‘Low-Carbon and Loving It’
By Mark and Tom Delaney
‘Low-Carbon and Loving It’ is an ordinary person’s, easy-to-read guide to climate change. It’s also the story of the Delaneys, an ordinary Australian family who have made some extraordinary choices to live in the slums of India. From helping negotiate better terms for residents in a slum about to be demolished, to living on $100 for a month, they’ve sought to serve – and learn from – their impoverished neighbours.
In the book, father-and-son authors Mark and Tom introduce us to several of their Indian neighbours who lead very low-carbon lives. They consider the reasons a typical Australian’s carbon footprint is ten times larger than the average Indian’s. Encouragingly, they offer many suggestions for how we in the West can live a much lower-carbon life, in a way that is fulfilling and even fun.
The Delaney family have lived alongside the poor in the slums of India for more than a decade. The boys, Tom and his brother Oscar, were born there and have spent much of their lives in slums. Their experience of moving between middle class Australia and the slums of India has given them a very different perspective on life, which allows Mark and Tom to see afresh the climate crisis to which many in the West are blind.
Radio interview with Mark Delaney
“This is a remarkable book. Very few westerners have had the experiences that the authors have embraced, and as a result very few can speak with the same credibility about the choices we must make as a society. I hope everyone reads this volume – and thinks, deeply, about what it means.”
~ Bill McKibben, author of ‘Deep Economy’. Founder of 350.org
“If we are to deal with the crisis of climate change as seriously as it demands, all of us need to overcome our addiction to our unsustainable carbon-based life-styles. The Delaneys, a family who have lived a lowcarbon life in the slums of India and the suburbs of Australia, show us how we can do it in style.”
~ Dave Andrews, author of ‘Building A Better World’
“We have now sold about 400 copies of Low Carbon and Loving It. We’re grateful to everyone who’s purchased our book. However, we want to spread the message of climate action as widely as possible – including those who don’t buy books. So, over the next 9 months, we will be uploading a chapter at a time, available for free download. Please read and reflect. The 37 chapters have reflection questions, so please share your thoughts by commenting at the bottom of the blog.
“Our world is in trouble. If our atmosphere warms more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, we will face more frequent natural disasters, the extinction of thousands of species, sea level rise measured in metres, food shortages and possible climate-related wars. These changes will happen within this century unless we, as a global community, limit our carbon dioxide emissions to around
800 gigatonnes for the remainder of the century. That might sound like a lot, but it averages about two tonnes per head per year for everyone on the planet.
At the moment, Australians emit 23 tonnes per year. As a global community, we’ll blow our budget by 2040 if we continue at the current rate. The awful consequences of climate change will increase in intensity within our own, and even more so, within our children’s lifetimes…”
Mark and Tom Delaney: ‘Low-Carbon and Loving It – Adventures in sustainable living from the streets of India to middle class Australia’
Paperback: AUD$19.95 E-book: AUD$9.99
→ Bulk order: Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
→ Website: www.lowcarbonandlovingit.wordpress.com
Book excerpts (PDF)
• Part A: The Birthday Chicken — why care anyway?
• Part B: Climate Science Demystified – what’s happening to our planet?
• Part C: Clear and Present Danger – what happens if we do nothing?
• Part D: Ruksana versus Bruce – Who is responsible?
→ Part E: Head in the Sand – why have we done so little?
• Part F: Big Picture Solutions – how can science and politics help?
• Part G: Small Picture Solutions – what can you and I do?
• Part H: Building a Movement for Change – where to begin?
‘Journey to fossil fuel freedom’
About the path to carbon neutrality, and eventually, carbon freedom.
By Dave Southgate
“Our main family car is now an EV; we have double glazed the house; we have installed 8.5kW of solar PV; we have turned off the gas. We are now well on the way to becoming a fossil fuel free family. I have documented our energy transition process and produced a book called ‘Our Household Energy Transition: Becoming a Fossil Fuel Free Family’…”
~ Dave Southgate
The book explores the actions Dave Southgate and his family have taken; why they have done what they have done; and the energy and carbon outcomes of their actions. The book also provides details on the costs.
Dave Southgate retired from the public service in July 2012 after a 31 year career as an environmental specialist in the Australian Government Transport Department and then as the Australian Government representative on the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). Since his retirement he has expanded his climate change interests and has become fascinated with renewable energy.
→ Download Our Household Energy Transition: Becoming a Fossil Fuel Free Family (PDF 3.5MB)
→ View the book on Scribd
‘Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming’
By Paul Hawken, 2017
New York Times bestseller: The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world.
→ More info on Amazon.com
‘The Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution’
Guide to parenting in the age of climate change
By Mary DeMocker, 2018
“Solving the climate crisis will ultimately require us to align our priorities as parents with what’s really important in the long run—the well-being of the planet on which our children live.”
“Sustainable parenting means taking the well-being of all children into account—not just our own—when deciding how to live in the world and what to model around the ethical use of the world’s resources.”
