100 books like Earth, Wind and Fire

By Lynne Krieger Mytelka (editor), Velaphi Msimang (editor), Radhika Perrot (editor) , Marie Blanche Ting , Saliem Fakir , Manisha Gulati , Simone Haysom , Lyndall Mujakachi , Edison Muzenda , T. J. Pilusa , Louise Scholtz , Ogundiran Soumonni , Fumani Mthembi

Here are 100 books that Earth, Wind and Fire fans have personally recommended if you like Earth, Wind and Fire. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Green Skills Research in South Africa: Models, Cases and Methods

Najma Mohamed Author Of Sustainability Transitions in South Africa

From my list on justice and sustainability in South Africa.

Why am I passionate about this?

While my childhood in a coastal community in South Africa contributed to my deep appreciation and love for nature, I was born and grew up as a person of colour in the apartheid era when barricades divided humans, the land, and the sea. I developed a profound understanding, rooted in my lived experience, of the interlinkages between justice, equity, and sustainability. I've remained actively involved and interested in developing and profiling transformative and inclusive approaches to sustainability from community to the international level. I've maintained this focus on the nexus between climate, nature, and inequality throughout my career, where I've led transformative and inclusive approaches to nature and climate policy and practice for 20+ years. 

Najma's book list on justice and sustainability in South Africa

Najma Mohamed Why did Najma love this book?

The book is a deep dive into the education and skills needs of green transitions.

It builds on the rich insights of green skills planning through an analysis of case studies and shows why skills are one of the drivers to achieving a just transition to a green economy. The context of the book is South Africa, but application is worldwide.

Stronger synergies between skills and green transition policies are essential and the book presents a model for thinking about skills for a sustainable, just future.

By Eureta Rosenberg, Presha Ramsarup, Heila Lotz-Sisitka

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Green Skills Research in South Africa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book proposes transformative, realist methodology for skills research and planning through an analysis of case studies of the changing world of work, new learning pathways and educational system challenges.

Studies of the green economy and sustainability transitions are a growing field internationally, however there are few books that link this interest to the development of skills. This book draws on, and showcases, the experience and insights of researcher-practitioners who are at the cutting edge in this emerging field, internationally and in South Africa. The context for this book is South Africa, but application is worldwide. In many ways indicative…


Book cover of A Just Transition to a Low Carbon Future in South Africa

Najma Mohamed Author Of Sustainability Transitions in South Africa

From my list on justice and sustainability in South Africa.

Why am I passionate about this?

While my childhood in a coastal community in South Africa contributed to my deep appreciation and love for nature, I was born and grew up as a person of colour in the apartheid era when barricades divided humans, the land, and the sea. I developed a profound understanding, rooted in my lived experience, of the interlinkages between justice, equity, and sustainability. I've remained actively involved and interested in developing and profiling transformative and inclusive approaches to sustainability from community to the international level. I've maintained this focus on the nexus between climate, nature, and inequality throughout my career, where I've led transformative and inclusive approaches to nature and climate policy and practice for 20+ years. 

Najma's book list on justice and sustainability in South Africa

Najma Mohamed Why did Najma love this book?

This book has been timely as policymakers in the carbon-intensive economy of South Africa is in the throes of a developing framework and plan for implementing a just transition to a low carbon economy.

It brings some of the best thinkers and doers in science, policy and academia to unpack the key shifts – social, economic, and technological and builds on thinking in earlier works on transitions.

By Nqobile Xaba (editor), Saliem Fakir (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Just Transition to a Low Carbon Future in South Africa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Deliberations on the just transition in South Africa have intensified and will continue to do so for the next few years and decades. Climate change, widening socio-economic inequality, the precarious future of work and emergent approaches to financing arrangements have brought new urgency to the issues. It therefore remains critical to interrogate how South Africa can ensure a just transition to a low carbon economy.

This book underlines the fact that the low carbon transition in South Africa has to grapple with complex historical, social, economic, cultural and political factors. The main message is that the transition to a low-carbon…


Book cover of Greening the South African Economy: Scoping the Issues, Challenges and Opportunities

Najma Mohamed Author Of Sustainability Transitions in South Africa

From my list on justice and sustainability in South Africa.

Why am I passionate about this?

While my childhood in a coastal community in South Africa contributed to my deep appreciation and love for nature, I was born and grew up as a person of colour in the apartheid era when barricades divided humans, the land, and the sea. I developed a profound understanding, rooted in my lived experience, of the interlinkages between justice, equity, and sustainability. I've remained actively involved and interested in developing and profiling transformative and inclusive approaches to sustainability from community to the international level. I've maintained this focus on the nexus between climate, nature, and inequality throughout my career, where I've led transformative and inclusive approaches to nature and climate policy and practice for 20+ years. 

