The most recommended climate justice books

Who picked these books? Meet our 4 experts.

4 authors created a book list connected to climate justice, and here are their favorite climate justice books.
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By Danielle Celermajer,

Book cover of Summertime: Reflections on a Vanishing Future

Susan M. Sterett Author Of Litigating the Pandemic: Disaster Cascades in Court

From the list on governing disasters in a changing climate.

Who am I?

I have long been drawn to everyday experiences in courts. Since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, I’ve been writing and teaching about courts, social welfare, and disasters in a changing climate. Following the disasters requires noticing the routine cases filed, not only the notable constitutional claims the United States Supreme Court hears. That can be hard to do, because all the cases filed are not listed in any one place. In the pandemic, my interest in the more ordinary met the databases that people assembled, gathering as best possible the many cases filed about the pandemic.

Susan's book list on governing disasters in a changing climate

Why did Susan love this book?

Fires in Australia in 2019 and 2020 killed billions of animals in a climate disaster. The numbers are impossible to comprehend.

In this beautiful, elegiac book, Dr. Celermajer grieves the losses by telling of one of her beloved pigs. She moves outward to reflect on how individual stories allow us to remember enormous losses. She refuses to tell this story of a climate catastrophe by telling of a few wrongdoers.

In one powerful reflection, she concludes that it is essential if almost impossible to say ‘it is I, it is I’ when speaking of who brought these losses. 

By Danielle Celermajer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

I went and sat alone where Jimmy has been lying. It is way down in the bush. The light is soft, the air and the earth are cool, and the smell is of leaves and the river. I cannot presume to know what he is doing when he lies here, but it seems that he is taking himself back to an ecology not wrought by the terror of the fires, not fuelled by our violence on the earth. He is letting another earth heal him.

Philosopher Danielle Celermajer’s story of Jimmy the pig caught the world’s attention during the Black…

Hope Matters

By Elin Kelsey,

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 the list on keeping cool on a warming planet.

Who am I?

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

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 Stop Saving the Planet!: An Environmentalist Manifesto

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

From the list 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.

Erik's book list on solving the climate crisis

Why did Erik 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…