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5 Climate Crisis Books to Read while you’re Quarantined
Lifestyle

5 Climate Crisis Books to Read while you’re Quarantined

Trying to find something to do while you’re home? Here are a few of our fav recent reads.

Quarantined during a nationwide pandemic, we’re all likely going through a rollercoaster of emotions.

One way to get distracted is to freshen up on the climate crisis with a good read. Here are a few books that take you through the rollercoaster of how we got here, what may happen and what you can do about it.

Losing Earth by Nathaniel Rich

Losing Earth

Did you find yourself wishing for a different ending while watching Recount (about the 2000 election), although you knew the inevitable conclusion?

In Losing Earth, Rich recounts the decade of 1979 to 1989, where Congress held hearings on climate change and almost acted. However, they didn’t.

The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells

Cover art

If his 2017 New Yorker essay didn’t terrify you enough, the Uninhabitable Earth will give you a nightmare or two.

Wallace-Wells takes readers on a journey to describe how science describes individual climate issues – including heat deaths, hunger, drowning, wildfires, oceans, plagues and more – but what it actually means when they’re all compiled in a warming earth.

Think the 2* Celcius temperature rise sounds bad? Wallace-Wells kicks off the book describing how 4.5 or 5* Celcius is actually way more likely by 2100 if humans don’t seriously tackle climate change.

In addition to the science, the Uninhabitable Earth considers cultural questions about how we interpret climate change. Why don’t we ask ourselves where we were when the Larson B ice shelf broke like we might describe where we were during 9/11 or other significant events.

The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail

The End of Ice

In The End of Ice, a war reporter covers the climate crisis by exploring the consequences to nature and humans. He talks to everyone from locals like fishers and farmers to climate scientists to explore what’s happening – and begin mourning – earth.

This book is a lot grimmer. Take these takeaways, for example:

  • According to Dr. Harold Wanless, professor of chair of Department of Geological Science at the University of Miami, there are equations for CO2 emissions and sea-level rise. For each 100 ppm fluctuation in carbon dioxide, there Is about a 100-foot change in sea level. Considering we’ve added 130 ppm of carbon over the past 200 years, there’s about a 130-foot sea level rise already baked into our calculations. (p. 131).
  • About 90% of trees in the US forests have been cut down once or twice, which means its a younger forest than the rest of the world. Pests, temperatures, and wildfires can disrupt the ability of trees to recover, which means there may be no aspen forests in North Amerian Southwest by 2050.

If you’ve found yourself in a slump, pick up your mood by the following reads.

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

Need to pump yourself up to keep on fighting climate change when we all just want to get back under our covers and stay in bed all day?

This book is a collection of Thunberg’s speeches from across the globe, starting from the Climate March in September 2018. It’s short and a quick read, but will leave you inspired.

Read: No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference

The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming Myths That Hinder Progress By Mark Jaccard

The Citizen's Guide to Climate Success

Now that Greta kicked the need to get your butt for action, this book offers hope to recognize essential actions. and policies. It also shares how to elect climate leaders and spot fluff from politicians. Get the Citizens Guide to Climate Success or read it for free online.


Photo by Gabrielle Dickson on Unsplash

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Julie Hancher
Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

1 thought on “5 Climate Crisis Books to Read while you’re Quarantined

  1. Dear Ms. , Your title “5 Climate Crisis Books to Read while you’re Quarantined” prompted me to try to read through this article. I repeat “try” since I am not blessed with the ability to read five books, etc. I got through NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) more than 40 years ago by the skin of my chinny chin chin. B.A. in English Lit. Fast forward to today, and I live in a studio apartment in the West Village, almost across the street from SJP and Matthew Broderick. (What with this little virus thing that’s going around, I haven’t seen them of late. I have seen a black probably rental car, etc. Anyway, my Brain she no so good, you know? My sisters who live in Manayunk, they are Democrats like you, have all or most of the answers to why we in the excrement that we appear to be in. Me, I be a Republican, and am not so sure. Well, it is Holy Saturday and I need to pray. Maybe in heaven I will read those books you mentioned. Maybe not. P.S.: I think Greta is a patsy. Cheers, John

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