A PATHWAY for humankind to stave off the worst effects of global warming has been charted by a South Lakes-based climate change academic.

Courses of action that societies the world over should adopt to give humans and other species the chance of long term survival is set out in an acclaimed new book - There Is No Planet B - by Mike Berners-Lee, who lives in Kendal.

The wide-ranging guide shows the severity of the challenge the planet faces, but also offers hope for mankind if we start living more sustainably.

The book - due out in paperback next week - has already been praised by journalists, politicians and other academic writers who have seen advance copies.

The Green Party MP Caroline Lucas describes it as “full of practical guidance, evidence-based and robust” while the BBC’s science editor David Shukman says: “Mike doesn’t preach, instead he shares his insights with warmth and wit, and his book could not be more timely.”

Speaking to The Westmorland Gazette this week, Mr Berners-Lee said every human being can take steps to mitigate the effects of global warming and climate change while still living rich, fulfilling lives. And he believes businesses and organisations in the Lake District could help to lead the way on such issues as sustainable transport and food production.

Among the practical suggestions he makes is that hotels in the national park could offer guests menus with less meat and dairy. In his book, he examines how such produce is the most inefficient part of the global food supply, particularly when animals are fed crops that could otherwise be eaten by humans.

In the Lake District, this would mean fewer livestock being kept on the fells, Mr Berners-Lee told the Gazette.

“I’m not an enemy of farmers at all,” he insisted. “We need a really intelligent discussion how best to support them as they make the transition to a more environmentally sustainable way of producing our food.”

Another Cumbrian issue the academic has something to say about is the proposal to recommence coal mining under the sea off St Bees with a processing plant on the former Marchon site at Kells.

“There should be no more coal mining on the Cumbrian West Coast or anywhere else,” said Mr Berners-Lee. “The idea is beyond crazy.”

In his book - subtitled ‘A Handbook for the Make or Break Years’ - he also comes out against fracking, saying that without “very tight regulation and trustworthy assessment” shale gas should “certainly stay in the ground”.

Mr Berners-Lee, who is married to Liz and has two children, believes the young people of today have a key role to play in changing the way we live on the planet.

He praised the area’s students for taking action last Friday by striking from school along with thousands other students from around the country.

“What they’ve done is valid,” he said. “We’ve been talking about these issues for decades. My generation has known there is a big urgent change needed but it’s been left to kids to make the message loud and clear. We should all be listening.”

There Is No Planet B is published by Cambridge University Press, priced £9.99. It comes out on February 28.