Over the best part of the past decade, I have studied the earth’s. Atmosphere in my masters and PhD, and I’ve, also read extensively on the subject. This is actually just a small sample in this video. I am going to talk about the five books.
I think you should read to better understand climate change. I’m going to structure this video around questions so start off by posing a question that you may have about climate change and then recommending a book that will answer that question.
While climate change is fundamentally a scientific problem, it is also a political and economic and sociological one, because climate change affects every aspect of our society, and so some of these books are as well as talking about the science also going to address some of those questions.
Also before we start, if you like the look of any of these books and fancy getting yourself a copy, then you’ll, find links in the description which will take you to your local amazon page for the books.
I would encourage you, wherever you can, to support local independent bookshops because they make the world a better place, but if you can’t for whatever reason, then, if you do use those links, they’re affiliate links.
So i get a small cut of any sales that get made, so it helps the channel okay. So the first question about climate change and the one that i probably get asked the most by my friends is just how bad is it really and somewhat tellingly? I’m, going to recommend a book that answers.
This question called the uninhabitable earth by david wallace wells, so this book is split into two major sections, the first of which basically details in small chapters. What we think is going to happen over the next century, or so with climate change, and that’s.
Looking at, for example, fires, wildfires, uh, drought, uh war, all these different aspects of society that we expect are going to be affected by climate change. In the next century – and the short answer to the question is really not good, this is definitely not a book that you should read before going to bed.
I could personally only manage about a chapter or two at a time at the first section before uh, i kind of just needed to put it down and go for a walk. The first half of this may well be one of the most depressing books i’ve ever read it’s, pretty unflinching in how it describes what’s going to happen over the next century.
The second half of the book examines the problem at hand, so what the current situation is with climate change, what we’re doing about it and why it’s not currently enough. So it does give a very good broad overview of the whole subject.
It’s also for the record absolutely beautifully written. The first half is so chilling, but it’s, also wonderfully written. If you’re going to read one book on climate change, i’d, probably recommend this one above the others in this video second question: how do we know that climate change is actually happening? Of course, if you want the in-depth answer to this question, then you should read the ipcc reports that are available online for anyone to read and the summary for policymakers is very easy to understand.
It has to be it’s meant for politicians. However, for a slightly friendlier introduction to the subject, i recommend the discovery of global warming by spencer r weird. This is a pretty slim read and i’ll, be honest.
I don’t think it’s, the most engaging text in the world. However, i think there’s, a lot to be said for a chronology. There’s, a lot to be said for being introduced to a subject from the beginning. This book starts at the beginning.
It starts with the pioneers in the 19th century, like eunice foote and robert tyndall, saying that we think this thing may be happening and then going right. The way up to the present day so past new data coming in past computer models being introduced past the rigor of a proof that was required for such a momentous claim as global warming.
It’s worth noting that whit is also a physicist and so writes with a kind of detachment he isn’t in the middle of the thick of the fight again, so it’s kind of an i’m not going to say impartial view, but certainly allows for a lot of skepticism, because fundamentally, science is based on skepticism.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and this book kind of kind of tells the story of that next. Why do so? Many people still think climate change, isn’t real, or i guess. Alternatively, why has so little been done to answer that question? I’m, going to recommend a book that is phenomenal and also awful, and that’s.
Merchants of doubt, by naomi oreskis and eric m conway, i say that this book is fantastic, because it is one of the best books i’ve ever read, it is a non-fiction account that is meticulously researched is beautifully.
Presented is as long as it needs to be; every page is is where it needs to be there’s, no fat on the bone, yet it still tells an incredibly compelling story, and that story is the reason why it’s. Also awful because this book details, what may well be come to be regarded as the worst crime in the history of humanity.
This has been through the wars. When did i do this? Oh, i’m a terrible book custodian. The book identifies a common playbook used by some american scientists in the 20th century to cast doubt on topics like acid rain, the dangers of smoking, climate change, ozone depletion and they’re.
The same strategies used time and time again and in some cases the same scientists used time and time again, despite not being an expert in any of those fields. The book details who did this, why they did it and why it’s, still a problem.
I think it’s, a really powerful message that everybody should read about misinformation, absolutely essential. Read it’s, a five star book. I am actually going to include a quick bonus recommendation here and that’s.
Don’t even think about it by george marshall. I’m, not going to say that this is a book everybody should read, but i think it’s, a good one. If you regularly find yourself talking to people who, just for whatever reason, are head in the sand on climate change, they just don’t want to listen to reason on the subject.
