6 Best Climate Change Books (2023)

Best climate change books

Climate change is a pretty complex topic and there is a ton of conflicting information from media, the internet, and likely people you talk to. So we have compiled a list of the best climate change books to better understand what it is, how it works, and where we go from here. Even books on what businesses and individuals can do to be a part of the solution!

We want to say outright first, physical books cause impacts on the climate. We totally get it if you prefer a physical copy of a book. But best case scenario… you can find a used copy of one of these, take them out from your local library, or get a digital version from somewhere like Audible.

Happy Reading.

1. Best Climate Change Book for Beginners

The Thinking Person's Guide to Climate Change (2nd edition)

- Robert Henson
the thinking persons guide to climate change

If you are looking to read just one book on what climate change is then I could not recommend this book more.

Robert Henson has created an encompassing compilation of the scientific evidence, the unknowns, and the controversies that confuse. Yet somehow, the book still remains incredibly accessible and easy to understand.

Learn from the bottom up: where we are, where we are headed, the politics, and the solutions.

2. Best Climate Change Book for Young Adults

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

- Paul Hawken

If you have been with us here at The iTT Project for a while, you will know we are big on optimism, cuz nothing makes people want to bury their heads in the sand more than feeling overwhelmed.

And that’s exactly why we think Drawdown is the best climate change book for young adults. Previous generations have either ignored the issue or felt overwhelmed by it. Upcoming generations should be inspired to be part of the solutions.

This book compiles 100 real-world solutions to reverse global warming as compiled by leading scientists and policymakers from around the world. Furthermore, it explains how these solutions can not only slow Earth’s warming but even put us on the path to reversing the damage.

3. Best Fictional Climate Change Book

The Water Knife

- Paolo Bacigalupi

Looking for something a little less about learning and a little more wrapped in imagining what the world might be like if climate change goes unchecked?

This detective, assassin, spy thriller… yes, I said that about a climate change book… imagines a world where the Colorado River has dwindled to a trickle. Water becomes more valuable than gold, and “the only truth in the desert is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.”

4. Best Solutions Based Climate Change Book

Supercharge Me: Net Zero Faster

- Eric Lonergan & Corinne Sawers

If you are feeling bummed out about the climate crisis I could not recommend Super Charge Me more. Why? Because it is solutions focused.

It’s a realistic look at how governments, businesses, and individuals have reacted to global warming and how they likely will react. Using this knowledge, it offers solutions that are more realistic. Things that don’t feel miserable to implement and things that don’t involve sweeping economic changes.

5. Business and Climate Change

Let My People Go Surfing

- Yvon Chouinard

I absolutely love this book and constantly return to it as a source of inspiration for how to meld iTT’s business practices with our passions for sustainability.

This book is not completely about climate change but is more of a philosophy on how Patagonia built a brand that continually pushes for a better world. For business owners, it inspires and for consumers, it enlightens you on what to demand from companies.

It is funny, engaging, and full of adventure, and not only breaks the norm for how business should be successfully conducted, but the myriad of pictures breaks the norm on how books should be written.

6. Personal Emotions and Climate Change

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

- Florence Williams

This book is great if you are looking for something a little more about how people emotionally respond to climate change and less about the booooring physics, chemistry, and biology of why climate change is happening.

I find you have to be in nature to understand why you should be a part of its protection. This book delves into the natural world’s powers for improving the health of our bodies and personal relationships making you want to get outside! It also discusses how this might change if we continue on our current paths of clashing with the Earth.

> What are the Best Climate Change Books for Various Age Groups?

People often ask me about books for teaching people about climate change in various age groups.

My opinion is that middle schoolers and young adults are emotionally at a place where they can start to understand the complexities of climate change and its implications for them so the above books can all be great options. But, what do I know? I’m an environmental scientist, not a child psychologist!

However, I do really think that it is important to not make the learning process overwhelming, and cause them to feel hopeless rather than empowered. So focus on including solutions!

For young folks, my opinion is that it is best to start with the overall of how climate works and dabble in the human changes we are causing lightly.

Here is a list of the best books on climate change by age:

Best Climate Change Books for Middle Schoolers

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Drawdown is still a great option for middle schoolers. Its positive focus on solutions is what I believe will cause the next generations to do better than us in fixing these issues.

Best Climate Change Books for Elementary Students

The Boy Who Harnesses the Wind

The Boy Who Harnesses the Wind is an inspiring true story of a young Malawian who builds a windmill from scrap and brings renewable electricity to his village.

It inspires that young innovation can be a part of the solution from any age.

Best of all, it has a Netflix show for elementary students to watch after the book.

Best Climate Change Books for Kindergarten

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge

It’s the Magic School Bus! What more can I say?

Ms. Frizzle takes the class on a twisty turning adventure of learning and shenanigans as only the Friz can.

Best Climate Change Books for Preschoolers

Although it doesn’t directly dive into the world of climate change, this book immerses young minds into the incredible journey of Jane Goodall, a celebrated expert on primates and a dedicated champion of nature’s harmony.

As readers explore the pages, they embark on a journey of discovery, where animals become companions and nature whispers its secrets. Through these captivating tales, the book opens the door to conversations about our fellow creatures, the beauty of the natural world, and the vital responsibility we all share in nurturing and safeguarding our precious planet.

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