~ Mary DeMocker, author of ‘The Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution’
→ The book is for sale on Amazon.com:
‘The Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution – 100 ways to build a fossil-free future, raise empowered kids, and still get a good night’s sleep’
‘Unprecedented Crime – Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival’
by Dr Peter D. Carter and Elizabeth Woodworth
“‘Unprecedented Crime’ first lays out the culpability of governmental, political and religious bodies, corporations, and the media through their failure to report or act on the climate emergency. No emergency response has even been contemplated by wealthy high-emitting national governments. Extreme weather reporting never even hints at the need to address climate change.
It then reports how independently of governments, scores of proven zero-carbon game changers have been coming online all over the world. These exciting technologies, described in the book, are now able to power both household electricity and energy-dense heavy industry.
We already have the technical solutions to the CO2 problem. With these solutions we can act in time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to near-zero within 20 years.
These willful crimes against life itself by negligent governments, oblivious media and an insouciant civil society are crimes that everyday citizens can nonetheless readily grasp – and then take to the streets and to the courts to protest on behalf of their children and grand-children.
This thoroughly researched and highly-documented book will show them how.”
‘Unprecedented Climate Mobilization’
It is now widely recognised that global warming poses an existential threat to the world as serious as nuclear war. And yet, despite the urgency, despite UN engagement, governments have not stepped up to the plate. The world desperately needs a deeply committed leadership and program of action to deal with climate change. The global public’s growing presentiment of the horrific impact of global warming has enormous potential to shift it into “emergency mode.”
In this context, pointing to America’s World War II mobilisation to battle the Fascist threat, the new book ‘Unprecedented Climate Mobilization’ urges and informs a full WWII-style climate mobilisation, suggesting ways in which the United States can exercise leadership.
The book shows how the American people have historically risen and adapted to “long emergencies”, demonstrated in particular by President Roosevelt’s ability to mobilise Americans a full two years before the United States declared war on Japan and Germany in December, 1941.
Then, as an example of what is possible, US automakers became a cornerstone of the war effort; having built three million cars in 1941 they quickly converted their factories to making tanks and airplanes, producing only 139 passenger vehicles until the war ended in 1945.
Today, a similar sweeping conversion of America’s outdated energy system to clean energy could take place, if the political will were there.
‘Unprecedented Climate Mobilization’ offers a comprehensive guide to citizens and governments on the scope of that engagement and how to generate that will. As in the WWII effort, it advocates that all sectors of society be engaged: media, business, labor, religious groups, government—national, state and local, and the public at large. This handbook suggests constructive leadership strategies for every sector of civil society, along with networking opportunities and information resources to help build the climate effort.
This handbook also surveys the arts of civil disobedience and nonviolent action to assemble the effective tools that civil society will need — the kinds of tools that won civil rights, brought an end to the Vietnam War, served in anti-nuclear campaigns — and that have been updated by more recent movements such as Occupy. Not least, it suggests ways in which activists can maximise personal influence by using Twitter, Facebook and other social media — tools now so powerful that governments and news agencies monitor and carefully analyze their posts and tweet streams.
In a time of unprecedented crisis, it’s time for an unprecedented popular movement to solve it. Against the incredible odds we face, Woodworth and Griffin outline what it would look like for people in key sectors of civil society to shift into “emergency mode” and unleash the transformative power of climate truth by leading us toward the WWII-scale effort we need to secure our future. We have the tools — now it’s up to us to mobilise.
“This powerful book by Woodworth and Griffin is an inspiring rallying cry, a call to action grounded in the truth. It can, and must, spur a massive people-led climate insurgency… Like Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’, this book will be a guide for activists for many years to come.”
~ Dr Jill Stein, 2016 presidential candidate for the Green Party of the United States
“We face a brand new type of World War, one in which our opponent is ourselves—and our profligate burning of fossil fuels and the dangerous climate change it is causing. Like World Wars past, our only option is to mobilise and draw upon every tool at our disposal—in this case, to achieve no less than the decarbonisation of the global economy. If you want to understand the challenge we face and what you yourself can do to help ensure a victorious outcome, read ‘Unprecedented Climate Mobilization: A Handbook for Citizens and Their Governments’.”
~ Dr Michael Mann, professor of Meteorology, director, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University, USA
“The climate emergency is unprecedented so we don’t have well-proven protocols for handling it. We owe Woodworth and Griffin a debt of gratitude for being the first to step in with their Handbook to fill the gaping ‘how to’ gap. As the climate movement transforms itself to become the climate emergency movement, we will find the task much easier for being able to draw on this handbook.”
~ Philip Sutton, co-author of the book ‘Climate Code Red’, member of The Climate Mobilization Advisory Board
“In a time of unprecedented crisis, it’s time for an unprecedented popular movement to solve it. Against the incredible odds we face, Woodworth and Griffin outline what it would look like for people in key sectors of civil society to shift into “emergency mode” and unleash the transformative power of climate truth by leading us toward the WWII-scale effort we need to secure our future. We have the tools — now it’s up to us to mobilize.”
~ Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD, founder and director of The Climate Mobilization, USA
→ Read more or buy the book on www.claritypress.com (142 pages, US$14.00)
Elizabeth Woodworth is a writer on climate change science and activism publishing on Global Research, and co-producer of the COP21 video “A Climate Revolution For All.” She is author of the popular handbook on nuclear weapons activism, “What Can I Do?” and the novel, ‘The November Deep’. For 25 years, she served as head medical librarian for the BC Government. She holds a BA from Queen’s and a Library Sciences Degree from UBC.
