100 books like How to Avoid a Climate Disaster

By Bill Gates,

Here are 100 books that How to Avoid a Climate Disaster fans have personally recommended if you like How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Erik D. Curren Author Of The Solar Patriot: A Citizen's Guide to Helping America Win Clean Energy Independence

From my list on solving the climate crisis.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Erik's book list on solving the climate crisis

Erik D. Curren Why did Erik 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…


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

Hans Ohanian Author Of Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius

From my list on the climate-change disaster and how to avoid it.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hans Ohanian is a physicist who has taught at several universities before retiring to engage in full-time research, writing, and acting as reviewer for several scientific journals. In one of his first books he included two chapters on “Energy, entropy, and environment” and “Nuclear energy.” This gave him valuable expertise for reviewing the five great books he recommends here.

Hans' book list on the climate-change disaster and how to avoid it

Hans Ohanian Why did Hans love this book?

This is a pie-in-the-sky 30-year plan for reducing CO2 in the atmosphere by joint worldwide implementation of 80 “solutions.” For each of these, the book proposes a number of giga-tons of CO2 to be removed from the atmosphere and the resulting dollar cost and savings.

I admire Hawken for his quantitative approach and his imaginative list of “solutions.” The numbers reveal the enormity of the drawdown enterprise. Some “solutions” are merely the usual renewables. Some came as a nice surprise to me, such as LED lanterns with batteries and small solar panels for residents in off-the-grid regions.

But I fear many of the solutions will never be rigorously implemented and would have a high policing cost to ensure compliance. For instance, the first solution involves the collection of refrigerant gases from expiring air conditioners. Who will voluntarily pay for this?

By Paul Hawken (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

• New York Times bestseller •

The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world

“At this point in time, the Drawdown book is exactly what is needed; a credible, conservative solution-by-solution narrative that we can do it. Reading it is an effective inoculation against the widespread perception of doom that humanity cannot and will not solve the climate crisis. Reported by-effects include increased determination and a sense of grounded hope.” —Per Espen Stoknes, Author, What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming…


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

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

From my list on climate change today and in the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brian Fagan is a Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of numerous books about archaeology, the past, and climate change for general audiences. I was asked to write my first climate change book (on El Niños) and was astounded to find that few archaeologists or historians focused on the subject, whether ancient or modern. Now that’s all changed, thanks to the revolution in paleoclimatology. I’m convinced that the past has much to tell us about climate change in the future. Apart from that, the subject is fascinating and vital.

Brian's book list on climate change today and in the past

Brian Fagan Why did Brian love 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.

By William Rosen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The incredible true story of how a cycle of rain, cold, disease, and warfare created the worst famine in European history—years before the Black Death, from the author of Justinian's Flea and the forthcoming Miracle Cure

In May 1315, it started to rain. For the seven disastrous years that followed, Europeans would be visited by a series of curses unseen since the third book of Exodus: floods, ice, failures of crops and cattle, and epidemics not just of disease, but of pike, sword, and spear. All told, six million lives—one-eighth of Europe’s total population—would be lost.

With a category-defying knowledge…


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

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

From my list on climate change today and in the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brian Fagan is a Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of numerous books about archaeology, the past, and climate change for general audiences. I was asked to write my first climate change book (on El Niños) and was astounded to find that few archaeologists or historians focused on the subject, whether ancient or modern. Now that’s all changed, thanks to the revolution in paleoclimatology. I’m convinced that the past has much to tell us about climate change in the future. Apart from that, the subject is fascinating and vital.

Brian's book list on climate change today and in the past

Brian Fagan Why did Brian love 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.

By Sam White,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Europeans first arrived in North America, they faced a cold new world. The average global temperature had dropped to lows unseen in millennia, and its effects were stark and unpredictable: blizzards and deep freezes, droughts and famines, and winters when even the Rio Grande froze. This period of climate change has come to be known as the Little Ice Age, and it played a decisive role in Europe's encounter with the lands and peoples of North America. In A Cold Welcome, Sam White tells the story of this crucial period in world history, from Europe's earliest expeditions in an…


Book cover of The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

Caro Feely Author Of Cultivating Change: Regenerating Land and Love in the Age of Climate Crisis

From my list on understanding and acting on climate change.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a chronicler of nature and life in our organic vineyard for nearly two decades. In that time, I have seen the climate crisis accelerate and create increasing weather extremes with devastating consequences for our crops. This led me to dive deep into understanding the climate crisis and how we can solve it. I’ve written four books about the transformation of our organic farm. In my latest, I explore how we are already impacted by climate change and how things like biodiversity can help us address it. If you are unsure of where to start, these books will help you understand why action is necessary and the best way for you to get involved.

