The best books on solving the climate crisis

Who am I?

Drawing on my own experience as a local elected official and citizen lobbyist at all levels of government, I write books to help get citizens involved in the biggest challenges of our day. As an activist for clean energy, I wanted to write an easy-to-use guide to help ordinary citizens to become effective champions for more solar power in America. The Solar Patriot is my third book and my second on solar power. For two decades I have worked as a communications consultant and advocate for solar power, renewable energy, and climate solutions. Now, I’m writing a call to action for America off of fossil fuels as soon as possible to meet the urgent challenge of the climate crisis.

I wrote...

The Solar Patriot: A Citizen's Guide to Helping America Win Clean Energy Independence

By Erik D. Curren,

Book cover of The Solar Patriot: A Citizen's Guide to Helping America Win Clean Energy Independence

What is my book about?

In the spirit of 1776, The Solar Patriot aims to recruit citizens from Florida to Alaska as champions for homegrown, all-American clean energy. If you think that solar power should become America's top energy source, and you'd like to help make it happen, then this is the book you've been waiting for.

Even if you don't have solar panels on your own roof, The Solar Patriot will give you ideas to join the revolution to free America from the tyranny of fossil fuels and make our nation cleaner, safer, and more prosperous. Enlist now!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet

Why did I love this book?

Enough science to understand the problem and see that the solution is eminently doable. But it's really about politics, how the fossil fuel industry and its paid lackeys are blocking climate action, but in a new way. The old climate war was straight-up science denial. Since that won't fly anymore, the industry has retreated to its fallback position: acknowledging that climate change is real but finding ways to defer action by deflecting responsibility on consumers or dividing the movement against itself, like vegans vs meat-eaters. Once we know the con, we can avoid it and push for real climate solutions by the government that will keep fossil fuels in the ground and build clean energy capacity as quickly as possible.

By Michael E. Mann,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The New Climate War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year award

A renowned climate scientist shows how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change, and offers a battle plan for how we can save the planet.

Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the ways that we've been told can slow climate change. But the inordinate emphasis on individual behavior is the result of a marketing campaign that has succeeded in placing the responsibility for fixing climate change squarely on the shoulders of individuals.

Fossil fuel…

Winning the Green New Deal: Why We Must, How We Can

By Guido Girgenti, Varshini Prakash,

Book cover of Winning the Green New Deal: Why We Must, How We Can

Why did I love this book?

If you care about the climate crisis and are interested in serious solutions, this book from the founders of the youth-led Sunrise Movement is as inspiring as it is practical. The book features essays on the connection between climate and racial justice as well as an analysis of why the Green New Deal is the best way to address both challenges. There's a lot here for young people burning to save the planet but new to activism, and also for older folks to work with our youth to turn today's climate and racial crisis into a chance to dethrone the neoliberal economics and "small government" consensus that has dominated politics since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

By Guido Girgenti, Varshini Prakash,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Winning the Green New Deal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An urgent and definitive collection of essays from leaders and experts championing the Green New Deal—and a detailed playbook for how we can win it—including contributions by leading activists and progressive writers like Varshini Prakash, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Bill McKibben, Rev William Barber II, and more.

In October 2018, scientists warned that we have less than 12 years left to transform our economy away from fossil fuels, or face catastrophic climate change. At that moment, there was no plan in the US to decarbonize our economy that fast. Less than two years later, every major Democratic presidential candidate has embraced the…

Book cover of On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal

Why did I love this book?

If you haven't read much else by Klein, this book of essays is a good intro to her take on the climate movement. The volume is worth reading alone for Klein's skillful critique of the doomerism of Nathaniel Rich's book Losing Earth. Rich wrongly asserts that the late 1980s were the best time to fight climate change, ignoring the ascendance of extreme capitalism and a culture of greed-is-good driven by globalization and deregulation whose beau ideal was Ayn Rand. Rich claims that "we" (meaning you and me, not Exxon and the US govt) missed this once-in-a-lifetime chance to save the climate in 1988-89 because we were too selfish or shortsighted to make major changes in our consumer lives. He's wrong and Klein places the blame where it belongs, with oil companies and the governments they control, and offers hope that ordinary people can and will mobilize for an economy that's both clean and fair.

By Naomi Klein,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked On Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Naomi Klein's work has always moved and guided me. She is the great chronicler of our age of climate emergency, an inspirer of generations' - Greta Thunberg

For more than twenty years Naomi Klein's books have defined our era, chronicling the exploitation of people and the planet and demanding justice. On Fire gathers for the first time more than a decade of her impassioned writing from the frontline of climate breakdown, and pairs it with new material on the staggeringly high stakes of what we choose to do next.

Here is Klein at her most prophetic and philosophical, investigating the…

Book cover of Stop Saving the Planet!: An Environmentalist Manifesto

Why did I love this book?

A welcome corrective to the trend of X number of things you can do in your personal life to save the Earth that won't threaten the rule of greedy polluters over the economy and government, Price's lighthearted book welcomes the reader with a smile but strikes hard against propaganda from corporate polluters while she stands up for climate justice. To help readers make a real difference, as opposed to doing things that feel helpful but really aren't like buying a Prius, Price does actually offer a few personal life changes, like buying less stuff or buying higher quality stuff at lower quantity. But most of her ideas are about thinking differently about the environment--such as Redefine Economy or even Redefine Extremism (greedheads, not environmentalists, are the real extremists). Or getting active in public policy--from the strikingly simple "Vote!" to "Join up locally--government & economy R us."

By Jenny Price,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stop Saving the Planet! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We've been "saving the planet" for decades now and the crises have only got worse. Many of us-environmentalists included-continue to live deeply unsustainable lives. At home, affluent citizens "buy green"; while at work, they maximise profits with dirty energy and toxic industries that are poisoning poorer communities.

With brevity, humour and plenty of attitude, Jenny Price tracks "save the planet" enthusiasm through strategies that range from ridiculously ineffective (Prius-buying and carbon trading) to flat-out counterproductive (greenwashing and public subsidies to greenwash). We need to imagine far better ways to use and inhabit environments. Why aren't we cleaning up the messes…

Book cover of All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon's Perspective on Climate Change

Why did I love this book?

Michael Klare mines reports written by each of the U.S. armed services over the last couple of decades to show how the Pentagon identifies a variety of threats that are multiplied by climate change. Klare organizes them in a “threat ladder” ranging from most to least likely but from least to most dangerous, making it a ladder of escalation that diverts military personnel and resources from their main mission of defending the American homeland from foreign adversaries. If you're a committed pacifist, as many climate activists are, this book will be eye-opening. If you want to reduce and then stop the increase of climate change while protecting America from the worst impacts of weird weather in the coming decades, it turns out you may have more in common with generals and admirals than you'd thought.

By Michael T. Klare,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Hell Breaking Loose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing on previously obscure reports and government documents, renowned security expert Michael Klare shows that the Pentagon now regards climate change as one of the top threats to American national security and is busy developing strategies to cope with it. Its response makes it clear that where it counts, the immense impact of climate change is not in doubt.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in climate change, environmentalism, and environmental issues?

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