In new book, William Nordhaus says there’s a better way to frame the challenges posed by global warming and find solutions
There are staggering quantities of great books available, very few of which are fiction although that is changing (see a recent interview with Maja Lunde who wrote The History of Bees and The End of the Ocean), the stunning new Kim Stanley Robinson science fiction entry, The Ministry for the Future, and A Children’s Bible, chosen by The New York Times as one of the top ten best books of the year.
This is a curated list of the best books for adults, from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) which set the stage for understanding the impact humans were having on the planet, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (2006) which made it abundantly clear, to Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (2014), Paul Hawken’s Drawdown (2017), and Richard Powers’ The Overstory (2019), a Pulitizer Prize-winning work of fiction and ode to trees — all bestsellers from the time they were published.
We have starred some titles with which we have personal history and others which have come highly recommended. Some are general like Joe Romm’s Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know, and some highly specific like The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson, Naomi Klein’s highly political This Changes Everything, and John Englander’s Moving to Higher Ground. When Sir David Attenborough published, at the age of 93, his A Life on Our Planet, he called it his witness statement and his vision for the future. What a giant of a man.
In May, 2020, Michael Svoboda created a list of recent books on climate activism for Yale Climate Connections. A new list from January, 2021, was stunning. The first three titles, Michael Mann’s The New Climate War, Bill Gates’ How To Avoid a Climate Disaster, and Elizabeth Kolbert’s Under a White Sky immediately got gold stars from us. You might find it interesting to read all of Skeptical Science’s reviews of The New Climate War. Michael Mann is truly a treasure.
We have also become increasingly impressed by Writer’s Voice with Francesca Rheannon, (available on radio and as a podcast) where she interviews any number of authors who are concerned by climate change, most recently Paul Greenberg whose Climate Diet: 50 Simple Ways to Trim Your Carbon Footprint focuses on individual actions including those which specifically affect business and government and John Englander whose Moving to Higher Ground is really the last word on the implications of sea level rise.
Katharine Hayhoe’s Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World is scheduled for September publication. A climate researcher, scientist, and brilliant climate communicator, this is one to look forward to.
Let us know what you think.
In new book, William Nordhaus says there’s a better way to frame the challenges posed by global warming and find solutions
Paul Greenberg wants Americans to go on a climate diet. By that, he means most people in the United States need to make changes to…
Can you throw a pizza box in the recycling bin? How about a candy wrapper or a shampoo bottle? If you’ve ever been perplexed by…
At age 65, Bill Gates continues to walk through life with all of the brashness of an algebra teacher. While his peers among the ultrarich enjoy crocodile breeding,…
One of the Daily Beast’s 5 Essential Books to Read Before the Election A collection of the New Yorker’s groundbreaking reporting from the front lines of climate change—including…
Rarely in human records has Earth notched a year as hot as this one. The temperature in Baghdad hit 125 degrees in August, scorching farms…
Like most people in Miami, Mario Alejandro Ariza came from somewhere else.
Hope Jahren’s “The Story of More,” Christina Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac’s “The Future We Choose” and Solomon Goldstein-Rose’s “The 100% Solution” offer some novel approaches…
The leader of the 2015 Paris accord talks about her new book, The Future We Choose, and why it’s crunch time for humanity…
Jenny Offill is the master of novels told in sly, burnished fragments. In her latest, ‘Weather,’ she uses this small form to address the climate…
By Rob MooreAs the planet heated up to record-breaking levels, the seas continued to rise and wildfires, storms, floods or other manifestations of climate change…
It seems as though we are tripping over more tipping points than we knew existed.
By John R. PlattAn important theme runs through November’s new environmental books: We’re stronger together than apart.For one author that means fostering the ability of…
Fulminating comes easy to Rachel Maddow. What sets her apart from other serial fulminators is that she does it with facts — and sardonic wit.…
In “We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast,” the author argues that individual actions matter when it comes to the environment. …
We know that warm waters fuel hurricanes, and Dorian was strengthened by waters well above average temperatures The Bahamas, for those who live there, is…
Readers respond to Stephen Buranyi’s long read on how air cooling systems burn electricity and fuel global heating Kudos to Stephen Buranyi for drawing attention…
Individual action can’t fight climate crisis. These Americans know we need a collective response Last fall, as I landed in New Orleans, a seed of…
This book careens and skitters across the landscape of its topic, which means I now know a number of interesting things I didn’t know when…
The journalist and author on the climate crisis and how the US and China will be key to averting disaster David Wallace-Wells is the deputy…
Humans created their societies in defiance of nature, but it still has the power to instil awe Achmore is a nondescript hamlet on the A858…
The 16-year-old climate change activist has galvanised young people to read more about saving the planet Some seek to convey the wonder of endangered animals…
Humanity faces an existential crisis. Officialdom won’t act – and I could no longer stand by and just watch Just before my 57th birthday, after…
When 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg spoke to the British Houses of Parliament last month, she had harsh words for the politicians in the audience:…
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, don’t just give up. Take a moment, read one of these excellent sci-fi and fantasy novels with a…
As part of its ongoing “Original Stories” series, Amazon has assembled a collection of climate-change fiction, or cli-fi, bringing a literary biodiversity to bear on the defining…
Books covering multiple subjects will have no icon.
In 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste, Kellogg shares tips and more, along with DIY recipes for beauty and home; advice for responsible consumption and making better choices for home goods, fashion, and the office; and even secrets for how to go waste free at the airport. “It’s not about perfection,” she says. “It’s about making better choices.”
Like most of us, Damon Gameau has spent most of his adult years overwhelmed into inaction by the problem of climate change and its devastating effects on the planet. But when Damon became a father, he decided to do what he does best, and tell a story. The story became an imagining of what the world could look like in 2040, if we all decided to start doing things differently, right now. The result is the era-defining documentary 2040—a meticulously researched plea for the adoption of community-building, energy-generating, connection-forging, forest-renewing, ocean-replenishing measures that science tells us will reset our planet’s health, drive our economies and improve lives across the globe.
The first book to offer a proven, fast, inexpensive, practical way to cut greenhouse gas emissions and prevent catastrophic climate change. Reviewed in The NY Times book review 2/10/19 by Richard Rhodes, who wrote Energy: A Human History.
Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet’s sublime new novel―her first since the National Book Award long-listed Sweet Lamb of Heaven―follows a group of twelve eerily mature children on a forced vacation with their families at a sprawling lakeside mansion.
Drawing on the two authors’ experiences, one as an internationally recognized climate scientist and the other as an evangelical leader of a growing church, this book explains the science underlying global warming, the impact that human activities have on it, and how our Christian faith should play a significant role in guiding our opinions and actions on this important issue.
A youth movement is reenergizing global environmental activism. The “climate generation”—late millennials and iGen, or Generation Z—is demanding that policy makers and government leaders take immediate action to address the dire outcomes predicted by climate science.
Featuring clear, well-written, and concise arguments, this book is ideal for both climate-change believers and skeptics. Few books are as straightforward, comprehensive, and visually descriptive as in this book – accessible even to young teenagers.
