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Books as hot as our future if we don't address global warming now: summer reads for taking action on climate change.

AUGUST is DEEP in the dog days of summer, which makes it a perfect time to slow down and squeeze in some summer reading. This year's reading list takes on one of the hottest and most challenging threats facing public health today: climate change. In recognition of growing concerns, and the efforts public health is making to fight back, APHA has designated 2017 as the Year of Climate Change and Health, making this the perfect time to read up on the topic.

Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses and Citizens Can Save the Planet

Michael Bloomberg, MBA, and Carl Pope

Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, and Pope, former head of the Sierra Club, offer a manifesto on the benefits of taking action to address climate change, exploring a variety of solutions to effect positive change and move critical climate efforts forward. The authors agree that even in the absence of national action, states, communities and individuals can help.

2017, St. Martin's Press, 272 pages

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Al Gore

The former vice president and one of the worlds most outspoken climate advocates presents the follow-up to the 2006 documentary film "An Inconvenient Truth," bringing readers stories of climate action from around the world. Importantly, the book doesn't hold back from exposing the reality of humankind's contributions to global warming, offering readers concrete steps to help reverse the damage we've done.

2017, Rodale Books, 320 pages

New York 2140

Kim Stanley Robinson

If you haven't heard of the "cli-fi" genre, perhaps this book can be your introduction. Short for climate fiction, the emerging genre paints an often-troubling and apocalyptic picture of our environmental future, though the upside is that its authors may be reaching readers in a way that scientists and advocates can't. In Robinson's futuristic book, New York City is under water, but one community is still thriving and peppered with a diverse cast of characters. After the disappearance of a group of coders sets off a chain of events, everyone is at risk.

2017, Orbit, 624 pages

Zika: The Emerging Epidemic

Donald McNeil Jr.

Scientists predict changing weather patterns will exacerbate the risk of vector-borne disease and make it easier for disease-carrying vectors to move into new territories. Such is the case with Zika virus, the subject of McNeil's recent book, which chronicles the origins of Zika, its recent spread, the race for a cure and how we can protect our communities from the disease. McNeil, a New York Times science reporter, also explores the history of the virus. He charts how it was once considered a mild disease, until a 2015 outbreak in Brazil was linked to serious, life-threatening birth defects.

2016, W.W. Norton & Company, 208 pages

Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River

David Owen

Scientists say climate change is already impacting the flow of the Colorado River, which is the focal point of Owen's adventurous story of the waterway. Following the river's flow from it headwaters to its endpoint, Owen, a staff writer at The New Yorker, chronicles the competing and cooperative factors that both endanger the waterway and sustain it. The book serves as a reminder of the fragility of our water resources and the harsh consequences of wayward stewardship.

2017, Riverhead Books, 288 pages

Climate Change and Public Health

Barry Levy, MD, MPH, and Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH

Two APHA members chronicle the diverse health impacts of the global phenomenon, from infectious and respiratory diseases to malnutrition and adverse mental health effects. The book, which includes contributions from nearly 80 leading experts in the field, offers a core curriculum on climate change and public health, including strategies for mitigation and adaptation, and was developed for students and mid-career professionals. The book's 15 chapters include case studies, graphs and photographs, making it perfect to turn into required reading in the classroom. 2015, Oxford University Press, 448 pages

Hot Hungry Planet: The Fight to Stop a Global Food Crisis in the Face of Climate Change

Lisa Palmer

This book confronts two of the world's biggest challenges--hunger and climate change--and asks how we'll feed a growing global population even as global warming exacerbates the risk of food shortages. Palmer, a journalist, focuses on three main concepts that support both food security and resilience: social, educational and agricultural advances; farmer-driven actions; and policies that can reduce the negative impacts of agriculture while simultaneously producing more food. The book features case studies and personal stories from six key climate regions: India, sub-Saharan Africa, the U.S., Latin America, the Middle East and Indonesia.

2017, St. Martin's Press, 256 pages

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Paul Hawken

Based on research from leading scientists and policymakers around the world, Drawdown lays out the 100 most promising solutions to reverse the worldwide phenomenon of global warming. Written to be accessible to anyone with an interest in climate change, the book lays out a variety of realistic solutions, such as promoting clean energy and training girls in low-income countries to implement land use practices that extract harmful carbon emissions from the environment. Together, the 100 solutions represent a way to reach "drawdown," or the point at which greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline.

2017, Penguin Books, 256 pages

Landesman's Public Health Management of Disasters: The Practice Guide

Linda Young Landesman, DrPH, MSW, and Rita Burke, PhD, MPH

APHA members Landesman and Burke offer new guidance on preparing for and responding to a range of disasters, many of which are expected to increase in frequency and intensity due to climate change. The book, in its fourth edition, documents how recent disasters have shaped public health preparedness and response and offers readers guidance on how to address these new challenges. The new edition considers the most current federal guidance and includes new chapters on environmental and occupational health. Visit for more.

2017, APHA Press, 745 pages
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Author:Krisberg, Kim
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Aug 1, 2017
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