7 Best Climate Books To Read, Recommended By Climate Activists
According to Carbon Brief, a climate science research organisation funded by the nonprofit European Climate Foundation, the frequency of rising temperatures, droughts, and wildfires has more than doubled in the last 40 years. These phenomena are all among the visible climate change indicators accepted by scientists.
Although the data may seem depressing, climate campaigners contend that there is still hope and that there are still many actions that people may take. And one of them might only entail taking up a book.
Picking up a book can be a fantastic place to start if you're interested in learning more about climate change and what you can do on a personal level. We asked 20 climate activists of India for their top reads to determine which ones are worthwhile.
1. Post Growth: Life After Capitalism, by Tim Jackson
Post Growth may be our choice for the most approachable and motivational technical environmental books of 2021 for those with an interest in economics. The very famous ecological economist Professor Tim Jackson originally rose to prominence with his 2009 book, Prosperity Without Growth, a meticulously researched exploration of the economics and models that can lead us to a more affluent and sustainable future.
Jackson's 2021 venture, which mostly does away with the jargon and economics' terminology used in Prosperity, is a romantic, impassioned, and extremely entertaining book that explains what a world without capitalism, competition, and outrageous self-interest truly looks like. Post Growth provides one of the strongest cases yet that the economy is not at all independent from the natural world but rather an integrally embedded subsidiary of it. It is based on a thorough understanding of ecological economics. This perspective makes it obvious that continuous economic expansion is just unsustainable.
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2. "All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis" by Ayana Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson
Young climate activist Alexandria Villaseor is a fan of this anthology, which includes essays and poetry by 60 prominent women activists. Earth Uprising International's founder, Villase-Or, stated that "All We Can Save" "shows us the power that women have in producing the solutions we need for the climate catastrophe." Women in the climate movement help to make our solutions more inclusive and intersectional by placing a priority on equity and justice.
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3. The New Climate War, by Michael Mann
Perhaps the closest thing we have to a climate superhero is Michael Mann. His tale does have some similarities to other superhero movies. When co-authoring the now-famous "hockey stick graph," which shows how human activity has contributed to the rise in the global average temperature, Michael Mann made a big splash in the field of climate science. However, a system set up by the antagonists of our tale—primarily the fossil fuel industry and other actors with vested interests—lambdasted, criticised, and dismissed Mann after this. But our hero persisted in his fight to have the discipline of climate science recognised and did not give up.
Mann outlines how the fossil fuel industry has changed its strategies in The New Climate War, moving from blatant denial of climate change to obstruction and shifting the onus of responsibility to individuals, postponing the essential action to enact systemic changes. Since climate change has become an undeniable reality, the fossil fuel industry has been engaging in a complex web of deception, misdirection, and diversion, which is fascinatingly unravelled in this book. Cautiously hopeful, Mann contends that the basic problems we still face today are not caused by a lack of ability to effect systemic change on a technological or intellectual level, but rather by a lack of political will to do so.
4. The Good Ancestor, by Roman Krznaric
Roman Krznaric's The Good Ancestor, arguably the most philosophical book on this list, explores the concepts and benefits of long-termism, a philosophy that is gaining acceptance and popularity as it becomes more obvious that the choices we make today will have long-term effects on future generations.
"What does being a good ancestor mean?" This issue is essentially the focus of Krznaric's work, which also addresses the hugely intriguing and little-discussed subject of intergenerational ethics. We do not lose the ability to think long term just because our governmental and economic structures favour short-term benefits over long-term ones. Krznaric reminds us that our actions have a lasting effect on the planet and future generations in his thoughtful and passionate book. He gives readers a prescription for a fresh perspective on the world and our place in it, one that acknowledges how small humans now are in comparison to the vastness of our species' evolutionary history and, most crucially, our potentially infinite future.
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5. On Time and Water, by Andri Snaer Magnason
On Time and Water by Andri Snaer Magnason is a poetic and deeply affecting reading experience. This book's main focus is a literary examination of the meaning behind phenomena like climate change, environmental deterioration, and ecological shocks. The book uses ocean acidification as an example, a term that, while it might realistically elicit blank stares and half-interested looks from most people, evokes visceral horror and despair in the hearts of marine and climate experts. The accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere is similar. We are aware that it is awful, but why?
On Time and Water offers a positive vision of a world in which we feel more connected to one another, to our families, and to the natural environment that surrounds us. It is a thoughtful and exquisitely written meditation on how to connect our history, present, and future. It provides us with the resources we need to consider this future carefully, the vocabulary we can employ to express it, and the anchors we may go to in order to establish a connection with it.
6. "New York 2140" by Kim Stanley Robinson
This story imagines New York in 100 years and centres on a group of mourning New Yorkers as they face increasing sea levels. Dominique Browning, the director of Moms Clean Air Force, a group that prioritises children's health by focusing on air pollution and chemical toxicity, is a fan of Robinson's utopian book. According to Browning, "the story blends a worst-case climate scenario with the inspiration that even the most trying circumstances can bring out the best in individuals."
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7. The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
The brief but devastating portrayal of our future lives on Earth by journalist David Wallace-Wells may be for you if you need to swiftly catch up with the scope of the climate problem. It explains the various aspects of our predicted future in 200 pages, ranging from heat death to unbreathable air.
It is worse, much worse, than you think, as Wallace-Wells writes in the opening phrase of the book. The never-ending list of catastrophes that have occurred or could occur as a result of global warming successfully shakes the reader out of any complacency, even for people who believe they are knowledgeable about the subject.
Although the book does not provide remedies, it does demonstrate that we already possess all the necessary resources to prevent the worst consequences. But ultimately, The Uninhabitable Earth aims to highlight the misery of the situation and its dire repercussions. How can we expect to get ourselves out of this crisis if we don't accept the urgency?
Let us know in comments which book do you like?
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