This is a report organized around 11 human healthy conditions predicted to be most dramatically affected by climate change.
In this scientifically informed account of the changes occurring in the world over the last century, award-winning broadcaster and natural historian shares a lifetime of wisdom and a hopeful vision for the future.
More severe storms and rising seas will inexorably push the American coastline inland with profound impact on communities, infrastructure, and natural systems. In A New Coast, Jeffrey Peterson draws a comprehensive picture of how storms and rising seas will change the coast. Peterson offers a clear-eyed assessment of how governments can work with the private sector and citizens to be better prepared for the coming coastal inundation.
How many people can the Earth support? Tucker makes the case that the Earth’s ‘carrying capacity’ is limited to 3 billion humans, and that humanity’s century long binge has incurred an unsustainable ecological debt that must be paid down promptly, or else cataclysm awaits. Given that our species has already surpassed 7.5 billion, and is fast approaching 9 billion or more, this is an audacious claim that everyone who cares about the fate of our planet and our species has a responsibility to evaluate for themselves.
The age of climate gradualism is over, as unprecedented disasters are exacerbated by inequalities of race and class. We need profound, radical change.
These astonishing portraits of the natural world explore the breathtaking diversity of the unspoiled American landscape—the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. Conjuring up one extraordinary vision after another, Aldo Leopold takes readers with him on the road and through the seasons on a fantastic tour of our priceless natural resources, explaining the destructive effects humankind has had on the land and issuing a bold challenge to protect the world we love.
In After Cooling, Eric Dean Wilson braids together air-conditioning history, climate science, road trips, and philosophy to tell the story of the birth, life, and afterlife of Freon, the refrigerant that ripped a hole larger than the continental United States in the ozone layer. As he traces the refrigerant’s life span from its invention in the 1920s—when it was hailed as a miracle of scientific progress—to efforts in the 1980s to ban the chemical (and the resulting political backlash), Wilson finds himself on a journey through the American heartland, trailing a man who buys up old tanks of Freon stockpiled in attics and basements to destroy what remains of the chemical before it can do further harm.
Drawing on the two authors’ experiences, one as an internationally recognized climate scientist and the other as an evangelical leader of a growing church, this book explains the science underlying global warming, the impact that human activities have on it, and how our Christian faith should play a significant role in guiding our opinions and actions on this important issue.
An audacious and powerful debut novel: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle—a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.
A daring call to action, exposing the reality of how humankind has aided in the destruction of our planet and groundbreaking information on what you can do now.
An Inconvenient Truth—Gore’s groundbreaking, battle cry of a follow-up to the bestselling Earth in the Balance—is being published to tie in with a documentary film of the same name. Both the book and film were inspired by a series of multimedia presentations on global warming that Gore created and delivers to groups around the world. With this book, Gore, who is one of our environmental heroes—and a leading expert—brings together leading-edge research from top scientists around the world; photographs, charts, and other illustrations; and personal anecdotes and observations to document the fast pace and wide scope of global warming. He presents, with alarming clarity and conclusiveness—and with humor, too—that the fact of global warming is not in question and that its consequences for the world we live in will be disastrous if left unchecked. This riveting new book—written in an accessible, entertaining style—will open the eyes of even the most skeptical.
Winner of three 2020 International Photography Awards and named Photographer of the Year from the Tokyo International Awards, explorer Sebastian Copeland’s stunning photography delivers unparalleled access to the least explored continent on Earth and galvanizes our awareness of the threats of global warming.
A declaration of resistance, and a roadmap for radical change, from the generation that will be most screwed by climate change. The Millennial generation could be first to experience the doomsday impacts of climate change. It’s also the last generation able to do something about them. With time ticking down, 31-year-old journalist Geoff Dembicki journeyed to Silicon Valley, Canada’s tar sands, Washington, DC, Wall Street and the Paris climate talks to find out if he should hope or despair. What he learned surprised him. Millions of people his age want to radically change our world, and they are at the forefront of resistance to the politicians and CEOs steering our planet towards disaster.
Exploring censorship imposed by corporate wealth and power, this book focuses on the energy industry in Wyoming, where coal, oil, and gas are pillars of the economy. The author examines how governmental bodies and public institutions have suppressed the expression of ideas that conflict with the financial interests of those who profit from fossil fuels. He reveals the ways in which university administrations, art museums, education boards, and research institutes have been coerced into destroying artwork, abandoning studies, modifying curricula, and firing employees. Providing more of the nation’s energy than any other state, Wyoming illuminates the conflicts in the American West, especially the conflict between private wealth and free speech.
Imagine you have your own scientist living next door. In this timely but provocative book, the author points out that changing the world has to start at home. You might want to read an amazing ProPublica interview here.
In the late nineteenth century, humans came at long last to a devastating realization: their rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving scores of animal species to extinction. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the history of the movement to protect and conserve other forms of life. From early battles to save charismatic species such as the American bison and bald eagle to today’s global effort to defend life on a larger scale, Nijhuis’s “spirited and engaging” account documents “the changes of heart that changed history” (Dan Cryer, Boston Globe).
With her trademark black humor, Maddow takes us on a switchback journey around the globe, revealing the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas along the way, and drawing a surprising conclusion about why the Russian government hacked the 2016 U.S. election.
Climate change impacts-more heat, drought, extreme rainfall, and stronger storms-have already harmed communities around the globe. Even if the world could cut its carbon emissions to zero tomorrow, further significant global climate change is now inevitable.
How do you recognize healthy soil? How much can your existing soil be improved? What are the best amendments to use for your soil? Let Building Soil answer your questions and be your guide on gardening from the ground up! Fertilizing, tilling, weed management, and irrigation all affect the quality of your soil. Using author Elizabeth Murphy’s detailed instructions, anyone can become a successful soil-based gardener, whether you want to start a garden from scratch or improve an existing garden.
In car-clogged urban areas across the world, the humble bicycle is enjoying a second life as a legitimate form of transportation. As the world’s foremost cycling nation, the Netherlands is the only country where the number of bikes exceeds the number of people, primarily because the Dutch have built a cycling culture accessible to everyone, regardless of age, ability, or economic means.
Low oil prices are sending shockwaves through the global economy, and longtime industry observer Dieter Helm explains how this and other shifts are the harbingers of a coming energy revolution. Helm documents how the global move toward the internet-of-things will inexorably reduce the demand for oil, gas, and renewables – and prove more effective than current efforts to avert climate change. Oil companies and energy utilities must adapt or face future irrelevancy. Oil-exporting nations will be negatively impacted, whereas the U.S. and Europe, investors in the new technologies, may find themselves leaders in the geopolitical game. Helm concludes by offering advice on what can and should be done to prepare for a radically different energy future.
In order to rescue ourselves from climate catastrophe, we need to radically alter how humans live on Earth. We have to go from spending carbon to banking it. We have to put back the trees, wetlands, and corals. We have to regrow the soil and turn back the desert. We have to save whales, wombats, and wolves. We have to reverse the flow of greenhouse gases and send them in exactly the opposite direction: down, not up. We have to flip the carbon cycle and run it backwards. For such a revolutionary transformation we’ll need civilization 2.0.
