SRRT Program with Bill McKibben
A Selection of Bill McKibben’s Books on Global Climate Change
Previous SRRT Programs on Global Climate Change
Reading List by Madeleine Charney
Database of Materials on Sustainable Libraries
Recommendation to Explore a New Direction for the ALA Endowment
SRRT Resolutions on Socially Responsible Investments
SRRT Program with Bill McKibben
2017 “Imagining a World That Works — In Time to Prevent a World That Doesn’t.” Co-sponsored by SRRT with the Sustainability Round Table, Asian/Pacific Librarians Association (APALA), and American Indian Library Association (AILA).
Acclaimed environmentalist, activist and author Bill McKibben spoke at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago from 1 - 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 24th. Named by the Boston Globe as “probably America’s most important environmentalist,” Bill McKibben has written over a dozen books, including his 1989 book, The End of Nature, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change and has appeared in 24 languages.
He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized 20,000 rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, McKibben was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers.
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A Selection of Bill McKibben’s Books on Global Climate Change
(in chronological order, all annotations are from WorldCat)
The End of Nature. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2006.Reissued on
the tenth anniversary of its publication, this classic work on our environmental crisis features a new introduction by the author, reviewing both the progress and ground lost in the fight to save the earth. This impassioned plea for radical and life-renewing change is today still considered a groundbreaking work in environmental studies. McKibben’s argument that the survival of the globe is dependent on a fundamental, philosophical shift in the way we relate to nature is more relevant than ever. McKibben writes of our earth’s environmental cataclysm, addressing such core issues as the greenhouse effect, acid rain, and the depletion of the ozone layer. His new introduction addresses some of the latest environmental issues that have risen during the 1990s. The book also includes an invaluable new appendix of facts and figures that surveys the progress of the environmental movement. More than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalog of scientific prediction, this classic, soulful lament on Nature is required reading for nature enthusiasts, activists, and concerned citizens alike. From publisher’s description.
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. 1st ed. New York: Times Books, 2007.
An impassioned call for an economy that creates community and ennobles our lives. In this manifesto, journalist McKibben offers the biggest challenge in a generation to the prevailing view of our economy. For the first time in human history, he observes, “more” is no longer synonymous with “better”-Indeed, they have become almost opposites. McKibben puts forward a new way to think about the things we buy, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the money that pays for it all. Our purchases, he says, need not be at odds with the things we truly value. McKibben’s animating idea is that we need to move beyond “growth” as the paramount economic ideal and pursue prosperity in a more local direction, with regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment. [A 2009 edition has the subtitle: Economics as if the World Mattered.]
Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community. 1st ed. Holt Paperback. New York: Henry Holt, 2007.
The escalating symptoms of global warming are startling: Hurricane Katrina, a rapidly disappearing Arctic, severe droughts and wildfires. Meanwhile, the leading expert at NASA warns that we have only ten years to reverse climate change, and the British government estimates that the financial impact will be greater than the Great Depression and both world wars - combined. It’s no longer time to debate global warming, it’s time to fight it.” Drawing on the experience of 1,400 Step It Up organizers in all fifty states, Bill McKibben-the author of the first major book on global warming, The End of Nature-and the Step It Up team explain how you can build the fight in your community college, or place of worship. Fight Global Warming Now offers the tools for your involvement in the mighty new movement that is confronting the most urgent challenge facing us today.-Jacket.
The Bill McKibben Reader: Pieces from an Active Life. A Holt Paperback. New York: Henry Holt, 2008.
For a generation, Bill McKibben has been among America’s most impassioned and beloved writers on our relationship to our world and our environment. His groundbreaking book on climate change, The End of Nature, is considered “as important as Rachel Carson’s classic Silent Spring” and Deep Economy, his “deeply thoughtful and mind-expanding” exploration of globalization, helped awaken and fuel a movement to restore local economies. Now, for the first time, the best of McKibben’s essays-fiery, magical, and infused with his uniquely soulful investigations of modern life-are collected in a single volume. Whether meditating on today’s golden age in radio, the natural place of biting black flies in our lives, or the patriotism of a grandmother fighting to get corporate money out of politics, McKibben inspires us to become better caretakers of the Earth-and of one another.
Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2011.
Argues that a large-scale shift in Earth’s climate is unavoidable and explains how humans should live if they are going to sustain themselves on the new planet that their mistakes have created.
GWR: The Global Warming Reader. New York: OR Books, 2011.
This is a book for all of us: students, activists, Earthlings. Edited by perhaps the most widely-respected writer on the environment today, GWR is a comprehensive resource that collects seminal texts and voices on climate change from the phenomenon’s discovery in the late 19th century to the present. What is happening to our planet - and what can we do about it? This collection, which includes criticism of the very concept of global warming (by doubters U.S. Sen. James Inhofe and Michael Crichton), attempts to answer these all-important questions. Divided into three parts-Science, Politics, and Meaning-the book contains a transcript of NASA scientist James Hansen’s testimony before the U.S. Congress; George Monbiot’s biting, convincing indictment of who is really using up the planet’s resources; Elizabeth Kolbert’s groundbreaking essay “The Darkening Sea,” and excerpts from the work of Al Gore, Naomi Klein, and many others. Even in this age of electronic archives, GWR is essential, as much for Bill McKibben’s selection and introductions as it is for its broad spectrum of content.-Publisher’s description.
Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist. First ed. New York: Times Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2013.
Bill McKibben is not a person you’d expect to find handcuffed in the city jail in Washington, D.C. But that’s where he spent three days in the summer of 2011, after leading the largest civil disobedience in thirty years to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. A few months later the protesters would see their efforts rewarded when President Obama agreed to put the project on hold. And yet McKibben realized that this small and temporary victory was at best a stepping-stone. With the Arctic melting, the Midwest in drought, and Sandy scouring the Atlantic, the need for much deeper solutions was obvious. Some of those would come at the local level, and McKibben recounts a year he spends in the company of a beekeeper raising his hives as part of the growing trend toward local food. Other solutions would come from a much larger fight against the fossil-fuel industry as a whole. Oil and Honey is McKibben’s account of these two necessary and mutually reinforcing sides of the global climate fight--from the absolute center of the maelstrom and from the growing hive of small-scale local answers to the climate crisis. With characteristic empathy and passion, he reveals the imperative to work on both levels, telling the story of raising one year’s honey crop and building a social movement that’s still cresting- Provided by publisher.
Radio Free Vermont: a Fable of Resistance. Waterville, ME: Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2018.
A book that’s also the beginning of a movement, Bill McKibben’s debut novel Radio Free Vermont follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide that their state might be better off as its own republic. As the host of Radio Free Vermont-“underground, underpowered, and underfoot”-seventy-two-year-old Vern Barclay is currently broadcasting from an “undisclosed and double-secret location.” With the help of a young computer prodigy named Perry Alterson, Vern uses his radio show to advocate for a simple yet radical idea: an independent Vermont, one where the state secedes from the United States and operates under a free local economy. But for now, he and his radio show must remain untraceable, because in addition to being a lifelong Vermonter and concerned citizen, Vern Barclay is also a fugitive from the law. In Radio Free Vermont , Bill McKibben entertains and expands upon an idea that’s become more popular than ever--seceding from the United States. Along with Vern and Perry, McKibben imagines an eccentric group of activists who carry out their own version of guerrilla warfare, which includes dismissing local middle school children early in honor of ‘Ethan Allen Day’ and hijacking a Coors Light truck and replacing the stock with local brew. Witty, biting, and terrifyingly timely, Radio Free Vermont is Bill McKibben’s fictional response to the burgeoning resistance movement.
Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? First ed. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2019.
Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out. Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking book The End of Nature-issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic-was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience. Falter tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben’s experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We’re at a bleak moment in human history-and we’ll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away. Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.
