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Riders on the Storm: The Climate Crisis and the Survival of Being

a new book from Alastair McIntosh

August 2020, reprinted May 2021



Click on cover to download hi-res image


Birlinn have made a beautiful job of this book, and they've managed to do it for £9.99, 243 pages. As of the second printing in May 2021, there's a new cover. Forgive this homespun page on my personal website. It's just to give some general information, links to reviews and where to buy.


Key Links

Order it from them directly on Birlinn's web page (post free UK, overseas will be calculated and shown), or from local booksellers, or the usual online outlets. Alternatively, Australia/NZ ... Canada ... USA.

A beautiful 5 min promotional video setting climate change in the context of the Isle of Lewis and people from West Papua Province (Indonesian New Guinea), made by Opus Earth: Also, version with Spanish subtitles.

Media inquiries - see publisher's flyer at foot of right hand column.



Face-to-face launch events that had been arranged have been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, some have or will be run on Zoom, and can be viewed on my web itinerary in the right hand column at this link and with tickets for forthcoming events (usually free) and video links where these become available.

The main Birlinn launch event was in partnership with Climate Fringe and the Centre for Human Ecology. Hosted by Professor Alison Phipps (UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration at Glasgow University). The first hour hour was formal book launch with 160 participants, and then for the next 90 mins nearly half stayed on for what turned out to be a particularly deep participant interaction. That can be watched in full at, and Kat Jones of Climate Fringe has edited a one hour podcast of the launch. A shorter (45 min) National Library of Scotland launch event can now be viewed at this link.


Expert Endorsements

"Alastair McIntosh gives us a climate primer for our times. A riposte to deniers and doomers alike. And a life-giving vision for our collective future."

-  Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University, author of The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet


"Tackles the defining question of our age: what does climate change mean for us? From the rocky isles of Scotland to the forests of New Guinea, human ecologist Alastair McIntosh explores the thorny, complex ways we humans have lived with the world that sustains us. Solidly based on the science yet dedicated to the intricacies of the human spirit, this book leaves us with a deeper understanding of ourselves and our planet. Highly recommended."

-  Katharine Hayhoe, United Nations Champion of the Earth, Endowed Professor in Public Policy and Public Law, Texas Tech University, author of Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World


"I am in awe of Alastair McIntosh’s forensic analysis and interpretation imbued with the deepest hope for a better world."

-  Sir Jonathon Porritt, former chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission and author of Hope in Hell


Reviews - Newspapers and Organisations: (links go direct to reviews)

Church Times, Rt. Revd. Dr. David Atkinson - "... this wonderfully wide-ranging and ultimately hope-filled book".

Perspectiva, Jonathan Rowson (video review, 22 mins) Climate and Consciousness: "A great book, really great, pulled off with considerable acuity, depth, compassion, narrative charm and transcendence."

The Herald, Rosemary Goring - "A profusion of ideas, written with insight, honesty and wit."

The Scotsman, Alan Massie - "[Climate change denial] is scarcely tenable now. McIntosh presents that evidence clearly and cogently in this book ... a very good book because it is balanced and positive ... free from the hysterical emotions commonly evident on both sides of the climate change debate."

The National, Alison Phipps - "Read. Mark. And inwardly digest. It is milk. Fostership. Not 'Doom but dharma'."

Climate Fringe, Kat Jones (a COP26 project of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland) - "McIntosh is no ideologue, he ... manages to hold in balance an exploration of the profound depths of philosophy and spirituality, with well-argued support for consensus science."

Ecocongregations, Rev David Coleman - "Two hundred pages bursting with quotable and meme-able sayings to reflect on ... and it's seriously up to date ... great preparation for COP26 in Glasgow next year."

Green World, Molly Scott Catto (Green Party magazine) - "Beautifully written and provides the essential introduction to the historical and scientific background.... For me, the guts of the book comes in chapters 5 and 6, where McIntosh explores the psychology and politics of the climate movement."


Excerpts and Interviews

On RealClimate, the foremost climate change science website, as a guest piece courtesy of Michael Mann: Denial and Alarmism in the Near-Term Extinction and Collapse Debate.

On Community Land Scotland, the networking body for community land trusts: What might be Scotland's distinctive contribution to COP26?

The Sunday Post, interview with me.


Reviews - on Blogs and Other Sites

Reader reviews on Goodreads and Amazon UK (with 'look inside').

The Earthbound Report, Jeremy Williams - "Imaginative, profound, and ... written with wit and self-awareness."

Shiny New Books, Peter Reason - "It is also a book that I found myself arguing with at several points. McIntosh takes positions that, love them or hate them, help the reader clarify their own perspective.... What more could one want?"

Bella Caledonia, Christopher Silver - "A remarkably accessible precis of the science behind climate change and the pitfalls of denialism and alarmism, followed by an exploration of the ethical and spiritual reckoning these great changes present."