The most recommended books about greenhouse gases

Who picked these books? Meet our 16 experts.

16 authors created a book list connected to greenhouse gases, and here are their favorite greenhouse gas books.
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Book cover of How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need

Greg Hickey Author Of To Build a Dream

From Greg's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Forensic scientist Triathlete

Greg's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Greg Hickey Why did Greg love this book?

Gates provides a straightforward, numbers-based account of the scope of climate change, breaks down current carbon emissions by sectors of our society and economy, and dissects the technologies we need to employ and invent to cut global carbon emissions to zero and halt global warming.

This is a must-read, especially for those curious and hopeful about practical solutions to climate change. As a science fiction author, I was inspired by this book’s detailed descriptions of technologies that will likely shape our future.

By Bill Gates,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked How to Avoid a Climate Disaster as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical - and accessible - plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet's slide toward certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions…


Book cover of The Holocene: An Environmental History

John F. Haldon Author Of The Empire That Would Not Die: The Paradox of Eastern Roman Survival, 640-740

From my list on premodern societies, climate, and environment.

Why am I passionate about this?

History has always fascinated me because it offered ways through which I could begin to make sense of the present. History is about how and why things change over time, above all about the causal dynamics underlying how societies, economies, and cultures work and transform. The history of Byzantium is a perfect example, offering many challenges of understanding and interpretation of its own, yet at the same time opening up a whole world of medieval societies and cultures around it, helping to illuminate not just the history of the immediate regions concerned – the eastern Mediterranean and Balkans – but of the world beyond.  

John's book list on premodern societies, climate, and environment

John F. Haldon Why did John love this book?

This book offers a magisterial survey of the last 10,000 years and puts human history firmly in its full environmental context. There are many different ways of writing about the past, but historical writing is above all about how and why things change over time, about the causal dynamics underlying how societies, economies, and cultures work and transform. But in order to achieve this historians have first of all to establish a narrative – their own particular narrative – and it is their critical analysis of the ways in which this narrative can be constructed that helps us understand the past and that can help inform our understanding of the present. This book succeeds wonderfully in this fundamental task.

By Neil Roberts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Holocene provides students, researchers and lay-readers with the remarkable story of how the natural world has been transformed since the end of the last Ice Age around 15,000 years ago. This period has witnessed a shift from environmental changes determined by natural forces to those dominated by human actions, including those of climate and greenhouse gases. Understanding the environmental changes - both natural and anthropogenic - that have occurred during the Holocene is of crucial importance if we are to achieve a sustainable environmental future. Revised and updated to take full account of the most recent advances, the third…


Book cover of The Seven Sisters: The great oil companies & the world they shaped

Howard J. Herzog Author Of Carbon Capture

From my list on causes and implications of climate change.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been consulting and conducting research on climate change for over 30 years as a member of the research staff at MIT. While I originally approached the topic from a technological viewpoint, I quickly understood that that was only one piece of the equation. It was also important to understand the science, the policy, the economics, the politics, and the social aspects of climate change. In selecting my book recommendations, I wanted to cover the many different aspects of climate change.

Howard's book list on causes and implications of climate change

Howard J. Herzog Why did Howard love this book?

The major source of greenhouse gases that are the root cause of climate change are from our energy use. Therefore, in order to understand how to effectively reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, one must understand our energy systems. I read this book many years ago, but it taught me so much about how the oil and gas industry works. The Seven Sisters refer to the seven major oil companies that dominated the oil industry in the 1960s and 1970s. Even though the industry has changed greatly since then, the story of how oil and gas came to dominate the world’s energy systems is still relevant today.  

By Anthony Sampson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An account of the men and events behind the rise of the world's largest oil companies, their domination of the world petroleum industry, and their current status subsequent to their control being challenged by the producing nations


Book cover of Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work

Marianne E. Krasny Author Of In This Together: Connecting with Your Community to Combat the Climate Crisis

From my list on influencing others to do about climate change.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor at Cornell University who struggles with the meaning of individual action in the face of looming crises—be they plastics and litter, or climate. The idea of Network Climate Action bubbled up one morning as a way to magnify individual actions, such as eating a plant-rich diet, donating money to a climate organization, or joining in an advocacy group. Network Climate Action helps me achieve my role-ideals as a teacher, volunteer, friend, mom, and grandmother, and it gives meaning and happiness to my life. I live in beautiful Ithaca, NY, with my chosen family, which includes an Afghan artist and a Ukrainian mom and her two kids.

Marianne's book list on influencing others to do about climate change

Marianne E. Krasny Why did Marianne love this book?

Destination weddings, glamorous McMansions, and luxury cars—this is the result of us seeing what our better-off compatriots do and wanting to have ever more.

In fact, the biggest problem with carbon-intensive behavior is not any one rich person’s carbon footprint. Rather it’s the influence “affluencers” exert on others. But we can turn this around. Solar panels are often clustered in neighborhoods because people also copy each other’s climate-friendly behaviors.

For me, the important thing is not to hide what you are doing—make your sustainable behaviors visible for others to see.

By Robert H. Frank,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From New York Times bestselling author and economics columnist Robert Frank, bold new ideas for creating environments that promise a brighter future

Psychologists have long understood that social environments profoundly shape our behavior, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. But social influence is a two-way street-our environments are themselves products of our behavior. Under the Influence explains how to unlock the latent power of social context. It reveals how our environments encourage smoking, bullying, tax cheating, sexual predation, problem drinking, and wasteful energy use. We are building bigger houses, driving heavier cars, and engaging in a host of…


Book cover of What We Know about Climate Change

Robert S. Pindyck Author Of Climate Future: Averting and Adapting to Climate Change

From my list on climate change and what to do about it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an economist who has written broadly on microeconomics, energy and natural resource markets, and environmental economics. My recent work in environmental economics has focused on climate change, and I’ve published a book and many articles on the topic. I think it’s important to understand that while there is a lot we understand about climate change, there is also much we don’t understand, and what the uncertainty implies about what we should do. My concern is the possibility of a climate catastrophe. What are the chances, and what should we do? Those questions have driven much of my research and writing. 