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Previous SRRT Programs on Global Climate Change
“Is It Safe to Go Outside? Health Effects of Climate Change and Global Warming.” Speaker was Lise Van Susteren, M.D., forensic psychiatrist and an environmental activist. Co-sponsored by SRRT Task Force on Environment with ACRL Interest Group on Health Science.
“Earth Wind and Fire @ Your Library: Changing Climate and Changing Lives.” Speaker was Fred Stoss from the University of Buffalo Library. Co-sponsored by the SRRT International Responsibilities Task Force and Task Force on the Environment.
“The Data and Information Behind Truth: A Librarian’s Perspective on Global Warming.” On Al Gore’s book and film, An Inconvenient Truth. Speaker was Fred Stoss, University at Buffalo, Arts & Sciences Libraries, Biological and Environmental Sciences and Mathematics Librarian. Presented by SRRT Task Force on the Environment. Stoss was co-chair of the task force.
“Earth Days in the 21st Century, Environmental Activism to Save the Planet.” Speakers were Denis Hayes, the founder of the first Earth Day in 1970; Fred Stoss; and TFOE Chair Maria Anna Jankowska. Presented by the SRRT Task Force on the Environment.
“Global Reach – Local Touch: The Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters Library.” Sponsored by the SRRT Task Force on the Environment with ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), held at EPA Headquarters.
“Global Change Data and Information Systems: Roles of the Libraries.” Speakers were Roberta Rand from USDA, Linda Hill from Academia Press, Gerald Barton from USGS, Betty Coyle from ConQuest Software, Inc./GC-ASK, Jerry Curry from DOE/DAAC, EOSDIS, and Fred Stoss from DOE/CDIAC-ORNL as speakers. Patty Owen from Pasco County Library System (Florida) was the Moderator. Presented by the SRRT Task Force on the Environment.
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Reading List by Madeleine Charney
Research Services Librarian for Arboriculture & Community Forest Management, Architecture, Building & Construction Technology, Environmental Conservation, Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning, Sustainable Food & Farming, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psycho-Social Climate Change Book Sources
Albrecht, Glenn. Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World. Cornell University Press, 2019.
Earth Emotions is an invitation to the reader to participate in the emergent global drama between the emotionally charged forces of creation and destruction. Both sets of emotions are needed for the survival and the flourishing of the species, however, we live in an epoch where the forces of destruction are overwhelming positive or creative emotions. The name for this period of human dominance is the ‘Anthropocene’. The text promotes an antidote to the Anthropocene in the form of the ‘Symbiocene,’ a future era where positive earth emotions will flourish.
Baker, Carolyn. Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times. The Sacred Activism Series. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2013.
Carolyn Baker’s work is not for the faint of heart. For those brave enough to face the harsh reality of collapse, this book is a guide to emotional and spiritual preparation for the impending unraveling of industrial civilization. The 17 essays and 52 weekly meditations illuminate the soul and celebrate the power of community building as a girding for an unpredictable future.
Davenport, Leslie. Emotional Resiliency in the Era of Climate Change: A Clinician’s Guide. London; Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 2017.
With environmental damage and disaster as a result of climate change on the rise, this book responds to a need for methods for dealing with adverse psychological impact in the therapy room. Including proven, effective interventions alongside foundational theory, this book is an excellent tool for counteracting negative effects on mental health.
Eisenstein, Charles. Climate – a New Story. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2018.
Flipping the script on climate change, Eisenstein makes a case for a wholesale reimagining of the framing, tactics, and goals we employ in our journey to heal from ecological destruction. With research and insight, Charles Eisenstein details how the quantification of the natural world leads to a lack of integration and our “fight” mentality. With an entire chapter unpacking the climate change denier’s point of view, he advocates for expanding our exclusive focus on carbon emissions to see the broader picture beyond our short-sighted and incomplete approach. The natural and the material world–the rivers, forests, and creatures–are sacred and valuable in their own right, not simply for carbon credits or preventing the extinction of one species versus another. After all, when you ask someone why they first became an environmentalist, they’re not likely to cite humanity’s existential crisis, or our society going up in flames; they’re likely to point to the river they played in, the ocean they visited, the wild animals they observed, or the trees they climbed when they were a kid. This refocusing away from impending catastrophe and our inevitable doom cultivates meaningful emotional and psychological connections and provides real, actionable steps to caring for the earth. Freeing ourselves from a war mentality and seeing the bigger picture of how everything from prison reform to saving the whales can contribute to our planetary ecological health, we resist reflexive postures of solution and blame and reach toward the deep place where commitment lives. [Annotation from Publisher’s website]
Macy, Joanna, and Chris Johnstone. Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2012.
