Jeff Elkins

The fossil fuel industry and its allies have fueled a massive disinformation campaign on the subject of climate change. If you’re looking for honest reporting and informed opinion on the subject, check out the following six books:

Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know, by Joseph Romm (Oxford University Press, 2015) Lost in a sea of data and jargon? Romm’s scientific primer answers essential questions such as “What is the difference between weather and climate?” and “What will the impacts of sea-level rise be?”

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond (Penguin Books, 2005) Easter Island, Angkor, Copán: We’ve been down this road before. That’s the message Diamond sends with Collapse, through eye-opening case studies of self-inflicted environmental catastrophe throughout history.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert (Henry Holt & Co., 2014) Farewell, Golden Toad: Amphibians are going extinct at 45,000 times the historical background rate. The New Yorker’s Kolbert documents the tragic evidence of mass species loss due to human activity.

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, by Naomi Klein (Simon & Schuster, 2014) Perhaps the most challenging of the books on the list, This Changes Everything exposes the often terrible socio-environmental costs of privatization, deregulation, and other tenets of neoliberal economics.

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken (Penguin Books, 2017) For those who fear all is lost, Hawken provides an antidote—dozens of them, actually. Drawdown compiles proven methods to reduce CO2 emissions and increase efficiency, in arenas from agriculture to architecture.

Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, by Bill McKibben (Henry Holt & Co., 2010) McKibben, writing during the Great Recession, characterizes the society and systems we need to build in response to climate change: slower, smaller, more durable, decentralized, and, possibly, more rewarding.