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Operation Sustainable Human by Chris MacDonald

‘Operation Sustainable Human, a Four-Step Scientific Guide to Combat Climate Change’ by Chris MacDonald

There is no doubt that the climate crisis is one of the most important (if not THE most important) issue facing the world today. It permeates every aspect of society, and yet, because it can feel like such an abstract concept, it’s difficult to know where to start. ‘Operation Sustainable Human’ has one clear mission “to make it as easy as possible to make a highly significant positive difference in a short timeframe – to assist those who want to do their part to help combat the climate and ecological crisis”.

MacDonald has produced a short, informative, and instructive guide. Standing at only 55 pages – 80 if you count the endless list of sources – it can easily be read during a lunch break or commute. It is based around three key facts and four action points…

Key Facts:

  1. Humans are causing global warming
  2. Pollution seriously harms and kills
  3. Rapid drastic change is needed

Action Points:

  1. Switch to a plant-based diet
  2. Avoid fossil fuel travel
  3. Curb your consumption
  4. Change the system

By starting with the three key facts, MacDonald succinctly sums up the context of the work. What I really enjoyed about this is that it is not over laboured. There is an innate respect for the reader; no need to pile on the catastrophe – we’re already aware, we’re reading the book! Yet, he provides enough impetus to really drive home that the time for change is now.

“Yes, our current situation is bad. Really, really, bad. Far worse that most people are aware. But, what stops it becoming astronomically, unimaginably worse, is the fact that we have proven solutions available to us”

Each action point is well articulated, easy to understand, and clear. MacDonald provides ample sources at the end of the book. By removing them from the bulk of the text, it allows for a flowing narrative and avoids distracting the reader. With a topic as heavy as the climate crisis, keeping a reader engaged and at a fast pace is crucial – MacDonald does this with ease.

‘Operation Sustainable Human’ is finished with a challenge. A challenge to our generation. We’re at a cross roads, our next decision will have lasting effects for decades to come.

“With fighting spirit, we can rise above the dominant harmful ideas of our time and be part of something incredibly powerful and positive –  something we can be proud of”

I am a huge fan of this book – for me it perfectly achieves it’s mission. Creating a firm base for a deeper understanding of the climate crisis; but also providing concise easily achievable action points. It really packs a punch! It’s edgy, it’s hard hitting, and it’s so important. MacDonald approaches the topic in an accessible, non-judgemental manner, and really makes the reader feel empowered.

I was very lucky to have been gifted my copy by Chris after I cheekily asked for one on instagram! If you are considering purchasing a copy the partnership with means that for every paperback sold, ten trees will be planted (just in case you needed an extra prompt!).

‘Operation Sustainable Human’ in Facts:

Author: Chris MacDonald
First Published Date: 2019
Publishing House: Illuminate Press
Pages: 80 (55 as bulk read)

Instagram: @nonfictionmillennial


  1. Stefan says

    Great review of a great book. Macdonald is a respectful , intelligent writer with a firm grasp on the science and enough charm that he even managed to convince this former fossil fuel/meat loving jerk to dramatically change his ways.

    Liked by 1 person

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