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15 Books About Climate Change

Reading Lists

15 Books About Climate Change

15 Books About Climate Change

The Climate Emergency is one of the defining crises of our time. We’ve gathered 15 books from independent publishers to inform you and challenge you to take vital action.

If you’d like to purchase any of these books, we’d highly recommend seeking out your local independent bookstore. Your business helps ensure the survival of these vital cultural institutions during this difficult time.

There is No Planet B by Mike Berners-Lee

There is No Planet B
There is No Planet B by Mike Berners-Lee (Cambridge University Press)

We all know deep down that these are the ‘make or break’ years for humanity and the planet and that we cannot flee to another world: but what can any of us really do about it? There Is No Planet B has many of the answers, laid out in an accessible and entertaining way, and filled with astonishing statistics and analysis. Framed around the key fascinating questions, it offers a big picture perspective on our biggest environmental and economic challenges – including energy, climate change, food, hunger, recycling, biodiversity, plastic pollution, and antibiotics – just to name a few. Whether you are an everyday concerned citizen or a policymaker, this is a handbook of what we might actually do in order to help improve the lot of humanity on this – our only – planet.

Coming of Age at the End of Nature Edited by Julie Dunlap & Susan A. Cohen

Coming of Age at the End of Nature
Coming of Age at the End of Nature Edited by Julie Dunlap & Susan A. Cohen (Trinity University Press)

Coming of Age at the End of Nature explores a new kind of environmental writing. This powerful anthology gathers the passionate voices of young writers who have grown up in an environmentally damaged and compromised world. Each contributor has come of age since Bill McKibben foretold the doom of humanity’s ancient relationship with a pristine earth in his prescient 1988 warning of climate change, The End of Nature.

Facing the Climate Emergency by Margaret Klein Salamon, with Molly Gage

Facing the Climate Emergency
Facing the Climate Emergency by Margaret Klein Salamon, with Molly Gage (New Society Publishers)

Facing the Climate Emergency gives people the tools to confront the climate emergency, face their negative emotions, and channel them into protecting humanity and the natural world.

As the climate crisis accelerates toward the collapse of civilization and the natural world, people everywhere are feeling deep pain about ecological destruction and their role in it. Yet we are often paralyzed by fear. Help is at hand.

Drawing on facts about the climate, tenets of psychological theory, information about the climate emergency movement and elements of memoir, Facing the Climate Emergency includes:

  • How to face the climate crisis and accept your fears, anger, grief, guilt, and other emotions
  • Turning negative feelings into tangible action to respond to the crisis
  • Rising to heroism, becoming a “climate warrior,” and maximizing your impact by joining the Climate Emergency Movement
  • Support, including further reading, questions for self-reflection, and exercises to complete with like-minded groups

From Knowledge to Power: The Comprehensive Handbook for Climate Science and Advocacy by John Perona

From Knowledge To Power : The Comprehensive Handbook for Climate Science and Advocacy
From Knowledge To Power : The Comprehensive Handbook for Climate Science and Advocacy by John Perona (Ooligan Press)

The Earth is slowly heating up, and only we, as a global community, can stop it—with the knowledge behind what is happening, we can affect change. Using his PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale and his LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the Northwestern College of Law at Lewis & Clark University, Dr. John Perona takes us on a journey into the science and politics of the climate crisis in From Knowledge to Power: Your Handbook for Climate Science and Advocacy. Perona uses the basic science of climate change, the rise of green technologies, and the political implications of climate science to present a concise guide to the critical facts regarding our climate change. He offers actionable tips for how to engage in advocacy by calling for action at every level—leaders in both science and government, community groups, and individuals like you. Perona offers a grounded, optimistic outlook for humanity, but only if we engage with science and act with knowledge.

How to F***ing Save the Planet by Jennifer Crouch

How to F***ing Save the Planet
How to F***ing Save the Planet by Jennifer Crouch (Welbeck Publishing)

If you are a decent human being who believes in science, then How to F****ing Save the Planet is an absolutely essential read.

It is easy to become overwhelmed by the bleak reality of impending climate crisis. However, this book is an irreverent guide to the difficulties that face us – and the steps that we can take to overcome them

Without flinching away from the hard science, How to F****ng Save the Planet explores all aspects of our environmental challenges. From an introduction to climate science and the history of the human carbon footprint to descriptions of the systemic issues that our planet and its inhabitants are facing, this book cuts down absurd climate change myths and proposes real solutions that will cheer up even the gloomiest climate activist.

