The best books on climate change today and in the past

Brian Fagan Author Of The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization
By Brian Fagan

The Books I Picked & Why

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need

By Bill Gates

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need

Why this book?

Bill Gates has a unique, global perspective on far more than climate change. He has consulted experts in many relevant fields, as well as drawing on his unrivaled experience of innovation. This is a book that is, above all, about electrification and the rapidly falling costs of new power sources. It is not political discourse but is valuable for lay readers.


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The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet

By Michael E. Mann

The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet

Why this book?

Mann has been on the front lines of the climate change battle for a long time. Here he describes some of the ways fossil fuel companies have attempted to deflect blame for the climate crisis onto all of us. This important book draws the battle lines and lays out a plan for forcing governments and corporations to make real changes. An important, very timely book.


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Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

By Paul Hawken

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Why this book?

The essays in this remarkable book offer ideas and potential solutions that are sometimes breathtakingly simple but always forward-looking. This book describes 100 solutions for drawing down greenhouse gasses. Eighty percent of them are already in use. He urges us to concentrate on solutions rather than describing the problems.


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The Third Horseman: A Story of Weather, War, and the Famine History Forgot

By William Rosen

The Third Horseman: A Story of Weather, War, and the Famine History Forgot

Why this book?

The Third Horseman combines a discussion of climate change with a major disaster, the great famine of the fourteenth century. Vividly written and fast-paced, this well-written book makes history enjoyable. The author wears his research lightly, which makes for a rattling good story. Not a global book, but it will make you think.


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A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe's Encounter with North America

By Sam White

A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe's Encounter with North America

Why this book?

Written by a first-rate historian of wide learning, this is one of those rare books that causes one to rethink your assumptions about history. White brings climate change to the forefront in a book that ranges widely over the European settlement of America and looks at it from a climatic perspective. This is technically an academic book but is so nicely written that you’ll be glued to the page.


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