Climate Resource Recommendations from the MGS team
There’s a wealth of information available about the climate crisis but it can be hard to know where to start. We asked the MGS team for what climate content they’ve been reading or listening to for recommendations to get stuck into.
We’d love to hear your suggestions, email Alex Smith, Climate Officer, AlexS@museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk
Victoria Hawkins, Museum Development Manager – Accreditation
Top of my list are these books: Regenesis – George Monbiot, Feral – George Monbiot, Out of the Wreckage – George Monbiot, The New Climate War – Michael E. Mann , Regeneration – Andrew Painting (about the Mar Lodge Estate in Scotland, good for ecology of the Cairngorms), Wilding – Isabella Tree (about the Knepp estate in Sussex), Bringing Back the Beaver – Derek Gow (short and fun), What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? – Tony Juniper, Native – Patrick Laurie (more of a gentle read about farming for wildlife in Dumfries and Galloway), The Miracle Pill – Peter Walker (not directly climate related but a good read about cycling with reference to its benefits for climate)
I regularly read articles from the climate section of The Guardian. We Are Possible is a good website for positive climate information and C40 Cities is a useful website about action being taken around the world. Big Oil vs The World on BBC iPlayer is 3 episodes about the 40 year cover up of climate science by oil companies.
Jacob O’Sullivan, Museum Development Manager – Collections and Interpretation
The Book of Trespass is something I recommend to many people! It totally changed how I feel about and understand land rights, in terms of walking but also use of resources, indigenous land knowledge, sustainability etc. It’s focussed on England in terms of law and history, but I still think really interesting. There’s also this more direct follow up called The Trespasser’s Companion.
Also, not a podcast, but in terms of a creative reaction to the climate emergency, I thoroughly recommend Julian Cope’s album ‘Peggy Suicide’. The whole album is centred on environmentalism and how land exploitation impacts all other areas. It informed a lot of thinking that has now become common-place. It was released in 1991, but feels very relevant today.
Gabi Gillott, Grants Assistant
I’ve recently read a few general climate / ecology books (not super museum specific, but great nonetheless). They are:
- The Disenchanted Earth
- All We can Save
- Any of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s books, but especially Braiding Sweetgrass
- The Mushroom at the End of The World
I also love perusing Glasgow Zine Library’s collections, as they’ve always got some fab stuff in on climate crisis. Podcast-wise I’d recommend The Serpentine Gallery’s Back-to-Earth series as it makes for great listening.
Joe Setch, Marketing and Communications Officer
An article I recently came across is Climate crisis: how museums could inspire radical action. It’s a couple of years old but addresses a lot of relevant themes while also pointing to further resources.
Heather Doherty, Museum Development Manager – Research and Analytics
My resource pick would be Low Cost/No Cost Tips for Sustainability in Cultural Heritage by Lorraine Finch
Rosie King, Marketing and PR Officer
I thought this book, How are we going to explain this? By Jelmer Mommers, clearly laid out the situation and what needs to happen now. It’s available as an audio book too. If social media is your bag then I recommend following climate groups and activists on social media for news and info, but remember to take action offline and into all parts of life too. Lastly, I follow news from the Landworkers Alliance for keeping updated with food and land sustainability challenges and successes.
Devon McHugh, Senior Partnerships Manager
One of my fave books EVER is The Garden Jungle, by Dave Goulson. I first read it at the beginning of the pandemic, and it was both a huge catalyst for changing some of our ways of life (including encouraging my current existence as a crazy plant lady) and is also enormously comforting in its scale and really heartful kindness. Strong recommend!
Alex Smith, Climate Officer
For a podcast I find The Climate Question by the BBC World Service is one I keep going to. They put out one half hour episode a week on a whole range of topics, if it’s related to climate change, they’ll do an episode on it. Over the last few weeks they’ve covered aviation, chemical fertilizers, cycling, mangroves, and tropical peatlands. The episodes are incredibly accessible and with input from experts and guests they are full of information.
For books there’s a multitude of fantastic work out there but one that sticks out is Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet by Johan Rockstrom and Owen Gaffney. It lays out nine planetary boundaries that balance the earth and how we’re overshooting on nearly all of them and pushing beyond the planet’s boundaries and capacity. For me this demonstrated the need to look at climate change as part of a wider systemic problem about how humans are behaving on the planet- as big a problem as greenhouse gas emissions are, it’s not isolated.
Siena Acciaroli, Climate Project Assitant
The Environment section on the Museum Next website has a lot of good articles surrounding the topic of museums and climate change. The article Cultural Heritage Is a Necessary Component of Climate Solutions is also great at explaining how cultural heritage can play an important part in mitigating the effects of climate change.