Melody
Melody asked:

What else should I read? I am very concerned but not well informed about climate change. This book has been good and I want to read further and diversify the perspectives I have been exposed to.

Mike Before reading anything about this topic check out the authors and sources at

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/...

and

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com

see also

https://www.desmogblog.com/alex-epstein

During a recent exchange on Linkedin with a group of denialists on the relationship between the recent polar vortex and climate change I found several good books that I sampled:

The Inquisition of Climate Science by James Lawrence Powell 2011

Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand by Haydn Washington and John Cook 2011

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway 2010

The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy by Michael E. Mann and Tom Toles 2016

"Deliberate confusion can be sown under a false pretext of "skepticism." And the scientific process is continually under attack by bad-faith doubt mongers."
Stephanie The Sixth Extinction?
Jacob I just finished reading Naomi Klein’s book and saw your request for a different perspective/approach. I would recommend anything by Alex Epstein, particularly his book, “The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels”. Also, search YouTube for his talk at Wellesley College last year and Bethel University (on the concept of energy poverty) just a few weeks ago.

Wellesley:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaNPB...
Bethel University:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLRyg...

His method of thinking is fundamentally different from Klein’s and consequently his conclusions are different.

Here’s a breakdown/summary of his method of thinking about energy (note: his book and lectures on YouTube have far more clarity and precision that what I’m writing here):

1. Think big picture about all forms of energy (look at all the pros and cons of each form of energy). Particularly today, there is a fundamental bias when discussing energy alternatives; we tend to focus on only the negatives for some energy types and only on the positives for others. For example, with fossil fuels we tend to focus on (actual & speculative) environmental consequences such as resource depletion, pollution, and climate change. However, there is hardly any discussion with regard to, say, ground contamination that is prevalent with wind and solar extraction processes. As a second example, with regard to fossil fuels, there is almost zero discussion about the enormous benefits that cheap, plentiful, and reliable energy has on human life and flourishing. Energy is used to feed the machines that farm our food, run our hospitals, clean our water, build our structures that keep us safe from climate, etc. The more cheap, reliable, and plentiful energy is, the better we can make our environment. There are over one billion people without any electricity today (that’s the equivalent to the population of Canada, the U.S., and Europe combined having no electricity). To ignore the positives and to only look at the negatives of a particular energy like fossil fuels shows biased thinking, which can lead to errors in our conclusions.

2. Standard of Value. Epstein argues that what can happen all the time in society is that people get distracted by goals that they think should be their priority and that have nothing to do with human well-being or even contradict it. Societies can do really destructive things ultimately because they have a goal that is an anti-human goal. He argues that the green movement’s standard of value (the standard they use to judge things as good or bad, moral or immoral) is NOT consistent with human well-being or human flourishing. Rather, the green’s goal is minimizing human impact. They look at any action and judge it as good or moral not based on its positive effect on human life but rather if the action has minimal to no impact on the planet.

Adopting the green’s standard of value would lead you to oppose, in any given decade, whatever is the most practical form of energy (because it will logically have the most impact on nature)… even if billions of human beings need this energy to create a safe living environment.

Adopting the green’s standard of value would lead you to oppose Norman Borlaug’s agricultural technologies which have fed millions and millions of people in impoverished countries (because the technologies alter nature); it would lead you to oppose using DDT to fight malaria (which kills over a million human beings annually) because there was anecdotal evidence that DDT reduced bird populations; it would lead you to oppose golden rice to fight malnourishment in impoverished countries (because the technology alters nature).

Overwhelmingly, the green’s standard of value (human non-impact) is a goal that contradicts human well-being. Having a standard of value that is not human flourishing (and more precisely having a standard of value that nearly always contradicts human flourishing) can lead to errors in our conclusions.

Yes, there are dangerous side-effects to every form of energy (and every technology) and it is crucially important to look at them critically. The point is that we have to weigh both the benefits and the risks together (get the full picture) and then assess the facts based on a proper standard of value. Epstein argues that today’s green movement is backwards. It is an anti-human environmental movement that needs to be replaced by a pro-human environmental movement.

3. Nature is fundamentally hostile and dangerous to human life and we need energy to make our environment clean, safe, and abundant. Nature untouched by human beings doesn’t give us plentiful food, it doesn’t give us clean water, it doesn’t give us safe shelter. Without energy to transform nature, it is a harsh, desolate place for human beings. To quote David Beiderman, "...when it comes to satisfying humanity’s basic needs, almost nothing is given, as almost everything must be created and produced. The arrangements of elements that make up the planet are not organized by natural processes to optimally support human life. Instead, work is required to transform the planet from an environment of scarcity to one rich with food, clothing, and shelter. The ability to do this work is made possible primarily by the fossil fuel industries―coal, oil and natural gas.”

