Climate Change Books for Lockdown Reading

Over the years, many of us have signed up to the Climate Vision 10 Pledges. In Pledge 3, we undertook to educate ourselves about the science and impacts of Climate Change. There are plenty of good books out there, so we decided to read some and recommend the best and most accessible. Here are two which might interest you – one non-fiction and one fiction.

First, The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnec (Manilla Press, 2020, ISBN 978-1-83877-082-2). Ms Figueres is an internationally recognised leader on global climate change who led the difficult international discussions which resulted in the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. Tom Rivett-Carnac helped to mobilise support for the agreement.

The authors set out alternative scenarios: the one where we fail to make the necessary changes and by 2050 endure a changed world spiralling out of control, or the one where the world is able to breathe, the air is fresh, nature is thriving, and entire populations have a better quality of life. They maintain that we still have time to choose between these opposing scenarios, and they set out 10 actions we can take to achieve the one we want.

Next, a novel: The End We Start From by Megan Hunter (Picador, 2017, ISBN 978-1-5098-4398-5). Megan Hunter’s first short novel is a mother’s poignant account of birth and motherhood as a refugee seeking shelter and safety from the flooding of London which has made it uninhabitable. The author has a poetic, sparse and fragmentary style using initials instead of names for her characters, and the book is interspersed with extracts from mythical creation texts which adds to its haunting quality.

There is no dialogue and, along with the lack of names, the other characters are not developed which results in a self-reflective monologue which only hints at the chaos and deprivation that can follow a climate disaster. This novel makes the consequences of climate change a very individual and human reality using an unusual evocative style.

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