The best books about environmental degradation

Who picked these books? Meet our 38 experts.

38 authors created a book list connected to environmental degradation, and here are their favorite environmental degradation books.
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What type of environmental degradation book?


The Dead Wander in the Desert

By Rollan Seisenbayev, John Farndon (translator), Olga Nakston (translator)

Book cover of The Dead Wander in the Desert

Sophie Ibbotson Author Of Uzbekistan

From the list on to discover the Silk Road.

Who am I?

When I first visited Central Asia in 2008, little did I know that it would become the focus of my life and work. I now advise the World Bank and national governments on economic development, with a particular focus on tourism, and I’m the Chairman of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. I am Uzbekistan’s Ambassador for Tourism, a co-founder of the Silk Road Literary Festival, and I’ve written and updated guidebooks to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and the Silk Road.

Sophie's book list on to discover the Silk Road

Discover why each book is one of Sophie's favorite books.

Why did Sophie love this book?

The shrinking of the Aral Sea is arguably the greatest manmade environmental disaster of the 20th century. Kazakh writer Rollan Seisenbayev uses the catastrophe as the backdrop for his novel, exploring the impact on local people through the eyes of a fisherman and his son who are confronted not only with the vanishing sea but as a result also the disappearance of their livelihood and future. The Dead Wander in the Desert was long-listed for the PEN Translation Prize and deserves to be much more widely read. 

By Rollan Seisenbayev, John Farndon (translator), Olga Nakston (translator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Dead Wander in the Desert as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Longlisted for the PEN Translation Prize.

From Kazakhstan's most celebrated author comes his powerful and timely English-language debut about a fisherman's struggle to save the Aral Sea, and its way of life, from man-made ecological disaster.

Unfolding on the vast grasslands of the steppes of Kazakhstan before its independence from the USSR, this haunting novel limns the struggles of the world through the eyes of Nasyr, a simple fisherman and village elder, and his resolute son, Kakharman. Both father and son confront the terrible future that is coming to the poisoned Aral Sea.

Once the fourth-largest lake on earth, it…

Book cover of How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature

Nick Meynen Author Of Frontlines: Stories of Global Environmental Justice

From the list on the state of the world we live in.

Who am I?

Walking the rims of remote crater lakes in Uganda to map a tiny piece of terra incognita was a big childhood dream coming true. I then went from a geography master to studies of conflicts, development & journalism. This brought me to the DRC, India, and Nepal, where I covered war, aid, and revolution. Since 2009 I combine professional environmentalism with freelance journalism, publishing books, and giving lectures. With a great global team of researchers and activists I co-created the largest database of environmental conflicts in the world, which doubled as fieldwork for my book Frontlines.

Nick's book list on the state of the world we live in

Discover why each book is one of Nick's favorite books.

Why did Nick love this book?

Politics, nature, society, identity, money, work, energy...Monbiot doesn't only touch a whole lot, I almost always agree with him. This selection of his best essays is like a box full of brain candy and one should treat it accordingly: do not swallow it all in one go. In one of his small-group talking rounds right after a big lecture, I witnessed his never appease-able hunger to bounce ideas off, get to the bottom of things, identify flaws in assumptions that most of us didn't even know we had. Monbiot doesn't allow social or political conventions to get in his way. His goal is clear: unpacking the reality of the world of today, no matter how dark this needs to be. 

By George Monbiot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Did We Get Into This Mess? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leading political and environmental commentator on where we have gone wrong, and what to do about it " Without countervailing voices, naming and challenging power, political freedom withers and dies. Without countervailing voices, a better world can never materialise. Without countervailing voices, wells will still be dug and bridges will still be built, but only for the few. Food will still be grown, but it will not reach the mouths of the poor. New medicines will be developed, but they will be inaccessible to many of those in need. " George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent,…

Facing the Climate Emergency

By Margaret Klein Salamon, Molly Gage,

Book cover of Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth

Molly Young Brown Author Of Growing Whole: Self-Realization for the Great Turning

From the list on building resilience in hard times.

Who am I?

