POW’s Summer Reading List

To celebrate the start of summer, we wanted to share with you our top picks for books you should have in your bag on your next adventure or on your bed stand. Come August, you’ll be educated, agitated, inspired and motivated.


On Thin Ice

By POW Riders Alliance pro Eric Larsen 

The story of Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters trek across the melting Arctic Ocean, unsupported, for nearly 500 miles. Think your commute is rough? Think again; the duo traveled (both carrying sleds with 320 pounds of gear behind them) on skis, snowshoes, and even swam through semi-frozen slush sometimes moving barely a mile a day.

Not only is the book filled with colorful photos and GPS maps plotting their progress, it offers an in-depth look at the effect global climate change has played on the Arctic.

Buy it here and support POW in the process!

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

By Paul Hawken

After we saw Paul Hawken’s presentation at MountainFilm in Telluride, we knew we had to grab this book. Stay tuned for our own review, but in the meantime, here are a couple to give you an idea of what to expect.

“There’s been no real way for ordinary people to get an understanding of what they can do and what impact it can have. There remains no single, comprehensive, reliable compendium of carbon-reduction solutions across sectors. At least until now. . . . The public is hungry for this kind of practical wisdom.”
—David Roberts, Vox

“This is the ideal environmental sciences textbook—only it is too interesting and inspiring to be called a textbook.”
—Peter Kareiva, Director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

By POW Board Member Naomi Oreskes

Now a powerful documentary from the acclaimed director of Food Inc., Merchants of Doubt was one of the most talked-about climate change books of recent years, for reasons easy to understand: It tells the controversial story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. The same individuals who claim the science of global warming is “not settled” have also denied the truth about studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. “Doubt is our product,” wrote one tobacco executive. These “experts” supplied it.

Tools for Grassroots Activists: Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement

By Nora Gallagher and Lisa Myers

For more than twenty years, Patagonia has organized a Tools Conference, where experts provide practical training to help make activists more effective, and in 2013, we had the honor of attending the Conference. This book serves as the perfect resource for any organization hoping to hone core skills like campaign and communication strategy, grassroots organizing, and lobbying as well as working with business, fundraising in uncertain times and using new technologies.

Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution

By POW Board Chair Auden Schendler

Publisher’s Weekly Review: “Prius drivers and recyclers take note: according to debut author Schendler, your efforts to be environmentally correct are admirable, but are hardly the kind of urgent, unified action we need to really make an impact on global climate change…By challenging status quo thinking about sustainability and taking the point of view of the business executive and the worker in the field, Schendler offers a perspective that is refreshingly realistic and pragmatic.”

Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet

By Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

From Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former head of the Sierra Club Carl Pope comes a manifesto on how the benefits of taking action on climate change are concrete, immediate, and immense. They explore climate change solutions that will make the world healthier and more prosperous, aiming to begin a new type of conversation on the issue that will spur bolder action by cities, businesses, and citizens―and even, someday, by Washington.

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

By Naomi Klein

The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core “free market” ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.