Again, these are just high level summaries of Alex Epstein’s view. If you want a full account, I would recommend Alex’s book, “The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels” and the many YouTube videos of him online (see the links above). Whether or not you agree with his conclusions, I think his approach (more precisely, his method) is a proper one to have IF we are to arrive at the right conclusions to our energy and environmental problems both now and in the future.
Matt Alastair McIntosh's Hell and High Water takes discussions to a deeper level. And I'd also highly recommend Don't Even Think About It by George Marshall, which delves into the complex psychology of our many responses to climate change - beautifully written, open-hearted and clear.
Rossi AR You should look into "Climate matters : ethics in a warming world" if you are interested in a deep, but clear book on the moral issues around climate change action. The author, John Broome, is an economist and moral philosopher at Oxford U. He steers through some of the science without alarmism, and disentangles the multiple moral issues that arise and how each entails a different response on the individual and government level. No extensive background in moral philosophy needed, I think the book is within grasps for anyone who has any ethical intuition.
Nadine It's not a book, but Phil Plait's blog is very interesting and he often talks about climate change: http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astron...

And this web site is worth a look, because sometimes images are better then words. (See Climate change deniers VS consensus)
http://www.informationisbeautiful.net...

Also, if you get the chance to see it, Neil deGrasse Tyson had a great episode on Climate change in his show "Cosmos"
http://channel.nationalgeographic.com...

You can find some clips on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJhbQ...

I haven't read a lot of books on that subject, since website gives more "just in time" information, but this one on air-conditioning gives a surprisingly complete look on the whole issues of technology, energy uses and climate change
Losing Our Cool

If you want, let me know how your research goes, I'd like to read more about this too.
Lo Read some works by Derrick Jensen (note that the wider Deep Ecology movement is extremely problematic), articles by Crimethinc, Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis, and well, pretty much everything listed here: http://theanarchistlibrary.org/search...
Richard C. I'd like to recommend a book on a larger topic, Why We Bite the Invisible Hand: The Psychology of Anti-Capitalism, by Peter Poster (2014). Foster's an economist; his explanation lies in "evolutionary psychology" - the claim (he quotes many psychologists) that humans and the human mind evolved so long (>1.5 million years) as hunter-gatherers that we still think like H-G's. Example: when the H-G's make a kill, the meat must be divided, but how? It's a zero-sum situation; if some get more, others must get less. Sounds like the title suggested by Ms. Lindow. Modern economics, and the history of the last 238 years (2014-1776) repudiates "zero-sum" economic theory - but we are still inclined to think that way.
Chapter 14 of Foster's book, "Moral Climate", discusses climate change and the emotional "thinking" around it. That might offer some insight to Melody. It also contains some recent references that take account of the recent "hiatus" (18 years) of warming.
For a more scientific exposition of climate change, I'd recommend Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years by Fred Singer and Dennis Avery. Even a casual read will impress one that climate changes naturally, on differing scales of time and magnitude, and in cycles, up and down. I'm old enough to remember the cooling cycle, 1945-1975, which produced popular media accounts of a coming ice age (TIME, Newsweek), followed by the warming, 1976-1998, that seems to have stopped.
Morgan Any scientific text or website (see NASA for a concise and well illustrated break down of the evidence). Scientific American, New Scientist and other reputable publications have all published articles over the years. The BBC is another unbiased source. Also, several online courses in climate science from the perspective of various fields are available online if you really want detail. Beyond this you really can't beat peer reviewed, unsponsored journal papers.

If you're interested in green technologies and sustainability, there is less in the popular science genre but don't be afraid of the technical stuff; get beyond the acronyms and most is accessible to a general reader. An excellent, easily readable book is "Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air" by David Mackay.

If you're more interested in the politics and economics, then Dieter Helm and George Monbiot are two writers with (conflicting) viewpoints whose work I've enjoyed. Helm has been influential here in the UK and advocates an economics-based solution to climate change; Monbiot I agree with more but is less amenable to the status quo.

If you're interested in an alternative view to the established science, others here have recommended some. I would like to point out that Alex Epstein and others recommended here are (and make no secret of this on their respective websites) sponsored by the kind of organisations Klein denigrates far more eloquently than I can. The climate denial lobby may claim to be 'an alternative view', but there is no such thing in science. None of these offer an alternative theory backed up by a comparable level of evidence or even reasoning; and I have looked. The political motivations for denial are interesting, but transparent. I would not consider recommending these as sources of information, however even from a viewpoint of opposition they do offer some points of thought. Just remember who writes their paychecks and the large amounts of disinformation purported.
Donna The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change by Robert Henson would be a good choice. Bob has worked for many years in one of our nations' top atmospheric science labs as a writer and spokesperson. He has a gift for explaining science to people who aren't scientists. His other book, Rough Guide to Climate Change is also excellent. Plus he is a super nice guy and I hope his books are selling well. I worked with him at the National Center for Atmospheric Science for a few years but in a different department.
Freddie Anything by John Bellamy Foster
Judy Lindow I suggest Full Planet, Empty Plates (Lester Brown) and the last 2 books by Dr. Richard Oppenlander.

I was hoping I could find a group that would want to discuss this book with perhaps a chapter a week schedule. Any takers?
Blair Don't read this book. I explain why in https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The best thing I have found is Earth: The Operators Manual, by Richard Alley (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...). See my review at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Image for This Changes Everything
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more