Reading List: How to Make Positive Changes in the Climate Crisis

15th January 202016 MinutesBy PerlegoIn Reading, Reading Lists

It’s easy to feel down when it comes to the news and global events, especially so when it comes to climate change. It’s even easier to forget that despite all the chaos we, each and every one of us, can still make a difference. We’ve put together our favourite picks to help you look at the little changes you can make, whether it’s through your lifestyle, or your mindset.

The Sun's Influence on Climate

Joanna Haigh, Peter Cargill

It makes sense that if we want to be able to attribute changes in the climate to human behaviour we first have to understand the natural factors of climate change. Enter Haigh and Cargill. They first take you through a short history of the study of the sun, how observations turned into a natural curiosity that turned into studies and theories. From Babylonian philosophers to today, the sun has always interested us. Don’t be intimidated by the scientific nature of this book as it is brilliantly written for the general audience and will leave you feeling better-informed about our climate.

Coping with the Climate Crisis

by Rabah Arezki, Patrick Bolton, Karim El Aynaoui, Maurice Obstfeld

This slightly more technical book assesses the problem of how to bring together countries across the globe, to collectively tackle the issue of carbon emissions. It is a bit out of date due to having been published in the wake of the Paris Agreement (the recent findings of the IPCC hadn’t yet been released). But this volume is based on the idea of tackling climate change from a bottom-up approach, one more realistic than others as countries take their own lead. The ideas still stand even if they may have to be reworked, but perhaps even more important is the prevailing optimism throughout it.

Facing Up to Climate Reality: Honesty, Disaster and Hope

by John Foster

Foster says that there only ever seems to be two extreme reactions in response to climate change; we either say everything is fine so we don’t need to do anything or proclaim that there is an impending apocalypse and there is nothing we can do. Now, notice that both depend on the belief that our actions don’t make a difference, and so maybe there’s just no point talking about it. But…this book prides itself on its climate honesty and teaches the readers how to break free of these common reactions and be able to have an engaged and serious conversation about climate change and our future. 

Transforming Psychological Worldviews to Confront Climate Change

by F. Stephan Mayer

Unlike many others you’ll come across, this book is not worried about political or economic solutions to climate change but rather psychological ones. Mayer argues that our ‘collective vision’ (how we all look at the world) has been skewed so that we wear such rose-tinted glasses, which aren’t actually so rosy after all, that they have led to a direct conflict with the environment. The chapters discuss this worldview, how it has led to climate change and how it prevents people from tackling the issue. But it also presents another worldview that is more harmonious, and how we can encourage the world to adopt this perspective.

Shopping for Change

by Louis Hyman, Joseph Tohill

This book is about the power of your pocket. The power in the everyday decisions we make as to how we spend our money. Sometimes these decisions are almost subconscious, like where we buy our coffee every morning, but the authors hope to make us realise how much power we have with where we spend our money – no matter how little the amount. So maybe this book will inspire you to think of what difference you can make to the climate just from where you spend your hard-earned cash. 

Being the Change

by Peter Kalmus

This book covers a lot of ground, from chickens to meditation, because as the author says – “global warming touches every aspect of our lives”. So what Kalmus considers essential is how individuals respond to climate change. In his readings of climate change books, he found he wasn’t ‘pushed’ enough, they all expected too little of him.  And so, he set out on his own journey. This is an inspiring story that takes us from when he owned his first little piece of land, cultivating it into his own Garden of Eden, to how he now lives quite happily with almost no greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Earth

by Richard Fortey

Amidst all the chaos of a rapidly changing world, it is easy to forget what’s at the centre of all this – our Earth. Fortey has written a love letter to our home, along with the science behind it. It’s beautifully written and serves as a reminder, especially if you live in a big, busy city, of how much there is to admire about the world. He gives us an Earth that is always in flux, always changing, never at rest; an Earth that for thousands of years has always adapted to whatever we’ve thrown at it so perhaps it is time for us to show it the same love back.