Intense and overwhelming global challenges are so difficult to face. This book takes the reader on an archetypal journey from Business as Usual to the Great Unraveling to the Great Turning. Along the way, Joanna Macy offers practical exercises that strengthen our capacity to face this crisis so that we can respond with resilience and creative power. Drawing on decades of teaching an empowerment approach known as the Work That Reconnects, this book makes a life-sustaining society appear within reach.
Moore, Kathleen Dean. Great Tide Rising: Towards Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change. Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2017.
Throughout this book, philosopher and nature essayist Kathleen Dean Moore pushes the reader to grapple with mind-bending, heart-wrenching questions: Why is it wrong to wreck the world? What is our obligation to future generations? How can clear thinking stand against the lies and illogic that batter the chances for positive change? And what can one person do? Her plaintive demand is that we be part of the tide of resistance to apathy and work with allies who share our anger, sadness, and belief in a sane future. Breaking the bonds of isolation and despair allows us to stay the course.
Scranton, Roy. Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2015.
In this bracing response to climate change, Roy Scranton combines memoir, reportage, philosophy, and Zen wisdom to explore what it means to be human in a rapidly evolving world, taking listeners on a journey through street protests, the latest findings of earth scientists, a historic UN summit, millennia of geological history, and the persistent vitality of ancient literature. Expanding on his influential New York Times essay (the number-one most-emailed article the day it appeared, and selected for Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014), Scranton responds to the existential problem of global warming by arguing that in order to survive, we must come to terms with our mortality.
Scranton, Roy. We’re Doomed. Now What? Essays on War and Climate Change. New York: Soho Press, 2018.
This book addresses the crisis that is our time through a series of brilliant, moving, and original essays on climate change, war, literature, and loss, from one of the most provocative and iconoclastic minds of his generation. Roy Scranton handles his subjects with the same electric, philosophical, demotic touch that he brought to his ground-breaking New York Times essay (then book), “Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene.”
Solnit, Rebecca. A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disasters. New York: Viking, 2009.
Why is it that in the aftermath of a disaster, people suddenly become altruistic, resourceful, and brave? Award-winning author Solnit explores this phenomena, looking at major calamities from the past 100 years. [Annotation from WorldCat]
Streeby, Shelley. Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism. American Studies Now, 5. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2018.
From the 1960s to the present, activists, artists, and science fiction writers have imagined the consequences of climate change and its impacts on our future. Authors such as Octavia Butler and Leslie Marmon Silko, movie directors such as Bong Joon-Ho, and creators of digital media such as the makers of the Maori web series Anamata Future News have all envisioned future worlds in the wake of imminent environmental collapse, engaging audiences to think about the Earth.
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Reading List by Fred Stoss
Librarian and Subject Liaison for Biological Sciences, Environment & Sustainability, and Geology Departments, Science and Engineering Information Center, Lockwood Library, SUNY University at Buffalo
After watching the Academy Award-winning documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth (directed by Davis Guggenheim) featuring the global climate change slide show of former Vice President Al Gore, and after my training with Mr. Gore in January 2007 to give that presentation, I wrote an article that appeared in the Electronic Green Journal, “Convenient Resources for ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’” The documentary’s companion book of the same title became a New York Times Best Seller (An Inconvenient Truth: the Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do about It (New York: Rodale, 2006). Viking Press published a shorter (by about one-third) version in 2007 for juvenile audiences, Al Gore with Jane O’Connor (adaptor), An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming. It finds O’Connor rephrasing Gore’s arguments in briefer, simpler language without compromising their flow, plainly intending to disturb readers rather than frighten them. O’Connor writes measured, matter-of-fact prose, letting facts and trends speak for themselves but, suggesting that “what happens locally has worldwide consequences,” she closes with the assertion that we will all have to “change the way we live our lives.” Mr. Gore provided a ten-year update in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power: Your Action Handbook to Learn the Science, Find Your Voice, and Help Solve the Climate Crisis. See below. This reading list is far from comprehensive, but is a sampling of works that will further pique interests in the topic of global climate change and hopefully stimulate and sustain actions to solve this problem. (FS) [All annotations are from WorldCat.]
