Climate Change

Book Digest: Tracing world order from 2008 financial crisis to COVID-19, Shaheen Bagh and more

From stories of climate crisis to women-led movement for equal rights, DTE tracks new, contemporary books on environment and development from leading authors 

By DTE Staff
Published: Saturday 25 July 2020

The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity | Toby Ord | Bloomsbury Publishing | June 10, 2020

The world is in the middle of what may be the most deadly pandemic in the last century. Threats to humanity, and how we address them, define our time. From a leading moral philosopher, a landmark narrative spanning thousands of generations of human history that explores the biggest threats facing humanity, and what must be done to protect our future. 

Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All | Michael Shellenberger | HarperCollins | June 30, 2020

The risk of Earth warming to very high temperatures is increasingly unlikely, thanks to slowing population growth and abundant natural gas. But the alarmists tend to oppose the obvious solutions. This book highlights what’s really behind the rise of apocalyptic environmentalism.

There are powerful financial interests. There are desires for status and power. But most of all, there is a desire among supposedly secular people for transcendence. This spiritual impulse can be natural and healthy. But in preaching fear without love, and guilt without redemption, the new religion is failing to satisfy our deepest psychological and existential needs. 

The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What's Possible in the Age of Warming | Eric Holthaus | HarperOne | June 30, 2020

This book is a guide in how to reverse the short- and long-term effects of climate change over the next three decades. It invites us to imagine the ways in which we can encourage ourselves to enter a deeper relationship with the Earth as conscientious stewards and re-affirm our commitment to one another in our shared humanity.

False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet | Bjorn Lomborg | Basic Books | July 14, 2020

The book argues that panic over climate change is causing more harm than good. In panic, world leaders have committed to wildly expensive but largely ineffective policies that hamper growth and crowd out more pressing investments in human capital, from immunisation to education.

Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change | Dieter Helm | William Collins | September 3, 2020

The inconvenient truth is that we are causing the climate crisis with our carbon intensive lifestyles and that fixing — or even just slowing — it will affect all of us. But it can be done. In Net Zero, The Economist professor Dieter Helm addresses the action we would all need to take, whether personal, local, national or global, if we really wanted to stop causing climate change.

Shaheen Bagh: From a Protest to a Movement Paperback | Ziya Us Salam | Bloomsbury India | July 28, 2020

This book is a moving tale of the brave women of Shaheen Bagh-patient, persevering and unbelievable peaceniks who raised their voice for the deprived and the discriminated. Initially starting out as a cry of anguish against the allegedly discriminatory laws of the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens, it soon became a modern-day Gandhian movement for equal rights for all citizens.

The book is a result of the authors’ abiding focus on the movement, including spending time with the brave hearts almost every day of the protest from dawn to dusk and beyond. 

Making India Great: The Promise of a Reluctant Global Power |Aparna Pande | Harpercollins | August 13, 2020

This book examines the challenges we face in the areas of social, economic, military and foreign policy and strategy. The author points to the dichotomy that lies at the heart of the nation: Our belief in becoming a global power and the reluctance to implement policies and take actions that would help us achieve that goal. 

Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems | Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo | Penguin | September 3, 2020

Good Economics for Hard Times shows how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our day. From immigration to inequality, slowing growth to accelerating climate change, we have the resources to address the challenges we face, but we are often blinded by ideology. 

The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World | S Jaishankar | HarperCollins India | September 7, 2020

The decade from the 2008 global financial crisis to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic has seen a real transformation of the world order. The very nature of international relations and its rules are changing before our eyes. For India, this means optimal relationships with all the major powers to best advance its goals.

It also requires a bolder and non-reciprocal approach to its neighbourhood. A global footprint is now in the making that leverages India's greater capability and relevance, as well as its unique diaspora.

This era of global upheaval entails greater expectations from India, putting it on the path to becoming a leading power. In The India Way, S Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs, analyses these challenges and spells out possible policy responses.

He places this thinking in the context of history and tradition, appropriate for a civilisational power that seeks to reclaim its place on the world stage.


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