→ Radio interview with Elizabeth Woodworth, co-author of the books ‘Unprecedented Crime’ and ‘Unprecedented Climate Mobilization’:
‘Carbon Ideologies – Volume I and II’
By William T. Vollmann
→ The author in a panel debate on 11 April 2018 at the New York Society Library
→ New York Times – 6 August 2018:
William T. Vollmann Would Like a Word or Two About Climate Change. Or 1,200 Pages
By Geoff Mann and Joel Wainwright
Political theory explaining how geopolitics could evolve in response to climate change.
“Geoff Mann and Joel Wainwright’s new work of political theory, ‘Climate Leviathan’, is a book explicitly aimed at understanding the political dimensions of climate change instead of relegating them to a paragraph or two in the concluding section. It also takes a different tack than most works on climate politics. The authors are not interested in why we aren’t acting to curb carbon emissions; instead, they’re interested in the kinds of political scenarios that are likely to emerge in response to the approaching ecological crises.”
“As we blow past our carbon targets and the impacts of climate change become increasingly destructive, one of four possible futures is likely to emerge as the dominant mode of politics. The most likely victor, the authors think, is Climate Leviathan.”
‘Sunburnt Country: The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia’
By Joelle Gergis
Joëlle Gergis is an award-winning climate scientist and writer from the University of Melbourne.
“Sunburnt Country pieces together Australia’s climate history for the first time. It uncovers a continent long vulnerable to climate extremes and variability. It gives an unparalleled perspective on how human activities have altered patterns that have been with us for millions of years, and what climate change looks like in our own backyard.
Sunburnt Country highlights the impact of a warming planet on Australian lifestyles and ecosystems and the power we all have to shape future life on Earth.”
→ Read more on www.booktopia.com.au
‘The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable’
By Amitav Ghosh
→ Author interview on www.lareviewofbooks.org
Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science
By Philippe Squarzoni
“What are the causes and consequences of climate change? When the scale is so big, can an individual make any difference? Documentary, diary, and masterwork graphic novel, this up-to-date look at our planet and how we live on it explains what global warming is all about.”
→ Article about the book in Grist Magazine: This graphic novelist tells the true story of climate change
→ Available on www.amazon.com
‘Requiem for a Species’
By Clive Hamilton, 2010
“Australian academic Clive Hamilton which explores climate change denial and its implications. The book argues that climate change will bring about large-scale, harmful consequences for habitability for life on Earth including humans, which it is too late to prevent.”
→ Home page: www.clivehamilton.com/books/requiem-for-a-species
→ Wikipedia page about the book: www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem_for_a_Species
→ Extract on: www.theguardian.com
→ By same author: ‘Scorcher: the dirty politics of climate change’ from 2007.
‘The Climate Bonus – Co-benefits of Climate Policy’
By Alison Smith, 2013
“This book shows us how, instead of being paralysed by the threat of climate change, we can use it as a stimulus to escape from our dependence on polluting fossil fuels, and make the transition to a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future. The book maps out the links between low carbon policies and their co-benefits, and shows how low carbon policies can lead to cleaner air and water, conservation of forests, more sustainable agriculture, less waste, safer and more secure energy, cost savings for households and businesses and a stronger and more stable economy. The book discusses the ways in which joined-up policies can help to maximise the synergies and minimise the conflicts between climate policy and other aspects of sustainability. Through rigorous analysis of the facts, the author presents well-reasoned and evidenced recommendations for policy-makers and all those with an interest in making a healthier and happier society.”
→ Read more on www.routledge.com
‘The Great Disruption’
By Paul Gilding, 2011
“The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces-yet also a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer: compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability. Gilding tells us how to fight-and win-what he calls The One Degree War to prevent catastrophic warming of the earth, and how to start today.”
‘Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist’
By Bill McKibben, 2013
Bestselling author and environmental activist Bill McKibben recounts the personal and global story of the fight to build and preserve a sustainable planet. Bill McKibben is not a person you’d expect to find handcuffed in the city jail in Washington, D.C. But that’s where he spent three days in the summer of 2011, after leading the largest civil disobedience in thirty years to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. A few months later the protesters would see their efforts rewarded when President Obama agreed to put the project on hold.
→ Read more: www.billmckibben.com
‘State of the World 2013’
State of the World 2013 cuts through the rhetoric surrounding sustainability, offering a broad and realistic look at how close we are to fulfilling it today and which practices and policies will steer us in the right direction.
In ‘State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?’ thought leaders attempt to restore meaning to sustainability as more than just a marketing tool. Experts define clear sustainability metrics and examine various policies and perspectives, including geoengineering, corporate transformation, and changes in agricultural policy, that could put us on the path to prosperity without diminishing the well-being of future generations.
→ Info about the book: www.worldwatch.org
→ Download preview: State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? Preview Edition (PDF)
32-page report about the climate problem as well about the solutions. Published by The Climate Institute.