The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster.
Since the dawn of the recycling system, men and women the world over have stood by their bins, holding an everyday object, wondering, “can I recycle this?” This simple question reaches into our concern for the environment, the care we take to keep our homes and our communities clean, and how we interact with our local government. Recycling rules seem to differ in every municipality, with exceptions and caveats at every turn, leaving the average American scratching her head at the simple act of throwing something away.
In this magisterial study, Timothy Mitchell rethinks the history of energy, bringing into his grasp as he does so environmental politics, the struggle for democracy, and the place of the Middle East in the modern world. With the rise of coal power, the producers who oversaw its production acquired the ability to shut down energy systems, a threat they used to build the first mass democracies.
Carbon Nation ranges across film and literary studies, ecology, politics, journalism, and art history to chart the course by which prehistoric carbon calories entered into the American economy and body. It reveals how fossil fuels remade our ways of being, knowing, and sensing in the world while examining how different classes, races, sexes, and conditions learned to embrace and navigate the material manifestations and cultural potential of these new prehistoric carbons. In Carbon Nation, Bob Johnson reminds us that what we take to be natural in the modern world is, in fact, historical, and that our history and culture arise from this relatively recent embrace of the coal mine, the stoke hole, and the oil derrick.
In Carbon Shock, veteran journalist Mark Schapiro takes readers on a journey into a world where the same chaotic forces reshaping our natural world are also transforming the economy, playing havoc with corporate calculations, shifting economic and political power, and upending our understanding of the real risks, costs, and possibilities of what lies ahead. Carbon Shock evokes a world in which the parameters of our understanding are shifting – on a scale even more monumental than how the digital revolution transformed financial decision-making – toward a slow but steady acknowledgement of the costs and consequences of climate change. It also offers a critical new perspective as global leaders gear up for the next round of climate talks in 2015.
Written by a physician and a climate and health expert, this book takes readers from Mozambique to Honduras to the US for an in depth look at how climate change is affecting patterns of diseases. It also “delivers a suite of innovative solutions for shaping healthy global economic order in the twenty-first century” – Yale Climate Connections
The industrial age of energy and transportation is already giving way to an information technology and knowledge-based energy and transportation era.
From increasingly severe storms to collapsing coral reefs to the displacement of Syrian citizens, in this eBook we examine the effects of Earth’s changing climate on weather systems, ecosystems and human habitability and what this means for our future.
Climate change will have a bigger impact on humanity than the Internet has had. The last decade’s spate of super storms, wildfires, heat waves, and droughts has accelerated the public discourse on this topic and lent credence to climatologist Lonnie Thomson’s 2010 statement that climate change “represents a clear and present danger to civilization.” In June 2015, the Pope declared that action on climate change is a moral issue.
How climate change will affect our political theory–for better and worse. Despite the science and the summits, leading capitalist states have not achieved anything close to an adequate level of carbon mitigation. There is now simply no way to prevent the planet breaching the threshold of two degrees Celsius set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. What are the likely political and economic outcomes of this? Where is the overheating world heading?
A wonderful, in-depth analysis of how municipalities, businesses and private citizens are proving to be a bold force in solving the greatest challenge of our time―the climate crisis.
This book explains the science of climate change in plain language and shows that the 2 to 4 percent of climate scientists who are skeptical that humans are the main cause of global warming are a fringe minority―and have a well-established history of being wrong.
Nye uses energy as a touchstone to examine the lives of ordinary people engaged in normal activities.. He looks at how these activities changed as new energy systems were constructed, from colonial times to recent years. He also shows how, as they incorporated new machines and processes into their lives, Americans became ensnared in power systems that were not easily changed: they made choices about the conduct of their lives, and those choices accumulated to produce a consuming culture.
How can each of us live Cooler Smarter? While the routine decisions that shape our days—what to have for dinner, where to shop, how to get to work—may seem small, collectively they have a big effect on global warming. But which changes in our lifestyles might make the biggest difference to the climate? This science-based guide shows you the most effective ways to cut your own global warming emissions by twenty percent or more, and explains why your individual contribution is so vital to addressing this global problem.
Who are the immensely wealthy right-wing ideologues shaping the fate of America today? From the bestselling author of The Dark Side, an electrifying work of investigative journalism that uncovers the agenda of this powerful group.
“Ocean biodiversity is being decimated on par with the fastest rates of rain forest destruction. More than 80 percent of pollutants in the oceans come from sewage and other land-based runoff (some of it radioactive). The rest is created by waste dumped by commercial and recreational vessels. In many areas and for many fish stocks, there are no conservation or management measures existing or even planned.
With the effects of climate change already upon us, the need to cut global greenhouse gas emissions is nothing less than urgent. It’s a daunting challenge, but the technologies and strategies to meet it exist today. A small set of energy policies, designed and implemented well, can put us on the path to a low carbon future. Energy systems are large and complex, so energy policy must be focused and cost-effective. One-size-fits-all approaches simply won’t get the job done. Policymakers need a clear, comprehensive resource that outlines the energy policies that will have the biggest impact on our climate future, and describes how to design these policies well.
Nearly four decades after her mother, Frances Moore Lappé, published Diet for a Small Planet, sparking a revolution in our thinking about the social and environmental impact of our food choices, Anna Lappé picks up the conversation, examining another hidden cost of our food system: the climate crisis. From raising cattle in industrial-scale feedlots to razing rainforests to make palm oil for Pop-Tarts, the choices we make about how we put food on our plates, and what we do with the waste, contribute to as much as one third of total greenhouse-gas emissions. Lappé exposes the interests resisting this crucial conversation while she educates and empowers readers and eaters committed to healing the planet.
Explore global warming with graphics, illustrations, and charts that separate climate change fact from fiction, presenting the truth about global warming in a way that’s both accurate and easy to understand. Respected climate scientists Michael E. Mann and Lee R. Kump address important questions about global warming and climate change, diving into the information documented by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and breaking it down into clear graphics that explain complex climate questions in simple illustrations that present the truth of the global warming problem clearly.
Discerning Experts assesses the assessments that many governments rely on to help guide environmental policy and action. Through their close look at environmental assessments involving acid rain, ozone depletion, and sea level rise, the authors explore how experts deliberate and decide on the scientific facts about problems like climate change. They also seek to understand how the scientists involved make the judgments they do, how the organization and management of assessment activities affects those judgments, and how expertise is identified and constructed.
A deeply-reported personal investigation by a Miami journalist into the present and future effects of climate change in the Magic City-a watery harbinger for coastal cities worldwide.
From the founder of the Climate Outreach and Information Network, a groundbreaking take on the most urgent question of our time: Why, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, do we still ignore climate change?
Humanity’s 21st century challenge is to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet. In other words, to ensure that no one falls short on life’s essentials (from food and housing to healthcare and political voice), while ensuring that collectively we do not overshoot our pressure on Earth’s life-supporting systems, on which we fundamentally depend – such as a stable climate, fertile soils, and a protective ozone layer. The Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries is a playfully serious approach to framing that challenge, and it acts as a compass for human progress this century.
