The Climate Book Club kicked off in January at The Wild Detectives bookstore in Dallas. Photo courtesy of Breanna Cooke.

Feb. 26, 2020

If you’re looking for an interesting book to brush up on current affairs, Citizens Climate Lobby DFW has some suggestions – for the whole year.

On Jan. 30, the group kicked off its first-ever Climate Book Club, with one or two environment-focused books per month lined up for participants to read all the way through next January. The club, which meets from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at The Wild Detectives bookstore and bar at 314 W 8th St. in Dallas, has a goal of building literacy around climate change. They believe it will help participants broaden the discussion within their communities.

Dr. Melissa Rose Heer-Ahmed, the book club’s volunteer organizer, says one of the most challenging aspects of the climate change issue is the highly complex science at play. 

“Many people, myself included, get overwhelmed by the complexity of the biology, physics and socio-economic web involved in climate change and don't know how to enter into the discussion,” Heer-Ahmed said. “The Climate Book Club is an attempt to create a warm and non-intimidating environment, open to the general public, where we draw upon the collective knowledge of the group to work through some of these questions together. [Our books] are related to the political, economic and environmental impacts of climate change, and the potential solutions for this problem.” 

Watch author James Hansen discuss his book 'Storms of My Grandchildren,' the February book selection.

Storms Of My Grandchildren by James Hansen

The books cover environmental studies, meteorology, natural history, cultural and gender studies, activism and other topics, starting with James Hanson’s Storms of my Grandchildren for February and Naomi Klein’s On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal for March.

The nine attendees at the Jan. 30 kick-off meeting started by narrowing down which books to read.

“This week [Feb. 27] is our first actual meeting where we will be discussing Storms of my Grandchildren, and I am so excited to see what turnout we have,” Heer-Ahmed said. “I want people to feel free to join us at any point in the year. Even if you haven't read the current book, we will be picking passages to discuss, so feel free to stop by and get on board with next month's reading.”

Watch author Naomi Klein talk about her book 'On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal,' the March book selection .

Naomi Klein Explains the Climate Crisis

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a volunteer-driven, grassroots organization with more than 400 chapters across the U.S. and Canada that are dedicated to building support for climate solutions in congress and within local communities. There are eight DFW-area chapters: Arlington, Collin County, Dallas North, Dallas Central, Denton, Fort Worth, Grapevine/Mid-Cities and The University of Texas at Dallas.

“I think we need to think creatively about how to get the public interested and involved in exploring climate solutions,” Heer-Ahmed said. “To that end, as a Citizens Climate Lobby member, I hope that the book club gives our organization more visibility for those interested in lobbying for change. We all have different perspectives and knowledge to bring to the table, so I hope that people will feel both informed and inspired after they leave a night full of stimulating conversation.” 

Here is the Climate Book Club’s complete reading list for the year:

Earth Democracy'Earth Democracy' is September's book choice.

2020 Reading List

February: Storms of my Grandchildren, James Hanson, 2009.
March: On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal, Naomi Klein, 2019.
April: Climate of Hope, Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope, 2017.
No One is Too Small to Make a Difference, Greta Thunberg, 2019
May: The American War, Omar Al Akkad, 2018. 
June: The Immense Journey: An Imaginative Naturalist Explores the Mysteries of Man and Nature, Loren Eisley, 1959
The Everglades: River of Grass, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, 1947
July: The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change, Tim Flannery, 2005  
This Radical Land
'This Radical Land' is next January's book selection.

August: Merchants of Doubt, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, 2010
September: Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability and Peace, Vandana Shiva, 2015
October: The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, David Wallace-Wells, 2019
November: Fevered: Why a Hotter Planet Will Hurt our Heath-and How we Can Save Ourselves, Linda Marsa, 2013
December:  Clade, James Bradley, 2017
The Hillside (Warmer Collection), Jane Smiley, 2019
January 2021: This Radical Land: A Natural History of American Dissent, Daegan Miller, 2018

Climate Book Club 

Hosted by: Citizens’ Climate Lobby Dallas Central Chapter

About: The group's goal is to build literacy around the environment and climate change. No expertise required. Public welcome.

When: Fourth Thursday of the month, 7 p.m. Next gathering Feb. 27.

Where:  The Wild Detectives bookstore and bar, 314 W 8th St. in Dallas. (Note: This story was written pre-pandemic. Currently the book club is being held virtually.)



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