By Kaley Bellanti
Climate change has become one of the most controversial and widely disputed topics facing today’s citizen, often dominating political and economic discussions. Below is a list of some of the most recognized books on climate change, ready to equip you with the knowledge to tackle the climate debate at your next gathering.
10. Earth: The Sequel by Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn. Krupp and Horn focus on environmental entrepreneurs — among them three young scientists who genetically engineer yeast to ferment into sugar to use as green fuel. These scientists not only help guide us to a secure energy future, but gain wealth through their inventive ideas. A perfect read for unique, yet realistic solutions to climate change.
9. Climate of Uncertainty by William Stewart. Stewart’s examination of the major climate change issues — renewable energy, increasing populations and sustainability — has gained attention for its comprehensive and easy-to-follow look at all sides of the climate debate. The perfect read for someone seeking an understanding of climate change from an objective voice.
8. The Hot Topic: What We Can Do About Global Warming by Gabrielle Walker and David King. Walker, a contributing editor for New Scientist, and King, chief science advisor at University of Cambridge, team up to explain the science of warming and provide a guide to both the problems and the solutions. They explain fossil fuels, carbon dioxide, the effect on ecosystems and how much more the earth and humans can take before things reach catastrophic levels.
7. Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis by Al Gore. Solutions are the overriding theme of Gore’s latest book on climate change. Former U.S. vice president, Gore, fills this book with interesting debates on energy, population and resource depletion. He provides solutions to the climate crisis developed during his travels and includes discussions with leading experts on climate change.
6. Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming by Bjorn Lomborg. TIME magazine named Lomborg one of the 100 most influential people in the world. A political scientist and economist with a conservative approach to environmentalism, Lomborg has been described as the “bad boy of the climate circus.” Cool It, however, offers a refreshingly independent perspective on the global warming debate.
5. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond. Diamond examines how and why Western civilizations develop technologies and immunities that allow them to dominate the world. He examines what caused the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin. While his approach may not address global warming directly, his discussions on eco-suicide and the climate debate keep the pages turning.
4. The Two-Mile Time Machine by Richard B. Alley. According to glaciologist Alley, ancient ice cores drilled on Greenland contain the history of the earth’s weather and serve as an archive of information about our climate patterns. Alley explores this history and explains the discovery process in a way that all audiences can understand while still laying out the issues.
3. With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change by Fred Pearce. Considered one of the most up-to-date books about the constantly accumulating evidence for global warming and its dramatic effects, Pearce provides an intelligent, yet understandable warning about the dangers of abrupt, accelerating global warming and how pressure from natural forces can cause changes that will drastically shape the earth’s course.
2. The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What it means for Life on Earth by Tim F. Flannery. Paleontologist and mammologist Flannery explains the basics of how the atmosphere works today compared to how it has in the past. He hits on topics such as greenhouse gasses and acid rain and calls for action now to prevent further damage.
1. Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman. Friedman, a New York Times columnist and 3-time Pulitzer Prize winner, explains how global warming, rapid population growth and expansion of the world’s middle class through globalization have produced a planet that is “hot, flat and crowded.” He introduces a national strategy he calls “Geo-Greenism,” which provides solutions to the climate crisis as well as insight to making America a better place.