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Summer 2020 Reading List: 5 Books on Climate Change

summer reading_books on climate change

I don’t know about you, but the sun here in New York City feels a little hotter with each passing year. We are quickly nearing a deadline that will decide the outcome of our planet and we all need to do our part to help preserve the environment.

To help us all do just that, I compiled this reading list – 5 books on climate change. All recently published and all helping answer the question: what can I do to help save the planet and what could happen if I do nothing?

The Little Book of Going Green by Harriet Dyer

books on sustainable living

This book is exactly what it sounds like. A little guide of how we can be greener and help the planet in our everyday lives. It breaks down the ways our earth has been affected by: plastics, fossil fuels, industrial agriculture, deforestation, and human population.

Then it digs into how you can help combat each one through small lifestyle changes such as buying economy class tickets when we fly (flying first class creates a carbon footprint nearly nine times the size of economy!) or simply switching off and unplugging our electronics at the end of the day.

This handy tutorial is sweet and straight to the point. If you need a place to start for your sustainable journey, look no further. This compact little novella is chocked full of info that can be absorbed in about an hour.


The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

Written by two architects of the 2015 Paris Agreement, The Future We Choose outlines two potential scenarios of what life on earth will be like in the year 2050.

In the first scenario, we have failed to meet climate deadlines, we have not done our part in preserving the environment and the earth is becoming a degenerative wasteland with food shortages and extreme climate struggles making life on earth dark and difficult.

In the second scenario, we have served our planet by creating a carbon neutral and fully regenerative society. This in turn has eliminated massive amounts of waste and human suffering. The future is bright and we have avoided disaster by taking responsibility for our own actions.

This is a book full of optimism. The authors spell out all we are up against and what we can still achieve for ourselves and the planet if we work together.


Climate Justice by Mary Robinson

books on climate justice

Not many people are familiar with the concept of climate justice. This book written by the former president of Ireland helps explain the interconnectedness of global warming and human rights.

Climate Justice details many inspiring tales of the climate war being fought at the grassroots level – individual women mothers, and farmers taking the fight for climate justice from the grasslands of Uganda to the United Nations.

This is a great read for those interested in the climate crisis as a humanitarian issue or for those who never knew just how deep rooted the fight against climate change existed in all cultures.


Rainforest: Dispatches from Earth’s Most Vital Frontlines by Tony Juniper

books on climate change

I was just as furious as anyone over the purposeful burning and degradation of the rainforest sanctioned by the president of Brazil. Rainforests have ancient history in culture and biodiversity. They are incredibly crucial for maintaining life as we know it and hold a great responsibility in preserving the health of our planet.

Tony Juniper discusses all the inspirational efforts currently underway that are saving Earth’s greatest forests. Anyone curious as to how important rainforests are in our everyday lives need to give this book a read. It is a spiritual and uplifting tale on how we, as human beings, cannot survive without our forests.


The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace–Wells

the unihabitable earth_climate change books

David Wallace–Wells’ bestseller is an account of the woes yet to come if climate change is not reversed. It is worse than sea level rise – bringing with it the first climate change refugee crisis. It is worse than the “500 year” storms that have become a monthly occurrence all around the globe. In order to understand what it will take to save the planet, we must first understand what is really at stake.

By the end of this century, parts of the Earth could become completely uninhabitable, massive food shortages will rage, and our political and economic climate will drastically distort the life of every man, woman, and child on the planet.

The Uninhabitable Earth is a desperate call to action – a harsh reality of what we have brought upon ourselves. While reassuring us that it is not too late it also makes it clear that the salvation of our planet relies heavily on a single generation. Wallace-Wells’ rude-awakening is as good a motivator as any to take a stand and get involved in the rehabilitation of our Earth.