How the world really works: A Scientist’s Guide to Our Past, Present and Future
by Vaclav Smil, Viking £20 / Penguin $28
The question of how quickly the world can transition from fossil fuels to a cleaner energy system is one of the most important of our time and this provocative book, by a leading energy expert, tackles it with flair. admirable. Smil’s pessimism about the likely pace of change may be irritating, but his understanding of the subject is formidable.
Regenesis: Feeding the world without devouring the planet
by Georges Monbiot, Allen Lane £20 / Penguin $18
British writer and activist George Monbiot has spent years visiting rainforests, mountains, coasts and seas. “But I never explored, deliberately and thoroughly, the ground beneath my feet,” he writes in this fascinating story about soil, food and agriculture – and the need to reform farming practices to avoid a impending environmental disaster.
Plastic hurricane and squid lizards: How the natural world is adapting to climate change
by Thor Hanson Icon books £20/Basic Books $28
As humans struggle with net zero and greenwashing, other species have had to adapt to the impacts of climate change, as American biologist Thor Hanson reveals in this carefully researched book. His accounts of how squid reacted to warmer waters and lizards to violent storms are both poignant and sobering.
tell us what you think
What are your favorites on this list – and what books did we miss? Tell us in the comments below
overload me: Net Zero faster
by Eric Lonergan and Corinne Sawers, Diary Edition £12.99 / $16.95
Diagnosing climate change has taken long enough, but fixing it is still a work in progress. In this readable book, fund manager Eric Lonergan and sustainability advisor Corinne Sawers make the case for augmenting traditional economic solutions, such as carbon pricing, with EPICs: extreme, positive incentives to changes that “accelerate” behavior change.
tree line: The last forest and the future of life on Earth
by Ben Rawlence Jonathan Cape £20 / St Martin’s Press $29.99
British writer Ben Rawlence swims to Scottish islands and visits remote Sami reindeer herders to explain how, in a warming world, the edge of the boreal forests that surround much of the northern hemisphere is shifting towards the north at an accelerated pace. As white landscapes turn green, it reveals species and livelihoods suffering from unexpected disruption.
Summer books 2022
All this week, FT writers and critics are sharing their favourites. Some highlights are:
Monday: Economics by Martin Wolf
Tuesday: Environment by Pilita Clark
Wednesday: Fiction by Laura Battle
Thursday: Story by Tony Barber
Friday: Politics by Gideon Rachman
Saturday: Critics’ Choice
Join our online book group on Facebook at FT Books Coffee