Climate Feature

Climate Change: 1988 to 2020

In 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen brought the concerns about global warming that were doing the rounds in scientific circles into the public realm. With predictions of how far the greenhouse effect would take us by 2019 and by pointing a finger at fossil fuel emissions, he sure got the attenion of the Senate committee he was presenting to. Since then, it seems we haven’t stopped talking about climate change and yet still have immense strides to take if we want to force a correction. Looking at Hansen’s three predictive scenarios it seems he wasn’t far off the mark from the most plausible one, which, even though climate science is constantly adjusting with every piece of new data, is a testimate to NASA’s data and analytical powers.

So that was 1988. Where are we today? Check out these seven new books on climate change to bring you up to date with the current crisis.

The Fragile Earth: Writing from The New Yorker on Climate Change by David Remnick, Henry Finder

A collection of the New Yorker’sgroundbreaking reporting from the front lines of climate change—including writing from Bill McKibben, Elizabeth Kolbert, Ian Frazier, Kathryn Schulz, and more. (October 2020)

The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres & Tom Rivett-Carnac

In The Future We Choose, Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac–who led negotiations for the United Nations during the historic Paris Agreement of 2015–have written a cautionary but optimistic book about the world’s changing climate and the fate of humanity. The authors outline two possible scenarios for our planet. In one, they describe what life on Earth will be like by 2050 if we fail to meet the Paris climate targets. In the other, they lay out what it will be like to live in a carbon neutral, regenerative world. They argue for confronting the climate crisis head-on, with determination and optimism. The Future We Choose presents our options and tells us what governments, corporations, and each of us can and must do to fend off disaster. (February 2020)

Disposable City: Miami’s Future on the Shores of Climate Catastrophe by Mario Alejandro Ariza

A deeply reported personal investigation by a Miami journalist examines the present and future effects of climate change in the Magic City — a watery harbinger for coastal cities worldwide. (July 2020)

A Guide to Eco-Anxiety: How to Protect the Planet and Your Mental Health by Anouchka Grose

This is the first mainstream book to tackle the growing phenomenon of eco-anxiety. Written by a psychoanalyst, with a foreword from Greenpeace’s Ed Gillespie, this book offers emotional tools and strategies to ease anxiety by taking positive action on a personal and community level. (NEW IN PAPERBACK September 2020)

Climate Courage: How Tackling Climate Change Can Build Community, Transform the Economy, and Bridge the Political Divide in America by Andreas Karelas

Andreas Karelas brings an optimistic message that we don’t often hear about: we have all the tools we need to solve the climate crisis and we’re already building momentum. (NEW IN PAPERBACK September 2020)

A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow by Joshua S. Goldstein, Staffan A. Qvist

Clearly written and beautifully illustrated, Goldstein and Qvist’s book provides a new touchstone in discussions of climate change. It could spark a shift in world energy policy that, in the words of Steven Pinker’s foreword, literally saves the world. (NEW IN PAPERBACK November 2020)

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

Provocative and illuminating essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward. (September 2020)

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