Literature of the Climate Crisis

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We have eleven years to cut global emissions in half. Scientists warn that anything less could raise the global temperature over 1.5 °C and create massive droughts, floods, extreme heat, poverty, and environmental emigration.

2019 saw a huge shift in the public’s awareness of the climate crisis. We’ve curated a reading list for those who want to learn even more.

 

Nonfiction

Environmental Books Nonfiction

This is Not a Drill (2019): A collection of essays written and collected by Extinction Rebellion members that will bring the urgency of the climate crisis into reality.

On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal (2019): A collection of award-winning environmental journalist Naomi Klein’s most poignant and inspiring articles on the climate crisis in the last decade.

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy (2019): In the midst of her exploration of the intersection of technology, memory, and humanity, Jenny Odell connects our tech-induced memory lapses to our lack of attention to our environment.

No One is Too Small to Make a Different (2019) : Greta Thunberg lit the world on fire with her passionate, scalding speeches on the urgency of the climate crisis. This collection documents some of her most inspiring words.

Daughter of Copper Woman: From creation myths to the bloody legacy of colonization, Anne Cameron documents the stories of indigenous women and the link between culture, feminism, and land.

 

Poetry

Environmental Books Poetry

“The Peace of Wild Things” (2018): First published in Wendell Berry’s collection of the same name, you can read the entire poem here.

“Lullaby in Fracktown” (2016): First published in Poetry‘s January 2016 issue, you can read the entire poem here.  This poem was written by Lilace Mellin Guignard.

“Once the World Was Perfect” (2015): First published in Joy Harjo’s collection Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, you can read the entire poem here.

“Of Age” (2017): First published in the New Yorker, you can read the entire poem here. This poem was written by Amit Majmudar

“2 Degrees” (2015): First preformed at an United Nations Climate Change event, you can read the entire poem here. This poem was written by Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner.

 

Fiction

Environmental Books Fiction

Oryx & Crake (2003): The first in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAdam trilogy, Oryx & Crake tells the story of a new species of people created specifically to survive the climate apocalypse.

The Lorax (1971): Dr. Seuss’s iconic and essential children’s story about the consequences of capitalism on the environment.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1996): Humans are barely surviving from the legacy of environmental destruction in this world crawling with giant insects, toxic air, and human greed.

The Road (2006): A father and child try to survive life on the road after a devastating apocalypse transforms the land around them.

Bone Clocks (2014): Author David Mitchell uses the landscape of a fantasy world to explore human nature and our relationship to the environment around us.

 

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