Caro's book list on understanding and acting on climate change

Caro Feely Why did Caro love this book?

I opt for this over some other options because of its frightening clarity on the consequences of unabated human-generated greenhouse gas emissions. With business as usual, we are speeding towards a 4-degree Celsius temperature increase by 2100, about one lifetime away. This increase would make large parts of the planet uninhabitable due to rising seas, extreme heat, and more. Already, climate change is taking its toll.

Wallace Wells explores a long list of devastating effects, including heat death, hunger, drowning, unbreathable air, wildfires, disasters that are no longer natural, like outsize tornados and hurricanes, lack of fresh water, dying oceans from acidification, plagues of insects and diseases, economic collapse, climate conflict, and the multiplier effect of these things acting together.

You must antidote this book with books 1 and 2. It is too depressing to read alone. 

By David Wallace-Wells,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Uninhabitable Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**SUNDAY TIMES AND THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER**

'An epoch-defining book' Matt Haig
'If you read just one work of non-fiction this year, it should probably be this' David Sexton, Evening Standard

Selected as a Book of the Year 2019 by the Sunday Times, Spectator and New Statesman
A Waterstones Paperback of the Year and shortlisted for the Foyles Book of the Year 2019
Longlisted for the PEN / E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

It is worse, much worse, than you think.

The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says…


Book cover of The Carbon Footprint of Everything

Hans Ohanian Author Of Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius

From my list on the climate-change disaster and how to avoid it.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hans Ohanian is a physicist who has taught at several universities before retiring to engage in full-time research, writing, and acting as reviewer for several scientific journals. In one of his first books he included two chapters on “Energy, entropy, and environment” and “Nuclear energy.” This gave him valuable expertise for reviewing the five great books he recommends here.

Hans' book list on the climate-change disaster and how to avoid it

Hans Ohanian Why did Hans love this book?

The first edition of this charming book was published in 2011 under the title How Bad are Bananas? For Mike Berners-Lee, this question is about the carbon footprint of bananas, but for me, it evokes the memory of some awful days I once spent on a riverboat on the Amazon with nothing to eat but bananas.

The book is a genuine delight, full of interesting carbon footprints arranged from small to large. Here are a few samples: short e-mail is 0.0004 kg CO2, Google search is 0.0006, grocery paper bag is 0.012, apple is 0.032, banana is 0.110, ice cream is 0.500, driving a midsize car 1 mile is 0.630, energy of 1 kW-hr taken from US electric grid is 0.650… The largest human carbon footprint listed is 56 trillion for all worldwide activity in a year.  

By Mike Berners-Lee,

Why should I read it?

2 authors 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 Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Climate Change

Steve Vigdor Author Of Signatures of the Artist: The Vital Imperfections That Make Our Universe Habitable

From my list on science that should inform public policy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been passionate about science as a way of learning how nature works and approaching truth since I was a pre-teen. After five decades of basic research, teaching, and management in physics, I can distinguish good science from pseudoscience even beyond my own areas of expertise. I am greatly disturbed by attempts to undermine science in public policy-making when its findings conflict with ideology, religious beliefs, or business bottom lines. My passion project, via my blog debunkingdenial.com, is to explain to teachers and the public the underlying science and the flaws in science denial across a wide range of topics at the interface with public policy. 

Steve's book list on science that should inform public policy

Steve Vigdor Why did Steve love this book?

I love this book because its exposé makes me indignant about a handful of rogue scientists who created an industry of science denial in the service of polluting industries and political ideology. They amplified their voices by setting up dozens of “astroturf think tanks” around the U.S. to reinforce their flawed arguments opposing regulation of companies contributing to the dangers of tobacco smoke, acid rain, ozone layer depletion, and climate change.

I see their playbook to sow doubts about well-established science at work today in all sorts of politically motivated science denial and the spread of viral misinformation. 

By Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Merchants of Doubt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers. Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific…


Book cover of Electrify: An Optimist's Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future

Joseph P. O'Connor Author Of Off Grid Solar: A handbook for Photovoltaics with Lead-Acid or Lithium-Ion batteries

From my list on understand future potential of renewable energy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve dedicated my career to renewable energy, because I think it really will save us from climate change disaster. Solar, wind, and advanced energy storage will usher us into the 21st century. I’ve seen many innovative people and companies use technology to create a better future. We still have a long uphill battle to reverse climate change, but we now have the technology that can help save our planet. It is time to implement it. These five books (in very different ways) give us the tools and understanding of how renewable energy will shape the future.

Joseph's book list on understand future potential of renewable energy

Joseph P. O'Connor Why did Joseph love this book?