→ Download the report here: www.climateinstitute.org.au (PDF)
‘The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change’
By Al Gore, 2013
Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon
“With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change, and with his decades of experience on the front lines of global policy, Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon and offers a sober, learned, and ultimately hopeful forecast.” In ‘The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change’, Al Gore identifies the emerging forces that are reshaping our world. (…)
A deeply flawed economic compass is leading us to unsustainable growth in consumption, pollution flows, and depletion of the planet’s strategic resources of topsoil, freshwater, and living species. There has been a radical disruption of the relationship between human beings and the earth’s ecosystems, along with the beginning of a revolutionary transformation of energy systems, agriculture, transportation, and construction worldwide.”
“Provocative, smart, densely argued … a tour de force of Big Picture thinking.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“A luminously intelligent analysis that is packed with arresting ideas and facts.”
— The Guardian
Al Gore’s campaign, the Climate Reality Project, states that “We are all paying the price of carbon pollution. It’s time to put a price on carbon and make the polluters stop the carbon destruction”, and he had a new book out in February, ‘The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change’, which a reviewer in the Danish newspaper Politiken headlined, ‘Yet another climate book from Al Gore, but is anyone listening?’.
Back in 1992, Al Gore wrote the book ‘Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit’ — the title in itself tells you his message — and in 2007, he published ‘An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming’ which was also made into a famous documentary film.
→ Read more about ‘The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change’ on Amazon.com
Making the climate crisis into a drama, a Canadian film company started communicating about ‘the climapocolypse’ already in 2008, creating the kind of narrative that scientists with their reports and conferences have not been able to.
‘Burn Up’ is a high stakes conspiracy thriller set against the backdrop of the oil industry. “It is a story that mirrors the world in which we live – where we struggle to be both economically successful and globally responsible.”
“We follow the charismatic and ambitious Tom McConnell who, at first glance, seems like the perfect man to take over as the new chairman of Arrow Oil. But after an Inuit woman lights herself on fire, in protest against what the oil companies are doing to her native land, Tom begins a dangerous inquiry into the dealings of his company. ‘Burn Up’ is an eviscerating tale where the stakes are terrifyingly real.”
Gemini Award Winner. Produced by SEVEN24 Films, one of Canada’s leading production companies.
‘Climate Code Red’
By David Spratt & Philip Sutton, 2008
“This is a call to action to stop emissions now before the earth’s climate systems reach a point of no return.
The authors present a compelling argument for the unacceptable inaction of politics and business as usual. A realistic framework is proposed that will tackle the emergency the all of the earth’s inhabitants will face.”
‘The Weather Makers’
By Tim Flannery, 2005
“In this groundbreaking and essential book, Tim Flannery argues passionately for the urgent need to address – NOW – the implications of a global climate change that is damaging all life on earth and endangering our very survival.
This book is unimpeachable in its authority, deftly and accessibly written in its vision for what each of us can do to avoid catastrophe. It is a global call to arms, laying out plainly if not controversially what we know, what we think might happen, and what tools we have available to us to make a difference. The Weather Makers will change your life.”
‘Storms of My Grandchildren’
By James Hansen, 2009
‘Storms of my grandchildren: the truth about the coming climate catastrophe and our last chance to save humanity’
Dr James Hansen, the world’s leading climatologist, shows that exactly contrary to the impression the public has received, the science of climate change has become even clearer and sharper since the hardcover was released. In ‘Storms of My Grandchildren’, Hansen speaks out with the full truth about global warming: The planet is hurtling even more rapidly than previously acknowledged to a climatic point of no return. In explaining the science of climate change, Hansen paints a devastating but all-too-realistic picture of what will happen in our children’s and grandchildren’s lifetimes if we follow the course we’re on. But he is also an optimist, showing that there is still time to take the urgent, strong action that is needed – just barely. The book was published in 2009.
→ Read more on Amazon.com
→ Home page for the book: stormsofmygrandchildren.com
‘The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars’
By Michael Mann, 2012
“Michael E. Mann, lead author of the original paper in which the Hockey Stick first appeared, shares the real story of the science and politics behind this controversy. He introduces key figures in the oil and energy industries, and the media front groups who do their bidding in sometimes slick, bare-knuckled ways to cast doubt on the science. Mann concludes with an account of the “Climategate” scandal, the 2009 hacking of climate scientists’ emails. Throughout, Mann reveals the role of science deniers, abetted by an uninformed media, in once again diverting attention away from one of the central scientific and policy issues of our time.”
→ Read more on Amazon.com
‘Merchants of Doubt’
By Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway, 2011
“How can it be that scientists who study the matter are so certain that human activity is causing global warming, yet there be so much doubt among the general public? Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway’s book goes a long way toward explaining this anomaly. Further, it exposes the individuals who are doing their best to seed this doubt, and who have successfully muddied the picture about scientific results in the past. Climate denial is part of a broader pattern of casting doubt on science, perpetrated by people who care less about the truth than about economic dogma and their own vested interests.”
→ Review on books.gather.com
‘Madlands: A Journey to Change the Mind of a Climate Sceptic’
By Anna Rose, 2012
“Anna Rose, environmental crusader since the age of fourteen and co-founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, is on a mission. This is the story of her biggest challenge yet: a whirlwind journey around the world with conservative powerbroker and arch climate sceptic Nick Minchin.”
