We live in the Anthropocene Epoch, an era of significant human impact on the earth’s geology and ecosystems. With the deteriorating state of our beloved planet, it is imperative now more than ever to understand the gravity of the situation. We don’t need just the Earth Day to warn us about the dire state of affairs.
There has been a surge in the number of books about the environment. Across a range of topics including climate change, endangered species, the effect of industrialization on the environment, and sustainable living. From grim takes to optimistic solutions. Books that shock, books that shake us out of our stupor. But books that also give hope that all is not lost.
Why book recommendations when the information could be dated and we have access to the latest over the internet? Why because books shall always remain a source to educate and create awareness.
Over the year, I have shared recommendations on causes highlighted by Blogchatter through their Cause a Chatter campaign – Gender Talks and Mental Health Talks. For Gender Talks, I shared non-fiction book recommendations to better understand feminism in India, must-read feminist translated literature, and feminist fiction book recommendations.
Mental Health Talks included Memoirs and Personal Narratives, Essential Reads for Family Caregivers, and a spotlight on Committed: A Memoir of Madness in the Family by Paolina Milana
This quarter, I chose the third cause, Environmental Talks. And continuing with the series, I would be sharing recommendations of books that are particularly targeted at India.
The Environment & Indian Literature
India ranks fifth in the Global Climate Risk Index 2020. There can never be too many books on the environment. In fact, Indian books on the environment are barely a fraction of the ones released worldwide. Therefore it is no surprise that the information included rarely focuses on Indian geology. The melting Gangotri glacier. The frequent floods. The forest fires in Uttarakhand. The rising sea level around Mumbai. Issues closer to home and those that impact us.
But there are books, often lesser-known, that have helped raise awareness. Authors who have detailed how India has been damaging and in many cases, saving the planet.
Books on Climate Change
Our planet is struggling to cope with the damage we are inflicting on a daily basis. We are well aware of the term “climate change”. But are we really aware of what it entails? What is causing it? And most importantly, what needs to be done to manage it? Particularly in the Indian context?
My first post in the series includes book recommendations on climate change. Books about the damaging effects. Books on political and social apathy. But also books about hope.
The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh
Are we deranged? Acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh definitely does think so. If not, what explains the collective failure to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.
The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkableby Amitav Ghosh discusses the causes and consequences of the environmental crisis. What sets it apart is that it is also a discussion on the politics of climate change.
The author does not limit himself to educate about the crisis. He points out the grave disservice literature does to it. How Indian literary fiction and even climate fiction (or cli-fi as it is popularly termed) fails to raise awareness. How authors prefer writing about more saleable topics. And how even writing of history oversimplifies the climate crisis.
This book is a must-read.India & The Environment – Must-Read Books on Climate Change #CauseAChatter #EnvironmentalTalks #BookChatter @blogchatter #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
A River Runs Again, India’s Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka by Meera Subramanian
We hold the panch tattva in high regard. We revere our rivers. Even consider them goddesses. But don’t blink an eyelid when polluting them.
A River Runs Again, India’s Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka by Meera Subramanian explores the environmental catastrophe through the panch tattva (the five elements) – earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Divided into five sections, it explores the impact on each element and how people have come together to reverse the damaging effects. From organic farming to building reservoirs to smokeless stoves.
The statistics are a bit dated, but it is an excellent read nonetheless.
The Climate Solution: India’s Climate-Change Crisis and What We Can Do About It by Mridula Ramesh
Is focusing on green sources of power an incomplete solution for India? Does climate change pose a security threat to the country? Can managing waste create lakhs of jobs?
The Climate Solution: India’s Climate-Change Crisis and What We Can Do About It by Mridula Ramesh is divided into two parts – Understanding and Action. It traces the decades-long history of climate change. But also how climate warriors have helped reverse the effects by adapting sustainable methodologies. The book includes a checklist of actions you and I can implement to help our planet breathe again.
I highly recommend you pick this book.
This is just a small selection of books on the environment to help you get started. Stay tuned as I would be sharing more recommendations on a range of topics under Enviromental Talks. Do you have a recommendation? I would love to check it out. Do share in the comments below.India & The Environment – Must-Read Books on Climate Change #CauseAChatter @cindyanndsilva @nooranand @heenasodhikhera #BlogaberryDazzle #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
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