Climate Crisis Reads: 19 Books That Deepen Our Understanding

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God created this world in all its glory. And that includes science. Science is a reflection of His glory, and as faithful stewards of creation, we need to understand—even if just in small part—the science, ethics and policies surrounding climate change. By taking time to read and to study these issues, we’ll be equipping ourselves better for the work at hand. Thanks to Dr. Henry Brower for his work in compiling this excellent list of books surrounding climate change. 

While the resources on this list provide valuable information in understanding more about climate change and policy proposals, inclusion in this list does not mean Climate Witness Project fully endorses the worldview and/or perspective of the author.

Climate Change Reads | Policy proposals, Economics & Science

Paul Hawken, Editor, Drawdown: The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming (2017)

  • This is a book giving 100 ideas from experts around the world of things that can be done NOW to lower our carbon emissions and even to decrease the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Most of the ideas can be implemented using existing technology and have been costed out, with a net cost benefit. The web site for this book, http://www.drawdown.org/, also describes many of the possibilities in some detail and have been ranked in terms of their greatest benefit (did you know that changing the way air conditioners are designed can have the greatest world-wide benefit?). It shows that, if we are willing to change the way we do things, then there is hope for the future. But time is limited.

Naomi Klein, On Fire: the Burning Case for a Green New Deal, Alfred A. Knopf (2019)

  • An excellent book describing the roles of capitalism and our economic system play in the current climate crisis. The author, a Canadian journalist living in the US, outlines the history, worldview and changes needed (called the Green New Deal) to avert the worst effects of  climate change.

Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything (2014)

  • One of her earlier books in which she describes the many ways in which humans are impacting the earth's climate system. Very readable.

Kate Raworth, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Penguin (2017)

  • A must read for anyone interested in a critique of our current economic system and a different model for how an economy should function. Raworth states that an economy should serve the needs of all people, not just capitalists, and also take into account the limits within the biosphere. Thus, for an economy to function in a sustainable way, there are upper limits to resource extraction, pollution of waterways, emission of carbon dioxide and others. She likens this to the outer boundary of a doughnut. Similarly, there are basic needs for all people (such as education, food security, clean water); this is likened to the inner boundary. For a healthy, sustainable economy meeting the needs of all citizens, the economy must operate between these two boundaries.

Jeremy Rifkin, The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth, St. Martin's Press, NY (2019)

  • From the publisher: “Key sectors of the economy are fast-decoupling from fossil fuels in favor of ever cheaper solar and wind energies and the new business opportunities and employment that accompany them. New studies are sounding the alarm that trillions of dollars in stranded fossil fuel assets could create a carbon bubble likely to burst by 2028, causing the collapse of the fossil fuel civilization. The marketplace is speaking, and governments will need to adapt if they are to survive and prosper.”

Climate Change Reads | Christian Perspective

Loren Wilkinson, Editor, Earthkeeping in the Nineties. (2003)

  • This was one of the first books published on Christian environmental stewardship in 1991. It was updated in 2003 under the same title. 

Fred Van Dyke, Between Heaven and Earth: Christian Perspectives on Environmental Protection. Praeger (2010)

  • Between Heaven and Earth: Christian Perspectives on Environmental Protection frames Christian responses to ethical questions as they are understood by modern conservation ethicists. Second, it addresses issues of conservation management and policy as they really exist.

David Warners and Matthew Heun, Editors Beyond Stewardship: New Approaches to Creation Care, Calvin Press (2019)

  • The editors invited 12 Christians with a deep passion for creation to two workshops at Calvin University to rethink the relationship between humans and the non-human creation. This collection of essays is the result.

Calvin B. DeWitt, Song of a Scientist: The Harmony of a God-soaked Creation, Faith Alive, Grand Rapids, MI (2012)

  • From the publisher: “With the rare combination of scientific rigor, poetic imagination, and a deep Christian faith, DeWitt probes the twin books of God's Word and God's world, nudging us toward grateful stewardship and praise, joining the doxology of all creation.”

