Do you want to learn more about climate change? What are the best articles on climate change that you should read?
Climate change is destroying our planet, but it’s such a divisive topic among the public. There’s a lot of information online on climate change, so it must be difficult to know where to start reading. Luckily, we’ve narrowed down the best articles on climate change to help you understand what it is—and why it’s so heavily debated.
Continue reading for our list of the best climate change articles from resources such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Forbes.
The Best Articles to Help You Understand Climate Change
Before jumping into the effects of climate change and the complicated debate surrounding the topic, it’s helpful to first understand the science of climate change.
The three articles provided below act as guides, analyses, or opinionated perspectives of climate change and why it’s gradually harming our future. After reading these best articles on climate change, you’ll have a better grasp of the science behind the subject.
1. “The Science of Climate Change Explained: Facts, Evidence and Proof”
If you don’t have the hours to endlessly research scientific journals or articles on climate change, this New York Times article has all the answers for you.
“The Science of Climate Change Explained” provides the most asked questions from the public about climate change, such as “How bad are the effects of climate change going to be?” and “How do we know climate change is caused by humans?” The article also provides answers to questions you may not have ever been asking before, such as why we should be worried that the planet is two degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was in the 1800s.
To ensure that all of the information is solid and correct, the article is backed up by scientific evidence and data. Well-researched and thoroughly evaluated, you’ll practically be an expert on climate change by the time you’ve finished reading.
To receive answers to your biggest questions about climate change, read “The Science of Climate Change Explained: Facts, Evidence and Proof.”
2. “What If We Stopped Pretending?”
“What If We Stopped Pretending?” asks a terrifying question when it comes to our response to climate change, but novelist Jonathan Franzen has no fear of sharing the harsh reality that we’re living in. He perfectly sums up his argument in the subtitle of the New Yorker opinion piece: “The climate apocalypse is coming. To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it.”
Is the word “apocalypse” appropriate in this setting? Maybe, or maybe not, but Franzen certainly believes it’s upon us. He argues that the more we focus on “fixing” climate change (in which there has been no significant success), the less we focus on adapting to the “apocalypse” that is ultimately coming. Franzen says we’re ignoring the inevitable to hold out hope, but it won’t matter when many species have gone extinct or humans are ill-equipped to handle the disasters climate change will create in the future.
It’s important to emphasize that this is an opinion piece The New Yorker chose to publish by a novelist. Franzen faced backlash from many readers and climate scientists who felt he was spreading false information, and the same readers scolded The New Yorker for publishing it. However, it’s still a worthwhile read if you want to understand other people’s perspectives on the climate change crisis.
To read Franzen’s full article, head over to “What If We Stopped Pretending?” in The New Yorker.
3. “Globalization and Climate Change: There Is No Planet B”
In one of Shortform’s many articles on climate change, we explain the connection between globalization—interaction among people, governments, and companies across national borders—and climate change. These core ideas come from our comprehensive summary of Thomas Friedman’s book Thank You For Being Late.
“Globalization and Climate Change” dives into a brief history of climate change and how globalization has come into play, such as burning fossil fuels that release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. While globalization is important for trading resources among countries, it’s also accelerating climate change and crossing planetary boundaries. Earth scientists created planetary boundaries to set limitations on the number of changes we can make to the Earth before these changes become dangerously permanent. These changes include using too much fresh water, burning fossil fuels, and cutting down trees.
To understand how globalization is hurting the Earth’s environment, read “Globalization and Climate Change: There Is No Planet B.”
The Best Articles on Climate Change’s Effects on Our World
Now that you understand what climate change is a little better, let’s jump into the effects it has on our environment and other various aspects.
The articles below give a good overview of how climate change is affecting everything around us—from our crops and harvesting to the winemaking process and real estate industry. If you want to know more about these unexpected outcomes, continue reading for summaries of the best articles on climate change’s effects on our world.
1. “Another Variable in the Winemaking Process: Climate Change”
This article by Eric Asimov of The New York Times goes into great detail about how climate change is damaging California’s wine industry. It’s an industry no one considers to be of importance when it comes to climate change, nor has anyone thought it would ever be affected by our worsening climate. However, Asimov’s research into the urban winery Donkey & Goat proves otherwise.
In essence, the 2021 fires that wreaked havoc in California devastated vineyards that grew inexpensive grapes for reasonably priced California wines. Because of the fire damage, wineries such as Donkey & Goat are facing a financial crisis as they’re forced to buy expensive grapes to use in wines labeled as the generic “California” appellation.
If you want to learn more about how the wine industry in California is facing a crisis because of climate change, read “Another Variable in the Winemaking Process: Climate Change.”
