Book review: The Great Pivot

“The Great Pivot: Creating Meaningful Work to Build a Sustainable Future” by Justine Burt.

Review by Richard Godfrey, courtesy of Tri-City Ecology Center newsletter.

John Muir once said, “The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us.” Here’s a book that will resonate through our minds.

Justine Burt, author of “The Great Pivot”

All of us who know Justine Burt from her time as a Fremont resident will recall dynamic energy and an intelligence devoted to environmental goals. A founding board member of LEAF, she is also the founder and CEO of Appraccel, an environmental sustainability consulting firm in Palo Alto. 

Now Justine has enlarged her stage to a national, perhaps international level. “The Great Pivot,” inspired by Justine’s epiphany while visiting a cathedral in Spain and realizing that humans once developed aspirations and planned for centuries in advance rather than four-year campaigns, it is a book about contemporary change. Extensive research and documentation examine our current growth-dependent economy and demonstrate how it can be pivoted to a sustainable model.

Eight carefully outlined chapters, including “Meaningful Jobs for Advanced Energy Communities,” “A Circular Economy,” “Low Carbon Mobility,” “Reducing Food Waste” and “Restore Nature,” provide a blueprint in pragmatic fashion for how to create work and enrich lifestyle. Examples: Why not restore healthy forests and save billions of dollars through fire prevention while creating jobs for researchers, planners, forest technicians and more? Urban forests? You will see where others have led the way. By approaching a hundred other detailed pathways, Burt makes certain to target each reader’s personal interest. She focuses on successful examples in every field.

Books cannot solve all the political problems and obstacles, but “The Great Pivot” is a visionary work that is unique in its determined, positive and practical realism. Part II of the book provides both analysis and solutions for disruption of exploitative corporations. Can global warming be solved by pivoting the profit makers? Justine will show you how! So how to support a local writer that reaches out to California and beyond? Buy the hard copy or Kindle version of “The Great Pivot” and you’ll get a return on your investment!

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