Climate Breakdown

Climate breakdown is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Bill Young taught a 6-part course for the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) called "Understanding the Climate Crisis". The course was held from September 19 to October 5, 2023, and each class lasted 90 minutes. You can purchase links to videos of the six classes for $75, with all proceeds going to ASNV. You can view the sixth class for free.

The most comprehensive source of information about the climate crisis is The Climate Book, which was edited by Greta Thunberg and contains material from more than 100 contributors. Below is an annotated bibliography of other resources about climate breakdown.

Books, Videos, Articles, and Audio Programs

Andrews, Rebecca Grace.   How to Go (Almost) Zero Waste: Over 150 Steps to More Sustainable Living at Home, School, Work, and Home
The book suggests actions people can take to reduce their environmental footprint, including the estimated effort and impact involved in each.

Attenborough, David.   A Life on Our Planet
Attenborough recounts how he has seen habitats and the climate change during his long life, and he suggests what must be done to reverse these trends.

Banking on Climate Chaos: Fossil Fuel Finance Report, 2023
Report showing the fossil fuel financing by major banks.

Berners-Lee, Mike.   The Carbon Footprint of Everything
A valuable guide containing the carbon footprint of everyday items and activities, including production and transportation costs.

Brannen, Peter.   The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions
A description of mass extinctions during the history of the planet and their relevance to what is happening now.

Branded, Vol. III: Demanding Corporate Accountability for Plastic Pollution
A report from Break Free from Plastic which shows which corporations generate the most plastic pollution.

Chasing Coral
A 2017 film that documents the disappearance of coral reefs and explains the reason for the disappearance.

Climate Change: Averting Catastrophe
A video by Deutsche Welle about the current serious effects of climate breakdown and what could be done to mitigate them.

Climate Change 101: The Foundational Science
A video by the US Department of Agriculture explaining the basics of climate change.

Climate Resistance Handbook
A handbook about the climate justice movement and how to become involved in it.

A Deep Dive into the Living Planet Index
A World Wildlife Fund report about world ecosystem health.

Dessler, Andrew E.   Introduction to Modern Climate Change, Third Edition
A textbook that examines the science and politics of the climate crisis.

Earth Beyond Six of Nine Planetary Boundaries
An article from ScienceAdvances which suggests that six key environmental indicators are well outside the safe operating space for humanity. It provides a scientific basis for the environmental limits in Kate Raworth's doughnut.

El Nino What is It?
A video by the National Meteorological Service in the United Kingdom explaining El Nino and La Nina.

Exploring the Concept of Solastalgia
An episode of the BBC radio show The Evidence about solastalgia, which is the distress caused by seeing what has been lost in the environment.

Extinction Rebellion.  This is Not a Drill
This handbook, produced by leaders of the Extinction Rebellion movement, explains strategies for engaging in nonviolent protests to address climate breakdown.

Flannery, TimThe Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth
This 2005 book, written for a general audience, explains the serious repercussions of the climate crisis.

The Fragile Earth: Writing from the New Yorker on Climate Change  Edited by David Remnick and Henry Finder
A collection of climate articles from the New Yorker, the magazine that has been in the forefront in covering the climate crisis.

Frankopan, Peter.   The Earth Transformed: An Untold Story
A very long book examining how climate change and engagement with the natural world has influenced human history.

Ghosh, Amitav.  The Great Derangement Climate Change and the Unthinkable
A series of lectures Ghosh gave about the scale and violence of the climate crisis.

Ghosh, AmitavThe Nutmeg's Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis
A follow-up to The Great Derangement which examines the role of colonialism and other issues in the climate crisis.

A Global Deal For Nature: Guiding Principles, Milestones, and Targets
An April, 2019, paper in ScienceAdvances which proposes a plan for halting biodiversity loss.

A Global Safety Net to Reverse Biodiversity Loss and Stabilize Earth's Climate
A September, 2020, paper in ScienceAdvances which proposes a plan to address both the climate crisis and biodiversity loss together.

Goodell, JeffThe Heat Will Kill You First
A book about what heat is, how the heating climate is affecting people now, and the significant changes it is likely to cause in the coming years.

Greenfield, Patrick, et. al.   'A biodiversity catastrophe': how the world could look in 2050 — unless we act now
An article in The Guardian about how climate breakdown, invasive species, and resource overexploitation could break down crucial ecosystems.

Hanson, ThorHurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change
A readable and entertaining book about how animals and plants are evolving, changing, or dying out in response to the climate crisis.

Hickman, Caroline, et. al.  Young People's Voices on Climate Anxiety, Government Betrayal and Moral Injury: A Global Phenomenon
A paper about an international survey of 10,000 children and young people regarding their attitudes toward climate breakdown.

In Our Time
A BBC discussion program in which Melvyn Bragg discusses a wide range of subjects with experts. Some of programs about science are relevant to climate issues:

Nuclear Fusion
The PaleoceneEocene Thermal Maximum
The Sun

IPCC 2023 Report
The 2023 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, including an executive summary.

Jahren, Hope.   The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here
A clear explanation of how the overuse of finite resources is causing climate breakdown.