In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here—some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. The solutions exist, are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are currently enacting them with skill and determination. If deployed collectively on a global scale over the next thirty years, they represent a credible path forward, not just to slow the earth’s warming but to reach drawdown, that point in time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline. These measures promise cascading benefits to human health, security, prosperity, and well being—giving us every reason to see this planetary crisis as an opportunity to create a just and livable world.
Commentaries on today’s federal politics of climate change and clean energy technologies like wind, solar and energy efficiency. The author highlights efforts of the Trump administration to roll back federal climate and clean energy policies and environmental regulations dating back to the mid-1970s.
Energy is the only universal currency; it is necessary for getting anything done. Humans have come to rely on many different energy flows – ranging from fossil fuels to photovoltaic generation of electricity – for their civilized existence. In this monumental history, Vaclav Smil provides a comprehensive account of how energy has shaped society, from pre-agricultural foraging societies through today’s fossil fuel–driven civilization. This book is an extensively updated and expanded version of Smil’s Energy in World History (1994). Smil has incorporated an enormous amount of new material, reflecting the dramatic developments in energy studies over the last two decades and his own research over that time.
Energy and Society: An Introduction, Second Edition provides readers with a detailed introduction to energy sources and energy utilization. This book presents an overview of alternative energy issues and technologies, discusses the pros and cons of various energy sources, and explores their impacts on society and the environment.
In Energy without Conscience David McDermott Hughes investigates why climate change has yet to be seen as a moral issue. Hughes centers his analysis on Trinidad and Tobago, which is the world’s oldest petro-state, having drilled the first continuously producing oil well in 1866. He draws parallels between Trinidad’s eighteenth- and nineteenth-century slave labor energy economy and its contemporary oil industry. Hughes argues that like slavery, producing oil is a moral choice and that oil is at its most dangerous when it is accepted as part of everyday life. Only by rejecting arguments that oil is economically and politically necessary, and by acknowledging our complicity in an immoral system, can we stem the damage being done to the planet.
Science tells us that a new and dangerous stage in planetary evolution has begun—the Anthropocene, a time of rising temperatures, extreme weather, rising oceans, and mass species extinctions. Humanity faces not just more pollution or warmer weather, but a crisis of the Earth System. If business as usual continues, this century will be marked by rapid deterioration of our physical, social, and economic environment. Large parts of Earth will become uninhabitable, and civilization itself will be threatened. Facing the Anthropocene shows what has caused this planetary emergency, and what we must do to meet the challenge.
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.
Paris’s 2003 heat wave was the worst natural disaster in the city’s history and took 1500 lives. In Fatal Isolation, Keller weaves the stories of its victims and the crisis itself to explore how a city responds to disaster and rapid change.
Award winning journalist Linda Marsa details the sweeping effects of climate change on global health trends and details the imminent danger of persistently rising temperatures. Exploring changes in Earth’s increasingly fragile system, she argues why attending to new health issues will be of primary importance if human societies are to survive the coming century.
What we eat, where it is from, and how it is produced are vital questions in today’s America. We think seriously about food because it is freighted with the hopes, fears, and anxieties of modern life. Yet critiques of food and food systems all too often sprawl into jeremiads against modernity itself, while supporters of the status quo refuse to acknowledge the problems with today’s methods of food production and distribution.
What can we do about climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress, and economic instability? The farmers and ranchers say: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals. Scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planet’s soils could offset 100 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere.
In Greenovation, the eminent urban policy scholar Joan Fitzgerald argues that too many cities are only implementing random acts of greenness that will do little to address the climate crisis. She instead calls for “greenovation”–using the city as a test bed for adopting and perfecting green technologies for more energy–efficient buildings, transportation, and infrastructure more broadly. Further, Fitzgerald contends that while many city mayors cite income inequality as a pressing problem, few cities are connecting climate action and social justice-another aspect of greenovation. Focusing on the biggest producers of greenhouse gases in cities, buildings, energy and transportation, Fitzgerald examines how greenovating cities are reducing emissions overall and lays out an agenda for fostering and implementing urban innovations that can help reverse the path toward irrevocable climate damage. Drawing on interviews with practitioners in more than 20 North American and European cities, she identifies the strategies and policies they are employing and how support from state, provincial and national governments has supported or thwarted their efforts.
The problem of agriculture is as old as civilization. Throughout history, great societies that abused their land withered into poverty or disappeared entirely. Now we risk repeating this ancient story on a global scale due to ongoing soil degradation, a changing climate, and a rising population.
But there is reason for hope. David R. Montgomery introduces us to farmers around the world at the heart of a brewing soil health revolution that could bring humanity’s ailing soil back to life remarkably fast. Growing a Revolution draws on visits to farms in the industrialized world and developing world to show that a new combination of farming practices can deliver innovative, cost-effective solutions to problems farmers face today. Read a book review on Resilience.
Drawing on peer reviewed scientific and medical research, Lockwood examines climate change’s effects on Earth’s ecosystems, making direct connections to threats to human health.
Klinenberg studies the social, economic, and political systems at work in Chicago in 1995 to reveal why that year’s heat wave was so devastating, giving warning on the preparedness of our cities to meet future skyrocketing temperatures.
Did you know that… Sea level will rise for at least 1,000 years. Shorelines will shift significantly by 2050 Property values may start to decline this decade. Rising sea level is the most profound long-term aspect of climate change.
How does social change happen? When do social movements take off? Sexual harassment was once something that women had to endure; now a movement has risen up against it. White nationalist sentiments, on the other hand, were largely kept out of mainstream discourse; now there is no shortage of media outlets for them.
In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical–and accessible–plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.
“A brilliant, thought-provoking book.” —Matt Haig, New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library
A wide-ranging take on why humans have a troubled relationship with being an animal, and why we need a better one
A practical and comprehensive guide to surviving the greatest disaster of our time, from New York Times bestselling self-help author and beloved CBS Sunday Morning science and technology correspondent David Pogue.
Although the future extent and effects of global climate change remain uncertain, the expected damages are not zero, and risks of serious environmental and macroeconomic consequences rise with increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Despite the uncertainties, reducing emissions now makes sense, and a carbon tax is the simplest, most effective, and least costly way to do this. At the same time, a carbon tax would provide substantial new revenues which may be badly needed, given historically high debt-to-GDP levels, pressures on social security and medical budgets, and calls to reform taxes on personal and corporate income.
This book careens and skitters across the landscape of its topic, which means I now know a number of interesting things I didn’t know when I picked it up.
Corporations faced with proof that they are hurting people or the planet have a long history of denying evidence, blaming victims, complaining of witch hunts, attacking their critics’ motives, and otherwise rationalizing their harmful activities.
From Josh Tickell, one of America’s most celebrated documentary filmmakers, comes a “fascinating, easy-to-follow blueprint for how eating in ways that nourish and regenerate the soil can not only help reverse global warming, but also bring greater vitality to our lives” (Wolfgang Puck).
Just as Steve Coll told the story of globalization through ExxonMobil and Andrew Ross Sorkin told the story of Wall Street excess through Too Big to Fail, Christopher Leonard’s Kochland uses the extraordinary account of how one of the biggest private companies in the world grew to be that big to tell the story of modern corporate America.