The book basically breaks down. Why we suck at thinking about climate change, but also why we suck at talking about climate change, and it offers some really quite practical advice actually on how to better, communicate the science and the dangers of you know what could be a really disastrous century.
So if that’s, you, if you find yourself talking to family members or colleagues or whatever about climate change, and they just don’t want to listen. Then maybe that’s, a good one to read but ultimate question.
What is being done about climate change and why isn’t it enough? I recognize this is probably quite a divisive book to recommend, but i think the best answer to that question is found in this changes.
Everything by naomi klein. Fundamentally, this book is about systems it’s, naomi klein, looking at what systems have landed us in well hot water and are they capable of getting us out of it and she argues pretty convincingly that no, they’re? Definitely not the two systems that she specifically looks at are basically fossil fuels and how we run the global economy.
You know kind of new liberal economics, it is a book about economics, sociology and politics, and as such i mean it’s quite thick, because this is quite a. This is quite a big topic. This is definitely a very left-wing book and i’m sure by me saying that i & # 39.
Ve immediately turned off a lot of people on it, but i would encourage people to give it a read because much as i don’t agree with everything she says in this book and it’s very, very broad to the point Of being frustrating view at the problem, it’s, difficult to disagree with her fundamental argument that really the systems that we have been using to this point to try and get us out of this problem are the exact systems that got us into this Mess in the first place and they’re, not going to get us out of it.
It has been divisive, it is beautifully written. I think it’s a five-star book and at the end of it she actually draws everything to quite a touching personal conclusion. So it’s kind of got a bit of everything.
I i think you should read it and then. Lastly, the other question that i got asked most frequently by friends and family. What can we do about climate change? To answer this, i’m going to recommend a book.
Unlike anything else, i’ve talked about in this video. It’s called drawdown edited by paul hawkin. This book is different from all of the other ones in this video because it’s, not a typical work of non-fiction.
It’s, a coffee table book. Really it’s, large format, it’s, the kind of thing you just have out in your house, but i think this is brilliant. The book is broken down into double page spreads. Each spread details a particular strategy, a particular thing that we can do either as individuals or on a larger scale as societies.
They range from putting solar panels on your roof to using led lighting to using bio plastics, and the crucial thing is that for each strategy, you’re presented with three numbers: the reduction in co2 emissions by 2050.
If you were to introduce the strategy, the cost of introducing the strategy by 2050 and the amount of money you would save by doing so, because here’s, the thing, if you don’t, do anything about climate change.
It’s, going to cost a lot of money. I don’t want to tell you the wrong thing. I’ll, put a figure up on the screen from uninhabitable earth, but yeah it’s a lot. So what this book is really powerfully arguing is that here are so many strategies that you can take.
That will save you money in the long run. Yes, this is what they will cost up front, but look at how much money you’re going to save overall. So, for example, if you introduce smart glass into buildings, so you know responding to what the weather’s doing a bit like those um photoreactive sunglasses, then you would save some two gigatons of co2 being emitted by 2050 and it would cost you about 75 billion dollars, but it would also save you in the long run, 325 billion.
Something that i try and stress wherever i can is that we have the technology to fix climate change. We have cheap renewables, we have a full book full of the things that we can do it’s, just a question of finding the willpower to do it and most frequently that means political willpower.
I think this book is important because it details the policies that you should be voting, for. These are the policies that your government should be pursuing. Yes, it is a glossy coffee table book, but it contains incredible information that can make a real difference.
So i think every school library should have a copy of this. Every ceo should read this. You should send this to your local government representative, because the solutions are in here. This is this is what we need to do.
We just need to do it so that rounds off my list of books. I think you should read about climate change, uninhabitable earth, the discovery of global warming. Merchants of doubt, this changes, everything and drawdown.
This is of course, however, a huge subject, and there are plenty of books that i still haven’t read on the subject. So if i & # 39, ve missed your favorite, then let me know down there in the comments i’m, always on the lookout to learn more.
As i said at the beginning, if you do fancy getting any of those books, there are links down there and if you do choose to get something from those links, then it does help out this channel a lot. Thank you so much for watching the video.
I really hope that you picked up some reading recommendations from this. This is the most important subject that we will face in our lifetimes and the better informed we are the better able we will be as a civilization to deal with it.
So i hope that you’ve taken something away and that you’ve learned something if you enjoyed the video. Do please pop it a like share it with your friends who might be interested and happy reading. I’ll, see in the next one.