The Green New Deal and Beyond by Stan Cox

The Green New Deal and Beyond
The Green New Deal and Beyond by Stan Cox (City Lights Books)

A clear and urgent call for the national, social, and individual changes required to prevent catastrophic climate change.

The prospect of a Green New Deal is providing millions of people with a sense of hope, but scientists warn there is little time left to take the actions needed. We are at a critical point, and while the Green New Deal will be a step in the right direction, we need to do more—right now—to avoid catastrophe. In The Green New Deal and Beyond, author and plant scientist Stan Cox explains why we must abolish the use of fossil fuels as soon as possible, and how it can be done. He addresses a host of glaring issues not mentioned in the GND and guides us through visionary, achievable ideas for working toward a solution to the deepening crisis. It’s up to each of us, Cox writes, to play key roles in catalyzing the necessary transformation.

The Red Deal by The Red Nation

The Red Deal 3
The Red Deal by The Red Nation (Common Notions)

A powerful guide to Indigenous liberation and the fight to save the planet. The Red Deal is both a manifesto for Indigenous liberation and a plan for the future of our planet. Part movement document and part activist handbook, its ultimate goal is not to heal the existing structures, but to present a way forward following the abolition of them.

When the Red Nation released their call for a Red Deal, it generated coverage in places from Teen Vogue to Jacobin to the New Republic, was endorsed by the DSA and has galvanized organizing and action. Now, in response to popular demand, the Red Nation expands their original statement filling in the histories and ideas that formed it and forwarding an even more powerful case for the actions it demands.

Moving to Higher Ground by John Englander

Moving to Higher Ground
Moving to Higher Ground by John Englander (The Science Bookshelf)

It’s a fact—rising sea level is now unstoppable. We have to adapt while there is still time.

Flooding from rising seas is a deadly threat to coastal communities around the world. Moving to Higher Ground: Rising Sea Level and the Path Forward explores how sea level rise will affect investments, economies, national security, and the environment . . . and what we need to do to tackle the challenge.

Internationally renowned oceanographer John Englander outlines strategies for everyone who will be affected by this phenomenon. Homeowners, business leaders, engineers, architects, and investors alike will benefit from Englander’s honest analysis and visionary view for sustainable communities.

The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail

The End of Ice
The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail (The New Press)

After nearly a decade overseas as a war reporter, the acclaimed journalist Dahr Jamail returned to America to renew his passion for mountaineering, only to find that the slopes he had once climbed have been irrevocably changed by climate disruption. In response, Jamail embarks on a journey to the geographical front lines of this crisis—from Alaska to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, via the Amazon rainforest—in order to discover the consequences to nature and to humans of the loss of ice.

In The End of Ice, we follow Jamail as he scales Denali, the highest peak in North America, dives in the warm crystal waters of the Pacific only to find ghostly coral reefs, and explores the tundra of St. Paul Island where he meets the last subsistence seal hunters of the Bering Sea and witnesses its melting glaciers. Accompanied by climate scientists and people whose families have fished, farmed, and lived in the areas he visits for centuries, Jamail begins to accept the fact that Earth, most likely, is in a hospice situation. Ironically, this allows him to renew his passion for the planet’s wild places, cherishing Earth in a way he has never been able to before.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change by Harriet Shugarman

How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change
How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change by Harriet Shugarman (New Society Publishers)

How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change provides tools and strategies for parents to explain the climate emergency to their children, maintain hope in the face of crisis, and galvanize positive action by encouraging today’s children to follow their passions in pursuit of a livable world.

With catastrophic global warming already baked into the climate system, today’s children face a future entirely unlike that of their parents. Yet how can we maintain hope and make a difference in the face of overwhelming evidence of the climate crisis?

Help is at hand. Written by Harriet Shugarman – the Climate Mama and trusted advisor to parents – How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change provides tools and strategies for parents to explain the climate emergency to their children and galvanize positive action.

The Human Age by Gisli Palsson

The Human Age
The Human Age by Gisli Palsson (Welbeck Publishing)

The Human Age is an intrepid exploration of the new geological epoch in which we now find ourselves: the Anthropocene. Defined as the Age of Man, this is the epoch in which human beings have become the driving forces that mold, transform and destroy Earth.

