This Sunday, September 21st, concerned citizens from across the globe are convening in New York City for what’s being called the largest climate march in history. Over 100,000 participants will march two miles through the streets of Manhattan “to demand bold action on climate change.” For those who are planning to march, or for those who wish to take action from afar, we’ve compiled a list of essential titles that raise awareness about impending climate change—the most pivotal environmental crisis humankind has yet to face:
In Harvest the Wind, Philip Warburg tells the story of America’s energy future as it has not been told before. Cloud County is home to the Meridian Way Wind Farm, whose turbines are boosting farm incomes and bringing green jobs to a community that has watched its children flock to more exciting lives and less taxing jobs elsewhere. This remote corner of Kansas is the first stop on an odyssey that introduces readers to farmers, factory workers, biologists, and high-tech entrepreneurs—all players in a transformative industry that is fast taking hold across America and around the globe.
Across the country, fracking—the extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing—is being touted as the nation’s answer to energy independence and a fix for a flagging economy. Drilling companies assure us that the process is safe, politicians push through drilling legislation without a serious public-health debate, and those who speak out are marginalized, their silence purchased by gas companies and their warnings about the dangers of fracking stifled. The Real Cost of Fracking pulls back the curtain on how this toxic process endangers the environment and harms people, pets, and livestock.
Americans see water as abundant and cheap: we turn on the faucet and out it gushes, for less than a penny a gallon. We use more water than any other country in the world, rarely considering the consequences for our rivers, aquifers, and other freshwaters. Blue Revolution exposes the truth about the water crisis—driven by a tradition that has encouraged everyone, from homeowners to farmers to utilities, to tap more and more.
In Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, Fred Pearce surveys his home and then sets out to track down the people behind the production and distribution of everything in his daily life, from his socks to his computer to the food in his fridge. It’s a fascinating portrait, by turns sobering and hopeful, of the effects the world’s more than six billion inhabitants have on our planet and of the working and living conditions of the people who produce most of these goods.
While much of the global warming conversation rightly focuses on reducing our carbon footprint, the reality is that even if we were to immediately cease emissions, we would still face climate change into the next millennium. In Finding Higher Ground, Amy Seidl takes the uniquely positive yet realistic position that humans and animals can adapt and persist despite these changes. In looking at climate change as an opportunity to establish new cultural norms, Seidl inspires readers to move beyond loss and offers a refreshing call to evolve.