Understand our changing world: The 5 best books on climate change

Saving our planet begins with being informed.

Chances are you've already heard a bit about climate change from the news or viral stories. But it's much more than a buzzword: it is a serious concern that has left scientists puzzled and yearning for others to take action.

What is climate change?

In a nutshell, climate change refers to the long-term shift in the Earth’s temperature and weather patterns. This includes how much rain a region gets over time, warm versus cold temperatures, snow patterns, etc.

The reason why climate change is a hot topic (and controversial) is that shifting weather patterns disrupt the balance of nature’s natural cycle.

According to NASA scientists, the Earth’s surface has been warming over the past 20 years. Even a simple 1-degree rise in our planet’s overall temperature can affect the Earth on a massive scale.

Whether humans intervene or not, Earth’s weather patterns will continue to shift naturally and as a result of human activity. So, it’s best to educate yourself on the topic, whether you’re a firm believer or a skeptic. Regardless of where you may fall on the spectrum, these books will help you become more informed.

The Story of More

“All human beings are a lot better at describing what is happening than at predicting what will happen.” – Hope Jahren

The Story of More

How we got to climate change and where to go from here.

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The author of this book does an excellent job describing how we got to climate change and where we need to go from here. Those two points (a historical summary and future action plan) make up the bulk of her book, along with vital research to support both. As an award-winning scientist, she has much to say on the matter. Between the cover, you will explore:

  • How our human habits have influenced our current situation
  • The science behind solutions like electric cars
  • What greenhouse gasses actually are and why they matter
  • Why we must take action sooner rather than later

Jahren asks essential questions that cause the reader to think critically, which is one reason why people love her book. Her narrative takes us on a journey across time, exploring thoughts and ideas that will help anyone appreciate our finite planet.

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster

“The cruel injustice is that even though the world’s poor are doing essentially nothing to cause climate change, they’re going to suffer the most from it.” ― Bill Gates

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster

The solutions we have and the breakthroughs we need.

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While Bill Gates is not the first name that comes to mind regarding climate change, he has definitely become a leading figure on the topic. Gates links our weather shift to the economy in a pragmatic way, making for an interesting read. In his book, you will explore:

  • How to prevent environmental disasters
  • Why net-zero emissions should be our goal & how to get there
  • What technology could do to help us turn back the climate clock

If you are a fan of Bill Gates and his analytical nature, you'll enjoy giving this title a read. Advocates of the book consider it an approachable, practical, easy narrative that offers a unique perspective on a complex topic.

Under a White Sky

“Atmospheric warming, ocean warming, ocean acidification, sea-level rise, deglaciation, desertification, eutrophication—these are just some of the by-products of our species’ success.” – Elizabeth Kolbert

Under a White Sky

The nature of the future.

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Elizabeth is a Pulitzer Prize winner and staff writer at The New Yorker. Both former President Obama and Bill Gates have recommended her work. She does an immaculate job taking the reader on a visual journey, using metaphors and science to lead her writing. In this book, you'll learn:

  • What our future world could look like if we don't change course
  • The innovations biologists are creating to help our world
  • Perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that we can all dive into

Readers rave over this book because of its intelligent perspective and story-like structure. Kolbert takes you with her as she explores different ecosystems, talks with leaders, and shows us a way forward.

The Uninhabitable Earth

“The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn’t happening at all.” – David Wallace-Wells

The Uninhabitable Earth

Life after warming.

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Grab this climate change book if you want to read a passionate account of the potential terrors of global warming. This book is less of a scientific treatise and more of a journalist's take on the situation, written with a keen eye for details. You will read about:

  • The potential reality of climate wars and food shortages
  • How a normal person's life will dramatically change in the coming decades
  • Why global politics will change as our geography alters

Readers consider this book a serious wake-up call to the probable harm that global warming will inflict if left unchecked.

Unsettled

“Yes, it’s true that the globe is warming, and that humans are exerting a warming influence upon it.” – Steven E Koonin

Unsettled

What climate science tells us, what it doesn't, and why it matters.

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This final book provides a detailed, research-backed explanation of what global warming is all about — but from a balanced point of view. If you’re a fan of data and fact-checking, then you may love this pick. Between the pages, you'll discover:

  • What science does and doesn't say about our climate
  • Why experts are divided on key points
  • Tools anyone can use to better understand this issue

Dive into hot button headlines and see the truth about global warming. Readers appreciate the writer's authenticity as he pulls back the curtain on many political agendas aimed to persuade rather than inform.

Stay Informed

Climate change is upon us. However, there are still many questions to be answered — which is why we need to hear from both the advocates and skeptics on how to move forward. Regardless of where you stand, these books will help you learn more and take the next step.

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