Juliana v United States
The 2020 US District Court decision and dissenting opinion in a climate case brought by a group of young people against the US Government. The decision has been superseded by subsequent legal action.

Klare, Michael T.  All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon's Perspective on Climate Change
A description of how the Pentagon is preparing itself for possible emergencies caused by climate breakdown.

Klein, Naomi.  On Fire: The (Burning) Case for the Green New Deal
The book provides examples of ecological breakdown and why the Green New Deal is urgently needed.

Klein, Naomi.  This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate
The book explains the role of the capitalist economic system in causing climate breakdown.

Kolbert, Elizabeth.  Climate Change from A to Z  (11-21-22)
An article from the New Yorker providing background about the climate crisis, with entries from A to Z. This link also has an audio version of the article.

Kolbert, ElizabethField Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
A collection of some of Kolbert's early articles from the New Yorker. Is a good primer on the climate crisis.

Kolbert, Elizabeth.  The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
Discusses previous mass extinctions and provides a readable discussion of why so much current wildlife is under threat.

Kolbert, ElizabethUnder a White Sky: The Nature of the Future
Kolbert's analysis of the way humans are trying to manipulate ecosystems in order to defy nature.

Krauss, Lawrence MThe Physics of Climate Change
A description of the physics related to the climate crisis. Some parts are a bit technical.

Krauss, Lawrence M.   The Physics of Climate Change (video)
A presentation by Lawrence Krauss explaining key ideas from his book The Physics of Climate Change.

Kueppers-McKinnon, Anja.   Climate: Is 1.5 degrees Celsius still achievable?
An article in Deutsche Welle about why the 1.5 degree temperature goal is important and what could happen if it is exceeded.

Lambol, Robin D., et. al.  Assessing the size and uncertainty of remaining carbon budgets
A paper about the amount of maximum levels of greenhouse gases that can be emitted to stay below targets delineated in the Paris agreement.

Linden, EugeneFire and Flood: A People's History of Climate Change, from 1979 to the Present
An excellent overview of the climate crisis, examining how it has progressed over the past four decades and the major players involved.

Malm, Andreas.  How to Blow Up a Pipeline
The book looks at social movements of the past and argues that the destruction of property can be justified in confronting climate breakdown.

Malm, Andreas.  Fighting in a World on Fire: The Next Generation's Guide to Protecting the Climate and Saving Our Future
An adaptation of Malm's earlier book How to Blow Up a Pipeline. While the book is addressed to young people, it is worthwhile reading for people of any age.

Mann, Michael EThe New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet
A description of the politics of the climate crisis and the people who are trying to prevent action.

Mann, Michael EOur Fragile Moment: How Lessons from Earth's Past Can Help Us Survive the Climate Crisis
An analysis of climate history and the dangers humanity faces by heating the climate.

McDonough, William, and Braungart, MichaelCradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
A clear explanation about how to create sustainable systems that do not produce huge amounts of waste.

McDonough, William, and Braungart, MichaelThe Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability Designing for Abundance
This sequel to Cradle to Cradle explains why it is necessary to reimagine human society and the way we produce things and dispose of finite resources.

McGuire, BillHothouse Earth: An Inhabitant's Guide
An examination of what could happen as the Earth continues to heat and what could be done to prevent the worst aspects of it.

McKibben, BillThe End of Nature
The first major book about the climate crisis for a general audience. The questions raised are as relevant today as when the book came out in 1986.

McKibben, BillFalter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
A 2019 book that examines and updates many of the issues covered in The End of Nature.

Monbiot, GeorgeHeat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning
An analysis of what the steps would need to be taken to achieve a 90 percent reduction in emissions by 2030.

Monbiot, GeorgeRegenesis: Feeding the World Without Devouring the Planet
A book which explains why land use is the most important environmental issue and how we must change the way food is produced.

Offthecharts Records: Has Humanity Finally Broken the Climate?
An article in the Guardian (8-28-23) about the opinions of 45 leading climate scientists from throughout the world about the extreme climate events in the summer of 2023.

Oxfam.   Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99%
A 2023 report about how climate breakdown and global inequality are closely linked.

Plastic & Climate: The Hidden Cost of a Plastic Planet
A report about the effects plastic is having on the climate.

Pope Francis.   Laudato Si (Praise Be to You)
A 2015 encyclical by Pope Francis which calls for people to take action to address climate breakdown and environmental degradation.

Pope Francis.   Laudate Deum (Praise God)
A 2023 exhortation by Pope Francis about the need for fast action to address the climate crisis.

Primer on Polar Warming and Implications for Global Climate Change
Actions needed to protect the Arctic and Antarctic from the effects of climate change.

Proulx, AnnieFen, Bog & Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate
Analysis and reflections about the role the destruction of wetlands has played in the climate crisis.

Raworth, KateDoughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist
A seminal work about the need to adopt new economic theories for addressing environmental and social issues.

Raworth, KateWhy it's time for 'Doughnut Economics' (TED Talk)
A video explaining the ideas from Doughnut Economics.