As a teacher, counselor, and author, I aspire to support people’s personal and spiritual unfolding for the benefit of all life. I studied psychosynthesis with its founder, Roberto Assagioli, and explored peace psychology and eco-psychology. During my Masters of Divinity studies in the 1990’s, I began working with Joanna Macy, which led to our co-authoring Coming Back to Life and focused my professional life on the Work That Reconnects. The challenges of climate disruption, systemic racism, and economic inequity and instability require us all to act from our most mature, creative, and loving dimensions, which I believe these books can help engender.

Molly's book list on building resilience in hard times

Discover why each book is one of Molly's favorite books.

Why did Molly love this book?

I found this book to be an inspiring and practical self-help book for the 21st century, challenging us to overcome denial about the global climate emergency and honor our grief, fear, and anger, so we can better take part in the urgently needed transformation of our society and economy.

By Margaret Klein Salamon, Molly Gage,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Face the truth of climate change, accept your fears, and become the hero that humanity needs.

Facing the Climate Emergency gives people the tools to confront the climate emergency, face their negative emotions, and channel them into protecting humanity and the natural world.

As the climate crisis accelerates toward the collapse of civilization and the natural world, people everywhere are feeling deep pain about ecological destruction and their role in it. Yet we are often paralyzed by fear. Help is at hand.

Drawing on facts about the climate, tenets of psychological theory, information about the climate emergency movement and elements…

Choice Over Time

By George Loewenstein (editor), Jon Elster (editor),

Book cover of Choice Over Time

Chrisoula Andreou Author Of Choosing Well: The Good, the Bad, and the Trivial

From the list on essay collections wth themes being tempted or torn.

Who am I?

I’ve been drawn to philosophical inquiry for as long as I can remember (even before knowing philosophy was a thing, which I didn’t realize until after high school). My most enduring interest is in inquiry concerning rationality and irrationality. My early studies focused on the relationship between morality and rationality. My current research focuses on choice situations and preference structures that can interfere with choosing well by prompting self-defeating patterns of choice. The relevant patterns are associated with being tempted or torn and include cases of individual and collective procrastination. Though not a cure-all, understanding rationality’s guidance can, I think, highlight certain pitfalls in life and help us avoid them.  

Chrisoula's book list on essay collections wth themes being tempted or torn

Discover why each book is one of Chrisoula's favorite books.

Why did Chrisoula love this book?

This collection considers an array of important issues associated with choice over time, both theoretical and practical.

Some highlights include: enlightening and nuanced discussion of the idea that we discount future benefits in a way that leads to fragmentation and predictable failures to follow through on prudent plans; the application of theoretical models of choice toward illuminating phenomena such as addiction and savings behavior; and insights regarding the nature of self-control.

Notably, this is an interdisciplinary volume in which philosophical arguments are intertwined with psychological, economic, and experimental research—an approach that I find extremely fruitful and that highlights that powerful philosophical arguments are not limited to the works of self-proclaimed philosophers.    

By George Loewenstein (editor), Jon Elster (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Many of our most urgent national problems suggest a widespread lack of concern for the future. Alarming economic conditions, such as low national savings rates, declining corporate investment in long-term capital projects, and ballooning private and public debt are matched by such social ills as diminished educational achievement, environmental degradation, and high rates of infant mortality, crime, and teenage pregnancy. At the heart of all these troubles lies an important behavioral phenomenon: in the role of consumer, manager, voter, student, or parent, many Americans choose inferior but immediate rewards over greater long-term benefits. Choice Over Time offers a rich sampling…


By Esther Figueroa,

Book cover of Limbo: A Novel about Jamaica

Alejandra Bronfman Author Of On the Move: The Caribbean Since 1989

From the list on to not feel like a dumb tourist in the Caribbean.

Who am I?

I have been doing research in the Caribbean for twenty-five years. The region is diverse and magnificent. Caribbean people have sought creative solutions for racial inequality, climate and sustainability, media literacy and information, women’s and family issues. The transnational connections with the US are complex and wide-ranging, and knowing more about this region is an urgent matter. My own work has focused on race and social science, mobility and inequality, and sound and media, all as ways of grappling with colonial legacies and their impact on the daily lives of people who live in this region. 

Alejandra's book list on to not feel like a dumb tourist in the Caribbean

Discover why each book is one of Alejandra's favorite books.

Why did Alejandra love this book?

