The Festival of Nature Book List

I like lists. They provide me with records, reminders, organisation and more. The climate change book list on this website began when I looked at my collection and also thought about other titles that could be added. It went to a few friends with comments and recommendations. Then, with COP26 approaching, it went to a couple of bookshops and the local library. Simply Books of Bramhall has already used it, the other is thinking. Now, added to by others, it is on this website.

What can a book give me? From non-fiction I want well-researched information on topics that will expand my knowledge and understanding, clearly written with a bit of humour. Bridle, Berners-Lee and Reay do this in buckets.

Take Sarah Bridle. Her book, as you would expect from a world class astrophysicist, is deeply researched and fully referenced. It covers food. Food production is a major contributor to greenhouse gases and one of the most difficult to reduce. There are no simple answers or single diet that will eliminate the emissions. The whole food chain must be considered. Perhaps, with effort, we could each get to a daily average of 3 kg of CO2 food-associated emissions. That is about 1 tonne per year or 65 Mte for the UK. If we want to reach net-zero this will have to be offset. Sarah’s book opened my eyes to the challenge as well as showing what I can do now.

From fiction I still want the underlying science to be credible but to be taken beyond my own imagining by the story and its characters. Plus elegant, convincing, absorbing writing. Powers, Kingsolver, Lanchester and Robinson succeed for me. Take “The Wall” by John Lanchester.

In a future UK with rising sea levels and advancing refugees we hide behind a coastline sea wall, brutally defended by national service men and women. What does that mean for them, for society, for politics, for survival of both the Defenders inside the wall and the Others outside? Could this be our future or can we navigate a better outcome? A brilliant book that makes me think.

What do you look for in a book? Perhaps you could find a good one on our list. Please let us know if you do.

Brian Tyler

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