→ More info on www.annarose.net.au/books
‘Living in denial: Climate change, emotions, and everyday life’
By Kari Marie Norgaard, 2011
“In Living in Denial, sociologist Kari Norgaard searches for answers to this question, drawing on interviews and ethnographic data from her study of “Bygdaby,” the fictional name of an actual rural community in western Norway, during the unusually warm winter of 2000-2001. (…)
Norgaard traces this denial through multiple levels, from emotions to cultural norms to political economy. Her report from Bygdaby, supplemented by comparisons throughout the book to the United States, tells a larger story behind our paralysis in the face of today’s alarming predictions from climate scientists.”
→ The book can be purchased on amazon.com
2019-2020: Books about optimism and hope in the face of the often bleak news of a steadily warming world
The following 10 book titles were compiled by Yale Climate Connections. The descriptions are adapted from copy provided by the publishers. When two dates of publication are listed, the second refers to the release of the paperback edition of the title.
Happier People, Healthier Planet: How Putting Well-Being First Would Help Sustain Life on Earth, by Teresa Belton (Silverwood Books 2014, 369 pages, $23.49 paperback)
Happier People, Healthier Planet addresses the diametrically opposed issues of personal wellbeing and ecological destruction as inseparable concerns. It shows how attending to what really matters for personal thriving will also protect the environment. Most human beings are strongly attracted to material possessions, novelty, and ever greater comfort and convenience. Yet paradoxically, for those with a decent basic standard of living, growing affluence has not resulted in increased subjective wellbeing: overconsumption does not make us happy. It is perfectly possible to live a rewarding life without consuming more than we need, and we must all find out how to do so if we are to preserve the hospitality of the Earth. This book investigates the factors that are likely to encourage a positive preference for sustainable lifestyles.
Finntopia: What We Can Learn from the World’s Happiest Country, by Danny Dorling and Annika Koljonen (Columbia University Press, July 2020, 192 pages, $25.00 paperback)
In 2018, the World Happiness Report ranked Finland the world’s happiest country. The Nordic Model has long been touted as the aspiration for social and public policy in Europe and North America, but what is it about Finland that makes the country so successful and seemingly such a great place to live? Finland clearly has problems of its own – for example, a high level of gun ownership and rising rates of suicide – which can make Finns skeptical of their ranking, but its consistently high performance across a range of well-being indicators does raise fascinating questions. In the quest for the best of all possible societies, Danny Dorling and Annika Koljonen explore what we might learn from Finnish success and what they might usefully learn from us.
The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here, by Hope Jahren (Penguin/Random, March 2020, 224 pages, $14.99)
Hope Jahren is an award-winning scientist, a brilliant writer, a passionate teacher, and one of the seven billion people with whom we share this earth. In The Story of More, she illuminates the link between human habits and our imperiled planet. She takes us through the science behind the key inventions – from electric power to large-scale farming – that, even as they help us, release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere like never before. She explains the current and projected consequences of global warming – from superstorms to rising sea levels – and the actions that we all can take to fight back. Both a primer on the mechanisms of global change and a personal narrative given to us in Jahren’s inimitable voice, The Story of More is the essential pocket primer on climate change that will leave an indelible impact on everyone who reads it.
Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses and Citizens Can Save the Planet, by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope (St. Martin’s Press 2017, 272 pages, $26.99)
The 2016 election left many people who are concerned about the environment fearful that progress on climate change would come screeching to a halt. But not Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope. In Climate of Hope, Bloomberg, an entrepreneur and former mayor of New York City, and Pope, a lifelong environmental leader offer an optimistic look at the challenge of climate change, the solutions they believe hold the greatest promise, and the practical steps that are necessary to achieve them. Sharing their own stories from government, business, and advocacy, Bloomberg and Pope provide a road map for tackling the most complicated challenge the world has ever faced. Along the way, they turn the usual way of thinking about climate change on its head: from top down to bottom up, from costs to benefits, and from fear to hope.
See also: Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to Climate Change, by Tim Flannery (Harper Collins 2015/2016, 272 pages, $16.00 paperback) and Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?, by Bill McKibben (Henry Holt & Co. 2019, 304 pages $28.00).
Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future, by Mary Robinson (Bloomsbury 2018, 176 pages, $26.00)
Holding her first grandchild in her arms in 2003, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and the UN’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, was struck by the uncertainty of the world he had been born into. The faceless, shadowy menace of climate change had become, in an instant, deeply personal. Mary Robinson’s new mission would lead her all over the world and to a heartening revelation: that an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself. Powerful and deeply humane, Climate Justice is a stirring manifesto on one of the most pressing issues of our time, and a lucid, affirmative, and well-argued case for hope.
The Archipelago of Hope: Wisdom and Resilience from the Edge of Climate Change, by Gleb Raygorodetsky (Pegasus Books 2017/2018, 336 pages, $17.95 paperback)
Climate change is already here. Nobody knows this better than Indigenous peoples who, having developed an intimate relationship with ecosystems over generations, have observed these changes for decades. Gleb Raygorodetsky shows how these communities are actually islands of biological and cultural diversity in the ever-rising sea of development and urbanization. They are an “archipelago of hope” as we enter the Anthropocene, for here lies humankind’s best chance to remember our roots and how to take care of the Earth. These communities are implementing creative solutions to meet these modern challenges. Raygorodetsky’s prose resonates with their positive, adaptive, and spiritual hope.
