The best climate justice books

1 authors have picked their favorite books about climate justice and why they recommend each book.

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Summertime

By Danielle Celermajer,

Book cover of Summertime: Reflections on a Vanishing Future

I’ve been researching climate justice for years, but it took Celermajer’s exquisite, heart-breaking prose to bring home to me the devastation wrought by human-caused climate change on non-human animals. She tells the story of the Australian summer of bushfires, unflinchingly, as it devastated her own community of rescue animals, and the wildlife around them. Witnessing the searing grief of her pig, Jimmy, for his lost companion, we come to understand our commonality with other animalsand how much, beyond ourselves, is truly at stake.

Summertime

By Danielle Celermajer,

Why should I read it?

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


Who am I?

I’m a philosopher and former journalist. I’ve been teaching, writing, and thinking about climate justice for nearly two decades. Ever more frustrated by the gulf between what’s morally and scientifically imperative, and what governments are prepared to do, I determined to speak (and listen) to a wider audience than my academic bubble. Climate change is a moral emergency, not just a technical, scientific, economic, or political one. The more people who recognise that, the better. As a writer, I couldn’t have managed without the experiences and wisdom of others, personal, scholarly, or professional. These books, among many others, have moved me and helped me to figure out a way forward.


I wrote...

What Climate Justice Means and Why We Should Care

By Elizabeth Cripps,

Book cover of What Climate Justice Means and Why We Should Care

What is my book about?

We owe it to our fellow humans, and other species, to save them from the catastrophic harm caused by climate change. This book explains why. It uses clear reasoning and poignant examples, starting with irrefutable science and uncontroversial moral rules. It unravels the legacy of colonialism and entrenched racism, and exposes the way we live now as fundamentally unjust. 

Then it asks where we go from here. Who should pay the bill for climate action? Who must have a say? How can we hold multinational companies, organisations—even nations—to account? And what should each of us do now? Recognise climate justice as the fundamental wrong it is, and climate activism is a moral duty, not a political choice.

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

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."

Stop Saving the Planet!

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…


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!

Hope Matters

By Elin Kelsey,

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

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.

Hope Matters

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.…

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.


I wrote...

Book cover of A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet

What is my book about?

A youth movement is reenergizing global environmental activism. The “climate generation”—late millennials and iGen, or Generation Z—is demanding that policymakers and government leaders take immediate action to address the dire outcomes predicted by climate science. Those inheriting our planet’s environmental problems expect to encounter challenges, but they may not have the skills to grapple with the feelings of powerlessness and despair that may arise when they confront this seemingly intractable situation.

Drawing on a decade of experience leading and teaching in college environmental studies programs, Sarah Jaquette Ray has created an “existential tool kit” for the climate generation. Combining insights from psychology, sociology, social movements, mindfulness, and the environmental humanities, Ray explains why and how we need to let go of eco-guilt, resist burnout, and cultivate resilience while advocating for climate justice.

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