Cool books that shaped our 2021 ⚡️

Cool books that shaped our 2021 ⚡️

Our expert team gives you the best book recommendations around sustainability and climate change.

Lua Corujeira

Jan 19, 2022



min read

Through the ups and downs of 2021, the emerging climate crisis, Omicron taking us by surprise, and an uncertain future, it was not the best year for many around us. Despite all of these events, we at Cooler Future have worked hard to make 2021 our launch year and offer three different funds to help you invest and make a positive impact on the climate without sacrificing returns.

The Cooler Future team reads widely to stay up to date on the climate crisis and news in the financial sector. Here is a roundup of the best books we have read this year around sustainability and climate change.

⏰ Quick Summary:

The World Without Us: what if humans disappeared from the earth?

The Psychology of Climate Change: how government campaigns related to climate change have failed or succeeded.

The Uninhabitable Earth: Provides facts about the urgency of fighting climate change.

The Burning Question: Explains in detail the consequences of extracting and burning oil, coal, and gas reserves.

#Futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country: Sustainable development and long-term thinking from a policymaker's perspective.

The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis: The book plays out two different scenarios, one if we meet the Paris climate targets and one if we fail.

We Are the Weather: How we overcame major crises in the past and how we can overcome our current climate crisis.

How Bad Are Bananas: The Carbon Footprint of Everything: How much CO2 equivalent we create through our normal daily actions.

Rewiring America - A Field Manual for the Climate Fight: How we can electrify the U.S. economy with the technology we have today.

The world without us

🌿 The World Without Us  

by Alan Weisman

What would happen if we, the human beings, were to disappear from the earth instantly? That is what this book is about, the effects of the absence of humanity. Jungles of concrete would give way to real jungles, elements such as plastic or bronze would be our lasting traces in the universe. The book also shows what the planet could have looked like today if we were not there.

This book helped me think deeply about the impact we as humans have on our earth. It also shows the earth's tremendous ability to heal itself if we let it.

This book was recommended by Rashid.

The Psychology of Climate Change 

🌿The Psychology of Climate Change  

by Geoffrey Beattie and Laura McGuire

The book presents studies of how (government) campaigns related to climate change have failed or succeeded. In short, positive/solution-oriented messages work better than those that focus on threats.

One of the most important lessons for us as we try to get our message across is: Shaming and fear-mongering do not work. Very interesting for anyone interested in climate change, especially if you are interested in design and marketing.

This book was recommended by Sebastian.

The uninhabitable earth: A story of the future

🌿 The uninhabitable earth: A story of the future  

by David-Wallace.

In July 2017, David Wallace-Wells published an article in New York Magazine about climate change entitled "The Uninhabitable Earth." He began with these words, "It is, I promise, worse than you think." Now Wallace-Wells has turned that article into a book.

He argues that in a sea of complacency, we can not be alarmist enough. One of the issues he focuses on is what happens north of the 2° Celsius target, which we will almost certainly miss, and what happens in a world between 3° and 4° Celsius, which he calls climate hell for many.

Of course, we are aware of climate change and how important it is to stop it, but this book makes clear how urgent it is to stop climate change and how frightening it is for all of us. I do not agree with every point in the book, but it jolts the sense of urgency to act. I do not recommend this book to give anyone nightmares, but to make them aware of the urgency and take concrete action to combat climate change - now! We have the knowledge and tools we need, so let us do our best to use them.

This book was recommended by Hanna and Sabrina.

🌿 The Burning Question: We Can't Burn Half the World's Oil, Coal, and Gas. So How Do We Quit?

by Mike-Berners Lee

The Burning Question reveals that climate change is the most fascinating scientific, political, and social puzzle in history. It shows that carbon emissions are still rising at an accelerated rate, following an exponential curve that goes back centuries. One reason is that energy conservation is like squeezing a balloon: reductions in one place lead to increases elsewhere. Another reason is that clean energy sources in themselves do not slow fossil fuel depletion.

This is a thought-provoking book that explains in detail the consequences of mining and burning oil, coal, and gas reserves. The book attempts to answer the burning question of whether we can leave oil, gas, and coal in the ground and ensure a change to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees. I cannot recommend this book enough, it is well written and makes you sit up and take notice!

This book was recommended by Antii.

#Futuregen: Lessons from a small country

🌿 #Futuregen: Lessons from a small country

by Jane Davidson

Jane Davidson (who served as Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing in Wales) shares her insightful expertise on the fact that in 2015 Wales passed what is known as the Well-being of Future Generations Act, essentially the first law in the world to put regenerative and sustainable practices at the center of government. This Act was the first time that economic challenges such as climate change, inequality, and poverty were included in the law.

This book is very well written and is a reminder of the importance of sustainable development and long-term thinking. Anyone interested in international relations or environmental security and policy-making should read this book.

This book was recommended by Sabrina.

The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis 

🌿The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis  

by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

This book by one of the thought leaders and absolute power players in the climate negotiations paints a picture of a better world where governments, corporations, and individuals all do their part to fight climate change. The authors outline two possible scenarios for our planet. In one, they describe what life on Earth will be like in 2050 if we fail to meet the Paris climate goals, on the other, they describe what it would be like to live in a carbon-neutral, regenerative world.

The book acts as a source of inspiration for all of us, read it not to be paralyzed by the size of the challenge that climate change presents, but to see what can be done about it.

This book was recommended by Hanna.

We are the weather 

🌿We are the weather  

by Jonathan Safran Foer

Climate change is the single greatest threat to human survival. The complexity of this issue is almost unbearable and many people may feel hopeless. This book attempts to dispel those thoughts by providing examples of how we have weathered major crises in the past. The resilience we have been able to display and the ability to cooperate on a broad scale will be key in this challenge as well.

There is no limit to what we humans can accomplish when our goals and efforts are aligned. History has proven this every time we have faced an unprecedented challenge, from World War II to the coronavirus outbreak. Using very simple arguments and the right amount of data, the author tries to raise people's awareness of the climate crisis and the need for more cooperation and integration. We should be beyond this point, but since we are not and so many people still do not believe that climate change is a problem, I recommend this book to gently open the eyes of skeptics.

This book was recommended by Stefano.

How bad are bananas: The Carbon Footprint of Everything

🌿How bad are bananas: The Carbon Footprint of Everything

By Mike Bernes-Lee

In this book, we learn how much CO2 equivalent we cause, and thus our impact on the climate, through many everyday objects. Is it better to read a book or watch a few hours of Netflix? Well, that's up to you, but at least now you know the comparison. This book is not meant to blame the reader, but to help them make smarter choices, whether you want to live a sustainable a life as possible or simply improve certain aspects of your life.

The book is very easy to read and I would recommend it for putting things in context and comparing them.

This book was recommended by Moaffak.

Rewiring America - A Field Manual for the Climate Fight

🌿Rewiring America - A Field Manual for the Climate Fight

by Saul Griffith

This analysis lays out a pathway towards the electrification of the US economy using technology that exists today. They aim to answer the question: “What is the best climate outcome we can achieve?

How we can still avert the threat of climate change by transforming our fossil fuel economy into a fully electrified economy while securing a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous future for all!

It's a practical guide with facts and figures that dispels the myths and dazzleyou have been led to believe by the fossil fuel lobby. A practical guide to the critical issue of our time, climate change, and a sustainable path for humanity. Free to download, along with other resources, here.

This book was recommended by Rashid.