Chelsea Green Publishing has announced plans to quickly publish a climate manifesto by one of the world’s leading environmental activists. Inked while the author, Roger Hallam, was serving a month-long prison term in the U.K., Common Sense for the 21st Century, will be released November 19.
Hallam is co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, a global environmental rights group that has organized widespread non-violent efforts to confront climate collapse. The 112-page volume will retail for $10 and is intended to provide readers with strategies and tactics for making substantive change around them.
“It’s a total call to arms for disrupting business-as-usual,” said Chelsea Green publisher Margo Baldwin, who said she was excited to rush the book to market. “It needs to heard and answered now,” said Baldwin.
The acquisition of Common Sense took place as different groups were planning strikes to highlight the dangers posed to the climate. Baldwin first began discussion with Hallam in late August after learning of his intention to self-publish the book. But the activist was arrested on September 14 after flying a drone over Heathrow Airport to protest airline carbon emissions. The two forged ahead, and Hallam inked the deal from London’s Wormwood Scrubbs Prison on October 7.
The publisher’s discovery of the manuscript is no accident. The White Junction, Vt.-based house opened a U.K. venture in 2018 that is now staffed by two full-time employees. Its offices recently moved into a headquarters in Somerset House in London.
Stateside, the employee-owned publishing house is an active and leading voice on climate and the environment. This fall, the publisher participated in the climate strike, and its 35 year history is marked by significant publications on the environment including The Man Who Planted Trees and Limits to Growth.
The rush now is to get Hallam’s book to booksellers in a matter of weeks. Baldwin said she’s eager to do it. “It’s always disruptive to bring a book to market,” she said. “But sometimes disruption is necessary.”
*Note: This article was updated with new information about the title release date and length from the publisher.