Legal Pathways is based on two reports by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) that explain technical and policy pathways for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. This 80×50 target and similarly aggressive carbon abatement goals are often referred to as deep decarbonization, distinguished because it requires systemic changes to the energy economy. Using these technical and policy pathways, Legal Pathways provides a legal playbook for deep decarbonization in the United States, identifying well over 1,000 legal options for enabling the United States to address one of the greatest problems facing this country and the rest of humanity.
Light of the Stars tells the story of humanity’s coming of age as we awaken to the possibilities of life on other worlds and their sudden relevance to our fate on Earth. Astrophysicist Adam Frank traces the question of alien life and intelligence from the ancient Greeks to the leading thinkers of our own time, and shows how we as a civilization can only hope to survive climate change if we recognize what science has recently discovered: that we are just one of ten billion trillion planets in the Universe, and it’s highly likely that many of those planets hosted technologically advanced alien civilizations. What’s more, each of those civilizations must have faced the same challenge of civilization-driven climate change.
“A valuable perspective on the most important problem of our time.” – Adam Becker, NPR
Combining stunning visuals with insights and a lexicon of more than 200 agricultural terms explained by today’s thought leaders, Local showcases and explores one of the most popular environmental trends: rebuilding local food movements.
By 1979, we knew nearly everything we understand today about climate change―including how to stop it. Over the next decade, a handful of scientists, politicians, and strategists, led by two unlikely heroes, risked their careers in a desperate, escalating campaign to convince the world to act before it was too late. Losing Earth is their story, and ours. Read The New York Times book review.
Spanning six continents and nine countries―from metropolitan Mexico City to the crumbling ancient aqueducts of Turkey, the receding coastline of Singapore to the coral shores of northern Australia―McSweeney’s 58 is wholly focused on climate change, with speculative fiction from ten contributors, made in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers.
Rising sea level will be tomorrow’s global economic and humanitarian crisis if we don’t start adapting now. Around the world, rising sea level threatens coastal communities. It is unstoppable, requiring bold planning to avoid catastrophe. Though often seen as an environmental issue, it’s more about our security and economy and the impacts on our homes and communities. In his previous book, the bestselling High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis, renowned oceanographer John Englander clearly explained the science. In Moving to Higher Ground: Rising Sea Level and the Path Forward, he updates the latest scientific information and presents a visionary outlook for what we need to do showing the world how to survive, and even thrive, for ourselves and future generations. Englander explains: Why sea level will rise regardless of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. How high the sea could rise in the coming decades and the effects on assets and infrastructure. What you need to know to prepare and adapt for long-term sea level rise and short term flooding events. Why rising sea level and the massive adaptation required could be the greatest economic engine of this century.
In this groundbreaking blueprint for a new economy, three leading business visionaries explain how the world is on the verge of a new industrial revolution-one that promises to transform our fundamental notions about commerce and its role in shaping our future. Natural Capitalism describes a future in which business and environmental interests increasingly overlap, and in which businesses can better satisfy their customers’ needs, increase profits, and help solve environmental problems all at the same time.
The second volume of William T. Vollmann’s epic book about the factors and human actions that have led to global warming begins in the coal fields of West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, where “America’s best friend” is not merely a fuel, but a “heritage.” Over the course of four years Vollmann finds hollowed out towns with coal-polluted streams and acidified drinking water; makes covert visits to mountaintop removal mines; and offers documented accounts of unpaid fines for federal health and safety violations and of miners who died because their bosses cut corners to make more money.
Vollmann turns to a topic that will define the generations to come–the factors and human actions that have led to global warming. Vollmann begins No Immediate Danger, the first volume of Carbon Ideologies, by examining and quantifying the many causes of climate change, from industrial manufacturing and agricultural practices to fossil fuel extraction, economic demand for electric power, and the justifiable yearning of people all over the world to live in comfort. Turning to nuclear power first, Vollmann then recounts multiple visits that he made at significant personal risk over the course of seven years to the contaminated no-go zones and sad ghost towns of Fukushima, Japan, beginning shortly after the tsunami and reactor meltdowns of 2011. Equipped first only with a dosimeter and then with a scintillation counter, he measured radiation and interviewed tsunami victims, nuclear evacuees, anti-nuclear organizers and pro-nuclear utility workers.
Meet Marie Tharp (1920-2006), the first person to map the Earth’s underwater mountain ridge, in this inspiring picture book biography from the author of Shark Lady.
From a young age, Marie Tharp loved watching the world. She loved solving problems. And she loved pushing the limits of what girls and women were expected to do and be. In the mid-twentieth century, women were not welcome in the sciences, but Marie was tenacious. She got a job at a laboratory in New
In this sweeping, unabashed history of oil, Matthieu Auzanneau takes a fresh, thought-provoking look at the way oil interests have commandeered politics and economies, changed cultures, disrupted power balances across the globe, and spawned wars. He upends commonly held assumptions about key political and financial events of the past 150 years, and he sheds light on what our oil-constrained and eventually post-oil future might look like.
Our Changing Menu unpacks the increasingly complex relationships between food and climate change. Whether you’re a chef, baker, distiller, restaurateur, or someone who simply enjoys a good pizza or drink, it’s time to come to terms with how climate change is affecting our diverse and interwoven food system.
As fossil fuel prices rise, oil insecurity deepens, and concerns about climate change cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new energy economy is emerging. Wind, solar, and geothermal energy are replacing oil, coal, and natural gas, at a pace and on a scale we could not have imagined even a year ago. For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, we have begun investing in energy sources that can last forever. Plan B 4.0 explores both the nature of this transition to a new energy economy and how it will affect our daily lives.
In July 2011, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz challenged herself to go plastic free for the whole month. Starting with a small group of people in the city of Perth, the Plastic Free July movement has grown into a 250-million strong community across 177 countries, empowering people to reduce single-use plastic consumption and create a cleaner future.
The Arctic is the ground zero of climate change, and the polar bear is on the front line. Filled with groundbreaking photography that reveals the breathtaking landscapes of the Arctic and the transformations of the environment through the changing lives of polar bears, it’s a firsthand report from the top of our planet.
Who is to blame for our broken politics? The uncomfortable answer to this question starts with ordinary citizens with good intentions. We vote (sometimes) and occasionally sign a petition or attend a rally. But we mainly “engage” by consuming politics as if it’s a sport or a hobby.
Unfolding as a journey down the Mississippi River, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman tells the stories of five representatives of this stewardship movement: a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi river man, a Louisiana shrimper, and a Gulf fisherman. In exploring their work and family histories and the essential geographies they protect, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman challenges pervasive and powerful myths about American and environmental values.
In the United States, people of color are disproportionately more likely to live in environments with poor air quality, in close proximity to toxic waste, and in locations more vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events. In many vulnerable neighborhoods, structural racism and classism prevent residents from having a seat at the table when decisions are made about their community. In an effort to overcome power imbalances and ensure local knowledge informs decision-making, a new approach to community engagement is essential.
