Updated edition published 21 January 2021

Two years after the first edition, There is No Planet B has been updated and extended in the light of protests, ever scarier science and weather events, technological advances, a pandemic, a waking world, and over 1000 gratefully received emails of feedback. There are about 30 pages of new material. And a lovely new cover!

Available in print, digital and audio

We have the chance to live better than ever. But, as humans become ever more powerful, can we avoid blundering into disaster?

Feeding the world, climate change, biodiversity, antibiotics, plastics – the list of concerns seems endless. But what is most pressing, what are the knock-on effects of our actions, and what should we do first? Do we all need to become vegetarian? How can we fly in a low-carbon world? Should we frack? How can we take control of technology? Does it all come down to population?  And, given the global nature of the challenges we now face, what on Earth can any of us do?

Fortunately, Mike Berners-Lee has crunched the numbers and plotted a course of action that is practical and even enjoyable.

There is No Planet B maps it out in an accessible and entertaining way, filled with astonishing facts and analysis. For the first time you’ll find big-picture perspective on the environmental and economic challenges of the day laid out in one place, and traced through to the underlying roots – questions of how we live and think. This book will shock you, surprise you – and then make you laugh.

And you’ll find practical and even inspiring ideas for what you can actually do to help humanity thrive on this – our only – planet.

Available, for example, from Waterstones, Hive, Blackwells, WH Smith, Wordery.  Pick the supply chain you want to support!


“Bold and long overdue… Makes the complexities of planet-scale economic and environmental interconnectivity fun.” New Scientist

“I absolutely love this book. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the scale of the global challenges we face, then read this book. There Is No Planet B is full of practical guidance, evidence-based and robust, yet completely accessible, and sets out the difference any one of us can make.  In an increasingly complex and confusing world, this book stands out as a beacon of common sense, clarity and – crucially – hope.” Caroline Lucas MP

” … a lively and cogent assessment of what is happening to the Earth’s biosphere and resources. He tells us what we can do if we want to make a difference, and tread more softly on the planet. All citizens should be grateful for this information-packed and wide-ranging primer.” Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and author of On the Future: Prospects for Humanity

“Fascinating, insightful, important and entertaining. We need books and thinkers like this to inspire people to act now, not only to motivate a debate. This book is full of useful insights and advice on how you and I can make a difference, every day. Climate change is no longer a distant threat, but a visible reality. With a deep and wide ranging analysis this book sparks the activist in all of us.” Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group

“Mike has created a wonderfully abundant buffet-table of knowledge about sustainability and you can enjoy it all at one sitting or benefit from visiting for bite-size chunks. Either way, you’ll come away wiser, healthier and also entertained. In our household, we noticed people couldn’t resist picking up a draft copy for a quick look and dipping in for far longer than they’d expected. Mike doesn’t preach, instead he shares his insights with warmth and wit, and his book could not be more timely.” David Shukman, BBC Science Editor

” … does not have all the answers, but certainly makes a noble start.” Financial Times

“… a massively entertaining compendium of bite-sized facts… It’s also massively important, given the current state of the planet.”  Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

“Who should read There is No Planet B? Everyone. Mike Berners-Lee has written a far-ranging and truth-telling handbook that is as readable as it is instructive.” Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

“A much-needed, critically important, straight-talking handbook for absolutely everyone on our long-suffering planet. We ignore it at our peril.” Mark Carwardine, co-author (with Douglas Adams) of Last Chance to See

“It asks all the searching and systemic questions I want to ask as humanity peers over a precipice…and has a bloody good go at answering them with data, experience and integrity.” Pooran Desai, OBE, Co-founder of Bioregional Development Group, and International Director of Bioregional’s One Planet Communities programme, and author of One Planet Living.

“Mike Berners-Lee has a unique ability to communicate vital information on some of the world’s most pressing challenges. In this highly readable book, he shows how severe our problems are, but also what we can do to reduce the threats we face.” Chris Goodall, Author: Ten Technologies to Fix Energy and Climate and The Switch: How Solar, Storage and New Tech Means Cheap Power For All

“What is amazing and unique about this wonderful book is that it simultaneously addresses the practical every day questions troubling so many of us in these turbulent times while also clearing away the fog obscuring our paths into the future. And it does so in beautifully clear language. This truly is ‘The Handbook’ we all need to flourish on our small planet.” Stewart Wallis, Executive Chair, WEAll – The Wellbeing Economy Alliance.

“This clearly written and organized book is so sensible and useful that it becomes an unexpected aesthetic pleasure as well as a guide to action. No matter how much you already know, this book will help orient you to where we are now on this, the only planet we have (I can testify that Mars won’t do).  It would be best if everyone read it.” Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars trilogy and New York 2140

Public events

Please check back for information on future public events!

Mike’s talks

Mike at the Oxford Climate Society

Mike at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (LSE)

The Author

Mike Berners-Lee

Mike Berners-Lee consults, thinks, writes and researches on sustainability and responses to 21st century challenges. This is his third book.

About his first book, How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint Of Everything, Bill Bryson wrote “I can’t think of the last time I read a book that was more fascinating, and useful and enjoyable all at the same time”

His second book, The Burning Question, co-written with Duncan Clark, explores the big picture on climate change and the underlying global dynamics, asking what mix of politics, economics, psychology and technology are really required to deal with the problem. Al Gore described it as “Fascinating, important and highly recommended” and was among MPs’ top ten summer reads.

Mike is the founder of Small World Consulting, an associate company of Lancaster University, which works with organisations from tech giants to supermarkets. Small World is a leader in the fields of carbon management and business responses to the climate emergency.

He is a professor at Lancaster University’s Lancaster Environment Centre, where his research includes sustainable food systems and carbon metrics. He co-ordinates the Global Futures event series which are freely open to all and explore big global challenges in multidisciplinary ways.