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The 8 Best Books About Climate Change

Best books about climate change
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / LubosHouska

From scientific accounts and predictions to passionate handbooks and detailed calls to action, these are the eight best books about climate change.

1. Revolutionary Power: An Activist's Guide to the Energy Transformation by Salanda Baker

Revolutionary Power, by Shalanda Baker, focuses on Hurricane Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico as a metaphor for the overarching climate crisis. Baker uses this example to showcase how Black and brown communities are often left behind and disproportionately disadvantaged by the U.S. government and their environmental policies. The author stresses that the nationwide transformation to clean, reliable energy must center on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) points of view, as there is no environmental justice or energy justice without racial justice. 

2. The Fight for Climate After COVID-19 by Alice Hill

In The Fight for Climate After COVID-19, Alice Hill discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic revealed cracks in global disaster readiness. Hill discusses similarities between COVID-19 responses and climate change reactions and preparedness. This book lays out the flaws in our system and argues we must transform our policies to mitigate and prepare for dramatic climate change. 

3. The Atlas of Disappearing Places by Christina Conklin, Marina Psaros and Lawrence Susskind

The Atlas of Disappearing Places uses the ocean as a metaphor for the climate crisis.
The Atlas of Disappearing Places uses the ocean as a metaphor for the climate crisis.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / joakant)

This 2021 reading is one of the best books about climate change to date. In The Atlas of Disappearing Places, authors Christina Conklin, Marina Psaros and Lawrence Susskind paint a picture explaining how ocean health impacts the entire climate. Focusing on 20 locations around the world, the authors discuss rising sea levels, acidifying oceans, melting ice, flooded coasts, mass extinction and the loss of biodiversity and coastal communities. 

4. The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

The Uninhabitable Earth is a call to action to fight climate change. Written in 2019, this book by David Wallace-Wells paints a dreary picture of the devastation that awaits humans. This includes environmental degradation and likely social impacts of climate change such as food shortages, refugee emergencies, climate wars and economic ruin. David Wallace-Wells implores the current generations to take the steps needed to change our trajectory. 

5. Six Weeks to Zero Waste by Kate Arnell

This is one of the best books about climate change and zero-waste living.
This is one of the best books about climate change and zero-waste living.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

Kate Arnell’s Six Weeks to Zero Waste is an accessible, inspirational book on eliminating waste in day-to-day life. Arnell focuses on minimalism and decluttering, and includes tangible step-by-step instructions on living a zero-waste lifestyle. Still, the plans laid out by Arnell are not out of touch or preachy. The author admits zero-waste living is typically not 100% possible and that individuals have unique barriers depending on their circumstances. This book is a great jumping-off point to delve into the world of zero-waste without it being overwhelming. 

6. Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate Energy by Jennie C. Stephens

2020’s Diversifying Power by Jennie C. Stephens calls attention to the historical prioritization of corporate profits over public good. Arguing climate justice is not possible without social justice, Stephens calls for diversified US leadership with antiracist, feminist values to address the climate crisis through mitigating social and economic inequalities.

7. How Cycling Can Save the World by Peter Walker

Peter Walker writes one of the best, most optimistic books about climate change.
Peter Walker writes one of the best, most optimistic books about climate change.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / StockSnap)

In 2017’s How Cycling Can Save the World, Peter Walker discusses biking cities like Copenhagen and New York City, demonstrating the positive impacts cycling is proven to have. Walker argues that increasing accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists has many benefits, ranging from reducing smog and obesity to improving mental health. 

8. From Knowledge to Power: Your Handbook for Climate Science and Advocacy by Dr. John Perona

Written by Dr. John Perona, who has both an LLM in Environmental and Natural Resources and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, From Knowledge to Power is all about the science and politics of climate change. This handbook presents the facts of the climate crisis and lays out a detailed call to action for needed changes. Perona gives detailed information on advocating for climate justice and making a difference. 

In our other best-of lists of literature you can find even more on everything nature, climate, and society:

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