Antal, Jim. Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.
Climate Church, Climate World argues that climate change is the greatest moral challenge humanity has ever faced. Hunger, refugees, poverty, inequality, deadly viruses, war-climate change multiplies all forms of global social injustice. Environmental leader Reverend Jim Antal presents a compelling case that it’s time for the church to meet this moral challenge, just as the church addressed previous moral challenges. Antal calls for the church to embrace a new vocation so that future generations might live in harmony with God’s creation. After describing how we have created the dangers our planet now faces, Antal urges the church to embrace a new vocation, one focused on collective salvation and an expanded understanding of the Golden Rule (Golden Rule 2.0). He suggests ways people of faith can reorient what they prize through new approaches to worship, preaching, witnessing and other spiritual practices that “honor creation and cultivate hope.” [Antal’s book is a fairly good update on Christian responsibilities often called “Creation Care.” It is a continuation of the theme of Katherine Hayhoe’s (atmospheric physicist and climatologist, Director of the climate program at Texas Tech University) and her husband, Andrew Farley’s (Evangelical Minister and Pastor) to Christians that they have a “moral obligation” to address the issues of global climate change, described in their book, Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-based Decisions (New York: FaithWords, 2009) FS]
Boykoff, Maxwell T. Creative (Climate) Communications: Productive Pathways for Science, Policy, and Society. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
Conversations about climate change at the science-policy interface and in our lives have been stuck for some time. This handbook integrates lessons from the social sciences and humanities to more effectively make connections through issues, people, and things that everyday citizens care about. Readers will come away with an enhanced understanding that there is no ‘silver bullet’ to communications about climate change; instead, a ‘silver buckshot’ approach is needed, where strategies effectively reach different audiences in different contexts. This tactic can then significantly improve efforts that seek meaningful, substantive, and sustained responses to contemporary climate challenges. It can also help to effectively recapture a common or middle ground on climate change in the public arena. Readers will come away with ideas on how to harness creativity to better understand what kinds of communications work where, when, why, and under what conditions in the twenty-first century.
Dietz, Matthias, and Heiko Garrelts. Routledge Handbook of the Climate Change Movement. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2014.
This handbook provides a comprehensive overview of the growing international climate movement. A dual focus on climate politics and civil society provides a hitherto unavailable broad and systematic analysis of the current global movement, highlighting how its dynamic and diverse character can play an important role in environmental politics and climate protection. The range of contributors, from well-known academics to activist-scholars, look at climate movements in the developed and developing world, north and south, small and large, central and marginal. The movement is examined as a whole and as single actors, thereby capturing its scope, structure, development, activities and influence. The book thoroughly addresses theoretical approaches, from classic social movement theory to the influence of environmental justice frames, and follows this with a systematic focus on regions, specific NGOs and activists, cases and strategies, as well as relations with peripheral groups. In its breadth, balance and depth, this accessible volume offers a fresh and important take on the question of social mobilization around climate change, making it an essential text for advanced undergraduates, postgraduate students and researchers in the social sciences. [Reviewed in the SRRT Newsletter: http://www.ala.org/rt/srrt-newsletter-issue-193-december-2015#10
Filho, Walter Leal, and Sarah L Hemstock. Climate Change and the Role of Education. New York: Springer, 2019.
