What to do during those lazy weekends at the summer cabin? My preferred approach is to read biographies of people who don’t have the time or patience for lazy weekends. Although it provokes some guilt on the reader’s part, the benefit of inspiration more than outweighs the cost.

For this purpose, I strongly recommend Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains, a biography of Paul Farmer (Partners in Health). It’s a story of a man whose passion for serving the poor is difficult to describe in words without understatement. Kidder does a great job at describing Farmer’s intense efforts to provide the world’s destitute with high-quality healthcare in Haiti, Peru, Russia… and so on.

What does this have to do with climate policy? Farmer is a living example of what passion and commitment can do. He has spent decades serving and advocating for some of the most marginalized population in this world, with great results. His enthusiasm for his cause is simply infectious and makes me want to work much harder. And I’m saying this despite exceptionally glorious summer weather here at my home base in Oulu, Finland.

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