The following books have withstood the test of time and the messages in these book are as relevant today as when they were first published.


Brown, H. The Challenge of Man's Future. New York, The Viking Press, 1954.

Carson, R. Silent Spring. Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1962

Cook, E. Man, Energy, Society. San Francisco, W.H. Freeman and Company, 1976.

Cottrell, F. Energy and Society: The Relationship Between Energy, Social Change, and Economic Development. New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1955.

George, H. Progress and Poverty. London, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1943 (First published 1879).

Illich, I. Energy and Equity, London, Calder & Boyers, 1974.

Meadows, D.H., D.L. Meadows, J. Randers, and W.W. Behrens. The Limits to Growth. London, Earth Island Ltd., 1972.

Mishan, E.J. The Costs of Economic Growth. Harmondsworth, Penguin Books Ltd., 1971.

Odum, H.T. and E.G. Odum. Energy Basis for Man and Nature. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1976.

Ophuls, W. Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity: Prologue to a Political Theory of the Steady State. San Francisco, Freeman and Company, 1977.

Papanek. V. Design For the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change. New York, Pantheon Books. 1972.

Schumacher, E.F. Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered. London, Abacus, 1977.

Soddy, F. Wealth, Virtual Wealth, and Debt: The Solution of the Economic Paradox. London, Britons Publishing Company, 2nd Edition 1933.

Veblen, T. The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions. London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1925 (First published 1899).

Recommended Books

Chalmers, A.F. What is this thing called Science? Queensland, University of Queensland Press, 1982.

Cook, J. Cranky Uncle vs Climate Change: How to Understand and Respond to Climate Science Deniers. New York, Citadel Press, 2020.

Cox, S. The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can. San Fancisco, City Lights Books, 2020.

Haskins, G.R. A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking: Essential Steps for Developing Sound Reasoning and Arguments while Overcoming Hindrances to Rational Thinking. Kindle, 2nd Edition 2016. US $3.40

 Haskins, G.R. Ten Steps to Overcome Media Disinformation & Manipulation: How to Apply Critical Thinking to Avoid Psychological Manipulation and Fake News, Obtain Salient Facts and Develop Sound Opinions. Kindle, 2019.  US $3.66

Reichmann, W.J. Use and Abuse of Statistics. Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1973

Seidel, P. Uncommon Sense: Shortcomings of the Human Mind for Handling Big-Picture, Long Term Challenges. Arlington, Steady State Press, 2020.

Smil, V. Energy: A Beginner’s Guide. Oxford, Oneworld Publications, 2006.

Squarzoni, P. Climate Change: A Personal Journey Through The Science, New York, Abrams ComicArts, 2014.


We currently face a web of problems. Many problems have easy solutions, but sometimes an apparently easy solution to a problem has unintended consequences. This is because we had not fully understood the problem – the dynamics and interconnections. Many people regard a number of problems as being isolated problems when, in reality, they are dynamically connected. For example, problems caused by exceeding planetary boundaries are exacerbated by climate change. These problems include desertification, deforestation, extinction of species, diminishing aquifers, diminishing fertile soil, and increasing scarcity of fresh water supplies. The list goes on. Our response to these problems individually or as a combination forms part of the web of problems because some responses such as resistance to change can result in further problems. The problems we face do not form individual linear chains of cause and effect. We need to understand the interconnections and dynamics of the problems in order to resolve the problems in combination. There are a number of disparate disciplines which all contribute to this understanding. Not one single publication provides a total overview of our predicament and provide corresponding possible solutions. A fuller understanding requires reading and absorbing a number of publications.

Ayres, R.U. The Bubble Economy: Is Sustainable Growth Possible? London, The MIT Press, 2014.

Bardi, U. Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet. White River Junction, Vermont, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014

Berners-Lee, M. How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything. London, Profile Books, 2011.

Bihouix, P. The Age of Low Tech: Towards a Technologically Sustainable Civilization. Bristol, Bristol University Press, 2014.

Chamberlain, S. The Transition Timeline: For a Local, Resilient Future. Devon, Green Books Ltd., 2010.

Cohen, J.E. How Many People can the Earth Support? New York, Norton & Company, 1995.  

Daumas, M. Editor. A History of Technology and Invention: Progress Through the Ages. Volume I: The Origins of Technological Civilization to 1450. Vol II: The First Stages of Mechanization 1450-1725. Volume III: The Expansion of Mechanization 1725-1860. London, John Murray, 1969.

Diamond, J. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive. London, Allan Lane, 2005.

Dietz, R. and D. O’Neil. Enough is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources. London, Earthscan, 2013.

Douthwaite, R. The Growth Illu$ion: How Economics has Enriched the Few, Impoverished the Many and Endangered the Planet. Devo, Green Books Ltd., 2nd Edition 1999.  

Ferguson, N. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World. New York, The Penguin Press, 2008.

Fernandez-Armesto, F. Millennium. London, Black Swan, 1996.

Fleming, D. Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy. Vermont, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2016.

Friedman, B.M. The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.

Giampietro, M. and K. Mayumi. The Biofuel Delusion: The Fallacy of Large-Scale Agro-biofuel Production. London, Earthscan, 2009.

Gillespie, A. The Illusion of Progress: Unsustainable Development in International Law and Policy. London, Earthscan, 2001.

Graeber, D. Debt: The First 5,000 Years. New York, Melville House Publishing, 2011.

Hagen, N.J. and D.J. White. Reality Blind: Integrating the Systems Science Underpinning Our Collective Futures Volume 1. Kindle Version, 2019.

Hansen, J. Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. London, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2009.

Harari, Y.N. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. London, Vintage Books, 2018.