This book offers insights into the educational dimensions of climate change and promotes measures to improve education in this context. It is widely believed that education can play a key role in finding global solutions to many problems related to climate change. Indeed, education as a process not only helps young people to better understand and address the impact of global warming, but also fosters better attitudes and behaviours to aid efforts towards mitigating climate change and adapting to a changing environment. But despite the central importance of education in relation to climate change, there is a paucity of publications on this theme. Against this background, the book focuses on the educational aspects of climate change and showcases examples of research, projects and other initiatives aimed at educating various audiences. It also provides a platform for reflections on the role education can play in fostering awareness on a changing climate. Presenting a wide range of valuable lessons learned, which can be adapted and replicated elsewhere, the book appeals to educators and practitioners alike.
Gore, Al. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power: Your Action Handbook to Learn the Science, Find Your Voice, and Help Solve the Climate Crisis. New York: Rodale Press, 2017.
The follow up to the #1 New York Times bestselling An Inconvenient Truth and companion to Vice President Al Gore’s new documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, this new book is a daring call to action. It exposes the reality of how humankind has aided in the destruction of our planet and delivers hope through groundbreaking information on what you can do now. Vice President Gore, one of our environmental heroes and a leading expert in climate change, brings together cutting-edge research from top scientists around the world; approximately 200 photographs and illustrations to visually articulate the subject matter; and personal anecdotes and observations to document the fast pace and wide scope of global warming. He presents, with alarming clarity and conclusiveness (and with humor, too) that the fact of global climate change is not in question and that its consequences for the world we live in will be assuredly disastrous if left unchecked. Follow Vice President Gore around the globe as he tells a story of change in the making. He connects the dots of Zika, flooding, and other natural disasters we’ve lived through in the last 10+ years—and much more. The book also offers a comprehensive how-to guide on exactly how we can change the course of fate. With concrete, actionable advice on topics ranging from how to run for office to how to talk to your children about climate change, An Inconvenient Sequel will empower you to make a difference—and lets you know how exactly to do it. Where Gore’s first documentary and book took us through the technical aspects of climate change, the second documentary is a gripping, narrative journey that leaves you filled with hope and the urge to take action immediately. This book captures that same essence and is a must-have for everyone who cares deeply about our planet.
Gunter, Ellen, and Ted Carter. Earth Calling: A Climate Change Handbook for the 21st Century. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2014.
Our earliest mythologies tell us we all start as a little bit of dirt. These stories carry a profound message: each of us is born with a deep and abiding connection to the earth, one that many of us have lost touch with. The Silent Spring for today’s environmental activists, this book offers an invitation to reestablish our relationship with nature to repair our damaged environment. Chapter 1 examines the threats to the planet’s health through the lens of the human energy system known as the chakras, describing how the broken first chakra relates to our disconnection from our biosphere. Chapter 2 shows how our current environmental crises-global warming, climate change, dwindling water resources, natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes-represent severe manifestations of our disconnection from the earth. Chapter 3 describes how the preponderance of oil in our culture-especially agribusiness-compounds this disconnection, from our dependence on other countries for our energy, to current issues of oil depletion, peak oil, and fracking, to the dumbing down of our agricultural polyculture. Chapter 4 explains how the most basic building blocks of our nourishment-seeds-are being compromised with a loss of biodiversity and rise of GMOs, and how that adversely affects the farmers whose sacred connection to the land has in many cases been severed. Chapter 5 describes the ways in which we as individuals can begin to wake up to climate activism as a spiritual practice. This chapter includes specific activities that you can use to implement change and heal your own connection to the earth. By learning and practicing ritual and understanding the earth’s rhythms and seasonal rites of passage, each of us can find unique ways to heal our own connections and help others heal theirs. Chapter 6 looks at stories of how people are responding to their inner callings with generosity, innovation, and dedication-exactly the traits our nation and our planet need now”-“Nature - Environmental Conservation & Protection.” [While dated by six years the issues and talking points raised are critical for the dialogues of today. FS]
Hawken, Paul. Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. New York: Penguin, 2017.