Who thought the devastation of the environment in the interest of mining and development would be a funny, lyrical love story? For Flora Smith, scientist and head of a small environmental NGO, her native Jamaica is filled with family, lovers, friends, and enemies. She is deeply connected to her surroundings and finds ways to immerse herself in the landscape, wildlife, human relationships, and embodied pleasure when all else fails. 

By Esther Figueroa,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Flora Smith, Jamaican scientist and head of tiny NGO Environment Now, dedicates her life to getting Jamaicans to care about the natural environment. At the opening of Limbo, Flora is confronted by the nagging reality of not having enough money to keep her organization afloat. When sand is stolen from a resort development owned by a wealthy donor, she becomes embroiled in corrupt politics, dirty money, and a murder. In Jamaica, the land of "No problem, mon," everything is known but off the record. Can Flora get anyone to be held accountable? Can she find solutions for any of Jamaica's…


By Lance H. Gunderson (editor), C. S. Holling (editor),

Book cover of Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems

A.H. Hay Author Of Before the Storm: Exploring Protection Planning and Security Integration

From the list on operational resilience and why it's important.

Who am I?

I practised risk, resilience, and protection of infrastructure systems for 35 years. Mid-career, I became frustrated that we could deliver highly successful projects yet didn't deliver their ultimate purpose. This difference is particularly pronounced in war zones and the developing world, where most of my work has been. My research at the University challenged what I knew: it was as if someone had taken my heuristic understanding and cast the components like a pack of cards into the wind. I have shared some highlights in my journey to gather the cards. I hope you like them.

A.H.'s book list on operational resilience and why it's important

Discover why each book is one of A.H.'s favorite books.

Why did A.H. love this book?

Not easy reading, it may well slide down your "must read" list. However, resilience is an ecological concept. C.S. Holling, co-author of Panarky, coined the term resilience in a 1973 ecological science paper. The practical application of resilience, specifically operational resilience, and its relationship to adaptation and protection, has evolved greatly over the last 20 years. Nonetheless, Panarchy gets to the raw ingredients of these multi-domain ideas. It remains an invaluable touchstone for those exploring nature-based solutions as tools of protection and resilience planning for disaster risk reduction. It is a fascinating reminder of how quickly the world and emerging practices can change, yet the fundamental concepts endure. It reminds me of the essential value of books and how reading and internalizing an argument is so much more intellectually nourishing than today's tendency to graze information.

By Lance H. Gunderson (editor), C. S. Holling (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The book examines theories (models) of how systems (those of humans, nature, and combined humannatural systems) function, and attempts to understand those theories and how they can help researchers develop effective institutions and policies for environmental management. The fundamental question this book asks is whether or not it is possible to get beyond seeing environment as a sub-component of social systems, and society as a sub-component of ecological systems, that is, to understand human-environment interactions as their own unique system. After examining the similarities and differences among human and natural systems, as well as the means by which they can…

Book cover of The Ones We're Meant to Find

Lauren Yero Author Of Under This Forgetful Sky

From the list on seeking hope after the end of the world.

Who am I?

Can stories bring a human scale to something as all-encompassing as climate change? In 2011, I began an MA in Literature and Environment with this question weighing on my mind. I finished my degree two years later with a draft of my debut novel, Under This Forgetful Sky. I’ve come to understand the climate crisis, in many ways, as a crisis of imagination. Its enormity tests the limits of the imaginable. What if the world as we know it ends? What would life look like on the other side? The books on this list reckon with the fears these questions bring while also gesturing beautifully, unsentimentally, courageously toward hope. 

Lauren's book list on seeking hope after the end of the world

Discover why each book is one of Lauren's favorite books.

Why did Lauren love this book?

The Ones We’re Meant to Find is a young adult dystopian eco-thriller that tells the story of two sisters across alternating timelines.

One timeline follows Cee, who wakes up one day colorblind and devoid of memories, stranded on a deserted island. The other timeline follows Kasey as she tries to understand her sister’s disappearance from within the rank-based eco-city she calls home (a city that rewards citizens who demand the least of the Earth’s dwindling resources).

Though the novel takes impending ecological doom as its ever-present backdrop, it tells a complex, surprising, human story about the quest for meaning and responsibility in an intricately interconnected world.

