Today is Earth Day, and something really important is happening – something that might be the most important thing that has been done in our lifetime, as one of our newest publishers, Berkshire Publishing Group, explains.

Earth Day

To some extent, Earth Day has become banal – school recycling posters and litter clean-ups. But today, Earth Day 2016, is the day when the leaders of 160 countries will sign the climate agreement negotiated in Paris last December that will shift the human trajectory towards sustainability. Of course this isn’t going to be simple, but when China and the US, responsible for 40% of today’s carbon emissions, can stand together and pledge to keep global temperature rise well below 2°C, we see a new era dawning.

The signing today at the United Nations in New York is the beginning of gathering the signatures needed to begin implementation of the Paris climate accord. The extraordinary thing is that action now may come sooner than expected, after decades with little progress. Leaders are stepping up, committing themselves and their nations. According to The Guardian: "The US, China, Canada and a host of other countries have promised to join this year – boosting the hopes of bringing the Paris deal into force before the initial target date of 2020 – possibly as early as 2016 or 2017, according to officials and analysts… That is well before the timeline originally envisaged at Paris. Environment ministers attending the World Bank spring meetings this week said the faster pace indicated serious commitment to dealing with the global challenge."

In a way, the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability was designed with this day in mind. Berkshire’s goal has been to offer a complete library of information for students, teachers, and citizens who want to understand the environmental challenges we face and the many solutions that are being developed. It is by far the largest and most comprehensive resource on every aspect of sustainability, with coverage of environmental history, green finance, ecosystem management, and much more. The 1,000 authors include many of the leading figures in the field, and endorsements come from leaders who have worked for decades to bring us to this point, where nations around the world are about to join together and make an unprecedented commitment to our common future.

Encyclopedia Sustainability