2022 has been a big year in the green sector. What’s more, this new decade is indeed off to a very big start. Undoubtedly, there remains much progress to be made in terms of building up renewables and driving down emissions, but there’s no question that many data points illustrate this decade is one where a real awakening has occurred among human beings, who now recognise renewables are the future, and that fossil fuels and other harmful emitters must be consigned to the past. Yet just as this current dynamic is a good foundation on which Australia and other countries can build on heading into 2023 and beyond, what we need to do involves understanding what got us here, and also where we need to go next.

Just as we can all recognise the value of renewables and the challenge of climate change, ultimately there can be many paths we can take when it comes to addressing both. That’s why alongside resources like the articles found here at STC of course being a good resource to read for the latest in news and debate within this arena, there’s also great value to be found by diving in-depth with some terrific books. So, with that in mind, let’s look now at 7 terrific titles which will make for fantastic holiday reading on going green.

1. A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough 

In many ways David Attenborough is one of the greatest assets to green advocates as it concerns raising awareness, and generating new interest in conservation and related causes. Someone who has some excellent first-hand insight into these matters given his life’s work, but also a huge global audience of fans who value his love of the natural world, and role in bringing the wonders of it into our living rooms - and in more recent times handheld devices - all over the place!

In this book A Life on Our Planet, Attenborough details what has gone wrong in his lifetime - which makes for confronting reading - while also offering a wellspring of hope for the future. A compelling aspect of Attenborough’s narrative is a point that cuts through any notion that pursuing green solutions is ‘nice, but not really necessary’ for human beings. As Attenborough notes well, “We often talk of saving the planet, but the truth is that we must do these things to save ourselves. With or without us, the wild will return.”

2. Superpower by Ross Garnaut

As we’ve discussed at length here at STC - and indeed, we’ve also discussed with Ross in our prior interview - Australia has the capacity to be a renewable energy superpower. This is something recognised by folks at a grassroots level, all the way to the highest levels of government. Just as the potential is there, the roadmap for getting there must be laid out in detail in order for Australia to make its way to this desirable destination. It’s here that Garnaut’s work Superpower is really great, given his expertise acquired throughout the course of his distinguished career, and perhaps notably in this context as the author of the 2008 Garnaut Climate Change Review.

                                                                                                                                                3. The Big Switch by Saul Griffith

The quest to go green is one that’s unquestionably important, but to a regular person going about their daily life in Australia, all the technical aspects of this transition can appear intimidating, and even bewildering. Of course, with time and the chance to digest new info, it’s easy for all to recognise the value of heading in the green direction, but Saul Griffith’s book can be regarded as a highway to this destination.

The Big Switch is a very informative, but accessible work on Australia’s need to go green in future by phasing out fossil fuel-emitting goods, and utilising electric tech instead. Undoubtedly, Saul’s background as an engineer is both a great guiding light for him as he lays out the case for making the switch, while also being of real benefit to the reader in seeing solutions to contemporary problems laid out in very practical ways.

4. All We Can Save, edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Keeble Wilkinson

When it comes to driving positive change surrounding climate change, it’s important to ensure diverse demographics are represented in the conversation. This collection of writings by women on climate change is excellent for providing a perspective on what is arguably the greatest challenge of our time, from a distinctive perspective. Alongside essays, many insightful and poignant poems feature throughout, offering a path for those with a particular love of poetry to engage with some terrific poets, and also to reflect on the theme of climate change when presented via this artistic avenue.

5. Humanity's Moment by Joëlle Gergis

It’s no secret that the threat of climate change is a very significant one. What’s more, just as the failure to adequately overcome it in the years ahead will lead to profoundly dire consequences, it’s a reality that progress which could otherwise be made has - and continues to be - frustrated by a small, but influential group of stakeholders such as fossil fuel providers, who continue to seek out massive profits for the few, over the best interests and needs of the many. It’s no surprise why then much (but not all) literature in the green arena rarely makes for easy bedtime reading! But just as those authors who identify the issues in a clear-cut way are doing valuable work, it’s of course also important to always recognise the abundance of optimism that exists in this field, surrounding the great feats that can be achieved in future.

This work is - alongside a number of other books in this list here which do indeed have optimism amidst them - great for those who want an article of faith that human beings can get the job done in seeking to respond to climate change. Alongside this title being a very compelling read in and of itself, Gergis’ expertise as a climate scientist, coupled with the broader theme of social justice, means this book is one that’s both realistic in its identification of the challenges and opportunities, while also being inspiring in appealing to the better nature of human beings, and our capacity to come together when it really matters.

6. Saving Us by Katharine Hayhoe 

One of the great challenges faced with raising awareness and increasing advocacy surrounding green issues is the issue of misinformation. In the fake news era some bad actors have unfortunately found some considerable momentum built up behind their mistruths. It’s here that Katharine Hayhoe’s book is exceptional, writing with a mindfulness that climate change does sadly remain a divisive issue in some quarters, but also that there is the capacity for those who believe in science and the ability to take action, to help effect positive engagement and change among the wider community.

7. The STC Guide to Residential Solar

OK, so we do have some bias recommending this read, but in reality there are many folks out there who can find the ins and outs of solar a bit tricky to grasp when encountering it for the first time. Even folks who know and understand the value solar provides at a macro-level - in terms of its ability to help an energy grid go green and reduce emissions from fossil fuel sources - may not yet know as much as they’d like about how solar works at a micro level, for each household.

That’s why this read is really worthwhile, whether a current solar owner, a would-be solar owner, or someone just keen to know a little more about how solar works in a residential capacity. As well as this eBook, there are a number of other reads for anyone who is really keen to go on a green deep dive during the holidays of all these books listed here, as well as our STC books and articles.

Happy Holidays One and All

With this, from all of us here at the STC team, let us now take the opportunity to wish you and all our readers a very happy holiday season! Just as it’s been great to bring you cutting-edge content on the state of solar and broader green matters in 2022, we look forward to doing so once more in 2023. See you in the new year!

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