In What He Says Is The Most Important Piece Of Environmental Writing In His Long And Award-winning Career, Mark Kurlansky, Best-selling Author Of Salt And Cod, The Big Oyster, 1968, And Milk, Among Many Others, Employs His Signature Multi-century Storytelling And Compelling Attention To Detail To Chronicle The Harrowing Yet Awe-inspiring Life Cycle Of Salmon.
We’ve known about global warming for four decades, so why has it taken so long for the world to agree on effective action. Schneider, part of the Nobel Prize–winning team that shared the accolade with Al Gore in 2007, had a front-row seat at this unfolding environmental meltdown. The answers are both simple and complicated.
“Stephen Schneider is masterful at translating enormously complex scientific principles into a language that we can all comprehend.”–Robert Redford
Some might say none. If scientists seek to discover fundamental truths about the world, and they do so in an objective manner using well-established methods, then how could it matter who’s footing the bill? History, however, suggests otherwise. In science, as elsewhere, money is power. Tracing the recent history of oceanography, Naomi Oreskes discloses dramatic changes in American ocean science since the Cold War, uncovering how and why it changed. Much of it has to do with who pays.
More than a history of renewable energy policy in modern America, Short Circuiting Policy offers a bold new argument about how the policy process works, and why seeming victories can turn into losses when the opposition has enough resources to roll back laws.
First published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962, Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. “Silent Spring became a runaway bestseller, with international reverberations . . . [It is] well crafted, fearless and succinct . . . Even if she had not inspired a generation of activists, Carson would prevail as one of the greatest nature writers in American letters” (Peter Matthiessen, for Time”s 100 Most Influential People of the Century). This fortieth anniversary edition celebrates Rachel Carson”s watershed book with a new introduction by the author and activist Terry Tempest Williams and a new afterword by the acclaimed Rachel Carson biographer Linda Lear, who tells the story of Carson”s courageous defense of her truths in the face of ruthless assault from the chemical industry in the year following the publication of Silent Spring and before her untimely death in 1964.
A system for regenerating land, storing carbon, and creating climate resilience. The concept of silvopasture challenges our notions of both modern agriculture and land use. For centuries, European settlers of North America have engaged in practices that separate the field from the forest, and even the food from the animal. Silvopasture systems integrate trees, animals, and forages in a whole-system approach that offers a number of benefits to the farmer and the environment. Such a system not only offers the promise of ecological regeneration of the land, but also an economical livelihood and even the ability to farm extensively while buffering the effects of a changing climate: increased rainfall, longer droughts, and more intense storm events.
The rapid spread of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has temporarily boosted US natural gas and oil production… and sparked a massive environmental backlash in communities across the country. The fossil fuel industry is trying to sell fracking as the biggest energy development of the century, with slick promises of American energy independence and benefits to local economies. SNAKE OIL casts a critical eye on the oil-industry hype that has hijacked America’s energy conversation. This is the first book to look at fracking from both economic and environmental perspectives, informed by the most thorough analysis of shale gas and oil drilling data ever undertaken. Is fracking the miracle cure-all to our energy ills, or a costly distraction from the necessary work of reducing our fossil fuel dependence?
When The Storm Lake Times, a tiny Iowa twice-weekly, won a Pulitzer Prize for taking on big corporate agri-industry for poisoning the local rivers and lake, it was a coup on many counts: a strike for the well being of a rural community; and a triumph for that endangered species, a family-run rural news weekly.
In his Q&A with Bill McKibben featured in the paperback edition, Dr. James Hansen-the nation’s leading scientist on climate issues-speaks out for the first time with the full truth about global warming: The planet is hurtling even more rapidly than previously acknowledged to a climatic point of no return.
Solar energy, once a niche application for a limited market, has become the cheapest and fastest-growing power source on earth. What’s more, its potential is nearly limitless―every hour the sun beams down more energy than the world uses in a year. But in Taming the Sun, energy expert Varun Sivaram warns that the world is not yet equipped to harness erratic sunshine to meet most of its energy needs. And if solar’s current surge peters out, prospects for replacing fossil fuels and averting catastrophic climate change will dim.
In clear and concise prose, Houle lays out his theory of the big forces of change and how they are coming together forcefully in the 2020s. What he sees a “global stage of human evolution”, because we are all experiencing very much the same world at very much the same time, which has not been true for most of human history. Houle sees changes coming to “capitalism”, or to how it is regulated and practiced, and in how we view democracy in a world where there is so much dispersal of information sources and flows. But central to Houle’s vision of the 2020s as a decade of change is how we will respond, and be forced to respond, to climate change. A central theme of his since his early books over a decade ago has been the concept of earth as a spaceship, to which there will be “no resupply’. His vision is that we are all “crew” on Spaceship Earth and he’s been developing that theme for a long time. It really matures as he contemplates how we deal with the reality of climate change in the 2020s.
Jeffrey D. Sachs is one of the world’s most perceptive and original analysts of global development. In this major new work he presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can use a holistic way forward to address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice: sustainable development.
In a new edition of his hard-hitting book on climate change, economist Dieter Helm looks at how and why we have failed to tackle the issue of global warming and argues for a new, pragmatic rethinking of energy policy.
Agriculture is rightly blamed as a major culprit of our climate crisis. But in this groundbreaking new book, Eric Toensmeier argues that agriculture―specifically, the subset of practices known as “carbon farming”―can, and should be, a linchpin of a global climate solutions platform.
There’s a simple, straightforward way to cut carbon emissions and prevent the most disastrous effects of climate change-and we’re rejecting it because of irrational political fears. That’s the central argument of The Case for a Carbon Tax, a clear-eyed, sophisticated analysis of climate change policy.
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.
We all understand just how dire the circumstances facing our planet are and that we all need to do our part to stem the tide of climate change. When we look in the mirror, we can admit that we desperately need to go on a climate diet. But the task of cutting down our carbon emissions feels overwhelming and the discipline required hard to summon. With The Climate Diet, award-winning food and environmental writer Paul Greenberg offers us the practical, accessible guide we all need.
To hide its dramatic findings, the government released its mandated Climate Assessment Report on Black Friday while everyone was out shopping. Melville House rushed the report into print—including all its charts, graphs, and illustrations—to broadcast its meticulous and devastating findings about the causes and impact of global warming.
Climate Solutions Consensus presents an agenda for America. It is the first major consensus statement by the nation’s leading scientists, and it provides specific recommendations for federal policies, for state and local governments, for businesses, and for colleges and universities that are preparing future generations who will be dealing with a radically changed climate. The book draws upon the recommendations developed by more than 1200 scientists, educators and decision makers who participated in the National Council for Science and the Environment’s 8th National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment.
Climate change presents us with what may be the most demanding and unique psychological task ever required of humankind, 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 National Book Award–winning psychiatrist, historian, and public intellectual Robert Jay Lifton suggests in this lucid and moving book that recalls Rachel Carson and Jonathan Schell, 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.
