The best books on climate change and our natural world

Who am I?

I am a Scottish geographer and energy specialist. I love nature and snow and don't want to see it destroyed or lost. I wrote Carbon Choices, on the common-sense solutions to our climate and nature crises, to share my expertise and passion to help people to make a difference. People, businesses, and governments all need to understand the serious consequences of climate change. Education is the first step towards taking action. Carbon Choices focuses on the solutions, many of which are 'common sense', to protect people and nature upon which we all depend.

I wrote...

Carbon Choices: Common-sense Solutions to our Climate and Nature Crises

By Neil Kitching,

Book cover of Carbon Choices: Common-sense Solutions to our Climate and Nature Crises

What is my book about?

An accessible guide to our climate crisis. Carbon Choices will help you to understand climate change and nature loss and provides common-sense solutions before COP26, the global climate conference to be held in Glasgow. Section 1 introduces carbon dioxide, climate change, and the destruction of nature. A summary of the impacts of climate change and how we have created an environmental crisis. Section 2 introduces ten building blocks that are needed to lay the foundations to enable us to make better choices for the planet. Section 3 applies these building blocks to our everyday lives - our diets, homes, travel, shopping, and leisure. By doing so we can rewild nature, improve our society, be healthier, happier and lead more fulfilled lives. The future can be better. 

"I greatly look forward to reading it", Sir David Attenborough. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Great Soul of Siberia

Why did I love this book?

Sooyong Park spends years in the wilderness to monitor and track the last remaining Siberian tigers. He spends weeks in the middle of a freezing winter in a dug-out shelter to photograph these magnificent animals in their ever-diminishing wilderness. But neither the freezing weather nor climate change is the immediate problem for the tigers - poaching and human encroachment are destroying the habitat they need to live in to prevent interbreeding.  You could cry reading this book.

By Sooyong Park,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Soul of Siberia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are five races of tiger on our planet and all but one live in tropical regions: the Siberian Tiger Panthera tigris altaica is the exception. Mysterious and elusive, and with only 350 remaining in the wild, the Siberian tiger remains a complete enigma. One man has set out to change this.

Sooyong Park has spent twenty years tracking and observing these elusive tigers. Each year he spends six months braving sub-zero temperatures, buried in grave-like underground bunkers, fearlessly immersing himself in the lives of Siberian tigers. As he watches the brutal, day-to-day struggle to survive the harsh landscape, threatened…

Book cover of Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air

Why did I love this book?

David MacKay does something unusual for a university professor. He brings all the talk about energy and climate change to life. A fantastic analysis of energy in all its forms, bringing it down to earth. His book answers the real questions that we need to ask, such as how much land would be needed to power the United Kingdom from renewable energy? His answers are detailed in graphs and pictures making them accessible and easy to understand. This brings a sense of realism and raises the conversation to the next level.

By David JC MacKay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Addressing the sustainable energy crisis in an objective manner, this enlightening book analyzes the relevant numbers and organizes a plan for change on both a personal level and an international scale--for Europe, the United States, and the world. In case study format, this informative reference answers questions surrounding nuclear energy, the potential of sustainable fossil fuels, and the possibilities of sharing renewable power with foreign countries.

While underlining the difficulty of minimizing consumption, the tone remains positive as it debunks misinformation and clearly explains the calculations of expenditure per person to encourage people to make individual changes that will benefit…

Book cover of The Carbon Footprint of Everything

Why did I love this book?

We need to cut our carbon footprint to 'save the planet'. But how do we do so without an understanding of the carbon footprint of what we buy. Mike's book brings this important subject to life. The impact of bananas, grown in the tropical sunshine, is not as bad as you might expect as shipping has a fairly low carbon impact, but when buying coffee it is the milk, not the coffee granules, or boiling the water that has the big carbon impact. Avoid milky lattes at all costs! A quirky and fun book.

By Mike Berners-Lee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Carbon Footprint of Everything as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Carbon Footprint of Everything breaks items down by the amount of carbon they produce, creating a calorie guide for the carbon-conscious. With engaging writing, leading carbon expert Mike Berners-Lee shares new carbon calculations based on recent research. He considers the impact of the pandemic on the carbon battle—especially the embattled global supply chain—and adds items we didn’t consider a decade ago, like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

Supported by solid research, cross-referenced with other expert sources, illustrated with easy-to-follow charts and graphs, and written with Berners-Lee’s trademark sense of humor, The Carbon Footprint of Everything should be on everyone’s bookshelf.

Book cover of Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm

Why did I love this book?

When you think about rewilding most people will think about planting trees across the Scottish Highlands, reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone, or restoring the vast American prairies as habitat for buffalo. 'Wilding' is special as it takes an average farm in Sussex, not far from London, and shows what can be done to rewild nature. Within a few years wildflowers grow, insects thrive and birdlife - the signature of biodiversity - reappear like magic. Truly inspiring.

By Isabella Tree,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Wilding as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A poignant, practical and moving story of how to fix our broken land, this should be conservation's salvation; this should be its future; this is a new hope' - Chris Packham

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the 'Knepp experiment', a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Winner of the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on…

Pole to Pole

By Alan J. Hesse,

Book cover of Pole to Pole

Why did I love this book?

It is the next generation that will have to continue to tackle and adapt to climate change. We need to educate our children, and Alan Hesse does this through fun and entertaining cartoons. Pole to Pole presents an engaging introduction to climate change ranging from polar ice melt to climate refugees. Through the eyes and adventures of Captain Polo the polar bear, travel the world for a tale of action and adventure, with a strong dose of humour.

By Alan J. Hesse,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pole to Pole as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Driven from his melting Arctic home in search of food, Captain Polo once again takes to the ocean in his trusty boat. Little does he know about a hidden stowaway with a secret agenda...

"Must read. Fantastically enjoyable graphic novel with an eco-conscious theme - educational and thought-provoking for children and adults alike...[ ]..every bit as enjoyable as other contemporary and classic graphic novels." - Reedsy Discovery

Picking up from the previous books in the series, Pole to Pole sees the now well-seasoned globetrotter Captain Polo back on the ocean waves falling into one adventure after another. After nearly getting…

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