Climate Change Reading List
Supplemental readings and other resources to help you explore a full range of issues and debates related to the module materials.
James McBride, “The Consequences of Leaving the Paris Agreement,” last updated June 1, 2017.
A brief explainer on the U.S. government’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement: how and why the decision was made, how withdrawal will work, and what the results might be. (1,200 words)
James McBride and Sabine Baumgartner, “The Year in Extreme Weather: Climate in 2018,” December 12, 2018.
A roundup of extreme weather from 2018 organized into four trends, with analysis of how each trend is related to global warming.
Gabe Bullard, “See What Climate Change Means for the World’s Poor,” National Geographic, December 1, 2015.
A clear and thought-provoking argument about the disparate impact of climate change on the world’s poor that includes a number of graphs. (1,200 words)
Geoff Dembicki, “The Convenient Disappearance of Climate Change Denial in China,” Foreign Policy, May 31, 2017.
The story of how Chinese rhetoric and policy on climate change has shifted over the last ten years. (4,600 words)
Jon Gertner, “Is It O.K. to Tinker With the Environment to Fight Climate Change?,” New York Times magazine, April 18, 2017.
A discussion of the concerns around using geo-engineering to fight climate change. (3,600 words)
Jon Gertner, “The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change,” New York Times magazine, February 12, 2019.
The story of a company attempting to use carbon capture technology to combat climate change. (6,800 words)
Jeff Goodell, “Welcome to the Age of Climate Migration,” Rolling Stone, February 25, 2018.
A look at how climate change is pushing Americans living in affected areas to move. (5,800 words)
Elizabeth Kolbert, “The Sixth Extinction?,” New Yorker, May 25, 2009.
A discussion of how human actions and their effects, including global warming, are leading to the mass death of species around the globe. The article turned into Kolbert’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book of the same name (also on this list). (9,600 words)
Oliver Milman, “‘We’re Moving to Higher Ground’: America’s Era of Climate Mass Migration Is Here,” Guardian, September 24, 2018.
A look at research that suggests climate change will drive many Americans to migrate away from areas that are most affected. (2,400 words)
Raj Patel, “What Cuba Can Teach Us About Food and Climate Change,” Slate, April 5, 2012.
A history of Cuban agricultural technology, and the lessons it might provide for countries trying to reduce their use of fossil fuels. (1,200 words)
Nathaniel Rich, “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change,” New York Times magazine, August 1, 2018.
A history of the period 1979–89 that tracks how people first became aware of the dangers of climate change and why they could not achieve policy changes to combat it. (31,200 words)
Ben Taub, “Lake Chad: The World’s Most Complex Humanitarian Disaster,” New Yorker, December 4, 2017.
A detailed piece that moves between travel narrative and historical background, discussing environmental concerns, political unrest, and the rise of Boko Haram around Lake Chad. (8,200 words)
Alina Tugend, “Women’s Crucial Role in Combating Climate Change,” New York Times, April 1, 2017.
An exploration of the disparate effects of climate change on women. (1,400 words)
David Wallace-Wells, “The Uninhabitable Earth,” New York, July 10, 2017.
A vivid account of the consequences of climate change that argues we are not nearly as alarmed as we should be. (7,500 words)
“We Broke Down What Climate Change Will Do, Region by Region,” Grist, November 29, 2018.
A summary of what the Fourth National Climate Assessment, released in November 2018, predicts will be the impact of climate change in each region of the United States. (2,500 words)
Elizabeth Kolbert, Field Notes From a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, 2015.
Originally published in 2005 and updated in 2015, this book explores climate change through narratives, while also presenting the salient facts. Based on “The Climate of Man,” an award-winning 2005 series of magazine articles in the New Yorker. (320 pages)
Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, 2014.
The Pulitzer Prize–winning account of how we are living through the sixth mass extinction in the earth’s history as a result of climate change and other human actions. This book is based on a New Yorker article of the same name (which also appears on this list). (336 pages)
Bill McKibben, The Global Warming Reader: A Century of Writing About Climate Change, 2012.
An anthology of writing from thirty-five authors published over the last hundred years on various aspects of global warming. (432 pages)
Alvin Chang, “How Humans Disrupted a Cycle Essential to All Life,” Vox, January 11, 2019.
An animated video that explains the carbon cycle and how the human burning of fossil fuels has disrupted it. (4 minutes)
Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, “How TV News Fumbles on Climate Change,” On the Media, November 30, 2018.
A segment from the radio show On the Media that explores and criticizes television news coverage of climate change. (12 minutes)
Eric Roston and Blacki Migliozzi, “What’s Really Warming the World,” Bloomberg Businessweek, June 24, 2015.
A clever data visualization of what is and isn’t causing global warming.
“Two (Totally Opposite) Ways to Save the Planet,” Freakonomics Radio, August 22, 2018.
A podcast episode that explores the debate between focusing on mitigation on the one hand and adaptation and geoengineering on the other, told through the voices of several famous thinkers. (51 minutes)
A website that tracks in great detail the climate policies of each country and their progress toward achieving their stated goals.
CoolClimate Calculator, CoolClimate Network, University of California, Berkeley.
An online calculator that allows the user to estimate their total carbon footprint.
An outstanding collection of explainers, data, and teaching resources for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Yale Climate Connections, Yale Center for Environmental Communication.
A collection of articles about how climate change affects our daily lives.