After decades of carelessly using Earth’s resources and ignoring multiple problems caused by it, humanity finally has to acknowledge its mistakes. Today, sustainability is a major trend and a hot topic in every discussion concerning the future of our civilization. There are plenty of books, articles, and documentaries devoted to what the current state of affairs is and what actions one can take. Still, there are people around the world who refuse to recognize the severity of the issue. Most of them just haven’t got enough information and don’t understand the scale of the problem.
That’s why education is so important. That’s the reason why practically every student will have to write an essay about environmental issues and sustainability at a certain point. However, many students become frustrated when they get this assignment. Let’s face it, writing papers is difficult. If you’re one of those students who dislike writing assignments, here’s a tip: ideas matter most in an essay. For everything else, there’s an essay editor service at your disposal. It’s fast and convenient. Yet, research takes more time and effort. As the subject is crucial anyway, why not start reading about it in advance?
In this article, we’ve put together a list of essential books focusing on environmental and sustainability issues. All the books provide food for thought and give impulse to start making your own contribution to a better future. Some of them even offer ready-made solutions.
Introduction to Sustainability, by Robert Brinkmann
Before diving deep into the subject, it’s vital to understand what sustainability is. Robert Brinkmann explains that in his widely acknowledged book. The author is the Director of Sustainability Studies in Hofstra University’s Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability. So, he’s done a lot of research and definitely knows what he’s talking about.
The book is often used for interdisciplinary courses as well as for geography, sociology, geology, etc. Maybe, you’re already familiar with it. In case you are not, it’s worth reading as it gives a comprehensive overview of all major topics related to the subject.
Particularly, it touches upon such issues as:
- roots of modern sustainability movement;
- Earth’s natural systems;
- urban ecosystems and the Anthropocene;
- climate change;
- waste management;
- environmental justice, and a lot more.
A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future, by David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough is the best-known natural historian of our time. During his career spanning nearly seven decades, the award-winning broadcaster has gathered a significant bulk of knowledge about everything related to life on Earth.
Now, in his mid-90es, Sir Attenborough has seen quite a lot and wants to share it with the audience. In his most recent book, A Life on Our Planet, he gives his “witness statement” and provides a disturbing look into the future.
His predictions for the decades to come are frightening. However, he states that there is still hope and even provides the solutions to some of the gravest problems. And if this book won’t persuade you that the right time to act is now, then what on Earth will?
Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air, by David J.C. MacKay
By now, most people are convinced that the era of fossil fuel dominance must come to an end. But how is it possible to replace them? And is there a truly sustainable way to do that?
These are the questions David J.C. MacKay deals with in his book. The British physicist, mathematician, and academic wrote the book as a case study. It provides a detailed investigation into the roots of the energy crisis, looks at the problem from different angles, and debunks some popular myths.
The book was first published in 2009 and went through eight editions since then.
Global Sustainability – 21 Leading CEOs Show How to Do Well by Doing Good, by Mark Lefko
If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business, you will definitely like this book by Mark Lefko, an American facilitator and business coach. The book features in-depth interviews with 21 leading CEOs including Richard Branson, Francois-Henri Pinault, Paul Paulman, and other significant figures. This list is the best recommendation itself.
All the high executives give advice based on their own experience. They discuss how to stay true to the principles of sustainability and still have a profitable business.
Demystifying Sustainability: Towards Real Solutions, by Haydn Washington
Last but not least comes the book that aims to explain in layman’s terms what sustainability really is. How did it all start? What is “old” and “new” sustainability? How can we deal with overpopulation, overconsumption, and, above all, denial?
The author tries to answer all these questions and explain the issues in a manner that makes them understandable for an audience far wider than scholars and academics. What’s more, the book touches upon the difficult subject of ethics and suggests nine concrete solutions to the most critical problems.
Sustainability has a long history, but today the subject is relevant as never before. As most scientists agree, humanity has arrived at a point where action can’t be put off any longer. So, we must learn quickly and gather the necessary knowledge to change the situation.
As a student, you are the one who’s going to shape the future – whether as an employee, a business owner, an educator, a parent, or a responsible society member in general. But there’s so much you need to know to be able to make the right decisions. So, don’t waste any more time! All the books listed above are waiting to be read.