Guest opinion by Christine Kramer
With Christmas just about a day away, I’ve compiled a list of books as some possible last-minute gift ideas. Many of these book suggestions come from our congressman, Rep. Mike Levin, an environmental attorney, his staffer Colton Roughen, as well as my husband Larry Kramer, who reads voraciously on climate change, and a few from me.
John Grant’s 2009 book Debunk It! Fake News Edition: How to Stay Sane in a World of Misinformation, is intendedfor adults—but useful for teens—and explains how to use critical thinking skills to identify bad evidence and poor arguments.
Grant summarizes the rhetorical tricks people use to mislead, and offers advice on dealing with people who intentionally misinform.
Roughen suggests 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuyval Noah Harari.
“Great comprehensive book about living in this time that also includes some perspectives on the climate and environment,” Roughen describes of the 2018 book.
Katharine Hayhoe, a Christian conservative climate scientist, talks about how our choices will determine our future in her 2021 book Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World. The author has also led TED Talks and has a series on YouTube for young people called Global Weirding.
Andrew J. Hoffman examines what causes people to reject or accept the scientific consensus on climate change in How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate.
Shi-Ling Hsu examines the four major approaches to curbing CO2 and demonstrates why a carbon tax is currently the most effective policy in The Case for a Climate Tax: Getting Past Our Hang-ups to Effective Climate Policy.
Michael T. Klare’s 2019 book, All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change, shows how the U.S. military sees the climate threat as imperiling the country on several fronts at once.
UC Irvine author Shahir Masri answers many common misconceptions about climate change in Beyond Debate: Answers to 50 Misconceptions on Climate Change. The book is suitable for a younger audience, as it serves as a great first dive into the subject.
David Remnick’s The Fragile Earth: Writing from The New Yorker on Climate Change covers three decades of New Yorker essays about climate change. It includes Bill McKibben’s seminal essay “The End of Nature,” which popularizes both the science and politics of climate change for a general audience.
One of Larry’s suggestions is Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, a book by Edward O. Wilson. The book, he says, “makes the case that about half the Earth should be left natural. It may seem unrealistic until you realize that about 40% of San Juan Capistrano is open space.”
Chris Kramer is a longtime resident of San Juan Capistrano and a member of the South Orange County chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby/Education. She and her husband, Larry, have moved 26 times in their married life, including to India (Andhra Pradesh) and Africa (Ghana). She has a MLIS from University of Hawaii and a BA from University of Michigan (Go Blue).