I originally posted this over on Sustainability.SE and someone suggested I try asking over here.

Can anyone recommend a book or books, intended for a non-scientific audience, which covers some (or all) of these elements?

  • Basic science of global warming
  • Evidence from ice cores, temp readings, ocean acidity, etc
  • Climate modeling and simulations
  • Projected scenarios and impacts
  • Actions that individuals can take to reduce impact, ranging from simple (eat less meat, adjust thermostat) to more demanding (switch to bike commute, buy electric car)
  • Corporate actions (policy setting for organizations and companies, what to ask political candidates about, etc)

I am looking for something that emphasizes clarity, an engaging writing style, and a positive attitude about the possibility of averting crisis. After reading this book someone should feel that they have a good general understanding of what causes global warming, and know specific actions they can take which will have a measurable impact.

The intended audience for this book would be people who know (or suspect) that climate change is a big deal, and know they should do something about it, but don't feel personally invested in the problem or solutions.

  • $\begingroup$ I would like a few good books to recommend, also. I would like to add to the list, though, any books that might actually change the mind of people who think global warming is a hoax or who accept it and don't think we need to do anything about it (like maybe some congressmen and a certain president). I'm so frustrated. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ @JackR.Woods, politicians who are firmly in the camp of denier are unlikely to have their minds changed by a book. But if enough of their constituents, who are on the fence, read some books, get serious, and make their voices heard... $\endgroup$
    – LShaver
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 0:04

1 Answer 1


I recommend following two books. I am not sure it will answer all the questions you have mentioned but I think together they will answer most of them.

  1. The discovery of global warming by Spencer Weart http://www.worldcat.org/title/discovery-of-global-warming/oclc/51505599
  2. The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/80331702

Both the books are highly readable for non-expert audience. Both the books do good job in educating readers about scientific aspect of the problem without bogging down them with equations or technical jargon. The first book's focus is on science aspect of the climate-change problem and told in highly engaging style, the second book's focus is on mitigation aspect in equally engaging style.


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