6 new books about climate change and sustainability you need to read this spring

If you’re anything like me, the first signs of spring may inspire you to spend some lazy afternoons reading new books in a street café or a park. These reads are our picks for those that simply must find a place on your bookshelf.


Anne-Sophie Garrigou

Kiribati, Chronique illustrée d’un archipel perdu (2017) — French
By Alice Piciocchi & Andrea Angeli
Fiction — 156pages

Welcome to Kiribati, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean that is expected to be the first land to disappear due to climate change. How do the people here build their homes? With what plants do they heal? What does the night sky look like here? What fish inhabit the ocean? What plants grow in the gardens? This magnificent illustrated chronicle fixes the memory of the beauty of these islands which, whatever the scope of the efforts made to limit the climatic change, will have disappeared at the end of this century. This might be the most beautiful book about climate change I have ever read. It’s a very important book to understand what is really at stake with global warming.

A River Runs Again, India’s Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka (2015)
By Meera Subramanian
Non-Fiction — 352pages

“To hope is also to act, and now is India’s time for action. Now is the moment to build a new economy that cultivates the country’s people and also safeguards its irreplaceable natural resources.” — Meera Subramanian

Meera Subramanian tells the stories of ordinary people who are determined to guide India into a sustainable future and she finds hope for a nation that has the potential to be a model for the world. By framing the stories of five environmental crises around the five elements, she introduces readers to villagers in Rajasthan who are resuscitating a river run dry; biologists bringing vultures back from the brink of extinction, etc.

Drawdown, The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming (2017)
By Paul Hawken
Non-Fiction — 256 pages

There have been agreements and proposals on how to slow, cap and arrest emissions, and there are international commitments to prevent global temperature increases. However, there is no roadmap that goes beyond slowing or stopping emissions. This is the story of those individuals who care about the planet. Drawdown maps, models, and describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming.

Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body & Ultimately Save Our World (2017)
By Josh Tickell
Non-Fiction- 352 pages

Josh Tickell, one of America’s most celebrated documentary filmmakers and director of Fuel, has dedicated most of his life to saving the environment. In Kiss the Ground, he explains an incredible truth: by changing our diets to a soil-nourishing, regenerative agriculture diet, we can reverse global warming, harvest healthy, abundant food and eliminate the poisonous substances that are harming our children, pets, bodies and ultimately our planet.

Waste to Wealth: The Circular Economy Advantage (2015)
By Peter Lacy &‎ Jakob Rutqvist
Non-fiction — 264pages

Circular economy, circular responsibility, circular advantage. So simple, yet so powerful. Waste to Wealth is a sneak peak into the future and proves that ‘green’ and ‘growth’ need not be binary alternatives. The book examines five new business models that provide circular growth from deploying sustainable resources to the sharing economy before setting out what business leaders need to do to implement the models successfully.

Sites Unseen: Uncovering Hidden Hazards in American Cities (2018)
By Scott Frickel & James R. Elliott
Non-Fiction — 176pages

In Philadelphia or New Orleans, former manufacturing sites leave behind hazards at a scale that far exceeds what is monitored by the U.S. government. These sites have been converted to homes, restaurants or playgrounds, with almost no environmental review. The authors examine how environmental regulations focus resources on just a handful of publicly visible ‘eyesore’ sites, leaving a long trail of invisible risks across today’s cities.

An article by Anne-Sophie Garrigou, Editor-in-Chief, The Beam.

This article is also available to view on our Medium page.