I’m not a huge fan of lists, but I think this topic fits the structure well. The vast majority of people I speak with are eager and excited to learn about this new industry, either for personal interest or for professional reasons. Reading up on the industry is critical to getting started. When you’re talking with other professionals it is critical that you understand the jargon but also current issues regarding policy, companies and regulating agencies. A future post will be dedicated to outlining the best online resources people can use to keep up to date no the latter subject, but here are two lists, both personal and professional, for people interested in getting their head into the game.
For the casual reader, in no particular order.
- The Cleantech Revolution. One of the most comprehensive and specific books that speaks to each problem we’re facing, the opportunities behind each issues what different governments and companies are doing to address each opportunity. It’s written for the general reader but also the entrepreneur or policy maker. The only issue is, it was written in 2007 so it’s a little out of date.
- Clean Money. Clean Money is similar to The Cleantech Revoluation in that is outlines the issues similarly but the goal of this book is different. Clean Money is written by a stock analyst and is thus focused on how to use this knowledge to invest in public companies that will benefit from the trend of cleantech investment.
- Renewable Energy Policy. Renewable energy, like all energy, is driven by policy and this book provides a solid understanding of what policies exist and how they shape the market. Again, it’s only issue was that it was published in 2004 and much ahs change since then.
- Cradle to Cradle. Certainly one of the most famous green building and design books on the topic published within the past 10 years. I like it because provides a simple, solid and methodical approach to solving issues in a consumer driven society with specific examples to back up its claims. The book can be useful to both those working in the industry, but the general public will also find it interesting and useful.
- The Triple Bottom Line. I like The Triple Bottom Line because it was written by a business person for businesses. While many of the supporting arguments are made from anecdotes there is some (I’d argue, not enough) concrete data provided. It will be useful and inspirational for anyone interested in how for profit companies are addressing our issues.
- Green to Gold. Green to Gold is similar in focus and delivery to The Triple Bottom Lines. They’re both focused on understanding profit seeking business, mainly large corporations, and provide a lot of anecdotes to back up there claims.
- An Inconvenient Truth (the book.) I’d argue one of the best coffee table books of all time. It takes Al Gore’s famous speech, presentation, movie and puts it into book form. It’s very easily skimmed while providing a lot of useful information in the form of pictures and graphs that highlight important issues. Like the movie, it lacks in concrete steps we can take to move forward but will get your attention.
And, for the professional reader wanting to get into the thick of it here are my suggestions, by industry. No I’m not going to review these.