Climate literature is challenged by the complex subject matter of climate change. Due to a polarized and politicized debate, the topic has transformed drastically during the past decade. I’ve been dedicating a lot of time to read books about the topic lately and I found new interpretive and advocacy-oriented books that introduce a new perspective.
Here’s a list of some interesting books about climate change:
1. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
Author: Naomi Klein
Review: This talented Canadian author identifies the topic differently. She gives a strong premise around capitalism, and highlights the profitability behind denying climate change. The book is very provocative and modern, I think it’s crucial to read if you are interested in the topic, especially that Naomi Klein provides good resources along the way.
Quote from the book: “The bottom line is what matters here: our economic system and our planetary system are now at war. Or, more accurately, our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including human life. What the climate needs to avoid collapse is a contraction in humanity’s use of resources; what our economic model demands to avoid collapse is unfettered expansion. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, it it’s not the laws of nature.”
2. Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
Author: Bill McKibben
Review: A great philosophy behind the name and the delivery of the idea. I admire Bill McKibben’s work and I think he has made a remarkable contribution in the environmental journalism in general, but he fell in the inconvenient truth trap. It is frightening in a way and you get a science fiction feeling through the second half of it.
Quote from the book: “In the world we grew up in, our most ingrained economic and political habit was growth; it’s the reflex we’re going to have to temper, and it’s going to be tough.”
3. Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming
Author: Bjorn Lomborg
Review: I just love reading books that offer a storm of controversy. A book that is written by a climate skeptical and an economist. Bjorn Lomborg offers a fresh perspective on the topic. I think it’s a must-read book not only for skepticals, but also for strong proponents. If you’re interested you can also see the documentary under the same name.
Quote from the book: “When are we going to stop spending money on the people who shout the loudest?”
4. Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America
Author: Thomas L. Friedman
Review: This is a very straightforward book. Thomas L. Friedman gives good insights and theories that I kept highlighting on the way. He gives strong premises especially on the energy topic.
Quote from the book: “Indeed, it was precisely the over exuberance of the dot-com bubble that led to the over investment of billions of dollars into fiber-optic cable from the late 1990s to the early 2000s… making Internet connectivity virtually free for everyone.”
5. The Age of Sustainable Development
Author: Jeffrey D. Sachs
Review: Jeffrey D. Sachs stresses on the global movement to both identify the challenge and to solve it. The book provides a practical solution using tools and metrics for climate mitigation. I liked the book because the author had a holistic approach and a great eye for the topic. It’s very fresh and ambitious.
Quote from the book: “Measures like GDP per person give only a rough reflection of the overall level of wellbeing of an individual or a nation. But for sustainable development we are interested in raising human wellbeing, not just in raising income, still less in a mad race for more riches for people who are already rich. Therefore, it is important to ask how we can best measure wellbeing (or life satisfaction) beyond GDP per capita.”