By Joan He,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Ones We're Meant to Find as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Perfect for fans of Marie Lu and E. Lockhart, The Ones We're Meant to Find is a twisty YA sci-fi that follows the story of two sisters, separated by an ocean, desperately trying to find each other in a climate-ravaged future.
Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay, and it's up to Cee to cross the ocean and find her.…

How Beautiful We Were

By Imbolo Mbue,

Book cover of How Beautiful We Were

Sari Fordham Author Of Wait for God to Notice

From the list on by African women.

Who am I?

I grew up in Uganda and Kenya, and when I moved to the United States, I felt separated from myself. Learning how to be American was exhausting and so I disappeared into books. I’m now more settled, but I still travel through fiction. These days, I am reading fiction by African women. You should be, too! There is so much stunning literature out there. These five books are just the beginning, but they are novels I can’t stop thinking about.

Sari's book list on by African women

Discover why each book is one of Sari's favorite books.

Why did Sari love this book?

What does environmental racism look like? Read How Beautiful We Were by Imobolo Mbue for a vital, searing answer. An American oil company is destroying the land and water of the fictional village of Kosawa. Children are dying. The company does this because they can, spouting only empty words about restitution. The novel narrates the village’s fight back, using alternating points of view to electric, pulsing effect.

By Imbolo Mbue,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked How Beautiful We Were as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Sweeping and quietly devastating' New York Times
'A David and Goliath story for our times' O, the Oprah Magazine

Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, this is the story of a people living in fear amidst environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of clean-up and financial reparations are made - and broken. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. But it will come at a steep price - one which generation after generation…


By Charles Eisenstein,

Book cover of Climate: A New Story

Naira de Gracia Author Of The Last Cold Place: A Field Season Studying Penguins in Antarctica

From the list on climate change and our place in nature.

Who am I?

I grew up moving around through so many different countries that as an adult I became fascinated with the impact cultural lenses have on the way we think about nature and our place in the world. As a biologist, I’ve found that science is not as objective as it seems, and that my understanding is always deepened by a human context—be it personal, political or cultural. As a young adult, I tried to strip my world of the human context entirelyI worked in many remote field camps as a young adult and wrote a book about my experience in Antarctica.

Naira's book list on climate change and our place in nature

Discover why each book is one of Naira's favorite books.

Why did Naira love this book?

This book shifted the way I think about climate change and made me appreciate a renewed focus on the biodiversity crisis, which is just as urgent.

Eisenstein presents alternative ways of framing and thinking about these issues and always leaves you with something to think about. One small caveat is that there is some science skepticism in here and some less-than-stellar ideas—you’ll just have to use your own judgments.

Eisenstein’s books are always a mixed bag, but I really felt like most of this one resonated with me and challenged me in all the right ways.

By Charles Eisenstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A stirring case for a wholesale reimagining of the framing, tactics, and goals we employ in our journey to heal from ecological destruction
With research and insight, Charles Eisenstein details how the quantification of the natural world leads to a lack of integration and our “fight” mentality. With an entire chapter unpacking the climate change denier’s point of view, he advocates for expanding our exclusive focus on carbon emissions to see the broader picture beyond our short-sighted and incomplete approach. The rivers, forests, and creatures of the natural and material world are sacred and valuable in their own right—not simply…

The Ecological Rift

By Brett Clark, Richard York, John Bellamy Foster

Book cover of The Ecological Rift: Capitalism's War on the Earth

David Schweickart Author Of After Capitalism

From the list on climate change and seeing it through new eyes.

Who am I?

I have a certain degree of scientific expertise deriving from the education leading to my Ph.D. in mathematics and a deep interest in ethical issues, which led to my pursuing a second Ph.D. in philosophy. I am passionate about the issue of climate change, because (among other reasons) I have four grandchildren who will be living in the new world that is being created now. As I often said to my students during my last few years of teaching, “You are living at the time when the most momentous event in human history is unfolding. Historians of the future—if there are any remaining—will write extensively about this period, about what happened and why, about what those of us alive today did or did not do.”

David's book list on climate change and seeing it through new eyes

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

I was drawn to this powerful, contemporary, Marxian analysis, which fits so well with After Capitalism. It opens with a section on “Capitalism and Unsustainable Development,” followed by “Ecological Paradoxes,” then “Dialectical Ecology,” (which includes evidence of Marx’s own concern with what we now call “ecology”). It concludes with “Ways Out.” It’s a long read, but well worth the effort.

