Reading List

If you’re new to global warming, I suggest that

you start with the following 4 books in the

order given.

1) An Inconvenient Truth–Al Gore

2) Hot, Flat and Crowded–Thomas L. Friedman

3. Dire Predictions–Michael E. Mann and Lee R. Kump

4. Hell and High Water–Joseph Romm

See book reviews below.

Getting Started

Al Gore

The Crisis of Global Warming

An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming

A good place to begin.

Thomas L. Friedman

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America

Friedman’s latest book provides  a comprehensive look at Climaticide for the layman.  He covers, science, politics and policy.  He has obviously talked to all the right people and understood what they have told him. Particularly good, is his explanation of what a “green revolution” signifies and what measure both technical and political will be required to achieve it.  The book is worth buying for chapter 9 alone where he discusses “easy ways to green the planet.” Guess what?  They’re aren’t any. Highly recommended, particularly for beginners.

Michael E. Mann and Lee R. Kump

Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming

This is a great book both for beginners and more experienced readers. Written by two of our premier climate scientists, Dire Predictions covers many aspects of Climaticide, starting with the science and working forward to policy discussions. Mann and Kump are masters of conveying complex ideas in simple language and their concise explanations are reinforced by the copious illustrations which make comprehension so much easier. The book is divided into short chapters (2-4 pages) on an abundance of topics and is full of facts. If you’re like me, you’ll probably keep it handy as a reference work after you’ve finished reading it.

Kerry Emanuel

What We Know About Climate Change (Boston Review Books)

What We Know About Climate Change (Boston Review Books)

A concise summary of our current knowledge.

Joseph Romm

Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do

Hell and High Water: Global Warming–the Solution and the Politics–and What We Should Do

A fine overview of the problem and possible solutions. Covers both science and politics. One of the essential books on Climaticide by one of our best thinkers on the subject.

Tim Flannery

How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth

The Weather Makers : How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth

Another good beginning book.


Spencer R. Weart

The Discovery of Global Warming (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine)

The Discovery of Global Warming (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine)

A comprehensive overview of how scientists discovered that we are committing Climaticide.

Climaticide, Denialists and Censorship

Mark Bowen

Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming

Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming

A detailed account of how the Bush administration attempted to censor James Hansen and other government Climaticide research scientists.


Ross Gelbspan

The Climate Crisis, The Cover-up, The Prescription

The Heat Is On: The Climate Crisis, The Cover-up, The Prescription

Gelbspan’s first book on the industry-funded campaign to confuse the public about Climaticide.

How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists Have Fueled a Climate Crisis--And What We Can Do to Avert Disaster

Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists Have Fueled a Climate Crisis–And What We Can Do to Avert Disaster

Gelbspan’s Update on oil and gas companies’ disinformation campaign on Climaticide.

Chris Mooney

Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming

Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming

Examines the debate over whether Climaticide leads to more intense hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons.

More on the Science

Sir John Houghton

Global Warming: The Complete Briefing

This is a very good book For those wanting a better understanding of the science of global warming. The Complete Briefing is intended for use as a textbook in an introductory class on climate change. Although not highly technical it does provide more scientific detail than most books aimed at the layman. Some of the data is a little out of date because Houghton draws mainly on the 3rd Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report for this 3rd edition (2004) of what has become a classic. A key participant in the IPCC (he is a former Chairman of the Scientific Assessment Working Group) he is extremely well qualified to provide the reader with an overview of the nature of the scientific problem, its climatolgical, social, ethical, economic and political ramifications, and of the technologies and policy measures that need to be urgently taken on a worldwide level it we are to avoid the most disastrous consequences of Climaticide.

Richard B. Alley

Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future

The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future

Good, basic introduction to the science of ice-core drilling

John D. Cox

Climate Crash: Abrupt Climate Change and What It Means for Our Future

The perfect follow up to Spencer Weart’s The Discovery of Global Warming, Cox’s book details the history of the discovery of abrupt climate change. Originally, it was thought that climate change would be a long, slow, smooth process. We now know that climate flip-flops between different states, often within a few years or decades. Cox describes in clear prose how scientists figured this out through ingenious analysis of the paleoclimatological record using ice cores and cores of ocean sediments.