Read, RupertWhy Climate Breakdown Matters
The book argues that people must accept the actual horror of the climate crisis in order to create a proper response to it.

Reducing the Risks of Climate Overshoot
A report with proposals to keep the average global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Rifkin, JeremyThe Green New Deal
The book predicts that the fossil fuel civilization will collapse by 2028, and proposes an economic plan to save life on the Earth.

Risk Tipping Points
A report by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security which examines six key tipping points, how they are interconnected, and possible policy responses to address them.

Robinson, MaryClimate Justice: A Man-made Problem with a Feminist Solution
A book by the former President of Ireland who now works to promote climate justice.

Romm, JosephClimate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know
A primer on the essential issues of the climate crisis.

Rush, ElizabethRising: Dispatches from the New American Shore
An examination of how climate breakdown is affecting coastal areas in the United States.

Sharpe, SimonFive Times Faster: Rethinking the Science, Economics, and Diplomacy of Climate Change
An outstanding analysis of how ideas and institutions will need to change to effectively prevent the worst outcomes from the climate crisis and why they are not changing.

Speth, James GustaveThey Knew: The Federal Government's Fifty-Year Role in Causing the Climate Crisis
A brief written for the Juliana case which describes how every Presidential administration from Johnson onward knew about the climate crisis but continued to promote the use of fossil fuels.

The Fight for Water
A video by Deutsche Welle about water shortages already being experienced because of climate breakdown and how many parts of the world are likely to experience water crises in the coming decades.

Thunberg, Greta.   No One is Too Small to Make a Difference
A short book which includes some of of Greta Thunberg's speeches, as well as commentary by her.

Thunberg, Greta, et. al.  Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis
The story of how Greta Thunberg's family responded to both the climate and sustainability crises as well as issues with ADHD and autism.

United Nations Environment Programme.   Broken Record: Temperatures hit new record highs, yet world fails to cut emissions (again)
A 2023 report about how current greenhouse gas emissions far exceed the levels which will allow the world to stay below the limits delineated in the Paris agreement.

Vince, Gaia.  Nomad Century: How Climate Migration Will Reshape Our World
An overview of the enormous dislocations that are likely to be caused by the projected hundreds of millions of climate refugees and steps that can be taken to address the issue.

Vollmann, William T.  Carbon Ideologies, volume 1: No Immediate Danger, and  volume 2: No Good Alternatives
This massive two-volume work lays out the causes of climate breakdown and looks at the industries responsible for perpetuating it.

Von Brackel, Benjamin.  Nowhere Left to Go: How Climate Change is Driving Species to the Ends of the Earth
An analysis of the movement of plants and animals in response to climate breakdown.

Wallace-Wells, DavidThe Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming
The book examines scenarios about how different increases in temperature will affect life on Earth.

Welz, AdamThe End of Eden: Wild Nature in the Age of Climate Breakdown
A detailed account of how climate is affecting life forms on the Earth.

Weston, Phoebe10 ways the climate crisis and nature loss are linked
An article in The Guardian about the connection between climate breadkdown and the destruction of natural habitats.

Wildlife in a Warming World
A World Wildlife Fund report about the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

Wohlleben, PeterThe Power of Trees: How Ancient Forests Can Save Us If We Let Them
An explanation of how climate breakdown is affecting trees and how trees can help to ameliorate some of the effects of climate breakdown.


Carbon Tracker
An independent financial think tank that reports on activities in the renewables market and existing fossil fuel corporations.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website about climate.

Climate Action Tracker
The website of an independent scientific project that tracks government climate action and measures it against the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Climate Home News
A British website featuring news about the climate crisis.

Climate Investigations Center
The Climate Investigations Center monitors individuals, corporations, trade associations, political organizations, and front groups who work to delay the implementation of sound energy and environmental policies.

Dag Hammarskjöld Library
The climate change section contains links to major reports, books and journals, and other relevant climate activities by the United Nations.

Deutsche Welle Climate
Coverage of the climate crisis, with many features about the effects of the climate crisis on poor countries.

The Discovery of Global Warming
A list of key events in the climate crisis, from 1800 to the present.

EPA Climate Change Website
The US Environmental Protection Agency website about climate.

Global Deal for Nature
A website proposing a plan for protecting the world's biodiversity.

Guardian Climate Crisis
One of the most comprehensive news sites covering the climate crisis.

Keeling Curve Scripps Institution of Oceanograaphy
A daily measure of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, with links to other climate information.

League of Conservation Voters Congressional Scorecard
Shows voting records of members of Congress on environmental. Climate, and environmental justice legislation.

NASA Global Climate Change Website
The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration website about climate.

National Snow and Ice Data Center
A source if data on the Arctic and Antarctic snow, glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice, ice shelves, soil, and frozen ground.

Open Secrets
Shows which members of Congress received the most in donations from the oil and gas industries as well as the largest donors from the oil and gas industries during the 2022 Congressional election cycle.

Our World in Data
A source for graphs and data about a wide range of subjects, including climate.

Virginia Sierra Club Climate, Energy, and Justice Scorecard, 2022
The voting records of all members of the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates on climate issues.