Read The Best Books on Climate Change

Reading a book can be a peaceful, contemplative way to learn more about virtually any topic you can think of, including our planet. If you’re looking to read more about climate change and related subjects, you’re in luck: there are many books to choose from, and we’ve helped narrow it down by recommending some of our favorites:

Why Read SpaceshipOne's Book Recommendations?


We know that reading about the impacts of climate change, of today and of the future, can be heavy and even horrifying at times.


That's why we believe it's so important to balance out those realistic (sometimes pessimistic) perspectives with books like A Bright Future and Drawdown, which offer smart ways to mitigate climate impacts, adapt to the changes we can’t avoid, and actually restore our climate to the safe conditions humans once enjoyed. 


Sure, we should know what the consequences of inaction are — but only to the extent that they motivate us to act. The last thing we want to do is create a deer-in-the-headlights response of hand-wringing and fatalism. The air force calls it “negative target acquisition" when a scared pilot crashes in the worst possible way by focusing on what might go wrong. We obviously cannot afford such a tragic outcome when it comes to climate change. 


For every book on the problems, there is another book on the solutions. So if you’re going to read a “problem” book, be sure to follow it up with a “solutions” book — not just to get a more accurate view of the big-picture situation, but also to allow yourself to feel empowered and hopeful about our future!


Building a better world is possible. It starts with each of us believing in the possibilities, and then working on making our visions a reality. And reading a book (especially one on solutions) is a great way to get inspired!


What's the Environmental Impact of Books & e-Books?


Have you ever thought, while reading a book: how many trees were cut down to make this book? Are books bad for the environment?


Well, the answer is a bit complex, but let’s start out by saying books are not the worst thing for our environment. 


We all know that books are printed on paper, and the pulp used to make that paper comes from trees. While producing books requires harvesting trees, one pulpwood tree can make about 80 books, on average. The process of producing one book consumes two kilowatt-hours of fossil fuel energy, and emits about 7kg of carbon dioxide.


If you have a choice between a book and an e-book, go for the book — especially if it’s printed on recycled or sustainability-certified paper, and with vegetable- or soy-based ink. A single e-reader device requires about 100 kilowatt-hours of fossil fuel energy and generates more than 65 pounds of carbon dioxide — that's almost 100 times more greenhouse gas emissions than those associated with a single hardcopy book.

Another way that we can consume books in an eco-friendly way is by checking them out from our local library. And, at home, books can even help reduce our environmental impact when we place them in bookcases along the outer walls. There, they help insulate our homes, reducing household energy consumption! Pretty neat, right?