Najma's book list on justice and sustainability in South Africa

Najma Mohamed Why did Najma love this book?

This is a foundational book if you’re interested in understanding the green economy discourse in South Africa.

It tackles the challenges facing the country in addressing poverty, inequality, and unemployment and how a green transition must deliver both social and environmental outcomes.

Contributors are drawn from leading thinkers on sustainability issues in South Africa. 

By Mark Swilling (editor), Josephine Kaviti Musango (editor), Jeremy Wakeford (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Greening the South African Economy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The depletion of South Africa's (and in some cases the world's) natural resources and the degradation of environmental sinks (including the atmosphere, lakes and rivers, and land) are continuing at such a rate that natural resource prices are climbing and many critical ecosystem services that underpin human welfare are increasingly threatened.

The concept of the `green economy' has gained increasing traction in South African policy discourses over the past few years. However, in much of this discourse it is viewed in a piecemeal way as one part or sector of the economy (e.g. an industrial sector dealing with manufacture and…


Book cover of Breakthrough: Corporate South Africa in a Green Economy

Najma Mohamed Author Of Sustainability Transitions in South Africa

From my list on justice and sustainability in South Africa.

Why am I passionate about this?

While my childhood in a coastal community in South Africa contributed to my deep appreciation and love for nature, I was born and grew up as a person of colour in the apartheid era when barricades divided humans, the land, and the sea. I developed a profound understanding, rooted in my lived experience, of the interlinkages between justice, equity, and sustainability. I've remained actively involved and interested in developing and profiling transformative and inclusive approaches to sustainability from community to the international level. I've maintained this focus on the nexus between climate, nature, and inequality throughout my career, where I've led transformative and inclusive approaches to nature and climate policy and practice for 20+ years. 

Najma's book list on justice and sustainability in South Africa

Najma Mohamed Why did Najma love this book?

A great journey through how and why corporate South Africa is responding to the green transition.

It features case studies of leading national and multi-national corporations charting the sometimes bumpy road to integrating sustainability in business models.

From retail, energy, finance, insurance, and banking sectors businesses share the highs and lows of going green. 

By Godwell Nhamo (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breakthrough as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book addresses hot issues pertaining to the manner in which corporate South Africa has engaged the emerging green global economy. Firstly, the book profiles the green and low carbon economy landscape in South Africa and interfaces it with global trends. This way, the book aligns very well in terms of the Rio+20 outcomes on 'The Future We Want' that fully embraces the green global economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. The rest of the chapters in the book profile breakthroughs from selected companies. The book also comes as the second in a series that is…


Book cover of Hope Matters: Why Changing the Way We Think Is Critical to Solving the Environmental Crisis

Sarah Jaquette Ray Author Of A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet

From my list on keeping cool on a warming planet.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an environmental educator over the past 18 years, I have come to see that the central question of our work is no longer “how do we get more people to care?” Our work now is to keep ourselves sustained for the long haul of climate justice advocacy that lies ahead. People now care, a lot, and need to know how to avoid burnout and “amygdala hijack”, cope with the hard emotions of it all, and build community. The solutions are no longer just political, technological, or economic. We need to develop existential tools, resources of interior sustainability, and cultural resilience if we have any hope of thriving in a climate-changed world.

Sarah's book list on keeping cool on a warming planet

Sarah Jaquette Ray Why did Sarah love this book?

Kelsey builds an air-tight case for why the planet needs us to get more in touch with our emotions. Emotions dictate all our behavior and action in the world, and so we ought to know which emotions are most effective and in what situations to catalyze actions for climate justice. Because Kelsey is a scientist herself, she buttresses her case about the role of emotions in saving the planet with powerful data. We don’t need more books on “ten things you can do to save the planet.” What we do need is more books like this, which show us why doom and gloom isn’t the only game in town.

By Elin Kelsey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hope Matters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"This book comes at just the right moment. It is NOT too late if we get together and take action, NOW." -Jane Goodall

Fears about climate change are fueling an epidemic of despair across the world: adults worry about their children's future; thirty-somethings question whether they should have kids or not; and many young people honestly believe they have no future at all.