Robert's book list on climate change and what to do about it

Robert S. Pindyck Why did Robert love this book?

This is a short introduction to the science of climate change, written by a professor of earth science at MIT, whose writings and opinions can be relied upon.  The book explains a great deal about climate change in a concise but engaging manner.  Highly recommended!

By Kerry Emanuel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An updated edition of a guide to the basic science of climate change, and a call to action.

The vast majority of scientists agree that human activity has significantly increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—most dramatically since the 1970s. Yet global warming skeptics and ill-informed elected officials continue to dismiss this broad scientific consensus. 
In this updated edition of his authoritative book, MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel outlines the basic science of global warming and how the current consensus has emerged. Although it is impossible to predict exactly when the most dramatic effects of global warming will be felt, he…


Book cover of The Discovery of Global Warming

Jeffrey Bennett Author Of A Global Warming Primer: Pathway to a Post-Global Warming Future

From my list on the science, consequences, and solutions to global warming.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an astronomer and educator (Ph.D. Astrophysics, University of Colorado), and I’ve now been teaching about global warming for more than 40 years (in courses on astronomy, astrobiology, and mathematics). While it’s frustrating to see how little progress we’ve made in combatting the ongoing warming during this time, my background as an astronomer gives me a “cosmic perspective” that reminds me that decades are not really so long, and that we still have time to act and to build a “post-global warming future.” I hope my work can help inspire all of us to act while we still can for the benefit of all.

Jeffrey's book list on the science, consequences, and solutions to global warming

Jeffrey Bennett Why did Jeffrey love this book?

I’ve known for a long time that scientific understanding of global warming has a long history, but I didn’t know very many of the details.

This book filled the gaps in my knowledge, and reminded me that while we still have a lot to learn, the basic science behind global warming has been known for more than a century. I also really appreciate the way this book describes some of the many efforts that have been undertaken to call attention to this issue – many dating back to decades before most people had ever heard of it.

By Spencer R. Weart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The award-winning book is now revised and expanded.

In 2001 an international panel of distinguished climate scientists announced that the world was warming at a rate without precedent during at least the last ten millennia, and that warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activity. The story of how scientists reached that conclusion-by way of unexpected twists and turns-was the story Spencer Weart told in The Discovery of Global Warming. Now he brings his award-winning account up to date, revised throughout to reflect the latest science and with a new conclusion that shows how the scientific…


Book cover of The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change

Judith Brett Author Of From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting

From my list on politics in Australia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a political historian who writes for my fellow citizens and I have chosen books by writers who do the same. Books which are written with passion and purpose: to shift political understanding, to speak truth to power, to help people understand their country and the world, and to inspire a commitment to improving them.

Judith's book list on politics in Australia

Judith Brett Why did Judith love this book?

The story of climate change over millions of years up to the present when burning fossil fuels is heating our planet and threatening not just the survival of human society but the intricately linked ecologies of the natural world. Australia is already feeling the effects, with worse droughts, terrible fires, repeated coral bleachings on the Great Barrier Reef, and escalating species extinction. Flannery writes brilliantly about the impact of humans on nature, and also on what we can do, individually and collectively, to avert catastrophe.

By Tim Flannery,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Terrifying and inspiring, The Weather Makers is a page-turning epic that brings the most elusive and powerful of natural phenomena within our grasp.

Internationally acclaimed writer, scientist and explorer, Tim Flannery takes us on a journey through history and around the globe as he describes the wondrous diversity of the world's ecosystems and explains how 'the great aerial ocean' unites us. Along the way, we meet polar bears and golden toads, and travel from ocean depths to mountaintops, via desert, swamp and rainforest. Flannery reveals how the earth's climate has changed, across millennia and decades, and how the slightest imbalance…


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

Marianne E. Krasny Author Of In This Together: Connecting with Your Community to Combat the Climate Crisis

From my list on influencing others to do about climate change.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor at Cornell University who struggles with the meaning of individual action in the face of looming crises—be they plastics and litter, or climate. The idea of Network Climate Action bubbled up one morning as a way to magnify individual actions, such as eating a plant-rich diet, donating money to a climate organization, or joining in an advocacy group. Network Climate Action helps me achieve my role-ideals as a teacher, volunteer, friend, mom, and grandmother, and it gives meaning and happiness to my life. I live in beautiful Ithaca, NY, with my chosen family, which includes an Afghan artist and a Ukrainian mom and her two kids.

Marianne's book list on influencing others to do about climate change

Marianne E. Krasny Why did Marianne love this book?

Trudging up Ithaca’s steep hills in the morning, I asked myself: what are the most effective climate actions I can take?

Then I came upon the drawdown.org website, which constantly updates the information in the book of the same name. Project Drawdown lists over 80 climate “solutions” ranked in terms of their effectiveness in drawing down greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Among the top five most effective are reducing food waste, plant-rich diet, and health and education—solutions that can be realized in one’s daily life, by donating money, or through volunteering for an advocacy organization.

By applying research in the above books, these actions also can be intentionally spread through close social networks—that, in a nutshell, is Network Climate Action.

By Paul Hawken (editor),

Why should I read it?

7 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…