10 BOOKS TO EDUCATE AND EMPOWER

What better use of lockdown then to get clued up on saving the Planet?!  We’ve rounded up our favourite books on climate change and social injustice that will leave you educated and empowered to take action.

We recommend purchasing the books from Bookshop.org – a marketplace that supports local and independent booksellers.

The Future We Choose: Surviving The Climate Crisis Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

We highly recommend this book. Read.It.Now.

For all those climate optimists out there, former UN Executive Secretary and leader of the groundbreaking Paris Agreement, Christiana Figureres, and senior political strategist for the Paris Agreement, Tom Rivett-Carnac, outline why there is hope for the Planet. 

They put forward that humanity is not doomed, and we can and will survive. The future is ours to create: it will be shaped by who we choose to be in the coming years. The coming decade is a turning point – it is time to turn from indifference or despair and towards a stubborn, determined optimism.  This is a call to arms for everyone.

This Changes Everything – Naomi Klein.

Naomi Klein never fails to deliver a powerful message through her books (we highly recommend checking No is Not Enough and On Fire as well).  She argues that climate change is not about carbon – it’s about capitalism – and if we understand this, we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.  A book that has definitely stood the test of time.

How Bad Are Bananas – Mike Berners-Lee

Mike Berners-Lee sets out the carbon footprint of everything from bananas (the clue is in the title) to email, Bitcoin and a FIFA World Cup giving the reader the figures to manage and reduce their own carbon footprint, as well as to lobby companies, businesses and government for change. His findings, presented in clear and entertaining prose, are often surprising. And they are essential if we are to address climate change.

We reference the facts in this book at least twice a day.

The Purpose of Power – Alicia Garza

Black Lives Matter began as a hashtag when Alicia Garza wrote what she calls ‘a love letter to Black people’ on Facebook. But hashtags don’t build movements, she tells us. People do. Interwoven with Garza’s experience of life as a Black woman, The Purpose of Power is the story of how she responded to the persistent message that Black lives are of less value than white lives by galvanizing people to create change. It’s an insight into grass roots organizing to deliver basic needs – affordable housing, workplace protections, access to good education – to those locked out of the economy by racism.

This book is an insightful and inspiring read, demonstrating the power of social media in building one of the most important movements in modern times.

Hope in the Dark – Rebecca Solnit 

“Hope just means another world might be possible, not promise, not guaranteed. Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope.” 

Just one quote from this beautifully written and powerful book.  This book could not be more timely, as everyday seems to bring more political, environmental and social gloom which can seem overpowering, this remarkable work offers a lucid, affirmative and well-argued case for hope. This exquisite work traces a history of activism and social change over the past five decades – from the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the worldwide marches against the war in Iraq.  

This is Not a Drill – Extinction Rebellion 

You can’t have any list regarding climate change and sustainability without including Extinction Rebellion.  And if you don’t know who they are, then get out from under your rock and google them immediately. 

In a remarkably short space of time, Extinction Rebellion have fundamentally altered the public discourse on climate change. They have brought activism to the forefront for the sole purpose of saving the Planet.  Check out your local XR group to see what action is taking place in your city.

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis – Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson

All We Can Save is a collection of inspiring essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement. Curated by two leading women climate scientists, All We Can Save highlights women’s voices and celebrates feminist leadership in climate action.

The Uninhabitable Earth –  David Wallace-Wells

The book is extremely effective in shaking us out of complacency, and frightening us into action. Some key facts we learnt:: every return flight from London to New York costs the Arctic three square metres of ice; for every half degree of warming, societies see between a 10 and 20% increase in the likelihood of armed conflict; global plastic production is expected to triple by 2050, by which point there will be more plastic than fish in the planet’s oceans.

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need – Bill Gates

If you are ever going to take advice from someone, surely it should be Bill Gates? After a decade of investigating the cause and effect of climate change, Bill Gates shares his practicable, sustainable solutions to reversing global climate change.  He proposes a plan for what we need to do over the next decade, the tools that need to be built to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and how we can scale up powerful solutions and technologies.

Released February 2021

Standing up for a Sustainable World: Voices of Change – Claude Henry, Johan Rockström, Nicholas Stern 

Nicholas Stern has been the leading UK voice on the environment and climate change for decades, so any book he’s written, should be devoured.   The book outlines the extraordinary economic growth, poverty reduction and increased life expectancy and population since the end of WWII, and  how this has occurred at the expense of undermining life support systems on Earth and subjecting future generations to the real risk of destabilising the planet. It exposes and explores this colossal environmental cost and the dangerous position the world is now in. Combining the voices of leading academics as well as climate change and environmental activists, entrepreneurs and investors, the book highlights the urgent action that needs to be taken to foster sustainable, resilient and inclusive development in the face of powerful systemic forces.