Climate Change Bibliography

Starting in December 2019, I went deep into the abyss of climate change, my world view totally changing. I was grappling with the reality of the future we face. I am more optimistic and more convinced now that we can revert the worst of climate change, but it’s going to take lots of effort.

One of the most important things you can do is to educate yourself. That’s why I decided to share what I’ve been watching, listening to, and reading.  

Recommended List

There is a lot to cover below, but if you want the Cliff’s Notes of what to read, watch or listen to, check these out:

Websites

Movies

  • Before the Flood: If you haven’t seen Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary Before the Flood, I highly recommend it. It’s a couple years old, but this movie is what started me down this path of becoming a climate activist.
  • Chasing Coral – About how 50% of our coral reefs have now died (coral bleaching) due to warming oceans.
  • A Life on Our Planet – David Attenborough. Great documentary. Tells the incredible story of the wonder of nature and our biodiversity, the gloomy picture of where we are headed, and a promising path forward.
  • An Inconvenient Sequel & An Inconvenient Truth – Al Gore’s two movies on climate change. Worth watching–will make you frustrated to see how difficult this issue is politically.
  • Cowspiracy – This movie seemed a bit sensational to me. About how the cattle industry contributes to climate change, but I felt this lacked objectivity.

Books

  • Eat Like a Fish – Bren Smith – An entertaining book about how Bren Smith has gone from a rebellious, bar-fighting fisherman to climate-saving kelp farmer.
  • The Uninhabitable Earth – David Wallace Wells – This book is very dark. Wells has been labeled as a pessimist following his release of this book. Given how difficult it is to predict the fallout of climate change, perhaps things will be as bad as he outlines. At minimum this is a great read to understand how sweeping the impact of climate change will be.
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History – Elizabeth Kolbert – About how species extinction is accelerating. Compares what’s happening now to five other periods in the earth’s history when extinctions spiked. As climate change accelerates mankind is likely to focus on saving ourselves, but many species will go extinct. Sad.
  • The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter, World – Amanda Little – Very educational and balanced evaluation about how we’ll need to adapt our food production as the world gets hotter.
  • The Ministry of the Future – Kim Stanley Robinson – Fiction story about what happens 10-30 years from now, but based on the latest climate science. Introduces some interesting notions about what might happen.
  • How to Avoid a Climate Disaster – Bill Gates – Best book I’ve read on climate change. Covers everything in very clear narrative.
  • Under a White Sky – Elizabeth Kolbert – Reading now

Podcasts

  • Vox’s Ezra Klein has a great series of podcasts on the climate crisis. I couldn’t find a link to the individual podcasts, but there are 3 podcasts in Nov & Dec 2019 in a series he did. Look for those–very educational. (Note that Ezra Klein left Vox in late 2020 and now is at the New York Times)

Other Reading