BOOKS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE The planet is getting warmer in catastrophic ways. IS IT TIME TO PANIC?
These books recommended by the Earth Action Squad give truthful answers and actions we can choose to take.
1. "Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have"by Tatiana Schlossberg - this is the first book on this recommended list as it brings us face to face with how climate change and environmental pollution are involved in our everyday lives and choices - "in everything we use, buy, eat, wear, and how we get around." Climate change is complicated, and we may first have to understand our causative [unintentional] role before we want to join the Earth Action Squad in meaningful action. A book of discovery.
2. "EAARTH" by Bill McKibben - describes a new planet "Eaarth" already taking shape due to climate warming. [Bill McKibben, the co-founder of 350.org has been called "the world's most important environmentalist". Highly respected author, he has written extensively [unendingly] on the impact of global warming. His warning is that heat-causing atmospheric CO2 levels above 350ppm damage the earth, and that climate change solutions are about power - people power vs corporate power. The good news is that people-pressure for fossil fuel divestment , as well as people & companies investing more and more in green energy, is happening. The bad news is CO2 levels continue to rise. Earth CO2 in December 2020 was 414.76ppm. Earth damage and extreme weather is intensifying. "Climate is not only a crisis - it is the most thorough and complete crisis our species and our civilization have ever faced, one there is no guarantee that we will survive" - Bill McKibben] The incoming 2021 Biden climate team will be addressing the need for urgent response. We in the North Country can play our part in climate action. This website provides action pathways.
3. "DRAWDOWN: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming" - offers a set of realistic and bold solutions put together by an international coalition of of researchers, scientists, and policy maker to reduce greenhouse gas. The actions are rated by potential measurable positive impact. Take a look. Make a choice.
4. "The Overstory, a Novel" by Richard Powers - winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and a story of family lives interwoven with meaningful connections with trees; a story about being a part of nature, resilience, and resistance. You may see trees in a new light after reading, and honor their, place alongside us, in the world we must work to protect.
5. "This Civilization is Finished: Conversations on the End of the Empire - and What Lies Beyond" by Rupert Reed and Samuel Alexander - the title a wake-up call to the risk of continuing the economic goal of limitless industrial growth on a finite planet, and the persistent use of earth-damaging fossil fuels. An apt quote by Bill McKibben - "Our stuff weighs more than all living things on the planet". This book with its harsh title may interest us in the authors' conclusions, and our own participation in the economy.
6. "Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore" by Elizabeth Rush - a personal investigation on the impact of rising coastal waters caused by climate warming on the lives of those with homes impacted by flooding who are forced to relocate. We meet and like these folks who are victims of the ignored perils of climate change. Their stories may push us in the direction of taking actions to help mitigate climate warming.
7. "The Unihabitable Earth: Life After Warming" by David Wallace-Wells - we won't respond to crisis until we see it as a crisis. This well-written alarming description of the consequences of global warming presents the climate crisis, clearly visible for all to see, and demand action.
8. "The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028 and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth" by Jeremy Rifkin - the author, a noted economic theorist, in response to the urgency of addressing the climate crisis, offers a vision of transforming the economy to a green post-fossil fuel culture. As the market recognizes cheaper solar and wind energies, fossil fuel assets will be "stranded" and by 2028 the fossil fuel culture will need to be abandoned. This will bring green energy job growth and the slowing of fossil-fuel driven climate warming. Our personal green lifestyle decisions and actions will only help the environment. These might include not using single-use plastic disposables, home composting, recycling, and being active in local politics. 9. "All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis" - an anthology of poetry and essays written by a diverse variety of women agents of change. These writing offer inspiration to take action. "A Powerful Read" (New York Times)
10. "Ministry of the Future" by Kim Stanley Robinson - this novel is set in the future, the near future, and lets the reader live in the grim earth-damaged world caused by relentless climate warming. Described as a "masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all." A sci-fi novel both desperate and hopeful, as cooperative and geoengineering solutions are offered in the face of likely world-wide catastrophe. A sci-fi novel that steers us in the direction of better understanding and imagining climate change perils, and in turn, supporting/demanding/lobbying constructive and safe Federal legislation. 11. "How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change" by Harriet Shugarman - provides tools and strategies for parents, family members, friends to explain the climate emergency to children and stimulate age appropriate positive action.
FILMS recommended by the EARTH ACTION SQUAD
1. DECODING the WEATHER MACHINE - a NOVA film giving a clear scientific explanation for extreme weather events. Provides the answer to: "why do scientists the world over overwhelming agree that our climate is changing , and that human activity is causing it?"
2. L I F E FROM ABOVE - a BBC film dazzling us with the incredible movements, colors, patterns, and changes of the earth as seen from space. Awesome views of our wondrous planet that we need to treasure and work to slow down EAARTH (reference to book described above) happening.
3. CITIZEN JANE - Battle for The City - a film about Jane Jacobs, a visionary activist, who successfully fought against destructive development projects in Manhattan, NY; "a timely tale of what can happen when engaged citizens fight the power structure for the sake of a better world." A blueprint for us in demanding climate action from our elected municipal leaders. [Local elections coming up in November 2021]
4. BEING the change: A New Kind of Climate Documentary - an individual's personal success story of cutting his fossil fuel use to 1/10th of the average America. A challenge for those who want to walk the talk.
5. An Inconvenient Sequel: TRUTH TO POWER - Al Gore has been in the leadership forefront educating the public on climate change impact, first with his film An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, and now with this film in 2017. He is a dedicated teacher, and a determined climate activist, convincing world leaders of the urgency of action. The Earth Action Squad intends to follow in his footsteps with our local elected officials.
6. DARK WATERS- a dramatic thriller based on the true story of a successful legal battle with the chemical manufacturing corporation DuPont for lethal contamination with unregulated "forever [toxic] chemicals" in water, and in a variety of manufactured everyday household products. The high public interest in the film speaks to the growing concern about what is damaging to our health and the environment, the role of government, and corporate responsibility. [An analogy to the fossil fuel industry]