Reading is a great pastime and one of the best ways to stay informed about current environmental issues. These critically acclaimed books address what global warming is, why it is happening, and what the consequences will be.
This Changes Everything: Capitalisms vs. Climate by Naomi Klein–
This book is a great explanation of why the climate crisis will force us to abandon the “free market” ways of our time and create an entirely new global economy and political system. In this novel, Klein writes about the urgency of addressing global warming. “There is still time to avoid catastrophic warming,” she contends, “but not within the rules of capitalism as they are currently constructed. Which is surely the best argument there has ever been for changing those rules.”
Published along with a documentary, also titled An Inconvenient Truth, this book goes more in depth about the topics discussed in the documentary. According to Rodale Press, the book “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.” The book has been praised as a user-friendly introduction to climate change, giving accurate details and descriptions about why global warming is one of the biggest issues of our time.
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert–
In this book, Kolbert explains how Earth is in the middle of a modern, man-made, sixth extinction. The book talks about previous mass extinction events, and compares them to the current extinction our planet is going through. Kolbert describes species already extinct due to human activities. While this book makes a lot of scientific claims, it is an easy read for a general audience with clear and understandable prose. The book received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 2015.
The Age of Sustainable Development by Jeffrey D. Sachs-
A compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can use a holistic way forward to address the many intricate problems we as a population now face. The book addresses sustainable development while taking extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political economic injustice into consideration. This book is written to inspire readers, students, activists, environmentalists and policy makers alike.
Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas-
Six Degrees has been called one of the most graphic descriptions of what the results of global warming and human pollution will be over the next hundred years. The book begins by addressing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report in 2001 which projects that average global surface temperatures will rise somewhere between 2 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Lynas discusses what the consequences of each degree of temperature rise will be.
Written by Alyssa Lemire, Class of 2017
Photo By: Judit Klein