- Thomson Reuters
The planet is getting warmer, faster.
But how much of the science of climate change do most of us really understand? What will it do to our planet in the coming years? And what can any one person do about it?
When media coverage of climate change becomes overwhelming, books are a great place to turn. They can help you step back and see the big picture.
Here are six thought- provoking – and often surprisingly funny – books about climate change to read as you escape from the heat this summer.
1. Climate Change: What everyone needs to know
- Oxford University Press
The thing about science, people like to say, is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it. But belief isn’t really the most important measure of scientific literacy. Better to learn as much as you can about a subject you care about, rather than leaving the details up to scientists you believe in.
If climate change is something you care abou,t Joseph Romm’s “Climate Change: What everyone needs to know” is a great place to start. A fairly up-to-date explainer of the state of the science, “Climate Change” walks reader through the science of climate change in a straightforward, easy-to-read way. This is a great first step for anyone looking to delve into the science behind the talking points.
2. The Madhouse Effect
- Columbia University Press
A great deal of the conversation around climate change has less to do with the details of the science than the politics swirling around them.
In “The Madhouse Effect,” acclaimed climate researcher Michael Mann and editorial cartoonist Tom Toles dive entertainingly – sometimes hilariously – into the controversy surrounding climate change, and advance the argument that climate change denial poses a grave threat to humans.
3. Climate Changed: A personal journey through the science
Climate change is a scientific, political, and historical story, but it’s also a personal one, with impacts that reach every person living on the planet.
In “Climate Changed,” the graphic novelist Phillippe Squarzoni thinks through climate change as a moral event of cataclysmic scale, and grapples with questions of what any one person can do in the face of a process so large that occurs over a lifetime.
4. The Sixth Extinction: An unnatural history
Climate change is a defining feature of modern human history. It’s also the defining feature of natural history in the post-industrial era. Elizabeth Kolbert’s “The Sixth Extinction” isn’t only a climate change book, but a story of how human beings are threatening life forms of all kinds on Earth.