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Five Books You Should Read About Climate Change
1) Climate Change: Evidence and Causes [Free Kindle Edition]
By The National Academy of Sciences
This 2014 booklet by the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society presents a brief overview of the status of the scientific understanding of climate change. The booklet is written by scientists for laymen. As such, it does not go into much detail, but rather focuses on the “large view” of the field, with a few selected pieces of evidence. There are two sections: a Q&A section that addresses some of the current questions in the public discussion of global warming and a narrative section that describes the main physical processes that are thought to affect the climate.
2) The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
By Elizabeth Kolbert
“The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” is a clarion call for ending the current mass extinction that we humans are causing, and a book that should be, according to Scientific American, “this era’s galvanizing text”, worthy of comparison with Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”. It is also a vastly superior popular science book than last year’s “Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction” written by IO9 science editor Annalee Newitz, simply because Elizabeth Kolbert, a staff writer at The New Yorker, has done a superlative job in science reporting, accurately reporting and interpreting work done by some of the most notable researchers of our time studying mass extinctions.
What Kolbert has written is a spellbinding work of science journalism worthy of comparison with David Quammen’s “The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions”, and one that belongs on the bookshelves of anyone interested in science, and especially those who may not grasp the full extent of the ongoing mass extinction being caused by us, humanity. Moreover, at the end of her book, she provides an extensive bibliography which notes many of the most important relevant scientific papers as well as important texts written by the likes of notable ecologists James H. Brown and Michael Rosenzweig, and paleobiologists Michael Benton, Douglas Erwin and Richard Fortey. Without question, “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History”, may be one of the most discussed, most important, books of popular science published this year.
3) This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
By Naomi Klein
Economists (both liberal and conservative) know there are certain places where free markets don’t work well… those concerning certain `public goods’ (highways, traffic lights, etc.) The future of our planet’s ecosphere is probably the most paramount `public good’ of all. Combatting carbon emissions to reduce global warming transcends ideology. It doesn’t matter whether you are a socialist, capitalist, conservative, or liberal… if we do not have a liveable, breathable planet in the future, no one will be left to practice his or her beliefs.
4) Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts, and Choices [Free Kindle Edition]
Division on Earth and Life Studies (Author), National Research Council (Author)
If you want to learn about the science behind climate change without becoming a meteorologist, this is a good book for you. In the area where I live, there are a lot self proclaimed ‘experts’ who say climate change is a bunch ‘crap’. They boldly proclaim it’s not based on science at all.. “It’s just a bunch of liberals with an agenda.” So what’s the truth?. This book, while not political at all, can provide some solid answers. So when you hear some of the ridiculous claims in some newspapers, on talk radio and on some television cable news networks; you will know what is known about climate change and how we know it, and be able to also recognize what is absolute ‘crap’. The danger in the 21st century is not being ignorant, but being misinformed.
5) Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change
By George Marshall
Over the course of the book, he explores the psychological and social traits that served us well over millions of years of our evolution on the savannas of Africa, but which are not serving us so well now. These include confirmation bias, present (time) focus, social conformity, group think, procrastination, valuing the messenger over the message, and the different functioning of the rational and emotional brains. He explores these issues with several psychologists and sociologists, who generally believe that climate change is “a threat that our evolved brains are uniquely unsuited to do a damned thing about”, as put by Harvard Professor of Psychology Daniel Gilbert.