2. “How Warming Weathers Are Affecting Everything”
While this article by NPR talks about the effects of warming weather only in the United States, it’s still one of the best articles on climate change because it goes into how each region of the country is adjusting to the drastic shifts in temperatures.
The article is divided into seven sections (which focus on different regions of the United States), each of which is supported by statistical evidence, graphics, and scientific claims that prove climate change is an obstacle during the harvesting and ski seasons. There’s also interesting insight on how bugs are affected by the short winters, which means the diseases they carry can become a bigger issue for humans.
To read an in-depth analysis of climate change’s effects across the United States, head on over to NPR for “How Warming Weathers Are Affecting Everything.”
3. “The Impacts of Climate Change on the Real Estate Market”
Who would’ve thought climate change would influence the real estate industry? That’s right—the rising temperatures and increase in weather-related disasters are causing many real estate agents to panic. Ari Chazanas, founder and CEO of Lotus West Properties in West Los Angeles, wrote one of the best climate change articles to inform those of the unexpected impact that warming weather has on maintaining and selling properties.
Chazanas breaks down the issues he and other real estate agents are facing as climate change becomes a worsening problem. It’s quite simple to follow, especially for people who aren’t familiar with real estate.
To briefly summarize, the frequency of hurricanes that is rising thanks to climate change means higher costs in maintaining property, more property damage bills, and insurance premiums getting more expensive. In addition, higher temperatures mean more reliance on HVAC systems to stay cool, and some tenants won’t be too pleased with the increase in electricity bill rates.
If you want to know more about how the real estate market is adjusting to these changes, read “The Impacts of Climate Change on the Real Estate Market.”
The Best Articles on the Climate Change Debate
To fully understand climate change, you must face the fact that not everyone agrees on what exactly is causing the drastic change in temperatures that are ruining our planet. The climate change debate is a convoluted subject, but thankfully there are informative articles that make learning about the debate simple.
In these last three articles, you’ll learn the origins of the debate and where the two sides of the argument stand today. It’s important to note that these were picked as the best articles on the climate change debate because they come from an impartial viewpoint, allowing you to make your own opinion based on the non-biased material.
1. “History of Climate Change Debate”
There’s an active debate on what exactly is causing climate change to get worse, but the main debate is whether humans are the problem. You may already have your mind made up on what you believe when it comes to climate change, but maybe you want to know more about why there’s a debate in the first place.
The article “History of Climate Change Debate” is a non-biased, informative explanation of where the debate originated and what each side believes (one side believes humans are causing climate change and the other side believes that humans aren’t causing climate change). The article goes into substantial detail about scientists’ efforts in educating the public about climate change and the political response to it, as well. A closing section on the U.S.’s public opinion on the subject gives a comprehensive overview of statistical data that shows where certain groups stand on the issue.
Read more about the public debate in “History of Climate Change Debate.”
2. “Climate Change Science: The Early History”
Climate change has a long history of being doubted by the public and politicians—and even scientists. Shortform’s article on the early history of climate change science touches on how doubt-mongering affected the government’s perception of climate change and how climate change became such a divisive subject in politics.
Historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway discuss the early debate in their book Merchants of Doubt, which is heavily referenced in the article. Notable people of discussion in the article include Roger Revelle, who was one of the earliest scientists to study humans’ impact on climate change, and economist Thomas Schelling, who believed that the consequences Revelle warned against weren’t as bad as he made it out to be.
To get a brief history of the earliest climate change debate, read “Climate Change Science: The Early History.”
3. “Doubt-Mongering in the Climate Change Debate”
“Climate Change Science: The Early History” touches on the earliest debates of climate change, and Shortform’s article “Doubt-Mongering in the Climate Change Debate” looks into the continuation of this debate in more recent times.
With research and ideas from an updated version of Merchants of Doubt in 2020, this article puts a great emphasis on the fact that the debate on what (or who) is affecting climate change is still going strong. The article focuses on two major aspects of the recent climate change debate: California law and electric cars.
California law and producers of electric cars are making efforts to slow down climate change, but merchants of doubt (MODs) have found excuses for why these efforts don’t work. “Doubt-Mongering in the Climate Change Debate” discusses where these MODs have valid points—and if there is scientific evidence that proves otherwise.
To read more about the role of MODs in the climate change debate in the last decade, head over to “Doubt-Mongering in the Climate Change Debate.”
Have You Read These Articles?
Have you read any of these articles? If so, which ones helped you understand the subject of climate change the most? We’d love to read your take in the comments below, along with any other great climate change articles that would be a valuable addition to our list.