By Brett Clark, Richard York, John Bellamy Foster

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Humanity in the twenty-first century is facing what might be described as its ultimate environmental catastrophe: the destruction of the climate that has nurtured human civilization and with it the basis of life on earth as we know it. All ecosystems on the planet are now in decline. Enormous rifts have been driven through the delicate fabric of the biosphere. The economy and the earth are headed for a fateful collision—if we don’t alter course.
In The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth environmental sociologists John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York offer a radical assessment of both…

The Uninhabitable Earth

By David Wallace-Wells,

Book cover of The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

Lewis H. Ziska Author Of Greenhouse Planet: How Rising CO2 Changes Plants and Life as We Know It

From the list on climate and plants, from forests to farms.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated with plants. Their shapes, their colors, their beauty, even the plants that are known to be harmful to humans (poison ivy, puncture vine) had appeal to me. Plants are, by far, the most prolific, the biggest, the oldest, the most complex of organisms. And yet, as a pre-med student, classes on botany were never recommended. Sad. These books delve into the complexity, the wonder of plants, and how they interact with humans. From the sheer poetic pronouncements of Michael Pollan to the straightforward prose of Richard Manning, here is a chance to see the breadth and depth; our rewards and struggles with the plant kingdom.  

Lewis' book list on climate and plants, from forests to farms

Discover why each book is one of Lewis' favorite books.

Why did Lewis love this book?

A well-written erudite work that explores all aspects of civilization relative to the degree and rate of global warming. It illustrates a broad and compelling narrative of all the plant aspects, from Hunger to Policy. It uses language that is incredibly descriptive, and very relatable to bring the impact of climate change home to readers who may be unfamiliar with all of the complexities of climate change.

By David Wallace-Wells,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


'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…

Ethics and Capitalism

By John Douglas Bishop (editor),

Book cover of Ethics and Capitalism

Kleio Akrivou Author Of The Challenges of Capitalism for Virtue Ethics and the Common Good: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

From the list on capitalism, ethics, and the self.

Who am I?

I have cross-disciplinary expertise (ethics and moral philosophy, philosophical anthropology and moral psychology), and my work focuses on personalist virtue ethics, moral human development, and the links between ethics and economics; I am a person who loves nature and animals, and I’m thrilled to do good work. I was educated and worked internationally, with academic degrees in different Europe countries and the USA, and 30 years of work and academic experience in Europe, the USA, and SE Asia. I live with my family near London, U.K.. I am passionate about enabling a more sustainable society that however remains rooted in human dignity and avoids instrumentalizing the person

Kleio's book list on capitalism, ethics, and the self

Discover why each book is one of Kleio's favorite books.

Why did Kleio love this book?

I like that the economic advantages of capitalism have not been underestimated, but also that its social, economic failures (corruption, exclusion/poverty, harmfulness and hubristic behaviours, impersonalism, and environmental degradation).

A solution offered is balancing justice and productivity, is trying to fix capitalism without alienating its elites. 

By John Douglas Bishop (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Despite the great economic advantage of capitalism - that it is an efficient system of production and distribution - capitalist societies struggle with its by-products of poverty, exclusion, corruption, and environmental destruction. The essays in "Ethics and Capitalism" address the question of ensuring ethical and just societies within a capitalist system without sacrificing productivity. The introductory essay is a guide to the issues in the emerging field of ethics and capitalism, and refers to recent contributions from several disciplines. The collection as a whole evaluates the morality of capitalism by looking at its foundation in property theory, its relationship to…


By Michael Christie,

Book cover of Greenwood

Karen Hofmann Author Of What Is Going to Happen Next

From the list on families and growing up in rural British Columbia.

Who am I?

I grew up in a rural community and have lived most of my adult life in a small city in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. I’m fascinated with West Coast culture, particularly the Canadian version of it, which is connected to the environment and outdoors, shaped by more recent immigration and its sense of distance and disconnect from the country’s capital and economic and social centres, and informed by a more gentle climate. Rural west coast culture is especially rich in iconoclasts, those who live outside the norm, and I’ve explored these sorts of characters in all four of my novels and my short story collection.