In the face of extreme eco-anxiety, scholar and award-winning author Elin Kelsey argues that our hopelessness-while an understandable reaction-is hampering our ability to address the very real problems we face. Kelsey offers a powerful solution: hope itself.…


Book cover of The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health--And How We Can Make It Better

Kathryn Kellogg Author Of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste

From my list on sustainability focused.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kathryn Kellogg is the founder of Going Zero Waste, a lifestyle website dedicated to helping others live a healthier and more sustainable life. She’s a spokesperson for plastic-free living for National Geographic, Chief Sustainability Officer at the One Movement, and author of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste which breaks eco-friendly, sustainable living down into an easy step by step process with lots of positivity and love. She’s a spokesperson for plastic-free living for National Geographic and Chief Sustainability Officer at the One Movement. 

Kathryn's book list on sustainability focused

Kathryn Kellogg Why did Kathryn love this book?

This book dives deep into manufacturing, processes, and systems that govern the creation of our stuff. It also shows us how the things we buy directly fuel the climate crisis. Annie Leonard goes into the nitty-gritty of the materials economy and the many negative impacts it has on earth and its people. But this isn’t a tale full of doom and gloom: She also shares actionable steps individuals can take to bring about economic justice. She also discusses collective action that can be taken for creating an overall healthy, sustainable community. 

By Annie Leonard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How our obsession with 'stuff' is trashing the planet

Annie Leonard, creator of the internet film sensation 'The Story of Stuff', viewed over 6 million times, offers an astonishing, galvanizing book that tells the story of all the 'stuff' we use every day - where our bottled water, mobile phones and jeans come from, how they're made and distributed, and where they really go when we throw them away.

Our out-of-control consumption habits are killing the planet and threatening our health, but Annie provides hope that change is within reach. Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring, The Story of…


Book cover of Globalization and the Environment: Capitalism, Ecology and Power

Peter M. Haas Author Of Epistemic Communities, Constructivism, and International Environmental Politics

From my list on global environmental governance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been interested in the environment my entire life. I studied international environmental politics in college at the University of Michigan and in graduate school at MIT. I research and taught international environmental politics at the University of Massachusetts for 33 years. I have published extensively on global environmental governance, focusing on the role played by science, international organizations, transnational actors, and governments. I have consulted for the United Nations, and the governments of the USA, France, and Portugal.   

Peter's book list on global environmental governance

Peter M. Haas Why did Peter love this book?

Newell’s Globalization and the Environment provides a thorough overview of the international political economy forces which shape global environmental governance. 

He applies a critical gaze to the roles of capitalism, trade, finance, and multinational corporations, along with a focus on the power exercised by the private sector which makes effective global environmental governance difficult. 

By Peter Newell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Globalization and the Environment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Globalization and the Environment critically explores the actors, politics and processes that govern the relationship between globalization and the environment. Taking key aspects of globalisation in turn - trade, production and finance - the book highlights the relations of power at work that determine whether globalization is managed in a sustainable way and on whose behalf. Each chapter looks in turn at the political ecology of these central pillars of the global economy, reviewing evidence of its impact on diverse ecologies and societies, its governance - the political structures, institutions and policy making processes in place to manage this relationship…


Book cover of Social Sustainability, Past and Future: Undoing Unintended Consequences for the Earth's Survival

Faye Miller Author Of Producing Shared Understanding for Digital and Social Innovation: Bridging Divides with Transdisciplinary Information Experience Concepts and Methods

From my list on social sustainability.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been interested in understanding the role of knowledge in social-ecological systems. After experiencing and surviving a series of geological disasters in childhood, I began writing nonfiction and fiction about the importance of human relations and socio-cultural dimensions of sustainability. Since completing a PhD developing a knowledge ecosystems model for research innovation, I've published widely across areas such as knowledge management, information and computer sciences, higher education, and social policy. I'm a researcher in social technology, a qualified career development practitioner, and educator. I'm currently Director and Principal Consultant at Human Constellation. I've led and partnered on projects with many organizations including Reddit, Twitter, CSIRO, the Australian National University, and Harvard University. 

Faye's book list on social sustainability

Faye Miller Why did Faye love this book?

