than the Earth can provide, population is set to rise from 7bn to 9bn by the end of the century and human expectations are rising. Measures to prop up a failing system bear down harshly on the poor, women and young people, all least responsible for the breakdown. The system is underpinned by a money supply largely created by debt, instead of being issued by national reserve banks. It depends on a huge military machine wasting lives and resources. Media ownership is too concentrated. Democracy, so-called, has been hijacked by big business and far right elites. Governments and global institutions are proving incapable of tackling the world’s most urgent priorities.

We need to transform the system. Patching things up won’t work. Everyone needs to be engaged in a great endeavour – a great transition to a sustainable and just economy. We need new inspiration. Instead of consumerism, we need to focus on what makes for happiness and fulfilment. We need a global economy whose objective is the wellbeing of all – including all life on the planet. It’s our choice:  collectively, we 7bn people can create a just, sustainable and non-violent world. It is not enough to “be the change.” We all need to be activists, get involved and demand that governments and global institutions do what’s needed.

My aim is to provide a handbook for people, all over the world, who want to take action to create fundamental change. I hope it will deserve to be known as The best handbook on the environmental and economic crisis for Everyman.”


Published by O-Books as a paperback and E-Book, it can be ordered from your local bookshop (paperback), via or, or direct from the publisher: The book’s ISBN is 978-1-84694-514-4.


The earlier PDF version, free for non-commercial use, is still available:

  • First, look at the Endorsements to give you a feel for the book.
  • Next, click on Chapter Titles. This provides page numbers.
  • Then click Download Book (PDF). Now you can read the introduction, scroll down to whatever most interests you, or start at the beginning and read on.

**Please consider the environment before printing** Use your E-Reader if you have one.


A better world is possible – what needs to be done and how we can make it happen

“We are in a place we have never been before. We are facing a series of interconnected systemic crises that put both humanity and the planet in serious peril. This book not only clearly describes the problem but, most importantly, points to the solution. The ‘rules of the game’ need to be radically changed and this will only happen if enough people, speaking with a clear enough voice, demand such a change. This book is not, therefore, a ‘worthy’ text on economics, but a vital handbook for our survival!”  Stewart Wallis, Executive Director, New Economics Foundation

“Bruce Nixon’s book is a powerful call for a peaceful and constructive mass revolt by the people of the world. He shows that the present way our lives are organised threatens the suicide of our own species and the further destruction of many others. His analysis points clearly to what we need to do to change it. I hope the book will be widely read and acted on.”  James Robertson, “The grandfather of green economics”

“We have to take our power and demand that our governments act boldly to tackle the environmental crisis; create a global economy that serves everyone; create truly inclusive democracy at all levels; and stop wasting lives and money on war. This book will inspire, challenge you and make sense of how the system works. It’s your handbook for a bottom up revolution.  Read it and play your part.”   Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

“We are in the midst of an economic crisis, but it is not the one covered in the media every day. The real crisis arises from the irreconcilable clash between efforts to maintain and increase growth in GDP while at the same time as managing ever more serious ecological crunches, from climate change to the loss of ecosystems. Bruce Nixon sets out the dimensions of the crisis we face and reaches the inescapable conclusion that we cannot hope to solve the multiple and related challenges in front of us unless we alter our view of economics. Read on to find out how a better world is possible, and how we need to change things to get there”.  Tony Juniper, campaigner, writer and advisor

“A Better World Is Possible by Bruce Nixon is full of radical, achievable ideas for a green and just society. A handbook for grassroots, people-power social change, it’s inspiring and motivating. Creating a more humane, democratic, accountable and sustainable society is vital for the survival of our planet. Environmental rights are human rights. We all have a right to a safe, healthy environment. There can be no human rights without a planet on which to enjoy them.” Peter Tatchell, Speaking out for human rights.

“This book jolts us to recognize that we can’t go on doing things as we do. This needs to be said. Its many examples of proven sustainable ways of doing things also need to be more widely known. This is a book that should be widely read.”  Christopher Day, eco-architect and author of Places of the Soul, Consensus Design- socially inclusive processes

“At this time of ecological and spiritual crisis Bruce Nixon’s book is a voice of sanity, wisdom and commonsense.  His vision presents a genuine and positive way forward for humanity.” Satish Kumar, Editor of Resurgence, founder of the Small School and Director of Programmes at Schumacher College

“Bruce Nixon has provided a comprehensive assessment of why we need to change the way business and government operate to meet the needs of future generations of people, plants and creatures.   After reading  A better world is possible – what needs to be done and how we can make happen, one is left with a sense that with some joined up thinking and, above all,  co-operation anything is possible”. Pete Riley, Campaigns Director GM Freeze

“There are a lot of books out there that provide you with a complex intellectual analysis of the dual climate and economic crises – and leave you alone to mourn the political vacuum, while lamenting humanity’s imminent demise. Bruce Nixon’s book, though, is a breath of fresh air. It provides you with an easy to follow analysis about the human and environmental crises we face, but goes beyond this to articulate what a better world might look like. Most importantly, he tells you what ordinary people can do about it.  It’s a must-read toolkit for those of us wanting to see a more sustainable, just and equitable world.”  Deborah Doane, Director, World Development Movement

“Bruce Nixon dares to name the real nightmare that we all try to retreat from, hiding behind a false god called ‘the market’, stale ideologies or, simply, self- denying withdrawal.  It is not often that we find a visionary writer, prepared, after detailing the problems, to go ahead and risk offering ‘a way out’.  Coming from a profound humaneness, this book is a must read for all those who engage in changing the present unacceptable, unsustainable world. Having forgiven ourselves for horrendous wrongs done by one set of ancestors to another, often carried forward to the present, we can, together, South and North in our rainbow reality, build a glittering world of fairness and justice.”  Olaseinde Makanjuola Arigbede – National Coordinator/Animator, United Small and Medium Scale Farmers’ Associations of Nigeria

“This book is one of those rare things – a fascinating explanation of the interlocking global crisis, in finance, climate, energy and food, which leave you at the end feeling hopeful and empowered.” David Boyle author of The Tyranny of Numbers and Money matters

“In a world of increasing population, diminishing natural resources and challenges posed by climate change, business-as-usual in our food and farming systems is no longer an option. This book starkly outlines the situation we are in – but also importantly the changes we can make, at citizen, community, national and international levels – to create more sustainable ways of producing and consuming the food on our tables.” Peter Melchett, Policy Director, Soil Association