Karen's book list on families and growing up in rural British Columbia

Discover why each book is one of Karen's favorite books.

Why did Karen love this book?

I love generational sagas, and this novel explores several generations of the Greenwood family, from the 1930s into the future. Set primarily on a remote island off the coast of British Columbia, Greenwood explores the passions and bonds and stories that arc through families, as well as the fate and interconnectedness of the West Coast forests, their destroyers and their preservers. The novel reminded me of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and of Richard Powers’ The Overstory, and maybe speaks even more truly and uniquely. Michael Christie is an insightful and gifted storyteller.

By Michael Christie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The truth is that all family lines, from the highest to the lowest, originate somewhere, on some particular day. Even the grandest trees must've once been seeds spun helpless on the wind, and then just meek saplings nosing up from the soil.'

2038. On a remote island off the Pacific coast of British Columbia stands the Greenwood Arboreal Cathedral, one of the world's last forests. Wealthy tourists flock from all corners of the dust-choked globe to see the spectacle and remember what once was. But even as they breathe in the fresh air and pose for photographs amidst the greenery,…


By Bill McKibben,

Book cover of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

Bruce E. Johansen Author Of Nationalism vs. Nature: Warming and War

From the list on climate change and how to deal with it.

Who am I?

I retired in 2019 after 38 years of teaching journalism,  environmental studies, and Native American Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. About half of my employment time was set aside for writing and editing as part of several endowed professorships I held sequentially between 1990 and 2018. After 2000, climate change (global warming) became my lead focus because of the urgency of the issue and the fact that it affects everyone on Earth. As of 2023, I have written and published 56 books, with about one-third of them on global warming. I have had an intense interest in weather and climate all my life.

Bruce's book list on climate change and how to deal with it

Discover why each book is one of Bruce's favorite books.

Why did Bruce love this book?

Very probably the world’s foremost organizer against global warming, Bill McKibben played a leading role in founding, a worldwide citizen-based, grass-roots solution for climate changes that already are well underway.

An eloquent writer and author of several other books that focus on humankind’s debt to nature, his role as an author on natural issues began in 1989 with The End of Nature. In October, 2009, McKibben took a leading role in organizing what CNN called “The most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.”  

By Bill McKibben,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Twenty years ago, with "The End of Nature", Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth. That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A…

The Mushroom at the End of the World

By Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing,

Book cover of The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins

Diana E. Marsh Author Of Extinct Monsters to Deep Time: Conflict, Compromise, and the Making of Smithsonian's Fossil Halls

From the list on where authors infiltrate a wild community.

Who am I?

I’m a nerd about all things museums and archives, which I teach and write about. I was trained as an anthropologist, and got really interested in using anthropology’s methods (namely ethnography) to do long-term, embedded, deep-dive fieldwork in bureaucratic settings, like big museums. I love reading books by journalists, economists, historians, and others who do ethnography and really embed themselves in different communities, places, and cultures.

Diana's book list on where authors infiltrate a wild community

Discover why each book is one of Diana's favorite books.

Why did Diana love this book?

This is an academic book, but it's beautifully written, and not too, too jargony. Tsing does a kind of commodity ethnography, embedding herself in multiple parts of the lifecycle of the Matsutake Mushroom trade, while depicting the worlds of pickers, restauranteurs, mushroom traders and auctioneers, nature guides, and more. She also weaves in a critique of capitalist markets in which these kinds of natural entities now are embedded, which I dig! 

By Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Mushroom at the End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What a rare mushroom can teach us about sustaining life on a fragile planet

Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world-and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the Northern Hemisphere. Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing's account of these sought-after fungi offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: What manages to live in the ruins we have made? The Mushroom at the End of the World explores the unexpected corners of matsutake commerce, where we encounter Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions lead us into…

What Money Can't Buy

By Michael J Sandel,

Book cover of What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

Maurizio Pugno Author Of Well-being and Growth in Advanced Economies: The Need to Prioritise Human Development

From the list on human development in advanced economies.

Who am I?

'Human development' indicates an advancement that I would like to find in any kind of progress. Different disciplines define 'human development' in different ways, but my research is to identify the common core in order to link both the individual- with the social dimension, and natural evolution with changes due to personal choices and policies. Through such research, I have been able to take a new perspective on my academic subjects: economic growth and happiness. My belief is that it is possible to make human development, economic growth, and happiness go together. But unfortunately, this is not what is occurring, and understanding why is key.