As a researcher exploring informational aspects of social-ecological systems, I find this comprehensive open access scholarly book on social sustainability endlessly fascinating and thought-provoking. The book’s central theme is the role played by the organization of information processing and its social evolution in complex adaptive systems throughout human history. The main strength of this work is its future perspective in the detailed context of the past, with this line capturing the shift: “for the first time in the history of our species we are faced with a major transition in that domain, from human to electronic information processing.” The author astutely observes and examines the unintended human consequences of information and communication technology advances, including the potential long-term impacts of artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

By Sander Van Der Leeuw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Social Sustainability, Past and Future as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this book, Sander Van der Leeuw examines how the modern world has been caught in a socio-economic dynamic that has generated the conundrum of sustainability. Combining the methods of social science and complex systems science, he explores how western, developed nations have globalized their world view and how that view has led to the sustainability challenges we are now facing. Its central theme is the co-evolution of cognition, demography, social organization, technology and environmental impact. Beginning with the earliest human societies, Van der Leeuw links the distant past with the present in order to demonstrate how the information and…


Book cover of Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change

R Bruce Stephenson Author Of Portland's Good Life: Sustainability and Hope in an American City

From my list on urban design for human health and happiness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fortunate to grow up in a typical 1960s neighborhood where the good life was an option. This was the storyline in The Wonder Years, and it was not just saccharine reminiscence. The physical environment defined sustainability: suburbs marked the distinction between country and city, obesity was not an epidemic, Nature-Deficit Disorder was unknown, most children walked to school, and vehicle miles traveled were 50 percent lower. If home sizes were smaller, face-to-face interaction was more prevalent and despair less common. I’ve worked to extend this privilege of place on sustainable lines because it is essential to solving the existential crises of our time—structural racism and climate change.  

R's book list on urban design for human health and happiness

R Bruce Stephenson Why did R love this book?

“Our cities and towns have been on a high carbon diet—and our metropolitan regions have become obese,Peter Calthorpe states. Plying a generation of path-breaking work, he reveals how shifting to urbanism, “compact and walkable development,” can mitigate climate change and secure health and happiness. The metrics he presents are essential reading. Three types of neighborhoods—urban, compact, and sprawl—are assessed for their impact on land consumption, energy use, infrastructure, and utility cost, vehicle miles traveled, and greenhouse gas emissions. The information delivers a clear message: technology will not save us, but a lifestyle change will. It is “not radical,” Calthorpe writes, “but simply a shift from large lot single family homes” to the “streetcar suburbs” that once flourished in American cities. This seemingly simple solution is a vast undertaking, but the blueprint is fresh, and the next step requires, as Olmsted averred, “the best application of the arts of…

By Peter Calthorpe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the beginning of his career, Peter Calthorpe has been a leading innovator in sustainable building projects, sustainable development, and walkable communities. A leader in the New Urbanism Movement, he is an important resource for solutions to current problems of urban sprawl, suburban isolation, and the related problems of outsized energy consumption and an outsized share of world emissions. According to 'Ecological Urbanism', relentless and thoughtless development have created a way of living that brings us to a point of reckoning regarding energy, climate change and the way we shape our communities. The answer to these crises is 'Sustainable Development',…


Book cover of Thinking in Systems

Paul Gavoni Author Of Quick Wins! Using Behavior Science to Accelerate and Sustain School Improvement

From my list on improve organizational performance in any industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Navigating through schools with profound behavioral challenges firsthand, I've felt the pressing need for a shift. An undeniable call. Enter Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), leadership, and systems thinking. Remember that school everyone had given up on? With the precision of OBM, and the right dose of leadership, I've seen it transform from chaos to cohesion. My role? Think of me as a coach, steering schools towards structured strategies, turning behavioral disruptions into harmonious learning ecosystems. In the intricate dance between behavioral science and leadership, I stand firm, unwavering in my commitment to reshape schools, ensuring they rise from their challenges to become paragons of growth and transformation.

Paul's book list on improve organizational performance in any industry

Paul Gavoni Why did Paul love this book?

This is not just a book, but a compelling primer that remarkably resonates with the principles of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM). The systems thinking approach became instrumental for me, offering a unique framework to dissect and optimize organizational dynamics within schools.

Meadows illuminates the intricate webs of systems failures, a perspective that parallels the OBM approach of viewing organizations holistically rather than in silos. Her insistence on recognizing the interconnectedness of elements, embracing continuous learning, and valuing nonquantifiable aspects are tenets that echo in the world of OBM.

For those of us aiming to enhance organizational effectiveness and foster a proactive culture, Thinking in Systems serves as a masterclass, transcending its primary context to offer universal value to any organization, including schools and districts.

By Donella Meadows,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Thinking in Systems as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic book on systems thinking, with more than half a million copies sold worldwide!

This is a fabulous book. This book opened my mind and reshaped the way I think about investing. Forbes

Perfect for fans of Kate Raworth, Rutger Bregman and Daniel Kahneman!

The co-author of the international best-selling book Limits to Growth, Donella Meadows is widely regarded as a pioneer in the environmental movement and one of the world's foremost systems analysts . Her posthumously published Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in sustainable development, South Africa, and environmentalism?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about sustainable development, South Africa, and environmentalism.

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