In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here-some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. The solutions exist, are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are currently enacting them with skill and determination. If deployed collectively on a global scale over the next thirty years, they represent a credible path forward, not just to slow the earth’s warming but to reach drawdown, that point in time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline. These measures promise cascading benefits to human health, security, prosperity, and well-being-giving us every reason to see this planetary crisis as an opportunity to create a just and livable world.
Henson, Robert. The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change. 2nd Edition. Boston: American Meteorological Association, 2019.
Everybody can be a thinking person when it comes to climate change, and this book is a perfect roadmap. Start a web search for climate change and the first three suggestions are facts, news, and hoax. The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change is rooted in the first, up to date on the second, and anything but the last. Produced by one of the most venerable atmospheric science organizations, it is a must-read for anyone looking for the full story on climate change. Using global research and written with nonscientists in mind, the Guide breaks down the issues into straightforward categories: Symptoms covers signs such as melting ice and extreme weather, while Science lays out what we know and how we figured it out. Debates tackles the controversy and politics, while Solutions and Actions discuss what we can do as individuals and communities to create the best possible future. Full-color illustrations offer explanations of everything from how the greenhouse effect traps heat to which activities in everyday life emit the most carbon. Special-feature boxes zoom in on locations across the globe already experiencing the effects of a shifting climate. The new edition of The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change has been thoroughly updated, including content on new global record highs, new research across the spectrum, and the Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse gases. This reference provides the most comprehensive, yet accessible, overview of where climate science stands today, acknowledging controversies but standing strong in its stance that the climate is changing and something needs to be done.
Jaccard, Mark. The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming Myths that Hinder Progress. London, U.K.: Cambridge University, 2020.
Sometimes solving climate change seems impossibly complex, and it is hard to know what changes we all can and should make to help. This book offers hope. Drawing on the latest research, Mark Jaccard shows us how to recognize the absolutely essential actions (decarbonizing electricity and transport) and policies (regulations that phase out coal plants and gasoline vehicles, carbon tariffs). Rather than feeling paralyzed and pursuing ineffective efforts, we can all make a few key changes in our lifestyles to reduce emissions, to contribute to the urgently needed affordable energy transition in developed and developing countries. More importantly, Jaccard shows how to distinguish climate-sincere from insincere politicians and increase the chance of electing and sustaining these leaders in power. In combining the personal and the political, The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success offers a clear and simple strategic path to solving the greatest problem of our times. A PDF version of this title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core at doi.org/10.1017/9781108783453.
Kalmus, Peter. Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2017.
Alarmed by drastic changes in the Earth’s climate systems, the author, a climate scientist and suburban father of two, embarked on a journey to change his life and the world. He began by bicycling, growing food, meditating, and making other simple, fulfilling changes. Ultimately, he slashed his climate impact to under a tenth of the US average and became happier in the process. Being the change explores the connections between our individual daily actions and our collective predicament. It merges science, spirituality, and practical action to develop a satisfying and appropriate response to global warming.
McMichael, A. J.; Alistair Woodward; and Cameron Muir. Climate Change and the Health of Nations: Famines, Fevers, and the Fate of Populations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
When we think of climate change, we often picture man-made global warming, caused by greenhouse gas emissions. But natural climate change has occurred throughout human history, and populations have had to adapt to the climate’s vicissitudes. Anthony McMichael, a renowned epidemiologist and a pioneer in the field of how human health relates to climate change, is the ideal person to tell this story. In Climate Change and the Health of Nations, McMichael shows how the natural environment has vast direct and indirect repercussions for human health and welfare. He takes us on a tour of human history through the lens of major transformations in climate. From the very beginning of our species some five million years ago, human biology has evolved in response to cooling temperatures, new food sources, and changing geography. As societies began to form, they too adapted in relation to their environments, most notably with the development of agriculture eleven thousand years ago. Agricultural civilization was a Faustian bargain, however: the prosperity and comfort that an agrarian society provides relies on the assumption that the environment will largely remain stable. Indeed, for agriculture to succeed, environmental conditions must be just right, which McMichael refers to as the “Goldilocks phenomenon.” Global warming is disrupting this balance, just as other climate-related upheavals have tested human societies throughout history. As McMichael shows, the break-up of the Roman Empire, the bubonic Plague of Justinian, and the mysterious collapse of Mayan civilization all have roots in climate change. Why devote so much analysis to the past, when the daunting future of climate change is already here? Because the story of mankind as previous survival in the face of an unpredictable and unstable climate, and of the terrible toll that climate change can take, could not be more important as we face the realities of a warming planet. This sweeping magnum opus is not only a rigorous, innovative, and fascinating exploration of how the climate affects the human condition, but also an urgent call to recognize our species’ utter reliance on the earth as it is.