Maurizio's book list on human development in advanced economies

Discover why each book is one of Maurizio's favorite books.

Why did Maurizio love this book?

This book is one of the most effective attacks against the market tendency to commercialize any good, ending up corroding what is most intrinsically human in social relationships and in people's intimate lives.

The effectiveness of the book lies in the examples, ranging from the sale of kidneys to paying someone to be substituted in the queue.

The most important lesson of the book is that market-driven economic growth has not only transformed the environment to make our lives more comfortable, thus hitting the limit in environmental degradation, but it has also transformed ourselves, because it has made us more consumers and less human.

This silent transformation - the philosopher Sandel teaches us - must be limited.

By Michael J Sandel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Money Can't Buy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In What Money Can't Buy, renowned political philosopher Michael J. Sandel rethinks the role that markets and money should play in our society.

Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we put a price on human life to decide how much pollution to allow? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars, outsourcing inmates to for-profit prisons, auctioning admission to elite universities, or selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay?

In his New York Times bestseller What Money…


By Charlotte McConaghy,

Book cover of Migrations

Sandra K. Barnidge Author Of Everything Change: An Anthology of Climate Fiction

From the list on climate change that pull no punches.

Who am I?

I’m a science communicator turned fiction writer with a special interest in the impact of environmental crises on small towns and overlooked places. My short fiction has appeared in various journals, including The Fiddlehead, Nimrod, Barren, and Reckon Review. I’m currently writing a novel about hurricane chasers along the Gulf Coast.

Sandra's book list on climate change that pull no punches

Discover why each book is one of Sandra's favorite books.

Why did Sandra love this book?

Free-spirited Franny Lynch has spent a lifetime wandering away from those she loves — and circling back again and again. A mysterious tragedy prompts her to undertake the biggest journey of all when she joins the crew of the struggling Saghani, one of the last commercial fishing vessels still operating in the midst of the long-predicted global mass extinction of animals on land and in the oceans. Franny convinces the skeptical and superstitious captain to help her track the last migration of Arctic terns to Antarctica, the longest-known bird migration in the world. Franny’s mercurial nature elegantly unfolds over the course of the story, and the devastating ending offers only as much hope as we deserve about our lonely future on this planet.

By Charlotte McConaghy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'An extraordinary novel... as beautiful and as wrenching as anything I've ever read' Emily St. John Mandel

A dark past. An impossible journey. The will to survive.

Franny Stone is determined to go to the end of the earth, following the last of the Arctic terns on what may be their final migration to Antarctica.

As animal populations plummet, Franny talks her way onto one of the few remaining boats heading south. But as she and the eccentric crew travel further from shore and safety, the dark secrets of Franny's life begin to unspool.

Haunted by love and violence, Franny…


By Edward O. Wilson,

Book cover of Half-Earth

Dave Goulson Author Of The Garden Jungle

From the list on rewilding and the biodiversity crisis.

Who am I?

I have loved insects and other wildlife for all of my life. I am now a professor of Biology at the University of Sussex, UK, specializing in bee ecology. I have published more than 400 scientific articles on the ecology and conservation of bumblebees and other insects, plus seven books, including the Sunday Times bestsellers A Sting in the Tale (2013), The Garden Jungle (2019), and Silent Earth (2021). They’ve been translated into 20 languages and sold over half a million copies. I also founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006, a charity that has grown to 12,000 members. 

Dave's book list on rewilding and the biodiversity crisis

Discover why each book is one of Dave's favorite books.

Why did Dave love this book?

EO Wilson died just a few weeks ago, at the age of 92. It was a sad day for me, as he has always been one of my great heroes. “E.O.” was a fantastic scientist, a world authority on ants, and sometimes known as the “father of biodiversity”. In this book, he argues that we have no right to drive millions of species extinct and that our own future depends upon setting aside half the Earth for nature.    

