It's no secret that Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon. And sure, running a company like Amazon is a pretty consuming job; but the company does not singly define him. It's widely-known that Bezos owns the Washington Post and that he started the company Blue Origin, which is "committed to building a road to space." Most recently, he made news when he announced the Bezos Earth Fund, to which he committed $10 billion to finding ways to fight global warming.
The interest in climate change is something that actually overlaps with his leadership at Amazon. Last September, the company committed itself to tackling climate change. Here are some key points to Amazon's climate-change plan:
- Amazon is committed to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early.
- Amazon has agreed to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from vehicle manufacturer Rivian.
- Bezos expects 80% of Amazon’s energy use to come from renewable sources by 2024, before transitioning to zero emissions by 2030.
There are still naysayers. There will always be naysayers. But there are a lot more people who believe that the earth is warming and that we should do something to try to stop that trend.
With that in mind, here are five books for people who are interested in learning more about the risks of climate change, what the world is doing about it, and what they can do personally.
In each chapter of Hope Jahren's new book, she connects our habits and technologies to the destruction of the environment. This is a handbook that describes how what we do affects the world we live in. As we grow in population and production, it's important to realize that the world stays the same size. It is a finite resource.
The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac
The authors, who led negotiations for the United Nations during the Paris Agreement of 2015, present two possible scenarios for the future. In one scenario, they describe what kind of world people can expect to inhabit in 2050 if we don't adhere to the Paris climate targets. In the other, they describe the world we could create by meeting the targets. They do believe we can avoid disaster, and they outline the process for governments, corporations, and each one of us.
Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis by Greta Thunberg
Seventeen-year-old Greta Thunberg has become one of the most recognizable voices on climate change. This book is about her own journey from concerned eleven-year-old to internationally-recognized activist. Here is the story of how she developed her views and how she intends to make a difference.
We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer holds the belief that, if we are going to save the planet, we need to individually make sacrifices. And we need to make them now. He argues that modern agriculture has essentially turned the globe into a giant industrial farm, one that is leading to climate change. We don't need to buy into the modern agricultural system, and a vegetarian diet can make a big difference. Collective action starts with individuals rethinking what they eat (and don't eat). Hence, saving the planet begins at breakfast.
Falter by Bill McKibben
McKibben's book is a sobering account of the actions and the attitudes that have led us to an environmental precipice. And he's not completely convinced we haven't reached the point of no return. Still, McKibben offers ways that we can march our way back out of this crisis. He's optimistic, but it's a muted optimism.