BOOKS (Recent)

Brown, Lester. R, et al. (2015) The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy – link to an extract here

Foodtank’s 2014 recommended reading list with annotations

Gilding, P (2011) The Great Disruption – 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. How to prevent catastrophic warming of the earth.

Gray, J (2009) False Dawn: The delusions of global capitalism – a world tour of the social devastation being left in capitalism’s wake. The free market will cause disaster, war, ethnic conflict, environmental destruction and impoverish millions. Yet throughout a lucid and empirically remarkable work, Gray offers no hope, proposes no reform and predicts the gloomiest of futures. The global market economy is fatally flawed and incapable of reform.

Heinberg, R (2011) The End of Growth: Adapting to our new economic reality – Humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in its economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits. Goes to the heart of the ongoing financial crisis, explaining how and why it occurred, and what we must do to avert the worst potential outcomes. 

Klein, N(2014) This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate – argues that climate change is “an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways.” [See extracts here and here].

Kunstler, J.H (2005) The Long Emergency: Surviving the converging catastrophes of the 21st century – The oil age is at an end. The depletion of nonrenewable fossil fuels is about to radically change life as we know it, and much sooner than we think. As a result of artificially cheap fossil-fuel energy we have developed global models of industry, commerce, food production, and finance that will collapse. The Long Emergency tells us just what to expect after we pass the tipping point of global peak oil production and the honeymoon of affordable energy is over, preparing us for economic, political, and social changes of an unimaginable scale.

Lynas. M (2011) The God Species: How the planet can survive the Age of Humans – in his review here, Jeremy Williams concludes: this is a useful book that offers a new perspective on what we can and can’t do with the planet we call home. It’s message that we are in charge of Earth, whether we like it or not, is vital and well put. It restores neglected environmental issues such as the nitrogen cycle and ocean acidification to the agenda. It deserves to be widely read, and for the language of planetary boundaries to become common currency.

Martenson, C (2010) The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future of Economy, Energy and Environment – The next twenty years will be completely unlike the last twenty years. The world is in economic crisis, and there are no easy fixes to our predicament. Unsustainable trends in the economy, energy, and the environment have finally caught up with us and are converging on a very narrow window of time—the “Twenty-Teens.” The Crash Course presents our predicament and illuminates the path ahead, so you can face the coming disruptions and thrive–without fearing the future or retreating into denial.

Marshall, G (2014) Don’t even think about it: Why our brains are wired to ignore climate change – Jeremy Williams reviews this book here. It provides a survey of the psychology of denial that leads us to see what we want to see. Williams further elaborates on this theme in his blog piece  that argues that climate change is not an environmental problem, but a human, economic, justice and spiritual problem.

McCarthy, M (2016) The Moth Snowstorm – reviewed here with the thought that it could become to British wildlife what the 1962 Rachel Carson book The Silent Spring became to the environmental movement.

New Economics Foundation (2009) The Great Transition – Creating a new kind of economy is crucial if we want to tackle climate change and avoid the mounting social problems associated with the rise of economic inequality. Provides the first comprehensive blueprint for building an economy based on stability, sustainability and equality.

Rees, M. (2003) Our Final Century: Will civilisation survive the twenty-first century? – World authority on astrophysics, Sir Martin Rees, takes us on a journey through all the things which could wipe out mankind in the near future. From asteroids to disease to scientific discoveries gone wrong (from nanobots to the large Hadron collider) these are scenarios analysed with a serious scientific eye. Some of these things definitely won’t happen, some genuinely might.

Stockholm Memorandum (2011) Tipping the scales towards sustainability – Humankind has a choice: learn to work with nature and its wonderful self-organizing, resilient properties – or continue attempts to control what it does not understand, was one of the main messages of the Nobel Laureates Symposium in Stockholm. Based on a relatively new ‘resilience science’ that explores the relationship between humans and nature. Resilience is the property of all living things that determines their ability to adapt, evolve and persist in response to the ebb and flow of events and changes in their environment. “”loads/2011/05/The-Stockholm-Memorandum.pdf

 Wright, R (2006) A Short History of Progress – Each time history repeats itself, the cost goes up. The twentieth century – a time of unprecedented progress – has produced a tremendous strain on the very elements that comprise life itself.  This raises the key question of the twenty-first century: How much longer can this go on? With wit and erudition, Ronald Wright lays out a-convincing case that history has always provided an answer, whether we care to notice or not.

Yale Climate Connection’s 2015 summer reading list on climate change.

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