The Climate Swerve: Reflections on Mind, Hope, and Survival, by Robert Jay Lifton (The New Press 2017, 192 pages, $22.95)
Over his long career, National Book Award-winning psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton has grappled with the profound effects of nuclear war, terrorism, and genocide. Now he shifts to climate change, which, Lifton writes, “presents us with what may be the most demanding and unique psychological task ever required of humankind.” Yet a large swathe of humanity has numbed themselves to this reality. In this lucid and moving book that recalls the works of Rachel Carson and Jonathan Schell, Lifton explains how we might call upon the human mind – “our greatest evolutionary asset” – to translate a growing species awareness, or “climate swerve,” into action to sustain our selves, our plant and our civilization.
The Hard Work of Hope: Climate Change in the Age of Trump, by Robert William Sandford and Jon O’Riordan (Rocky Mountain Books 2017, 168 pages, $16.00)
Building on events that have transpired since the Paris climate conference in December 2015, The Hard Work of Hope, Rocky Mountain Books’ latest manifesto, emphasizes three themes: the growing urgency for global action regarding climate change; the fact that future development must not just avoid causing damage but strive to be ecologically and socially restorative; and the reality that effective solutions require changes to technology, restoration of biodiversity and increased public awareness. Though contemporary politics and the state of the environment seem grim in this “post-truth world,” there will always be hope. But that hope will require hard work by everyone if our planet is to remain a desirable place to live in a warming world.
Where Is the Hope? An Anthology of Short Climate Change Plays, edited by Chantal Bilodeau (Climate Change Theatre Action 2018, pages, $35.00 paperback)
Where is the Hope? An Anthology of Short Climate Change Plays is a collection of 50 short plays by writers from all over the world, commissioned for Climate Change Theatre Action 2017. A creative response to the question “How can we inspire people and turn the challenges of climate change into opportunities?” the plays offer a diversity of perspectives and artistic approaches in telling stories that may point to a just and sustainable future.
We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast, by Jonathan Safran Foer (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2019, 288 pages, $25.00)
Some people reject the fact, overwhelmingly supported by scientists, that our planet is warming because of human activity. But do those of us who accept the reality of human-caused climate change truly believe it? In We Are the Weather, Jonathan Safran Foer [explains that] the task of saving the planet will involve a great reckoning with ourselves – a reckoning Foer illustrates by relating his Jewish grandmother’s experience of the Holocaust, taking great personal risks to flee Poland before it was too late to do so. Now we have turned our planet into a farm for growing animal products, and the consequences are similarly catastrophic. Only collective action will save our home and way of life. And it all starts with what we eat – and don’t eat – for breakfast.
Caring for Creation: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, edited by Alice Stamwitz (Franciscan Media 2016, 192 pages, $22.99)
Since his inaugural Mass in March 2013, Pope Francis has frequently reminded a global audience that care for creation is among his highest priorities. The writings, homilies, prayers, talks, and even tweets of Pope Francis in this book gather his most important and inspiring words about our shared responsibility to protect, nurture, and care for “our common home.” The planet is in peril, the pope is telling us, along with the well being of the poor who depend on the earth’s natural resources. Still, his message is always ultimately one of hope. In Caring for Creation, Pope Francis’s words reveal that he believes we can move towards a new kind of conversion – a higher level of consciousness, action, and advocacy that will spark “a bold cultural revolution.”
See also: Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality: On Care for Our Common Home, by Pope Francis, with an Introduction by Naomi Oreskes (Melville House 2015, 192 pages, $20.00 paperback)
Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change, by Jim Antal (Rowman & Littlefield 2018, 242 pages, $25.00)
Climate Church, Climate World argues that climate change is the greatest moral challenge humanity has ever faced. Hunger, refugees, poverty, inequality, deadly viruses, war – climate change multiplies all forms of global social injustice. Environmental leader Reverend Jim Antal presents a compelling case that it’s time for the church to meet this moral challenge, just as the church addressed previous moral challenges. After describing how we have created the dangers our planet now faces, Antal urges the church to embrace a new vocation, one focused on collective salvation and an expanded understanding of the Golden Rule (Golden Rule 2.0). He suggests ways people of faith can reorient what they prize through new approaches to worship, preaching, witnessing and other spiritual practices that honor creation and cultivate hope.
In a similar vein, see also the following religious titles:
Down to Earth: Christian Hope and Climate Change, by Richard A. Floyd (Wipf and Stock 2015, 144 pages, $17.00 paperback)
Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril, edited by Lisa E. Dahill and Jim B. Martin-Schramm (Cascade Books 2016, 306 pages, $36.00 paperback)
Hope in the Age of Climate Change: Creation Care this Side of the Resurrection, by Chris Doran (Cascade Books 2017, 258 pages, $31.00)
Love in a Time of Climate Change: Honoring Creation, Establishing Justice, by Sharon Delgado (Fortress Press 2017, 226 pages, $29.00 paperback)
The Spirit of Hope: Theology for a World in Peril, by Jurgen Moltman (Westminster/John Knox Press 2019, 232 pages, $30.00 paperback)
Reports and summaries – Free downloads online
IPCC AR5 Summaries for Policymakers
By United Nations’ climate panel IPCC:
WG I: The Physical Science Basis – 2013
WG II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – 2014
WG III: Mitigation of Climate Change – 2014
→ Read more: www.ipcc.ch
‘Climate Change: Evidence & Causes’
By Royal Society, 2014
→ Read more: www.royalsociety.org
‘What We Know: The Reality, Risks and Response to Climate Change’
Report by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, 2014
→ Read more: www.whatweknow.aaas.org/get-the-facts
The great climate experiment
By Ken Caldeira
How far can we push the planet? 6 pages.