Tornadoes, cyclones, tsunamis… Weather can be deadly – especially when it strikes without warning. Millions of Americans could soon find themselves at the mercy of violent weather if the public data behind lifesaving storm alerts gets privatized for personal gain. In his first Audible Original feature, New York Times best-selling author and journalist Michael Lewis delivers hard-hitting research on not-so-random weather data – and how Washington plans to release it. He also digs deep into the lives of two scientists who revolutionized climate predictions, bringing warning systems to previously unimaginable levels of accuracy. One is Kathy Sullivan, a gifted scientist among the first women in space; the other, D.J. Patil, is a trickster-turned-mathematician and a political adviser. Most urgently, Lewis’s narrative reveals the potential cost of putting a price tag on information with the potential to save lives, raising questions about balancing public service with profits in an ethically-ambiguous atmosphere.
National and global efforts have failed to stop climate change, transition our society from fossil fuels, and reduce inequality. We must now confront these and other challenges by building resilience at the level of communities. The Community Resilience Reader: Essential Resources for an Era of Upheaval (Island Press, 2017) combines a fresh look at the crises humanity faces, the essential tools of resilience science, and the wisdom of activists, scholars, and analysts working on the ground. From the producers of the award-winning The Post Carbon Reader (Watershed Media, 2010), The Community Resilience Reader is a valuable resource for community leaders, students, and concerned citizens.
Reissued on the tenth anniversary of its publication, this classic work on our environmental crisis features a new introduction by the author, reviewing both the progress and ground lost in the fight to save the earth.
From the author of the number-one international bestseller The History of Bees, a captivating story of the power of nature and the human spirit that explores the threat of a devastating worldwide drought, witnessed through the lives of a father, a daughter, and a woman who will risk her life to save the future.
The first hopeful book about climate change, The Future Earth shows readers how to reverse the short- and long-term effects of climate change over the next three decades.
In The Future We Choose, Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac–who led negotiations for the United Nations during the historic Paris Agreement of 2015–have written a cautionary but optimistic book about the world’s changing climate and the fate of humanity.
Consider this: Five of the most expensive hurricanes in history have made landfall since 2005: Katrina ($160 billion), Ike ($40 billion), Sandy ($72 billion), Harvey ($125 billion), and Maria ($90 billion). With more property than ever in harm’s way, and the planet and oceans warming dangerously, it won’t be long before we see a $250 billion hurricane. Why? Because Americans have built $3 trillion worth of property in some of the riskiest places on earth: barrier islands and coastal floodplains. And they have been encouraged to do so by what Gilbert M. Gaul reveals in The Geography of Risk to be a confounding array of federal subsidies, tax breaks, low-interest loans, grants, and government flood insurance that shift the risk of life at the beach from private investors to public taxpayers, radically distorting common notions of risk.
Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability—at the level of literature, history, and politics—to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.
In the bestselling tradition of Erik Larson’s Isaac’s Storm, The Great Quake is a riveting narrative about the biggest earthquake in North American recorded history — the 1964 Alaska earthquake that demolished the city of Valdez and swept away the island village of Chenega — and the geologist who hunted for clues to explain how and why it took place.
Brown is well known for his sweeping assemblages of information to illustrate world trends, economic trends, and environmental trends. His revelations are usually sobering, if not frightening. But along comes The Great Transition, his newest look at world trends. Today, Brown is telling a different tale. What he sees, along with his co-writers, is a rather uplifting vision: Fossil fuels are being replaced at an increasing pace by wind and solar energy.
“Imagine The Leftovers, but with honey” (Elle), and in the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this “spectacular and deeply moving” (Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author) novel follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees—and to their children and one another—against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.
A riveting, urgent account of the explorers and scientists racing to understand the rapidly melting ice sheet in Greenland, a dramatic harbinger of climate change.
This assessment provides definitive descriptions of climate-related health issues within the US and analyzes the connection between them and socioeconomic systems.
The acclaimed author of Founding Gardeners reveals the forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world—and in the process created modern environmentalism.
This book, The Last Hours of Humanity, goes where far too few researchers have been willing to go, which is addressing global warming not as an economic or political problem, but as a geological problem that threatens the survival of every living thing on the planet, including us humans.
The award winning climate scientist Michael E. Mann and the Pulitzer Prize–winning political cartoonist Tom Toles have fought at the frontlines of climate denialism for most of their careers. They have witnessed the manipulation of the media by business and political interests and the unconscionable play to partisanship on issues that affect the well-being of millions. The lessons they have learned have been invaluable, inspiring this brilliant, colorful escape hatch from the madhouse of the climate wars.
The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all. Its setting is not a desolate, postapocalyptic world, but a future that is almost upon us — and in which we might just overcome the extraordinary challenges we face.
Unlike any other book on climate change, McCarthy traces his adoration of the natural world from when he was seven, goes on to record the rapid dissolution of nature’s abundance and then proposes a passionate call to action.
Once upon a time our society was rich in stories. They united us and helped us to understand the world and ourselves. We called them myths. Today, we have a myth gap. Does that matter? Alex Evans argues powerfully and persuasively that it does. In this time of global crisis and transition – mass migration, inequality, resource scarcity, and climate change – it is only by finding new myths, those that speak to us of renewal and restoration, that we will navigate our way to a better future. It is stories, rather than facts and pie charts, which have the power to animate us and bring us together in to change the world. Drawing on his first-hand experience as a political adviser within British government and at the United Nations, and examining the history of climate change campaigning and recent contests such as Brexit and the US presidential election, Alex Evans explores: how tomorrow’s activists are using narratives for change, how modern stories have been used and abused, where we might find the right myths that will take us from a dark age of uncertainty towards the broad, sunlit uplands that we all seek.
In The New Climate War, a renowned climate scientist shows how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change, and offers a battle plan for how we can save the planet.
In his twelfth novel, National Book Award winner Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of―and paean to―the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, exploring the essential conflict on this planet: the one taking place between humans and nonhumans. There is a world alongside ours―vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
Louis Bromfield was a World War I ambulance driver, a Paris expat, and a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist as famous in the 1920s as Hemingway or Fitzgerald. But he cashed in his literary success to finance a wild agrarian dream in his native Ohio. The ideas he planted at his utopian experimental farm, Malabar, would inspire America’s first generation of organic farmers and popularize the tenets of environmentalism years before Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.
What explains our attitudes towards the environment? Why do so many climate change initiatives fail? How can we do more to prevent humans damaging the environment? The Psychology of Climate Change explores the evidence for our changing environment, and suggests that there are significant cognitive biases in how we think about, and act on climate change. The authors examine how organisations have attempted to mobilise the public in the fight against climate change, but these initiatives have often failed due to the public’s unwillingness to adapt their behaviour. The book also explores why some people deny climate change altogether, and the influence that these climate change deniers can have on global action to mitigate further damage.
In The Quest, Yergin shows how energy is an engine of global political and economic change and conflict, examining both the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. Yergin explains how climate change became a critical issue and leads readers through the rebirth of renewable energies, energy independence, and the return of the electric car. Epic in scope and never moretimely, The Quest vividly reveals the technologies, individuals, and decisions that are shaping our future.
Over the last half-billion years, there have been Five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices—and, especially, modern industrial agriculture—have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world’s soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for “our great green hope”—a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon—and potentially reverse global warming.