Heinberg, R. Power: Limits and Prospects For Human Survival. Gabriola Island, New Society Publishers, 2021.

Heinberg, R. Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels. Gabriola Island, New Society Publishers, 2015.

Hickel, J. Less is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World. Windmill, 2021.

Hickel, J. The Divide. London, William Heinemann, 2017.

Hopkins, R. The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience.  White River Junction, Vermont, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008.

Jackson, T. Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, London, Earthscan, 2009

Jeavons, J. How to Grow More Vegetables (and Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops). New York, Ten Speed Press, 8th Edition 2012.

Jensen, D., L. Keith, and M. Wilbert. Bright Green Lies: How the Environmental Movement Lists Its Way and What We Can Do About It. New York, Monkfish Publishing Company, 2021.

Lovelock, J.R. Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. New York, Oxford University Press., 1987.

Mackay, D.J.C. Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air. Cambridge, UIT Cambridge Ltd,, 2009

Mollinson, B. Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual. Sisters Creek Tasmania, Tagari Publications, 2nd Edition 2002.

Montgomery, D.R. Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations. Los Aneles, University of California Press, 2007.

Oreskes, N. and E.M. Conway. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. London, Bloomsbury, 2010.

Korten, D.C. When Corporations Rule the World. Oakland, CA, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc., 20th Anniversary Edition 2015.

Pilling, D. The Growth Delusion: The Wealth and Well-Being of Nations. New York, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.

Pitron, G. The Rare Metals War: The Dark Side of the Energy and Digital Transition. London, Scribe Publications, 2020

Princen, T. The Logic of Sufficiency. London, The MIT Press, 2005.

Reich, R.B. The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It. London, Picador, 2020.

Rockström, J. and O. Gaffney. Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet. London, Penguin Random House, 2021

Smil, V. Growth from Microorganisms to Megacities. London, The MIT Press, 2019.

Smil, V. Energy and Civilization: A History. London, The MIT Press, 2017.

Stiglitz, J. The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future. New York, W.W. Norton Company, 2012.

Stiglitz, J.E. The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them. New York, Norton, 2015.

Stone, C. The Urban Farmer: Growing Food for Profit on Leased and Borrowed Land. Gabriola Island, Canada, New Society Publishers, 2016.

Tainter, J.A. The Collapse of Complex Societies. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Thurow, L.C. The Zero Sum Game: Distribution and the Possibilities for Economic Change. Harmondsworth, Penguin Books Ltd., 1981.

Wackernagal, M.  and B. Beyers. Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget. Gabriola Island, Canada, New Society Publishers, 2019.

Weisman, A. The World Without Us. London, Virgin Books, 2007.

Wilkinson, R. And K. Pickett. The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger. New York, Bloomsbury Press, 2009.  

Youngquist, W. Geodestinies: The Inevitable Control of Earth Resources Over Nations and Individuals. Portland Oregon, National Book Company, 1997.


For more recommended books by category - Link

Bentley, R.W. Introduction to Peak Oil. Springer, 2016
Bossel, H. Earth at a Crossroads: Paths to a Sustainable Future. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Bossel, H. Systems and Model: Complexity, Dynamics, Evolution, Sustainability. Norderstedt, Germany, Books on Demand GmbH, 2007.
Capilla, A.V. and A.V. Delgrado. Thanatia: The Destiny of the Earth’s Mineral Resources, A Thermodynamic Cradle-to-Cradle Assessment. London, World Scientific, 2015.
Cleveland C.J. D.I. Stern, and R. Costanza. The Economics of Nature and the Nature of Economics. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2001.
Daly, H.E. and J. Farley. Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications. Washington D.C., Island Press, 2004. 
Ford, A. Modeling the Environment: An Introduction to System Dynamics Models of Environmental Systems. Washington D.C., Island Press, 1999.
Georgescu-Roegen, N. The Entropy Law and the Economic Process. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1971.
Hall, C.A.S. and K. Klitgaard. Energy and the Wealth of Nations: An Introduction to Biophysical Economics. Springer, 2nd Edition 2018.
Hall, C.A.S. Energy Returned on Energy Invested: A Unifying Principle for Biology, Economics, and Sustainability. New York, Springer, 2019.
Keen, S. Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor Dethroned? London, Zed Books, Revised Edition 2011.
Kelsey, J. The FIRE Economy: New Zealand’s Reckoning. Wellington, Bridget Williams Books, 2015.
Kelton, S. The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and How to Build a Better Economy. London, John Murray Press, 2020.
Kent, D. The Big Shift: Rethinking Money, Tax, Welfare and Governance for the Next Economic System. Kindle Edition, 2017.
Krumdieck, S. Transition Engineering: Building a Sustainable Future. Boca Raton, CRC Press, 2020.
Kula, E. Time Discounting and Future Generations: The Harmful Effects of an Untrue Economic Theory. London, Quorum Books, 1997.
Murphy, T.W.  Energy and Human Ambitions on a Finite Planet: Assessing and Adapting to Planetary Limits. eScholarship, University of California, 2021
Odum, H.T. Ecological and General Systems: An Introduction to Systems Ecology. Niwot Colorado, University Press of Colorado, 1984 Revised Edition.
Ord, T. The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity. London, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.
Piketty, T. Capital in the Twenty-First Century, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014.
Price, C. Time, Discounting and Value. Oxford, Blackwell, 1993.
Quiggan, J. Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us. Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2012.
Rawls, J. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge Mass., The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Revised Edition 1999.
Sterman, J.D. Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World. New York, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2000
Trentmann, F. Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-first. New York, HarperCollins Publishers, 2016.





Index of Books