The Carbon Almanac book cover

The Carbon Almanac:

one year on

Jun 8, 2023

Today I celebrate the first  anniversary of the release of The Carbon Almanac, a book on climate change that has broken records, won an award and shown the power of positive collective action.


The Carbon Almanac is a collaborative educational experience with 300 voices from more than 40 countries contributing – and I am so thrilled to have been one of these voices!


In the past 365 days, we achieved a world record, were recognised as the 2022 Winner for the Most Insightful Data Book and most importantly we have seen the community grow.


Global book signing


On July 16 2022 we came together for a global signing, where each of us promoted the book in our respective cities. It took place over 24 hours on six continents.


Here in Nelson Mandela Bay, Fogarty’s Bookshop hosted our launch, and it was such fun to see others online first in Australia and Asia and later in Europe, the rest of Africa and then still later in the day in the Americas.


Etrit in Istanbul, I’ve never met you but you ROCK!


Etrit was there throughout, calmly holding the Zoom call together across dozens of countries and countless pop-ins.


Our local newspaper, The Herald, carried an interview on the launch. The very same newspaper where I used to work, which was a weird but happy experience (I left in 2019 and now am a full-time freelance writer and editor).


Founded by marketing guru Seth Godin, who started the project in 2021,The Carbon Almanac  has grown and grown. By the time the almanac had been published, the number of volunteers had ballooned to thousands of green souls from 90 countries around the world.


Recently, again spearheaded by Seth, that community has started a new project, and we meet online on an exciting new platform called Purple Space.


The Carbon Almanac is 

more than a book


This is the beauty of The Carbon Almanac: it is far, far more than a book.


There is, for example, a separate children’s almanac. You can download it free at the almanac website.

Then there’s a LinkedIn Learning course, when you’ll hear many of the authors’ voices (mine included) giving short snappy nuggets of climate change information. There are podcasts for adults and for children, a Daily Difference motivational email that goes out every 24 hours, and a free downloadable educator’s guide. There’s a gorgeous photo book, and a fascinating “Join the Dots” section.


Gosh, when I look back I am amazed. Yes, a little proud, even, although my contribution has been tiny.


But, that’s the beauty of this project: we often think we can’t do much but, working together, we have the power to effect systemic change.


Climate change is real


As I write this, on 16 July 2023, people are dying in unexpected  parts of the world because of the freakishly hot weather, worsened by carbon pollution. Our oceans, the blue lungs of the earth, are heating up and need to be protected.


Rising carbon emissions are one reason for global warming and the accompanying catastrophes that climate change can bring. There are other factors, of course, and we learn new facts all the time.. 


This can be overwhelming. You may think that there is not much you can do.


But, The Carbon Almanac experience has shown me that I don’t have to do this alone. I don’t have to be a  climate change activist in the mould of  Wangari Maathai or Greta Thunberg


I just have to be Gillian McAinsh, doing her little bit in a small corner of the coast of Africa.


A song of significance


So, thank you Seth and almanac buddies, for giving me the chance to sing a song of significance.


Today, one year on, The Carbon Almanac has become a global eco-community that is trying to make a difference. As the book cover says, “It’s not too late”.


(ps. If you are interested, it’s also not too late to get a copy to share with a friend.)

trophy on blue background
Zoom screen of meeting
newspaper clipping
Generation Carbon children's book cover
women in swim cap in sea

Seth Godin