By Edward O. Wilson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Half-Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

History is not a prerogative of the human species, Edward O. Wilson declares in Half-Earth. Demonstrating that we blindly ignore the histories of millions of other species, Wilson warns us that a point of no return is imminent. Refusing to believe that our extinction is predetermined, Wilson has written Half-Earth as a cri de coeur, proposing that the only solution to our impending "Sixth Extinction" is to increase the area of natural reserves to half the surface of the earth. Half-Earth is a resounding conclusion to the best-selling trilogy begun by the "splendid" (Financial Times) The Social Conquest of Earth…

The Ecology of War in China

By Micah S. Muscolino,

Book cover of The Ecology of War in China: Henan Province, the Yellow River, and Beyond, 1938-1950

Simo Laakkonen Author Of The Long Shadows: A Global Environmental History of the Second World War

From the list on the environmental history of war.

Who am I?

Simo Laakkonen is director of Degree Program in Digital Culture, Landscape and Cultural Heritage, University of Turku, Finland. He is an environmental historian who has specialized among other things on the global environmental history of warfare during Industrial Age. He has coedited on this theme two special issues and three books, the latest one is The Resilient City in World War II: Urban Environmental Histories. He has selected five books that cover some main phases of the long environmental history of wars and mass violence.

Simo's book list on the environmental history of war

Discover why each book is one of Simo's favorite books.

Why did Simo love this book?

Historiography of the Second World War has traditionally focused on European powers and/or the United States while such major actors as the Soviet Union and China have been largely neglected.

Dr. Muscolino’s book approaches the long Second World War in China by examining the interplay between landscapes, rural society, and “hydraulic warfare” in Henan Province in the central part of the country.

Here the Nationalist government in 1938 deliberately destroyed a dam in the Yellow River, which caused a catastrophic flood and famine that had long socioenvironmental percussions in Chinese society until Mao’s era.  

By Micah S. Muscolino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ecology of War in China as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book explores the interplay between war and environment in Henan Province, a hotly contested frontline territory that endured massive environmental destruction and human disruption during the conflict between China and Japan during World War II. In a desperate attempt to block Japan's military advance, Chinese Nationalist armies under Chiang Kai-shek broke the Yellow River's dikes in Henan in June 1938, resulting in devastating floods that persisted until after the war's end. Greater catastrophe struck Henan in 1942-3, when famine took some two million lives and displaced millions more. Focusing on these war-induced disasters and their aftermath, this book conceptualizes…

Snowflake, AZ

By Marcus Sedgwick,

Book cover of Snowflake, AZ

Anna Lyndsey Author Of Girl in the Dark: A Memoir of a Life Without Light

From the list on conditions which people say don’t exist but do.

Who am I?

I used to be part of the establishment, working in Whitehall for the UK government. Then I became the ultimate outsider, with light sensitivity so extreme that many people dismissed it as “all in my head.” Years on, turns out I've had a physical illness all along – but one only recently recognised. Now I know what I’m dealing with (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome), I’m much better.  My journey’s made me fascinated by the way establishments of all kinds – corporate, political, scientific – react to new uncomfortable truths, and how often they’ll opt for gaslighting and "psychological" labels to keep those truths at bay.  

Anna's book list on conditions which people say don’t exist but do

Discover why each book is one of Anna's favorite books.

Why did Anna love this book?

A totally distinctive coming-of-age novel, set in a desert community where people with environmental illnesses are forced to live, far away from the everyday chemicals and wireless gadgets which make them sick. The author gets so much right about the emotional fallout of this falling away from the normal: the ache that never quite goes for the old life that has been lost; the new bonds that form between disparate characters finding themselves in the same boat; the corrosive extra layer of societal contempt and disbelief (“of course it’s all in the mind…”). which makes these already devastating illnesses even harder to bear - and the lurking temptation of suicide. I gasped with recognition on almost every page. It’s a YA novel, but who cares?

By Marcus Sedgwick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ash boards a Greyhound bus heading to the place where Bly was last seen: Snowflake, Arizona. Six thousand feet up in the wide red desert, Ash meets Mona, her dog, her goat, and her neighbors, and finds stepbrother Bly, too.

In their ramshackle homes, the walls lined with tinfoil, almost all the residents of Snowflake are sick. But this isn't any ordinary sickness: the chemicals and technologies of modern life are poisoning them. They call themselves canaries, living warning signs that humans have pushed the environment too far, except no one seems to be taking their warnings seriously. The healthy…