Mann, Michael E., and Tom Toles. The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.
The Madhouse Effect portrays the intellectual pretzels into which denialists must twist logic to explain away the clear evidence that human activity has changed Earth’s climate. Toles’s cartoons collapse counter-scientific strategies into their biased components, helping readers see how to best strike at these fallacies. Mann’s expert skills at science communication aim to restore sanity to a debate that continues to rage against widely acknowledged scientific consensus. The synergy of these two climate science crusaders enlivens the gloom and doom of so many climate-themed books-and may even convert die-hard doubters to the side of science.-Amazon.com.
Masri, Shahir. Beyond Debate: Answers to 50 Misconceptions on Climate Change. Newport Beach, CA: Dockside Sailing Press, 2018.
Witt, Jill MacIntyre, et. al. Climate Justice Field Manual: A Field Manual to Increase Climate Activism. Dissertation. Western Washington University Graduate School, 2017. https://cedar.wwu.edu/wwuet/579 or https://www.climatejusticenow.earth/. Title varies: Building the Climate Justice Movement: A Field Manual to Increase Climate Activism.
Governments from around the world have been meeting annually for over twenty years to determine solutions for addressing global climate change. At the COP 21 Climate Summit in Paris, 195 governments agreed that carbon emissions must be lowered and each country reported their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) for lowering carbon emissions. Now it is up to civil society to hold governments accountable to their commitment and to also urge bolder action since their contributions are not adequate to lower emissions to a level suitable for a livable future. A global justice movement focused on climate action can play a critical role to move more people to action. This project focuses on how to increase climate activism through a compilation of strategies and best practices in the form of a field manual to inform individuals and organizations on ways to move people to climate activism. A survey administered to Climate Activists is analyzed, and the survey results provide a list of climate actions and barriers identified by current climate activists in the field in hopes to inform the movement on what is working and what is important to focus on in the future to move people to action. This field manual will provide additional insights to help build and maintain the climate justice movement. [Reviewed in the SRRT Newsletter: http://www.ala.org/rt/srrt-newsletter-issue-205-january-2019#12]
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Database of Materials on Sustainable Libraries from the Sustainability Round Table
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Recommendation to Explore a New Direction for the ALA Endowment
Presents our recommendations and a research packet on divestment of fossil fuels, researched and complied by Jenny Rockwell for the Sustainability Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table, November 2018. The packet includes 14 sections with ALA documents, interviews with and presentations of financial advisors, and other relevant information.
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SRRT Resolutions on Socially Responsible Investments
(in reverse chronological order)
SRRT Resolutions and Statements
Resolution on Socially Responsible Investments for the ALA Endowment Fund. 2017-2018 ALA CD#36_21118_REVISED (INF)
Defeated at the ALA Membership Meeting.
[At the Midwinter ALA Council it was referred to the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC). BARC reported back at annual, CD#33.2-62418 responding to various points but recommended no further action.]
Resolution on Divestment of Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies and Libraries’ Role in a Peaceful Transition to a Fossil-Free Economy (PDF)2014-2015 ALA CD#42
Defeated by 2 votes at the ALA Membership Meeting, and defeated by ALA Council.
Defeated by ALA Council.