It’s no secret that climate change and sustainability have been big themes over the last couple of years. From extreme weather events to natural disasters, the consequences of rising global temperatures are becoming increasingly intense. Scientific reports warn of climate change's impending and devastating effects, raising global consciousness of the looming crisis. Opting for a sustainable lifestyle is slowly becoming the need of the hour. If you’re wondering what the concept of sustainability is all about, what living such a lifestyle entails, and how climate change plays a huge role in it, here are some of the must-read books on climate change and sustainability that we think you should read.
1. This Changes Everything: Capitalism VS The Climate, Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein, a hard-hitting journalist, debunks the myths that have clouded the climate debate, revealing how strong and well-funded right-wing think tanks and advocacy groups are at the root of climate denial. This Changes Everything (2014) takes aim at the current "free market" ideology, which, according to Klein, is incapable of resolving the climate change crisis.
2. Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight For Life, Edward O. Wilson
Half Earth (2016), written by one of the world's greatest naturalists and a two-time Pulitzer Prize recipient, suggests a practical solution to save our endangered biosphere: dedicate half of the Earth's surface to nature. In one of his most passionate books, Wilson advises that we must act quickly to protect the biodiversity of our world in order to avoid mass extinction of all life, including us.
3. The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells
If you need to quickly grasp the scope of the climate crisis, journalist David Wallace-Wells' brief-yet-brutal portrait of our future lives on Earth might be just what you need. It unpacks the various dimensions of our predicted future in 200 pages, from heat death to unbreathable air. And for those who think they know everything there is to know about global warming, the never-ending stream of disasters caused by or potentially caused by it effectively shakes the reader out of any complacency.
While the book does not include solutions, it does demonstrate that we already possess all of the necessary resources to prevent the worst consequences. But, in the end, The Uninhabitable Earth aims to convey the horror of the emergency and the repercussions that await us.
4. Being The Change: Live Well And Start A Climate Revolution, Peter Kalmus
Peter Kalmus, a climate scientist and suburban father, set out on a quest to change his life and the world after being disturbed by dramatic changes in the Earth's atmosphere. He started by ditching the car in favour of bicycling, growing his own food, and making other small but meaningful improvements. Kalmus reduced his climate effect to a tenth of the US average while still being happier.
Being the Change (2017) motivates people who want to do something about climate change, but don't know where to start.
5. Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change, Dieter Helm
The premise of the book is that if we really want to avoid climate change, we must all take action, whether it be on a personal, local, national, or global level. This book is a calculated, balanced look at how we can avoid climate change by reducing carbon emissions and rising carbon absorption through a net zero strategy. It's a logical examination of why the previous 30 years' attempts failed, as well as why and how the next 30 years should succeed, should we implement the suggested measures.
It's a must-read for anyone who knows about environmental activists battling climate change but isn't sure what they should do, at their individual level.