I’ve been working in the solar and battery industry for over 15 years and I can say firsthand that it is totally feasible to electrify everything in your home and live comfortably. Griffith recommends that you should never buy a new fossil fuel appliance ever again. Switching to an electric vehicle, all-electric kitchen appliances, and heat pumps primes us to have a carbon-free home in the future, even if our electrical usage currently relies on fossil fuels. Appliances with a life of 10 to 30 years will eventually be powered by renewables as they get installed on the grid.

Although this transition won't be easy. Appliance manufacturers need some time to improve the reliability of these new electric appliances. Imagine the frustration after installing an expensive, new heat pump water heater and it breaks after two weeks! In addition, some industries will have a very hard time going fully electric,…

By Saul Griffith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An optimistic--but realistic and feasible--action plan for fighting climate change while creating new jobs and a healthier environment: electrify everything.

Climate change is a planetary emergency. We have to do something now—but what? Saul Griffith has a plan. In Electrify, Griffith lays out a detailed blueprint—optimistic but feasible—for fighting climate change while creating millions of new jobs and a healthier environment. Griffith’s plan can be summed up simply: electrify everything. He explains exactly what it would take to transform our infrastructure, update our grid, and adapt our households to make this possible. Billionaires may contemplate escaping our worn-out planet on…


Book cover of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All

Joseph P. O'Connor Author Of Off Grid Solar: A handbook for Photovoltaics with Lead-Acid or Lithium-Ion batteries

From my list on understand future potential of renewable energy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve dedicated my career to renewable energy, because I think it really will save us from climate change disaster. Solar, wind, and advanced energy storage will usher us into the 21st century. I’ve seen many innovative people and companies use technology to create a better future. We still have a long uphill battle to reverse climate change, but we now have the technology that can help save our planet. It is time to implement it. These five books (in very different ways) give us the tools and understanding of how renewable energy will shape the future.

Joseph's book list on understand future potential of renewable energy

Joseph P. O'Connor Why did Joseph love this book?

The impending doom of climate change has been stressing me out for over a decade. It feels like my son will inherit a world that resembles the dystopian futures of Mad Max or Blade Runner. But the future we’re entering into will be more nuanced than that. 

This book helped me realize that the future may not be as bleak as I had once imagined. The environmental alarmists may have good intentions, but their efforts might be causing more harm than good.

By Michael Shellenberger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Apocalypse Never as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a National Bestseller!

Climate change is real but it's not the end of the world. It is not even our most serious environmental problem.

Michael Shellenberger has been fighting for a greener planet for decades. He helped save the world's last unprotected redwoods. He co-created the predecessor to today's Green New Deal. And he led a successful effort by climate scientists and activists to keep nuclear plants operating, preventing a spike of emissions.

But in 2019, as some claimed "billions of people are going to die," contributing to rising anxiety, including among adolescents, Shellenberger decided that, as a lifelong…


Book cover of Deep Time Reckoning: How Future Thinking Can Help Earth Now

Richard Fisher Author Of The Long View: Why We Need to Transform How the World Sees Time

From my list on to take a longer view of time.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my life, I have been fascinated by humanity’s place within deeper time. As a boy, I collected rocks and fossils, and at university studied geology. The long term has also been a theme running throughout my journalism career at New Scientist and the BBC, and it inspired my research during a recent fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. I believe we need to embrace a deeper view of time if we are to navigate through this century’s grand challenges – and if we can, there’s hope, agency, and possibility to be discovered along the way. 

Richard's book list on to take a longer view of time

Richard Fisher Why did Richard love this book?

Vincent is a social anthropologist who spent a number of years in Finland completing a truly fascinating piece of fieldwork: he studied the people involved in planning the spent nuclear waste depository at Onkala.

This is a huge undertaking and responsibility, requiring its architects to project their minds tens of thousands of years into the future. Through his fieldwork, Vincent drew out various broader lessons for how to think longer-term.

What’s striking about Onkala is that the people involved in the planning are simply normal Finnish people tasked with an extraordinary job. To me that shows that deep time can be accessible to everyone, and indeed this is a theme that Vincent explores himself: seeking out long-term time in everyday experience can be cathartic, he argues.

By Vincent Ialenti,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Deep Time Reckoning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A guide to long-term thinking: how to envision the far future of Earth.

We live on a planet careening toward environmental collapse that will be largely brought about by our own actions. And yet we struggle to grasp the scale of the crisis, barely able to imagine the effects of climate change just ten years from now, let alone the multi-millennial timescales of Earth's past and future life span. In this book, Vincent Ialenti offers a guide for envisioning the planet's far future—to become, as he terms it, more skilled deep time reckoners. The challenge, he says, is to learn…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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