Calvin B. DeWitt, Earth-Wise: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues, (2007)

  • From the publisher, “Christians play a crucial role in maintaining the environment as stewards of God's creation. As a nationally recognized authority on environmental issues, DeWitt describes in detail the wonders of God's creation, how fallen humanity and modern society have abused it, and how Christians can respond.”

Calvin B. DeWitt, Caring for Creation: Responsible Stewardship of God's Handiwork (1998)

  • In this book, DeWitt argues that there is a Christ-centered response to such environmental crises as global warming, land degradation, and species extinction, and he seeks to provide a theological framework for this response.

Calvin B. DeWitt, Earthwise: A Guide to Hopeful Creation Care, Faith Alive, Grand Rapids, MI (2011)

  • Earthwise is about living in harmony with the natural world around us—and sharing the joy of this living. DeWitt suggests we discover a joyful, positive attitude about working together for good in this world.  The book includes discussion questions and a guide for self-study on the basics of environmental science. 

Douglas J. Moo and Jonathan A. Moo, Creation Care: A Biblical Theology of the Natural World, Zondervan Academic (2018)

  • From the publisher: “In Creation Care, part of the Biblical Theology for Life series, father and son team Douglas and Jonathan Moo invite readers to open their Bibles afresh to explore the place of the natural world within God’s purposes and to celebrate God’s love as displayed in creation and new creation.” 

Steven Bouma Prediger, For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision for Creation Care, Baker Academic (2010)

  • This award winning book provides the most thorough evangelical treatment available on a theology of creation care. "Authentic Christian faith requires ecological obedience," writes Steven Bouma Prediger. He urges Christians to acknowledge their responsibility and privilege as stewards of the earth. 

Colin Bell and Robert S. White, Creation Care And The Gospel, Hendrickson Publisher, MA (2016)

  • From the publisher: “From Augustine to Martin Luther, theologians and preachers recognized that God speaks to his people through ‘two books’, namely the Bible and his created world. In this volume, an international group of theologians, scientists, and creation care practitioners explore what this ancient truth means for us today.”

Matthew Sleeth, Reforesting Faith: What Trees Teach Us About the Nature of God and His Love for Us, Barnes and Noble (2019)

  • In Reforesting Faith, Dr. Matthew Sleeth explores what the Bible has to say about trees, and reveals the wonders of the nature of God and his love for us. Learn how science is just beginning to catch up to the truths described in Scripture thousands of years ago.

Sandra Richter,  Stewards of Eden: What Scripture Says About the Environment and Why It Matters, IVP (2020)

  • From the publisher: “Sandra L. Richter cares about the Bible. She also cares about creation. An expert in ancient Israelite society and economy as well as biblical theology, she walks readers through passages familiar and not-so-familiar, showing how significant environmental theology is to the Bible's witness. She then calls Christians to apply that message to today's environmental concerns.”

David C. Mahan, Joseph K. Sheldon, Fred H. Van Dyke,  Redeeming Creation: The Biblical Basis for Environmental Stewardship, IVP Academic (1996)

  • This book has a little bit of everything, including real-life stories, Bible studies, scientific findings, theological approaches and passionate pleas for change. Redeeming Creation is a book that wears it’s environmental heart on its sleeve so much, you’ll find inspiration to both celebrate and care for a complex and fascinating world.

Jonathan A. Moo and Robert S. White, Let Creation Rejoice: Biblical Hope and Ecological Crisis, IVP (2014)

  • The Bible is full of images of God caring for his creation in all its complexity. Yet experts warn us that “a so-called perfect storm of factors” threatens the future of life on earth. In Let Creation Rejoice, authors Moo and White assess the evidence for climate change and other threats that our planet faces in the coming decades while pointing to the hope God offers the world and the people he made.

 

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I just placed a hold on For the Beauty of the Earth at my local library. Thanks for sharing this!