Read for Earth: 11 Books on Conservation, Climate Change and Sustainability

Read for Earth: 11 Books on Conservation, Climate Change and Sustainability

a time when the health of the Earth and its people have never
felt more urgent, we’re spotlighting the books that provoke not
just thought but action when it comes to caring for the
environment. Covering topics as diverse as pollution and species
protection, they offer visions of what our future may look like and
the steps we can take to protect our planet.

What does the future hold for our environment? Reach for one of
these books.

Silent Spring

by Rachel Carson

This book gave the environmental movement a much-needed push to
the top of the global agenda. First published in 1962, it flags the
dangers of the indiscriminate use of pesticides, and has since
spurred changes in laws that affect our land, air and water, and
inspired generations of activists. One of Carson’s earlier works,
Under the Sea Wind (1941), dives into marine life, from the shores
to the depths of the ocean.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

by Elizabeth Kolbert

Over the last half-billion years, five mass extinctions have
dramatically diminished the diversity of life on Earth. In this
Pulitzer-winning tome, Kolbert (who has also authored Field Notes
from a Catastrophe) argues that a sixth is unfolding – and that
humans are the cataclysm. Intrigued? Try Jared Diamond’s Collapse,
which looks at how environmental changes have affected societies
past and considers what this means for our future.

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

by David Wallace-Wells

“What does it mean to be entertained by an apocalypse when we
stare down the possibility of a real one?” This must-read book on
climate change, famine and economic collapse is inspired by
Wallace-Wells’ article of the same name in New York Magazine. If
you thought rising sea levels were the worst thing about global
warming, think again.

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference

by Greta Thunberg

Thunberg is the poster child for the fight against
climate change
– and not just because she’s riled up Trump.
This timely, pocket-sized polemic gathers 11 of her speeches –
including “Our House is on Fire”, famously delivered to the 2019
World Economic Forum in Davos. If you like this, read Letters to
the Earth, which gathers 1,000 missives from big names – Emma
Thompson, Yoko Ono, Kate Tempest, Caroline Lucas – and regular joes
to paint a provocative snapshot of the human outrage behind the
headlines about the climate crisis.

Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change

by George Marshall

Why have we been so slow to respond to climate change? Answer:
because it has no clear enemy or solution. After consulting Nobel
Prize-winning psychologists and Texas Tea Party activists, Marshall
argues that as much as we need science right now, the climate
crisis also needs an emotionally driven, compelling narrative to
capture our collective attention.

Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm

by Isabella Tree

Part ecological experiment, part personal journey, this book
documents what happened when Tree and her husband let nature take
over their West Sussex farmland. As rare species and once-degraded
land thrive, this account paints a hopeful vision about the beauty
and resilience of the natural world. Like this? Read A Sand County
Almanac, in which ecologist Aldo Leopold advocates for a
responsible relationship between people and the land they

Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need the Wild

by Lucy Jones

At a time when we are more disconnected from the natural world
than ever, Jones presents an urgent and uplifting case for
connecting with the living world to improve our psychological
wellbeing. Travelling between East London’s forest schools and the
Svalbard Global Seed Vault via eco-therapists’ couches, she finds
asylum in the soil and joy in the trees.

How to Give Up Plastic

by Will McCallum

There are many down-to-earth guides on the simple changes we can
all make to protect the environment. McCallum (Head of Oceans at
Greenpeace UK) reveals the individual acts that can help reverse
the alarming statistic that, by 2050, there will be more
in the ocean than fish by weight. Other books we
recommend are: Mike Berners-Lee’s There Is No Planet B, the
food-focused Eating for Pleasure, People and Planet by Tom Hunt and
How to Break Up With Fast Fashion by Lauren Bravo.

On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal

by Naomi Klein

For more than 20 years, Klein has written impassioned dispatches
from the frontline of the climate breakdown. In her most recent
book – in which she travels between the
Great Barrier Reef
and post-hurricane Puerto Rico – she
presents the crisis as not just a political challenge but a
spiritual and intellectual one too.

The World Without Us

by Alan Weisman

What will be humanity’s lasting legacy? In this page-turning
tour of post-human Earth, Weisman draws on the expertise of
scientists, religious leaders and art conservators to speculate how
our infrastructure could collapse, what everyday items may become
fossils of the future and why some of oldest buildings may be the
last to survive.

The Archipelago of Hope: Wisdom and Resilience from the Edge of Climate Change

by Gleb Raygorodetsky

On a journey that takes him across six continents, Raygorodetsky
sheds light on the indigenous communities – including the Altai of
Russia, the Karen of Myanmar and the Kuku Nyungkal of Australia –
that may hold the answers to coping with climate change. If you
enjoy this, reach for botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding
Sweetgrass next. Drawing on her experience as an indigenous
scientist, she embraces the notion that we have much to learn from
plants and animals.

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