Reports with an Australian focus
‘Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan’
By Beyond Zero Emissions, 2010
Beyond Zero Emissions is developing a detailed, costed blueprint for the transition to a completely decarbonised Australian economy within a decade. The Zero Carbon Australia Project (ZCA2020) will consist of 6 transition plans covering the 6 sectors of energy, buildings, transport, land use, industrial processes and coal exports. Stationary Energy Plan
The plan demonstrates that 100% renewable energy is achievable and affordable. It designs a fully costed and detailed system of concentrated solar thermal plants and large scale wind farms, and it proves that with commercially available and proven technologies renewable energy can power Australia within 10 years.
‘Screw Light Bulbs: Smarter ways to save Australians time and money’
By Green & Minchin, 2010
“Do we risk crashing our economy by tackling climate change? Should we stop eating chocolate for the good of the planet? How did cheap petrol become so expensive? And what’s the real story behind Australia’s light bulb ban? ‘Screw Light Bulbs’ is the book for Australians who want environmental solutions that go beyond changing light bulbs.”
The authors are making a mistake with what they write about fracking and gas mining, but apart from that this book is worth reading.
‘Four Degrees of Global Warming’
Edited by Peter Christoff, 2013
“ ‘Four Degrees of Global Warming – Australia in a Hot World’ is an important book that addresses the defining question of the 21st century: Can we really afford to let the world slip down the warming slope – towards the 4 degrees mark or even beyond? The authors provide compelling evidence from the Australian perspective that the answer reads “no”. Peter Christoff should be praised for initiating and editing this colossal intellectual effort.”
~ Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
→ Read more on www.amazon.com
‘Rich Land Wasteland’
By Sharyn Munro
“For nearly a year Sharyn Munro travelled through rural Australia, visiting communities in coal-mining areas. She found a war zone.”
“Every Australian politician ought be locked up with this book and not let out until they’ve read it; and then they should all be frog-marched around the devastated moonscapes that the mining industry has made while they were looking in some other direction.”
~ Fred Baker, Knocklofty Press
‘Big Coal: Australia’s Dirtiest Habit’
By Guy Pearse, Bob Burton and David McKnight, 2013
“Former lobbyist and political insider Guy Pearse, media and politics commentator David McKnight and environment writer Bob Burton cut through the spin to expose the underbelly of an industry whose power continues to soar while its expansion feeds catastrophic climate change.”
→ Read more on www.newsouthbooks.com.au
‘The Critical Decade 2013: Climate Change Science, Risks and Responses’
By the Climate Commission (now the Climate Council)
‘The Angry Summer 2013/2014’
‘Be Prepared: Climate Change and the Australian Bushfire Threat’
‘Heatwaves: Hotter, Longer and More Often’
Climate-related fiction literature
Climate change fiction, often referred to as ‘cli-fi’, is an emerging literary genre that focuses on the calamitous consequences of climate change, examining the impact of pollution, rising sea levels, and global warming on human civilisation.
‘Anna – A fable about the Earth’s climate and environment’
By Jostein Gaarder, 2013
‘Anna’ is a fabulous story that glides back and forth between time frames and the two main characters Anna and Nova. The plot of this exciting novel goes beyond the limits of possibility. At the same time, this is a serious story about how things may turn out for the Earth if we do not come to our senses and recognise our responsibility as residents of this planet. It’s still not too late. Is it? We can certainly be given another chance?
The book is being translated into Czech, German, Greek, Indonesian, and Spanish.
Beyond Climate Grief
By Jonica Newby (NewSouth Publishing, 2021)
Dr Jonica Newby is an author, director and science reporter of 20 years. She is best known for her role on the ABC TV science program Catalyst. She lives in New South Wales with her partner, ABC Science Show presenter Robyn Williams.
Her most recent work, Beyond Climate Grief is a book of deep emotions laid bare with rare honesty and personal exposure. It is a memoir driven by fear, love and a powerful affection for snow that, for Newby, was met with overwhelming sorrow at the realisation she was witnessing a rapidly diminishing alpine beauty.
By RP Siegel and Roger Saillant
‘Vapor Trails’ is an eco-thriller by RP Siegel and Roger Saillant — the first in a series covering the human side of various sustainability issues including energy, food, and water in an exciting and entertaining format.
With stories derived from real world events, the book exposes intrigue at the highest corporate level which unravels when one senior executive defects from the dark conspiracy in order to escape from the burden of his past, regain self respect and perhaps open himself to the potential of a new love. Written by two authorities on sustainable business and the environment.
