Nature’s year ahead: 3 must-read environmental books for 2018

© O. Langrand

January isn’t over yet, which means there’s still time to add another resolution to your list: Read more. And why not start with a peak into some of the most pressing environmental issues humans are facing? To get you started, here are three books Conservation International (CI) staff can’t put down.

Drawdown,” by Paul Hawken

Climate change can be a pretty scary and overwhelming problem to work on, but what gets me out of bed every morning is the knowledge that we already have the solutions at our fingertips. Paul Hawken’s “Drawdown” presents the top 100 solutions. Many of the book’s solutions are familiar, from solar farms to electric vehicles. What’s different about “Drawdown” is that it focuses on societal rather than individual actions, and it brings together hundreds of scientists to figure out how many emissions reductions each solution could achieve, and at what cost (or, in almost all cases, at what savings).

What stands out to me the most is just how many of the top climate  solutions include nature. Reversing global warming is really not about deprivation or giving things up, it’s about regenerating the planet we call home.

— Allie Goldstein, climate change researcher with CI’s Moore Center for Science

Blue Hope: Exploring and Caring for Earth’s Magnificent Ocean,” by Sylvia Earle

Our oceans are feeling the impacts of climate change — just look at the new research on water temperatures and coral bleaching. So what can we do? Start by listening to Sylvia Earle. She’s a marine pioneer — an experienced oceanographer and marine explorer with decades of marine research under her belt. The message of this book is critical given our changing climate (and as bonus, it features stunning images). This book is for any person interested in what’s going on in the ocean today.

— Edgardo Ochoa, marine safety officer at CI

“The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World,” by Jeff Goodell

In a year that saw devastating flooding in Houston, Texas and a host of “natural” disasters, this book is a compelling and incredibly timely look at the impact of climate change on sea levels.  Goodell tells us “we are already engineering the Earth’s operating system by dumping billions of tons of greenhouse gases into it every year. We’re just doing it badly. Why not get good at it?” He explains that in this century, millions of people will relocate because of changing landscapes due to rising tides and disappearing shores. I tore through it, and highly recommend it to anyone who wants a clear look at one of the greatest challenges facing our planet.

— Anastasia Khoo, chief marketing officer at CI

Morgan Lynch is a staff writer for Conservation International.

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