Climate SOS

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

It's been 51 years since the first Earth Day celebration and 15 years since An Inconvenient Truth--Al Gore's attempt to wake up humanity to the planetary emergency--hit theaters. Where are we now with the environment? What is the future of civilization on our planet?

  • Earth's Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World

    2021 by Moore, Kathleen Dean

    The essays in this collection celebrate the music of the natural world as a reminder of what can be taken from us--the howl of wolves, bellow of whales, laughter of children, and shriek of frogs. Each group of essays moves from celebration to lamentation to bewilderment to the determination to act. Recommended by Mary.

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  • Earth Day and the Environmental Movement: Standing up for Earth

    2020 by Peterson, Christy

    In her manifesto on the environment, Peterson presents the impetus for Earth Day, first celebrated on April 22, 1970, and the global movement that sprang from it. Including chapters on the intersectionality of the environment, race, and justice, this is an excellent resource for classrooms. Recommended by Mary.

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  • Surviving Global Warming: Why Eliminating Greenhouse Gases Isn't Enough

    2019 by Sedjo, Roger A.

    An important book for Earth Day reading by an expert and shared recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize. Sedjo writes that the Paris Climate Treaty is insufficient to offset the forecasted increase in global warming. A Plan B is needed for communities to anticipate and protect themselves from inevitable climate changes. Recommended by Mary.

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  • The Fragile Earth: Writing from The New Yorker on Climate Change


    The Fragile Earth tells the story of climate change—its past, present, and future—taking readers from Greenland to the Great Plains, and into both laboratories and rainforests. It features some of the best writing on global warming from the last three decades, including Bill McKibben’s seminal essay “The End of Nature." Long a fan of the deeply researched articles that have appeared in The New Yorker, I can't recommend this book enough. Recommended by Mary.

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  • The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

    2017 by Egan, Dan

    Hitting close to home, Egan splices together history, science, and reporting to bring attention to the fragility of the Great Lakes region. Among the threats to the region, including water diversion schemes and invasive species, the author asserts that the greatest threat of all is our own ignorance about the ecological unraveling that is occurring. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils

    2020 by Farrier, David

    Blending science, literature, and art, this work leads readers to imagine time both backward and forward. Farrier shows that modern civilization has created objects and landscapes with the potential to endure through deep time, including the plastic polluting the oceans, the nuclear waste entombed within the earth, and the thirty million miles of paved roads spanning the planet. Library Journal calls it, "A compelling thought experiment that is sometimes unsettling in its findings but always cleverly conceived and beautifully expressed." Recommended by Lukie.

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  • How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos

    2021 by Pogue, David

    Pogue offers sensible, deeply researched advice for how we should start to ready ourselves for the years ahead. He walks readers through everything from what to grow, how to insure and invest, how to prepare your children and pets, to where to consider relocating when the time comes. He also provides tips for managing your anxiety, as well as action plans for riding out every type of climate catastrophe. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future

    2021 by Kolbert, Elizabeth

    From her coverage in The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert has become one of our most important writers on the environment. Now she investigates the immense challenges humanity faces as we scramble to reverse, in a matter of decades, the effects we've had on the atmosphere, the oceans, the world's forests and rivers--on the very topography of the globe. Recommended by Chris.

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  • The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World

    2011 by Safina, Carl

    A favorite of mine, due to Safina's lyrical writing and up-close-and-personal explorations of the four corners of the globe. He confronts cause and effect calamities, provides vivid descriptions of beauty and vitality, and expresses anger at capitalists' destructive predatory practices. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. the Climate

    2014 by Klein, Naomi

    Award-winning journalist Naomi Klein offers an explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core "free market" ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems. Recommended by Paul.

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  • On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal

    2019 by Klein, Naomi

    A climate activist for the past 40 years, Klein combines ten years' worth of her public talks and essays to clearly explain the urgent need for the creation of the Green New Deal. Her essays provide prescient advisories and dire warnings of what future awaits us if we refuse to act, as well as hopeful glimpses of a far better future. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

    2019 by Wallace-Wells, David

    In this intellectually rigorous work, Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await, such as food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. The changes will be all-encompassing, affecting and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore

    2018 by Rush, Elizabeth A.

    Weaving firsthand accounts from the people and places imperiled by climate change in the United States today, Rush takes readers to the places hardest hit by the rising seas, which are transforming the coastline of the U.S. in irrevocable ways. This is a highly readable, scientifically rigorous overview of the imminent threat of climate change. Recommended by Chris.

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  • Prognosis Disaster: The Environment, Climate Change, Human Influences, Vectors, Disease and the Possible End of Humanity?

    2011 by Arieti, David

    Climate change, global warming, and deforestation threaten human, animal, and plant populations with disease more virulent than previously known. The majority of this book deals with how humans influence the creation and spread of diseases, old and new. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • Angry Weather: Heat Waves, Floods, Storms, and the New Science of Climate Change

    2020 by Otto, Friederike

    Renowned scientist Friederike Otto looks at the causes of shocking weather disasters--specifically Hurricane Harvey-- and provides an answer with attribution science, a revolutionary method for pinpointing the role of climate change in extreme weather events. Recommended by Lukie.

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  • Tipping Point for Planet Earth: How Close Are We to the Edge?

    2016 by Barnosky, Anthony D.

    World-renowned scientists Anthony Barnosky and Elizabeth Hadly explain the growing threats to humanity as the planet edges toward resource wars for remaining space, food, oil, and water. As they show, these wars are not the nightmares of a dystopian future, but are already happening today. Finally, they ask: At what point will inaction lead to the break-up of the intricate workings of global society? Recommended by Lukie.

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