Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas (Harper Perennial, 2008) — When this appeared it was a wake-up call, helping people to understand what the somewhat abstract concerns about “two degrees” or “three degrees” of warning mean. Lynas sets out scenarios for everything up to six degrees based on extensive reading of scientific research. Compelling and still a clear call to action.
The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Cristiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac (Bonnier, 2020) — Cristiana Figueres headed the UNFCC at the time of the Paris Agreement and is widely regarded as one of the most effective climate diplomats ever. Here she and a colleague look at the world we’re creating and the world we must create to survive, and explore how we get to the mindsets that inform and enable the latter.
There is no Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years by Mike Berners-Lee (CUP, 2019) — Mike Berners-Lee’s books manage to take big issues, presents the questions surrounding them and offer possible ways towards positive change … in a very light-touch Q and A format. A terrific introduction.
Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change by George Marshall (Bloomsbury, 2015) — Scientists long felt that if people just had more information, they would act differently. But having more information isn’t all it takes. George Marshall’s fascinating book draws on the social sciences to explain why our brains find it hard to respond to climate change as it’s currently framed … and what we might do to increase the possibility of change.
The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future by David Wallace Wells (Penguin, 2019) (also available free in its original article format) —This started off as a famous – and controversial – magazine piece. For some, it’s a clarion call, making clear the stakes of the climate emergency. For others, it’s overwhelming and perhaps not the best spur to action. Take a look – and make up your own mind