→ Available as e-book on Amazon.com
‘Wool’ is a science-fiction’s underground hit, a New York Times bestseller. The story takes us to a ruined and toxic landscape, where a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.
His fateful decision unleashes a drastic series of events. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to whisper. Uprising.
→ Available on Amazon.com
By Ian McEwan, 2010
“Solar is an engrossing and satirical novel which focuses on climate change. It is a stylish new work by one of the world’s greatest living writers about one man’s ambitions and self-deceptions.”
→ Read more on: www.ianmcewan.com
By Liz Jensen
‘The Rapture’ by British-Danish author Liz Jensen is an electrifying psychological thriller that explores the dark extremes of mankind’s self-destruction in a world on the brink.
In a merciless summer of biblical heat and destructive winds, Gabrielle Fox’s main concern is a personal one: to rebuild her career as a psychologist after a shattering car accident. But when she is assigned Bethany Krall, one of the most dangerous teenagers in the country, she begins to fear she has made a terrible mistake. Raised on a diet of evangelistic hellfire, Bethany is violent, delusional, cruelly intuitive and insistent that she can foresee natural disasters — a claim which Gabrielle interprets as a symptom of doomsday delusion.
But when catastrophes begin to occur on the very dates Bethany has predicted, and a brilliant, gentle physicist enters the equation, the apocalyptic puzzle intensifies and the stakes multiply. Is the self-proclaimed Nostradamus of the psych ward the ultimate manipulator, or could she be the harbinger of imminent global cataclysm on a scale never seen before? And what can love mean in ‘interesting times’?
A haunting story of human passion and burning faith set against an adventure of tectonic proportions.
→ Available on Amazon.com
By Barbara Kingsolver, 2012
‘Flight Behavior’ is Barbara Kingsolver’s fourteenth book. The novel is a heady exploration of climate change, along with media exploitation and political opportunism that lie at the root of what may be our most urgent modern dilemma.
Set in Appalachia, a region to which Kingsolver has returned often in both her acclaimed fiction and nonfiction, its suspenseful narrative traces the unforeseen impact of global concerns on the ordinary citizens of a rural community. As environmental, economic, and political issues converge, the residents of Feathertown, Tennessee, are forced to come to terms with their changing place in the larger world.
The book was in the New York Times bestseller list in June 2013. (Harper; November 2012; $28.99)
→ Read more on www.kingsolver.com.
→ Review on www.telegraph.co.uk.
“I consider Bacigalupi one of the more prolific storytellers dealing with climate change. As pointed out often in this series, climate change can be explained as a hyperobject, a vast and looming object that is so large it’s hard to grasp. Climate change isn’t really just one subject either. It is connected to a series of other issues that build up to it or trickle down from it. It takes a crafty artist to place moral observations and questions into a story without preaching.”
→ ArtistsAndClimateChange – 30 April 2019:
Wild Authors: Paolo Bacigalupi
More about Cli-Fi
You can search for climate fiction – ‘cli-fi’ – on Amazon, which will instantly give you a choice of over 730 different books.
Whereas 10 or 20 years ago it would have been difficult to identify even a handful of books that fell under this banner, there is now a growing corpus of novels setting out to warn readers of possible environmental nightmares to come.
Nathaniel Rich’s ‘Odds Against Tomorrow’ is set in a future New York, about a mathematician who deals in worst-case scenarios.
Australian author James Bradley’s ‘Clade’ from January 2015 is “a provocative, urgent novel about time, family and how a changing planet might change our lives”.
Missy Higgins wrote about it: “‘Clade’ begins with a scientist working in Antarctica while his wife is trying to conceive via IVF in Sydney. He becomes increasing frustrated with society’s refusal to heed the warnings of climate change, which leads him to feeling more and more anxious about the idea of bringing a child into this world. The book goes on to span multiple generations, showing the slow but devastating results of climate change on future generations. It is epic.”
Australian author Mireille Juchau’s third novel ‘The World Without Us’ from August 2015 is not about climate change, rather it is “a whispered account of the calamity facing an overheating and over-exploited planet” and the effects of the of the mining and fracking which spreading over the district where the story takes place. However, it has often been mentioned as part of the rapidly growing canon of ‘cli-fi’.
The South African-German film ‘The Lost Future’ tries to visualise what humanity’s post-apocalyptic future would look like – in a world where jungles, forests, primeval wetlands and deserts have obliterated civilisation.
→ RenewEconomy – 4 December 2014:
Interstellar: Climate Change and the Evolution of Cli-Fi Movies
The evolution of Cli-Fi movies and climate lessons for the present. Article by Roberto Mera
→ Grist – 8 April 2014:
Climate change: The hottest thing in science fiction
Some call it “cli-fi” — sci-fi infused with the increasingly frightening impacts of climate change. By Dave Burdick
→ The Guardian – 31 May 2013:
Global warning: the rise of ‘cli-fi’
Unlike most science fiction, novels about climate change focus on an immediate and intense threat rather than discovery. Article by Rodge Glass
More about cli-fi
→ Dan Bloom is a passionate cli-fi blogger and reporter. In 2014, he posted almost 500 blogposts in his blog ‘Hollywood goes Cli-Fi’: www.klima101.blogspot.com.au
→ More about books on this website