Five Fun Books to Understand Climate Change

By Aimee Yeo

Understanding climate change through data is sometimes dull and tedious. With these books, you can immerse yourself in learning climate change the fun way. visual by Mary Beatrice Umlas

In the year 2020, climate change has become an increasingly big part of everyday conversations. It has made its way to the public once again as another hot topic as more scientific studies warn everyone of its imminent and catastrophic consequences. 

Global warming, a phenomenon as defined by the Natural Resources Defense Council, is the sudden spike in the global temperatures over the past 50 years. This spike in the temperature is owed to the increase in the amount of greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere. Normally greenhouse gases are crucial for the existence of life as these gases along with sunlight and solar radiation bounce off the earth’s surface and are retained in the atmosphere. This controls the climate and prevents any extreme fluctuations in the temperature. 

According to an article from the United Nations Climate Change, nations “must redouble their efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021” in order to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement, which is to limit the global temperature rise by an ideal 1.5°C by the century. 

Presently, scientists claim that this is the year to make or break the confrontation of the emergency of global climate. Data shows that in order to limit the global temperature to 1.5°C as per the Paris Agreement, there is a need to cut global emissions by at least 45 percent before 2030. As such, there is a very clear need for the public to finally understand and be educated on the ways climate change affects us in order for everyone to start working as a whole to combat this phenomenon. 

Listed below are fun and easy to read books about climate change, geared more towards young adult readers for an interesting, vivid, yet hauntingly lyrical way of presenting the effects of climate change on the world and everyone living in it. 

1. Losing Miami by Gabriel Ojeda-Sague

Losing Miami by Gabriel Ojeda-Sague (Photo by Civil Coping Mechanisms)

Losing Miami is an experimental exploration on the themes of exile and otherness as it grieves the potential loss of Miami due to the rising sea levels. As a city who is sitting at sea level, the city of Miami has often been referred to as “ground zero”—an area that is in the middle of all the problems posed by climate change. It is a place wherein rising sea levels continuously threaten the future of its existence. 

In Losing Miami, Gabriel Ojeda-Sague narrates the city completely submerged underwater, asking how we as humans will be able to cope with such a loss on a much grander scale as the entire world continues to change. He figuratively asks the readers to imagine the loss of Miami in order to prepare his audience for the science that they must finally wrap their heads around. That the loss of Miami will be more than the loss of buildings, homes, and infrastructures, it will be the loss of a huge culture that can no longer dissipate throughout another larger culture and survive. Despite the story being written figuratively, the author draws a clear message: climate change will inevitably lead to permanent losses as Miami continues to teeter on the edge. 

2. Love in the Time of Climate Change: A Book of Poems by Jenny Justice

Love in the Time of Climate Change: A Book of Poems by Jenny Justice
(Photo by Independently Published)

From the title, “Love in the Time of Climate Change” is a book of poems tackling the topic of climate change from a completely different standpoint. Instead of the usual books which are muddled with scientific research and political rhetoric, Jenny Justice highlights the importance of our choices as members of the society living in this day and age wherein climate change poses an even bigger threat to the environment through her own personal experiences. 

In a fresh, new, and creative way, Jenny suggests various ideas to increase one’s empathy and understanding of social justice. It creates a story around the feelings of anxiety, grief, and worry all caused by the changing planet.

3. Moving to Climate Change Hours by Ross Belot

Moving to Climate Change Hours by Ross Belot (Photo by Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd)

Finding beauty in the dark, Ross Belot creates a world that completely captures the industrial man. Despite his poetry shifting towards different topics in every piece, the author has carefully crafted his poems to make the reader understand the various implications of environmental change and the intrinsic beauty of nature that is both knowing and unknowing. It follows a series of events from industrial accidents from an oil refinery to the dangers of climate change to both man and nature. With a wide array of topics, the book becomes a journey that takes the reader into an adventure with its lyrical pages.

4. No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg (Photo by Penguin)

Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, is globally known for continuously challenging world leaders to take action against climate change. In her book “No One is Too Small to Make a Difference”, a collection of her past speeches and a few notes have been published to further inform and influence the public regarding climate change. It contains all of her speeches that have taken the world by storm— from the United Nations Capitol Hill to street protests, the collection of speeches serve as a wake up call for hundreds. Here, Greta invites the people to fight in order to protect the planet, highlighting the importance of each small act to the future of humankind.

5. How to Give up Plastic by Will McCallum

How to Give up Plastic by Will McCallum (Photo by Penguin Life)

“How to Give up Plastic” is a straightforward accessible guide on how to eliminate plastic from your life. Will McCallum provides a number of ways we can all change in order to fully remove the usage of disposable plastic, cleaning the world’s oceans one step at a time. Considering how there is currently around 13 million tons of plastic entering the ocean each year, and each piece of plastic takes about 450 years to fully decompose, with our pace, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by the year 2050. 

This issue is tackled by the author as it provides a list of plastic free alternatives for every material that can be found in both the homes and in the workplace. With its easy step by step process, “How to Give up Plastic” becomes an important step in confronting the problem of plastics plaguing the oceans.

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