My 2020 Climate Change Book Recommendations

In 2019 I decided to focus my reading on climate change and the environment more broadly. It’s tough to ignore all the news about climate change and like many people, I wanted a deeper understanding of the issues and potential solutions.

Learning more about climate change has inspired me to make better choices in my life to reduce my impact, but more importantly, has allowed me to introduce changes and new ideas to the organizations I’m involved in.

If you’re interested in learning more about climate change to make changes in your personal life or at your workplace or are just interested in the challenges and potential solutions in development, I’d recommend starting with the books listed below..

The Uninhabitable Earth - Life After Warming

In The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells outlines the challenges posed by climate change in almost every aspect of our lives. This book was fact-filled and did a good job of articulating what scientists have been struggling to communicate to the general public for decades.

The Uninhabitable Earth can be challenging to read at times. The book does paint a very negative picture of the path we’re on, but that’s the point. The author’s main goal is to better communicate what the science is saying right now. This is the book that kicked off my year and inspired me to focus on climate change in 2019.

Amazon / Goodreads

Climate: A New Story

Climate — A New Story focuses on how to address the challenges of climate change from an ecology perspective. Charles Eisenstein drives home the belief that we need to restore natural ecosystems and appreciate them for what they are to gain enough political support to effect meaningful change.

The key insight that Charles provides is that everyone cares about the environment but our current messaging around conservation and climate change abstracts all of our personal connections to the environment away to metrics, figures, bad news and ecosystems that most people frankly don’t care about.

Amazon / Goodreads

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World

The Water Will Come is a book that focuses specifically on the impacts of sea-level rise around the world. The book starts off with a science-based explanation of why sea levels will rise and by how much with varying sensitivities. From there, Jeff Goodell goes into depth on the challenges several cities around the world are facing and how they’re coping with sea-level rise. The book does focus a lot on Florida and Miami which I enjoyed as he digs into the flood insurance industry and property development market.

Amazon / Goodreads

The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World

This book goes into depth on the challenges the agriculture industry is facing with warming temperatures, less predictable weather patterns, less rain and water shortages. The second half of the book covers solutions to many of these challenges including cell and plant-based meat, genetically modified seeds, farm automation, cloud seeding and aquaculture.

Amazon / Goodreads

IPCC Reports

Climate Change is happening in real-time and the science is constantly evolving. Reading reports from the IPCC and other organizations is becoming the fastest and most efficient way to learn about the impact we’re having on our environment in real-time. In 2019, several reports were released that are worth reading:

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Drawdown is one of the most inspiring books on the list. Drawdown provides a list of solutions to climate change that exist today. Many of the solutions on the list aren’t intuitive but they detail their rationale which flips a lot of our conventional climate change solution-thinking on its head.

If you’re an entrepreneur or someone looking to dedicate yourself to the climate fight, this book will provide a lot of fresh ideas!

Amazon / Goodreads

Into podcasts?

If you’re more of the listening type, I’d recommend listening to My Climate Journey, hosted by Jason Jacobs. Each episode features an interview with someone from a business, fund or organization that is doing something to combat climate change. My Climate Journey is very approachable and offers an easy way to get up to speed on a variety of topics under the climate change umbrella.

Check-in next year!

In 2020 I will continue to read more about climate change with a focus on geo-engineering and climate diplomacy. If you’re interested in following what I’m reading in 2020, you find me on Goodreads and twitter.