Our 2021 Reading List: Books on Climate Change and Regeneration

As we excitedly turn the page for a new year, Regenerative Travel rounds up our favorite reads on combating the climate crisis. Whether looking for a first-person account on how humans can create the ideal planet for all or an optimistic proclamation that climate change ultimately can be tackled and overturned with collective action and public policy, we believe the below serve as an excellent springboard as global focus shifts beyond the pandemic to regenerative travel and climate change. 

Read Our Favorite Books on Regeneration and Climate Change

1. All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine K. Wilkinson

Johnson and Wilkinson prove to be visionaries as they dissect, in the form of essays, art, and poetry, the overarching problem of women missing in action as agents of change in the climate movement. Delving into experiences and expertise of a variety of American women from scientists to farmers, innovators and wonks, readers will discover the plethora of climate solutions and ideas that have the opportunity to transform society. By operating with the full inclusion of all, this guide reminds everyone must be included in the conversation to tackle this monumental threat.

2. The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

Depicted by The Washington Post as this generation’s potential Silent Spring, Wallace-Wells takes readers on a journey beyond rising sea levels and straw-less cocktails to how the future will look when humanity refuses to change its current climate trajectory. While more of a doom and gloom declaration, the science-backed methodology reinforces the stark reality we are to face around the corner as planet Earth warms. For those striving to tap into humanity’s overarching greatest threat to come, Wallace-Wells will deliver.

3. The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres & Tom Rivett-Carnac

Crafted by some of the world’s foremost scholars on climate change, Christiana Figueres, former UN Executive Secretary for Climate Change and Tom Rivett-Carnac, senior political strategist for the Paris Agreement, deliver a manifesto of optimism and empowerment for the climate crisis. In The Future We Choose, Figueres and Rivett-Carnac depict two scenarios, each taking place in 2050. In the first, is a world in which the Paris Agreement targets are left unmet with disaster defined as not if, but when. In the second, targets are met, establishing a regenerative world, one seen as carbon neutral and collaborative with the natural environment. The action plan outlined for each societal sector, reaffirms we are capable of thwarting this crisis and living in a world of true reciprocity. 

4. A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by David Attenborough

Attenborough, a natural historian, world traveler, and, arguably, one of Britain’s national treasures, invites readers to join him in a reflection of his 94 years of exploration and experience in the natural world. His first-person account surrounding this great tragedy whereby it is “barely noticeable from day to day — the loss of our planet’s wild places, its biodiversity” confirms the undeniable action needed to move towards whole systems thinking, where our relationship with nature is understood and supported. What successfully defines Attenborough’s moving strategy is the scientific accounts his book embodies while inviting audiences in to experience the breadth and depth of his environmental knowledge. For those desiring this blended approach to understanding climate change, Attenborough’s book is a must. 

5. Winning the Green New Deal: Why We Must, How We Can by Varshini Prakash & Guido Girgenti

Those searching for a climate strategy need not to look further than Winning the Green New Deal. Centered around the Green New Deal, which is a package of proposed U.S. legislative efforts concentrated on climate change and economic inequality, authors, Prakash and Girgenti, offer a collection of discourses from leading experts on this proposal and how its success will provide a livable future for all. Prakash and Girgenti’s work explores viewpoints from activists, policy makers, and journalists, all of whom argue the movement to win the battle over climate change will be fought by the participation of all and with a radical agenda. Winning the Green New Deal is ideal for anyone looking to better understand how to address and successfully avert the climate crisis.

6. The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here by Hope Jahren

One of the cornerstones of regeneration is the shift from scarcity to abundance, in which resources are used in ways that continue for generations to come, not for maximum growth. Needless to say, Jahren’s The Story of More capitalizes on that notion by highlighting how the fetish with rampant consumerism in extracting our finite resources is ultimately making the world sick and us unhappy. Jahren believes by sharing more and using less, we can start to frame the developed world’s contribution to climate change. The Story of More has been described as the “pocket primer on climate change that will leave an indelible impact on everyone who reads it.”

7. No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg

It is the reminder the world needs as we go about our lives: no one is too small to make a difference. Thunberg’s compilation of essays and speeches in No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference serves as a catalyst for change when we feel without power and hope to create effective change. Thunberg’s powerful delivery offers clear cut messages about a world in desperate need of the strength and will of defenders to protect its natural environment and combat climate change. No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference is a wakeup call to fight for Mother Earth. 

8. Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism by John  Elkington

While set to be published in April 2021, Elkington’s forthcoming book, Green Swans is one we are excited to delve into come spring. Focused on his firsthand experience in boardrooms and c-suites, Elkington demonstrates how businesses can serve people, planet, and profit by morphing from black to green swans; “It is the tale of the accelerating transformation of capitalism, markets and business — a process I believe will reach a major inflection point in the 2020s. The result will be a world either of Black Swan breakdowns, among them the climate emergency and species extinction, or of breakthrough Green Swan solutions. More likely, of course, it will be a shifting mix of both, challenging us to move the needle from black to green.”

9. We are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer

If overwhelmed by what lays past the pandemic as the world’s next great existential threat, climate change, Foer’s We are the Weather, illustrates how merely examining and modifying what we choose to eat each day, can fundamentally alter the planet’s current climate course. Foer provides readers with a sense of hope as simple, everyday choices, such as what to eat for breakfast, highlight their direct consequences, allowing a sense of power and ownership emerge. Foer’s book is a prompt we can all do better, one bite at a time. 

10. Standing Up for a Sustainable World by Claude Henry, Johan Rockström, Nicholas Stern

Released at the end of a tumultuous 2020, Standing Up for a Sustainable World discusses the enormous achievements reached post World War II including that of increased life expectancy, poverty reduction, and economic growth. While undeniably positive for humanity, Henry, Rockström, and Stern explain these efforts have resulted in vast destruction across the planet. Juxtaposed to taking a doom and gloom or guilt trip approach though, readers discover the slew of ways they can create and establish a sustainable Earth. Interviews with leading scholars, activists, and entrepreneurs describe the collaborative effort needed to once and for all overcome “business as usual” and establish “a sustainable, resilient and equitable world” for all. 

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