The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilizations


Eugene Linden - 2006
     Climate has been humanity's constant, if moody, companion. At times benefactor or tormentor, climate nurtured the first stirrings of civilization and then repeatedly visited ruin on empires and peoples. Eugene Linden reveals a recurring pattern in which civilizations become prosperous and complacent during good weather, only to collapse when climate changes -- either through its direct effects, such as floods or drought, or indirect consequences, such as disease, blight, and civil disorder. The science of climate change is still young, and the interactions of climate with other historical forces are much debated, but the evidence mounts that climate loomed over the fate of societies from arctic Greenland to the Fertile Crescent and from the lost cities of the Mayans in Central America to the rain forests of Central Africa. Taking into account the uncertainties in both science and the historical record, Linden explores the evidence indicating that climate has been a serial killer of civilizations. The Winds of Change looks at the present and then to the future to determine whether the accused killer is on the prowl, and what it will do in the future. The tragedy of New Orleans is but the latest instance in which a region prepared for weather disasters experienced in the past finds itself helpless when nature ups the ante. In the closing chapters, Linden explores why warnings about the dangers of climate change have gone unheeded and what is happening with climate today, and he offers perhaps the most explicit look yet at what a haywire climate might do to us. He shows how even a society prepared to absorb such threshold-crossing events as Katrina, the killer heat wave in Europe in 2003, or the floods in the American Midwest in the 1990s can spiral into precipitous decline should such events intensify and become more frequent. The Winds of Change places climate change, global warming, and the resulting instability in historical context and sounds an urgent warning for the future.

With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change


Fred Pearce - 2006
    Where once scientists were concerned about gradual climate change, now more and more of them fear we will soon be dealing with abrupt change resulting from triggering hidden tipping points. Even President Bush's top climate modeler, Jim Hansen, warned in 2005 that "we are on the precipice of climate system tipping points beyond which there is no redemption."As Pearce began working on this book, normally cautious scientists beat a path to his door to tell him about their fears and their latest findings. With Speed and Violence tells the stories of these scientists and their work—from the implications of melting permafrost in Siberia and the huge river systems of meltwater beneath the icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica to the effects of the "ocean conveyor" and a rare molecule that runs virtually the entire cleanup system for the planet. Above all, the scientists told him what they're now learning about the speed and violence of past natural climate change-and what it portends for our future. With Speed and Violence is the most up-to-date and readable book yet about the growing evidence for global warming and the large climatic effects it may unleash.

Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World


Alan Weisman - 1998
    One of the world's most celebrated examples of sustainable living: a permanent village called Gaviotas.

The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won't Tell You about Global Warming


Roger A. Pielke Jr. - 2010
    In The Climate Fix, Pielke offers a way to repair climate policy, shifting the debate away from meaningless targets and toward a revolution in how the world’s economy is powered, while de-fanging the venomous politics surrounding the crisis. The debate on global warming has lost none of its power to polarize and provoke in a haze of partisan vitriol. The Climate Fix will bring something new to the discussions: a commonsense perspective and practical actions better than any offered so far.

Half Gone


Jeremy Leggett - 2005
    Exposing the true status of the world's dwindling energy supplies, Jeremy Leggett reveals the scale of the disaster looming over our planet, and the action each and every one of us must take - right now - to stand a chance of averting it.

False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet


Bjørn Lomborg - 2020
    Wildfires rage across the American West. Glaciers collapse in the Artic. Politicians, activists, and the media espouse a common message: climate change is destroying the planet, and we must take drastic action immediately to stop it. Children panic about their future, and adults wonder if it is even ethical to bring new life into the world. Enough, argues bestselling author Bjorn Lomborg. Climate change is real, but it's not the apocalyptic threat that we've been told it is. Projections of Earth's imminent demise are based on bad science and even worse economics. In panic, world leaders have committed to wildly expensive but largely ineffective policies that hamper growth and crowd out more pressing investments in human capital, from immunization to education. False Alarm will convince you that everything you think about climate change is wrong -- and points the way toward making the world a vastly better, if slightly warmer, place for us all.

Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water


Maude Barlow - 2007
    In this passionate vall to action, she looks at examples of the movement's struggle across the globe, encompassing protests in India against Coca-Cola, and against the use of water meters in South Africa.

Why We Disagree about Climate Change


Mike Hulme - 2009
    It is an environmental, cultural and political phenomenon which is re-shaping the way we think about ourselves, our societies and humanity's place on Earth. Drawing upon twenty-five years of professional work as an international climate change scientist and public commentator, Mike Hulme provides a unique insider's account of the emergence of this phenomenon and the diverse ways in which it is understood. He uses different standpoints from science, economics, faith, psychology, communication, sociology, politics and development to explain why we disagree about climate change. In this way he shows that climate change, far from being simply an 'issue' or a 'threat', can act as a catalyst to revise our perception of our place in the world. Why We Disagree About Climate Change is an important contribution to the ongoing debate over climate change and its likely impact on our lives.

Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis


Cynthia Barnett - 2011
    We use more water than any other culture in the world, much to quench what’s now our largest crop—the lawn. Yet most Americans cannot name the river or aquifer that flows to our taps, irrigates our food, and produces our electricity. And most don’t realize these freshwater sources are in deep trouble.Blue Revolution exposes the truth about the water crisis—driven not as much by lawn sprinklers as by a tradition that has encouraged everyone, from homeowners to farmers to utilities, to tap more and more. But the book also offers much reason for hope. Award-winning journalist Cynthia Barnett argues that the best solution is also the simplest and least expensive: a water ethic for America. Just as the green movement helped build awareness about energy and sustainability, so a blue movement will reconnect Americans to their water, helping us value and conserve our most life-giving resource. Avoiding past mistakes, living within our water means, and turning to “local water” as we do local foods are all part of this new, blue revolution. Reporting from across the country and around the globe, Barnett shows how people, businesses, and governments have come together to dramatically reduce water use and reverse the water crisis. Entire metro areas, such as San Antonio, Texas, have halved per capita water use. Singapore’s “closed water loop” recycles every drop. New technologies can slash agricultural irrigation in half: businesses can save a lot of water—and a lot of money—with designs as simple as recycling air-conditioning condensate. The first book to call for a national water ethic, Blue Revolution is also a powerful meditation on water and community in America.

Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming


James Hoggan - 2009
    The tactics have been slick, but PR expert James Hoggan and investigative journalist Richard Littlemore have compiled a readable, accessible guidebook through the muck. Beginning with leaked memos from the coal industry, the oil industry and the tobacco-sponsored lie-about-science industry, the authors expose the plans to "debunk" global warming; they track the execution of those plans; and they illuminate the results—confusion, inaction, and an epidemic of public mistrust.Climate Cover-Up names names, identifying bogus experts who are actually paid lobbyists and flaks. The authors reveal the PR techniques used to misinform, to mangle the language, and to intimidate the media into maintaining a phony climate change debate. Exposing the seedy origins of that debate, this book will leave you fuming at the extent, the effect, and the ethical affront of the climate cover-up.

Green Living: The E Magazine Handbook for Living Lightly on the Earth


E Magazine - 2005
    As temperatures rise--and icecaps shrink and storms lash our coastal areas into oblivion--being smart about carbon footprints, waste streams and consumer choices becomes increasingly important for all of us.Green Living, from the award-winning editors of E: The Environmental Magazine, offers a thorough, step-by-step plan for every making aspect of your life earth-friendly, from the laundry room to the kitchen: -Maintaining a healthy home-Going organic and avoiding genetically modified food-Finding a planet-friendly car-Making socially responsible investments-Using personal-care products free of damaging chemicalsWith advice on everything from planet-friendly cosmetics to home-based renewable energy, and straight talk on hemp, hybrids and hair dye, Green Living is the ideal reference for both the neophyte and the experienced environmentalist.

Rubbish!: The Archaeology of Garbage


William L. Rathje - 1992
    Rubbish! is their witty and erudite investigation into all aspects of the phenomenon of garbage. Rathje and Murphy show what the study of garbage tells us about a population’s demographics and buying habits. Along the way, they dispel the common myths about our “garbage crisis”—about fast-food packaging and disposable diapers, about biodegradable garbage and the acceleration of the average family’s garbage output. They also suggest methods for dealing with the garbage that we do have.

Green, Greener, Greenest: A Practical Guide to Making Eco-Smart Choices a Part of Your Life


Lori Bongiorno - 2008
    This indispensable resource will grow with readers-whether a novice in green living or a veteran environmentalist-as their interests and needs change over time.

Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas and the Weather of the Future


Climate Central - 2012
    Finally, in clear, accessible prose, a fascinating new book that explains climate change—its implications for the future and what we can and cannot do to avoid further change—to the layperson.Produced by Climate Central, Inc.—a highly regarded independent, non-profit journalism and research organization founded in 2008—and reviewed by scientists at major educational and research institutions the world over, Global Weirdness summarizes everything we already know about the science of climate change, explains what is likely to happen to the climate in the future, and lays out, in practical terms, what we can and cannot do to avoid further shifts.Fifty easy-to-read entries tackle questions such as: Is climate ever "normal?" Why and how do fossil-fuel burning and other human practices produce greenhouse gases? What natural forces have caused climate change in the past? What risks does climate change pose for human health? What accounts for the diminishment of mountain glaciers and small ice caps around the world since 1850? What are the economic costs and benefits of reducing carbon emissions?  Illustrated throughout with clarifying graphics, Global Weirdness enlarges our understanding of how climate change affects our daily lives, and arms us with the incontrovertible facts we need to make informed decisions about the future of the planet, and of humankind.

The Climate War


Eric Pooley - 2010
    In this epic tale of an American civil war, Pooley takes us behind the scenes and into the hearts and minds of the most important players in the struggle to cap global warming pollution--a fight in which trillions of dollars and the fate of the planet are at stake. Why has it been so hard for America to come to grips with climate change? Why do so many people believe it isn't really happening? As President Obama's science advisor John Holdren has said, "We're driving in a car with bad brakes in a fog and heading for a cliff. We know for sure that cliff is out there. We just don't know exactly where it is. Prudence would suggest that we should start putting on the brakes." But powerful interests are threatened by the carbon cap that would speed the transition to a clean energy economy, and their agents have worked successfully to deny the problem and delay the solutions. To write this book, Pooley, the former managing editor of Fortune and chief political correspondent for Time, spent three years embedded with an extraordinary cast of characters: from the flamboyant head of one of the nation's largest coal-burning energy companies to the driven environmental leader who made common cause with him, from leading scientists warning of impending catastrophe to professional skeptics disputing almost every aspect of climate science, from radical activists chaining themselves to bulldozers to powerful lobbyists, media gurus, and advisors in Obama's West Wing--and, to top it off, unprecedented access to former Vice President Al Gore and his team of climate activists. Pooley captures the quiet determination and even heroism of climate campaigners who have dedicated their lives to an uphill battle that's still raging today. He asks whether we have what it takes to preserve our planet's habitability, and shows how America's climate war sends shock waves from Bali to Copenhagen. No other reporter enjoys such access to this cast of characters. No other book covers this terrain. From the trenches of a North Carolina power plant to the battlefields of Capitol Hill, Madison Avenue, and Wall Street, The Climate War is the essential read for anyone who wants to understand the players and politics behind the most important issue we face today.