Hope Jahren is an award-winning scientist, a brilliant writer, a passionate teacher, and one of the seven billion people with whom we share this earth. In The Story of More, she illuminates the link between human habits and our imperiled planet.
In The Sweetness of a Simple Life, Diana Beresford-Kroeger mixes science with storytelling, wonderment, magic, myth and plenty of common sense. Orphaned at an early age, Beresford-Kroeger was tutored by elderly relatives in Ireland in the Druidic tradition, taught the overlap between the arts and sciences, and the triad of body, mind and spirit. After pursuing a Ph.D. in medical biochemistry, Beresford-Kroeger set out on a quest to preserve the world’s forests. In this warm and wise collection of essays, she gives us a guide for living simply and well: which foods to eat and which to avoid; how to clean our homes and look after pets; how we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from illness; and why we need to appreciate nature. She provides an easy dose of healing, practical wisdom, blending modern medicine with aboriginal traditions. This inspiring, accessible book emphasizes back to basics, with the touchstone not an exotic religion or meditation practice, but the natural world around us.
For the first time in decades, the U.S. has a rare opportunity to realistically reject oil supplies from other nations. It’s a goal that has eluded us through eight presidencies. But recent advances in hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) technology have catapulted the U.S. into its current position as the world’s #1 oil producer, surpassing energy powerhouses like Saudi Arabia. In The Switch, Dan K. Eberhart addresses a fascinating question: What would happen if the U.S. became energy self-sufficient? To answer this question, Eberhart uses a combination of firsthand interviews, vignettes, and reporting. The result is a clear and engaging analysis of how U.S. energy is fundamentally shifting geopolitics and the domestic economy.
This book focuses on scientific aspects of climate change: how climate works and why scientists think it’s changing, and the science and engineering behind the steps that would mitigate climate change and enable humans to adapt to climate changes that do occur.
In the 1990s Richard B. Alley and his colleagues made headlines with the discovery that the last ice age came to an abrupt end over a period of only three years. In The Two-Mile Time Machine, Alley tells the fascinating history of global climate changes as revealed by reading the annual rings of ice from cores drilled in Greenland.
The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers. Read book reviews at The New York Times and Resilience.
Cities are one of the most significant contributors to global climate change. The rapid speed at which urban centers use large amounts of resources adds to the global crisis and can lead to extreme local heat. The Urban Fix addresses how urban design, planning and policies can counter the threats of climate change, urban heat islands and overpopulation, helping cities take full advantage of their inherent advantages and new technologies to catalyze social, cultural and physical solutions to combat the epic, unprecedented challenges humanity faces.
It was a New York Times Critics Top Book of 2017 and selected by the Washington Post as one of the 50 best non-fiction books of 2017. You might want to follow him in Rolling Stone.
In forty years, Earth’s population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups–Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative, nonpolemical new book.
The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine. A brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core “free market” ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.
In this early part of the 21st Century we are in a planetary reality for which we have no precedence. The last time the atmosphere had as much CO2 as today was at least 800,000 years ago. Modern Humanity has been around for 200,000 years so there is no road map, plan or strategy we can pull up from history.
Few of us have any conception of the enormous timescales in our planet’s long history, and this narrow perspective underlies many of the environmental problems we are creating for ourselves. The passage of nine days, which is how long a drop of water typically stays in Earth’s atmosphere, is something we can easily grasp. But spans of hundreds of years—the time a molecule of carbon dioxide resides in the atmosphere—approach the limits of our comprehension. Our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and our habits will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations. Timefulness reveals how knowing the rhythms of Earth’s deep past and conceiving of time as a geologist does can give us the perspective we need for a more sustainable future.
Parenti takes us to the frontlines of the new-era climate war, connecting deteriorating ecosystems and strained resources with violent outbreaks in societies across the globe.
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sixth Extinction returns to humanity’s transformative impact on the environment, now asking: After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it?
In her astonishing book Under the Sky We Make, Nicholas does for climate science what Michael Pollan did more than a decade ago for the food on our plate: offering a hopeful, clear-eyed, and somehow also hilarious guide to effecting real change, starting in our own lives. Saving ourselves from climate apocalypse will require radical shifts within each of us, to effect real change in our society and culture. But it can be done. It requires, Dr. Nicholas argues, belief in our own agency and value, alongside a deep understanding that no one will ever hand us power–we’re going to have to seize it for ourselves.
In his international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, in his third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crises while adopting selective changes — a coping mechanism more commonly associated with individuals recovering from personal crises. Read a NY magazine interview with Jared Diamond.
A proposal to reframe the Anthropocene as an age of actual and emerging coexistence with earth system variability, encompassing both human dignity and environmental sustainability.
Fear and hope collide in this collection of possible tomorrows. What happens when boiling heat stokes family resentments; when a girl’s personal crisis trumps global catastrophe; or when two climate scientists decide to party like it’s the end of the world? Like the best sci-fi, these cli-fi stories offer up answers that are darkly funny, liberating, and all too conceivable.
Waste is one of the planet’s last great resource frontiers. From furniture made from up-cycled wood to gold extracted from computer circuit boards, artisans and multinational corporations alike are finding ways to profit from waste while diverting materials from overcrowded landfills.
Some people reject the fact, overwhelmingly supported by scientists, that our planet is warming because of human activity. But do those of us who accept the reality of human-caused climate change truly believe it? If we did, surely we would be roused to act on what we know. Will future generations distinguish between those who didn’t believe in the science of global warming and those who said they accepted the science but failed to change their lives in response? Read Mark Bittman’s review in the New York Times.
We’re Doomed. Now What? addresses the crisis that is our time through a series of brilliant, moving, and original essays on climate change, war, literature, and loss, from one of the most provocative and iconoclastic minds of his generation. Whether writing about sailing through the melting Arctic, preparing for Houston’s next big storm, watching Star Wars, or going back to the streets of Baghdad he once patrolled as a soldier, Roy Scranton handles his subjects with the same electric, philosophical, demotic touch that he brought to his groundbreaking New York Times essay, “Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene.”
A call to action from Jane Fonda, one of the most inspiring activists of our time, urging us to wake up to the looming disaster of climate change and equipping us with the tools we need to join her in protest.
The digital version of Wind Energy for the Rest of Us is now available for download. This is the version of the book for true wind geeks as it offers photographic detail not seen any other way.
An urgent and definitive collection of essays from leaders and experts championing the Green New Deal—and a detailed playbook for how we can win it—including contributions by leading activists and progressive writers like Varshini Prakash, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Bill McKibben, Rev William Barber II, and more.
Many of us feel powerless to solve the looming climate and waste crises. We have too much on our plates, and may think these problems are better solved by governments and businesses. This book unlocks the potential in each “too busy” individual to be a crucial part of the solution. Stephanie Miller combines her career focused on climate change with her own research and personal experience to show how a few, relatively easy lifestyle changes can create significant positive impact. Using the simplicity of the 80/20 rule, she shows us those things (the 20%) that we can do to make the biggest (80%) difference in reversing the climate and waste crises.