“The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.”
-Ernest Hemingway

Confused about climate change, its nuances, and what actionable steps you can take? Us too. Climate change is a complicated subject, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and far removed from how it affects us on a daily level. That’s why we love these books for betting understanding what’s happening, how we got here, and how we can prevent our future extinction. To better inform yourself, here are six books on climate change:

1. The Uninhabitable Earth

Author | David Wallace-Wells
Target Reader | Those wanting the facts without the sugar-coating

With the tagline “It’s worse, much worse than you think,” it can be hard to want to sink your teeth into a book that practically promises to stress you out—but it’s so worth it. Marketed as an “impassioned call to action,” David Wallace-Wells’s book strategically outlines the facts about climate change and addresses how we’ve arrived here. Read this one to understand the severity of climate change, as well as for actionable steps to support our future.

Reviews | “Potent and evocative…Wallace-Wells has resolved to offer something other than the standard narrative of climate change…He avoids the ‘eerily banal language of climatology’ in favor of lush, rolling prose.” —Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times

Price | $27, or less secondhand

2. The Future We Choose

Author | Christiana Figueres & Tom Rivett-Carnac
Target Reader | Those looking to sift through the jargon & join the fight

Climate change is both alarming and overwhelming. As much as we want to join the global warming fight, many of us often feel lost in the complicated jargon and frightening stats. The Future We Choose (just released this spring) diminishes all confusion and fear, though. In less than 200 pages, authors Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac (architects of The Paris Agreement) outline practical steps for creating a better future.

Reviews | “This is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. The book takes a hard look at the frightening realities of climate change, but concludes that humanity can still deal with this threat. Moreover, the book presents the existential challenge of climate change as a unique opportunity to build a more just world and to make ourselves better people.” —Bestselling Author, Yuval Harari

Price | $23, or less secondhand

3. Drawdown

Author | Paul Hawken
Target Reader | Those looking for some optimism and a plan

I don’t know about you, but when I see a problem, my instinct is to jump into action and fix it. Problem-solving with climate change can feel lofty, and like your everyday actions aren’t making a real difference. But Paul Hawken, with the help of scientists, shows us there is hope for saving the planet we love. Offering the 100 most substantive solutions, this New York Times bestseller is praised for being a credible, solution-based narrative.

Reviews | “There’s been no real way for ordinary people to get an understanding of what they can do and what impact it can have. There remains no single, comprehensive, reliable compendium of carbon-reduction solutions across sectors. At least until now…The public is hungry for this kind of practical wisdom.” —David Roberts, Vox

Price | $23, or less secondhand

4. The Sixth Extinction

Author | Elizabeth Kolbert
Target Reader | Historians and those looking to use the past to inform the future

Seeing the actual ways climate change is affecting our daily lives brings a sense of reality to one that can be hard to bring into the light. In this NYT bestseller and Pulitzer Prize-winning book, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert argues that we must learn from our past to better understand how we arrived at such dire conditions. Highlighting the things we once took for granted and the species disappearing before our very eyes, she focuses on the extinction concept, offering what reviewers call an “invaluable contribution” to the climate change conversation.

Reviews | “[The Sixth Extinction] is a wonderful book, and it makes very clear that big, abrupt changes can happen; they’re not outside the realm of possibility. They have happened before, they can happen again.” —President Barack Obama

Price | $18, or less secondhand

5. This Changes Everything

Author | Naomi Klein
Target Reader | To understand the intersection of politics and climate change

Climate change is not just another political issue, rather it’s an “alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways.” A book that is as much about politics, capitalism, and the global economy as it is about climate change, This Changes Everything invites readers to analyze the role politics play in our understanding of global warming. Written by best-selling author Naomi Klein, read this one to become informed, as well as to learn about the tangible steps we can take to help protect our future.

Reviews | “Naomi Klein is a genius. She has done for politics what Jared Diamond did for the study of human history. She skillfully blends politics, economics and history and distills out simple and powerful truths with universal applicability.” —Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Author & Activist

Price | $19, or less secondhand

6. Our House Is on Fire

Author | Jeanette Winter
Target Reader | Children

Talking about climate change with children can feel intense; but with the help of Greta (the main character in Jeanette Winter’s illustrated book), people of all ages can be educated about the issues and understand the fight that’s before us. Get youth involved and invested now so they can help create a happy and healthy future.

Reviews | “I bought this for my almost 6 year old. She loves nature & is passionate about saving our planet. This book was perfect for her & she loved it so much she read it to herself after we read it together.” —Laura, Amazon Verified Purchase

Price | $18, or less secondhand

What are your favorite sources to learn about climate change? Let us know in the comments.


Sarah Spoljaric is a California girl through and through. She has a BA in World History from one of the top 10 greenest campuses in the world; The University of California, Merced and is a Content Curator for the visual travel app Trepic. She has a background in museum curating, loves reading women’s travel journals and is in search of the perfect IPA. She’s passionate about exploring this beautiful world that ethically-produced goods help to protect. Say hi on Instagram!