Bringing together scientific theory, political argument, philosophical questioning, and our deepest fears and hopes for the future, The Human Age explores this new age through informative and compelling text and astounding photographs of the impact of human life on Earth. Powerful graphics depict the changing nature of the landscape and the very bedrock of our planet, and the destruction of ancient systems and environments that are resulting in global upheaval and climate breakdown. Creating a visual and written timeline of the age of human domination, The Human Age reveals how this era was born, the ways in which it is impacting us and our planet now, and the outlook for the future.

No Planet B edited by Lucy Diavolo

No Planet B
No Planet B edited by Lucy Diavolo (Haymarket Books)

An urgent call for climate justice from Teen Vogue, one of this generation’s leading voices, using an intersectional lens – with critical feminist, indigenous, antiracist, and internationalist perspectives. As the political classes watch our world burn, a new movement of young people is rising to meet the challenge of climate catastrophe. This book is a guide, a toolkit, a warning, and a cause for hope.

The Citizens Guide to Climate Success by Mark Jaccard

The Citizens Guide to Climate Success
The Citizens Guide to Climate Success by Mark Jaccard (Cambridge University Press)

Sometimes solving climate change seems impossibly complex, and it is hard to know what changes we all can and should make to help. This book offers hope. Drawing on the latest research, Mark Jaccard shows us how to recognize the absolutely essential actions (decarbonizing electricity and transport) and policies (regulations that phase out coal plants and gasoline vehicles, carbon tariffs). Rather than feeling paralyzed and pursuing ineffective efforts, we can all make a few key changes in our lifestyles to reduce emissions, to contribute to the urgently needed affordable energy transition in developed and developing countries. More importantly, Jaccard shows how to distinguish climate-sincere from insincere politicians and increase the chance of electing and sustaining these leaders in power. In combining the personal and the political, The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success offers a clear and simple strategic path to solving the greatest problem of our times.

Our Livable World by Marc Schaus

Our Livable World
Our Livable World by Marc Schaus (Diversion Books)

There’s finally reason to hope. Climate change is the existential threat of our time, but incredible new advancements in science and engineering can allow us to avoid the worst repercussions of global warming as we work to reverse it over time. In Our Livable World, research specialist and author Marc Schaus leads readers in an exploration of new and upcoming innovations in green technology poised to prevent the climate apocalypse—and usher in a sustainable, livable world.

To beat a challenge the size of climate change, our solutions will have to be ambitious: solar thermal cells capable of storing energy long after the sun goes down, “smart highways” designed to charge your vehicle as you drive, indoor vertical farms automated to maximize crop growth with no pesticides, bioluminescent vines ready to one day replace our streetlights, jet fuel created from landfill trash—and next-generation carbon capture techniques to remove the emissions we have already released over the past several decades. Far from the geoengineering schemes of cli-fi action thrillers, real solutions are being developed, right this moment. Our Livable World features interviews with the innovators, real talk on the revolutionary technology, and a clear picture of a cleaner planet in the future.

The Climate Swerve by Robert Jay Lifton

The Climate Swerve
The Climate Swerve by Robert Jay Lifton (The New Press)

Over his long career as witness to an extreme twentieth century, National Book Award-winning psychiatrist, historian, and public intellectual Robert Jay Lifton has grappled with the profound effects of nuclear war, terrorism, and genocide. Now he shifts to climate change, which, Lifton writes, “presents us with what may be the most demanding and unique psychological task ever required of humankind,” what he describes as the task of mobilizing our imaginative resources toward climate sanity.

Thanks to the power of corporate-funded climate denialists and the fact that “with its slower, incremental sequence, [climate change] lends itself less to the apocalyptic drama,” a large swathe of humanity has numbed themselves to the reality of climate change. Yet Lifton draws a message of hope from the Paris climate meeting of 2015 where representatives of virtually all nations joined in the recognition that we are a single species in deep trouble.

Here, Lifton suggests in this lucid and moving book that recalls Rachel Carson and Jonathan Schell, was evidence of how we might call upon the human mind—”our greatest evolutionary asset”—to translate a growing species awareness—or “climate swerve”—into action to sustain our habitat and civilization.

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