Climate-related Readings

Some readings on climate change
and the movement that’s confronting it


On the math and chemistry of climate change and about our movement:’s Bill McKibben

If you read nothing else, read these two pieces by founder Bill McKibben:

You can also take in a lot of this information by watching Do the Math, a 45-minute film based on’s 2012 Do the Math tour. It’s slightly dated; for instance, it shows carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at 395 parts per million, whereas we’re now over 400 ppm. And it talks about 2012 being the hottest year on record, when of course 2016, 2015 and 2014 now hold first, second, and third place. Those are minor points; the film is still a powerful and sobering summary of our energy dilemma and its solutions:

McKibben writing about Standing Rock:

And in December 2015, McKibben’s take on the Paris climate agreement:

Books by McKibben:
McKibben has written many books about the environment; Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist, is his most recent. “With the Arctic melting, the Midwest in drought, and Irene scouring the Atlantic, McKibben recognized that action was needed if solutions were to be found. Some of those would come at the local level, where McKibben joins forces with a Vermont 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 center of the maelstrom and from the growing hive of small-scale local answers. With empathy and passion he makes the case for a renewed commitment on both levels, telling the story of raising one year’s honey crop and building a social movement that’s still cresting.”


The climate movement, its enemies and its allies: Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein has developed some of the most powerful analysis of the political and social dimensions of the climate crisis. She also has a lot to say about the kind of movement she thinks we need to confront this emergency. See this article:

Klein’s book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, is a tour de force of reporting about the failure of deregulated capitalism and liberal politics in the face of the climate crisis. She also provides a great introduction to “Blockadia,” the worldwide movement to stop fossil fuel infrastructure and turn around our energy systems. The book is extremely compelling, but it’s an intense and sometimes demanding read; if you don’t think you have the time and energy for it, 350Brooklyn’s Mimi Bluestone has written a review that summarizes the book’s key points.


General news about climate

The Guardian offers excellent environmental coverage from many angles and locales.