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Commemorate Earth Day with an Eco-Book Recommended by Our Staff 

Climate Justice Climate

The Octopus in the Parking Garage, by Rob Verchick

Some say climate doomerism is the new climate denialism and that few of us are immune to its damaging effects. Fortunately, Rob Verchick, president of the Center and a leading climate scholar, offers an antidote to our collective ecoanxiety. In his new book on climate resilience, Verchick steers the national conversation around the climate crisis in a more hopeful, solutions-oriented direction —  one that benefits not only the planet, but we as individuals, too.

— Allison Stevens, Senior editor and research advisor

The Deluge, by Stephen Markley

It’s a whopper of a book — 880 pages — and, like the 2005 movie Crash, tells the intertwined stories of characters who are taking on the climate crisis. You’ll meet the ecoterrorists, the charismatic NGO leader, the cynical scientist, the math modeling genius, the politicos, and other people down in their luck. I haven’t figured out how they fit in yet.

— Minor Sinclair, Executive director

Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have, by Tatiana Schlossberg

Elucidating and somewhat worrisome, this book sheds light on every aspect of our living and consumption choices. While we all have the power of choice, this shows how much “industry” (and government) make big decisions for us. How do we fight that? I think “How to Go (Almost) Zero Waste: Over 150 Steps to More Sustainable Living” by Rebecca Grace Andrews is a good place to start.

— Maggie Dewane, Digital media manager

Down to Earth: Gardening Wisdom, by Monty Don

I’m an avid houseplant addict, which has grown into a hobby for outdoor gardening. I came across Monty Don a few years ago. He is a famous British gardener who has a weekly TV show called “Gardeners World” on BBC. He is very conscious and intentional about gardening to help the environment and also shares information about gardening that can harm the environment as well. I’ve learned quite a bit from him, and I would recommend it to anyone that has a love for gardening.

— Tara Quinonez, Operations and finance manager

A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions, by Muhammad Yunus

A great “triple-bottom line” approach to mitigating intertwined global challenges. Yunus explains that making a profit does not have to come at the expense of environmental wellbeing or human exploitation. He does a remarkable job talking about socially responsible business models that don’t make me want to bang my head against the wall! Though I’m not entirely convinced that “altruistic pseudo-capitalism” (my interpretation of Yunus’ model) is a panacea for global development (functional social programs and effective government are still needed), his models of microfinancing and equity-building in low-wealth communities are a reasonable interim softening of capitalism’s worst harms. 

— Sophie Loeb, Steinzor climate policy fellow

The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World, edited by Alison H. Deming and Lauret E. Savoy

Right now, I’m working my way through The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World. It’s a collection of works by an extremely diverse group of contributors. Each writer delves into their own cultural heritage and connection to the environment. This wide range of perspectives is crucial to creating a healthy future that is inclusive of everyone. I suggest reading this slowly so that you can fully connect with each writer and topic.

— Rachel Mayo, Communications intern

A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind, by Harriet A. Washington

Harriet Washington debunks the idea that intellect is inherited. According to her, the so-called IQ gap between African Americans and whites is actually caused by environmental racism. She points out the ways in which toxic exposure and other institutional frameworks have impacted the intelligence of marginalized communities throughout America’s recent history.

— Rachel Mayo, Communications intern

The Intersectional Environmentalist, by Leah Thomas

The Green New Deal movement had a profound impact on the way I think about environmental problems. The climate crisis, the movement suggests, is a reflection of power disparities in our society, and climate policy is unlikely to succeed if it does not address those underlying disparities. In her efficient, accessible book, environmental activist Leah Thomas provides readers with a more fleshed-out account of how environmental problems are intertwined with systemic social inequities, particularly those related to oppression of women and people of color. Her searing indictment of the structural roots of our environmental problems offer important lessons for society at large, but especially for the environmental movement.

— James Goodwin, Senior policy analyst

The Climate Book, by Greta Thunberg

I’ve slowly been reading The Climate Book, a compilation of over 80 essays by scientists, geophysicists, meteorologists, engineers, oceanographers, etc., presenting the latest facts and figures about climate change. It’s really well put together, the imagery is compelling, and I’ve been learning more about climate policy with each essay. What I really like is that after each essay, there are a dozen or so “rallying calls” so people can take some action items with them from the reading.

— Katlyn Schmitt, Senior policy analyst

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