Mark Bowen

Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World's Highest Mountains (John MacRae Books)

Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World’s Highest Mountains (John MacRae Books)

Exciting combination of adventure book, treatise on Climaticide, and biography of Lonnie Thompson, the world’s leading expert on high-altitude glaciology.

Fred Pearce

Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change

With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change

Pearce looks at the danger posed by tipping points. If a tipping point is reached (which will inevitably happen if we do not control greenhouse gas emissions very soon) no additional forcing will be required for large climate change and impacts

Mark Lynas

Our Future on a Hotter Planet

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet

Lynas reviewed hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers to write this book describing what the world will be like under six scenarios, each one degree Celsius hotter than the one that preceeds it.

Kerry Emanuel

The History and Science of Hurricanes

Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes

Beautiful coffee-table book combines science. literature and art to tell the story of Hurricanes

Bill McKibben

The End of Nature

Part nature essay, part global warming treatise, McKibben’s The End of Nature was the first book to present the dangers of Climaticide to a popular audience.  Reading the book, which was originally published in 1989, one is struck by the overall accuracy of McKibben’s predictions. Nearly 20 years ago, the basic picture was clear, but sadly during all that time we have done nothing to cut greenhouse gas emissions, so that we now find ourselves in a position where we must act immediately or face disaster.

Energy

Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn

The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming

Earth: The Sequel: The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming

Earth: The Sequel The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming by Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund, and Miriam Horn, is a good place to acquaint yourself with many of the alternative energy technologies currently under development. The style is easy to read and Krupp and Horn do a good job of explaining the complexities of a given technology in simple, easy-to-understand language. The focus is on future technologies that, in many cases, are still not proven, i.e. biofuels from algae, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). The book’s one notable flaw is that there is virtually no discussion of wind technology. In one sense this may be good news given Krupp’s enthusiasm for new technology. Perhaps he regards wind as too simple and well established a technology to merit detailed discussion in a book dedicated to complicated technical solutions to the problems posed by fossil fuels.

Joseph Romm

Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate

The Hype About Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate

Why hydrogen is an impractical solution our transportation problems for the foreseeable future.

Jeff Goodell

Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future

Goodell combines science, history and politics with fine writing to tell the story of dirty, corporate coal in the United States. Chock full of interesting (and often outrageous) facts, this book is a must read for anyone interested in knowing more about Public Enemy Number 1.

David JC MacKay

Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air

Have you ever wondered how you could ever make sense of the conflicting claims put forth by the proponents of alternatives to fossil fuels? MacKay in this superb book shows you how. Written in simple but often witty prose, the author does the numbers for you on wind, solar, nuclear, etc. (if you’re interested he even has a technical section where he explains the physics and math behind his conclustions.) Although the book focuses on the United Kingdom, the principles that MacKay employs are applicable anywhere. You can download a free PDF version of the book here. Highly recommended.

Ethics

James Garvey

Right and Wrong in a Warming World (Think Now)

The Ethics of Climate Change: Right and Wrong in a Warming World (Think Now)

Straightforward, clearly written, and thoughtful review of the fundamental ethical questions raised by Climaticide. Garvey starts by laying out the problem, the science that explains it, and basic principles of ethical reasoning. He then uses the Socratic method and an easy conversational style to help the reader to identify and begin to reflect upon how he or she ought ought to behave, both personally and politically, in the face of this vitally urgent, moral challenge.

Responses

  1. I will look for some of the books, I have read The Weather Makers, An Inconvenient Truth, and Hell & High Water. Thanks for the site, I enjoy reading it.

    • Thank you, Daniel. I’m glad you find it useful.

  2. Not to be a pain in the neck or anything, but instead of “If your new to global warming…” you need “If you’re new to global warming…”

    “Your” is possessive, “you’re” a contraction of you are.

    I don’t care (my spelling is poor), your writing is good, but you’re dealing with controversial topics and your critics will try to use such trivia against you.

    • Thanks John, I’ve corrected the typo you pointed out. JR

  3. I forgot to recommend Under a Green Sky, by Peter Ward. It looks at the worst that could happen by examining the P-T extinction’s causes and how the vicious cycles that would be able to cause this. It includes possible scenarios as well. A summary/review can be found at http://www.powells.com/review/2007_06_09.html

  4. I’d also recommend The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann. Superior in connecting the dots among human behavior, peak oil, climate change and history.

    • Thanks, Susan, for the recommendation. I’ll check it out.


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