Environmental Issues books, free online. History of environmental studies, the conservation movement, American environmental history, classic environmental books.
Hint: When a book you want to borrow at Internet Archive is already checked out, go to the Internet Archive’s ‘Search’ box, check “Search Metadata”, and search for the book’s title. Sometimes they have two or more copies.
About 250 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Environmental Sciences. Some books: Great Jobs for Environmental Studies Majors, Connections in Environmental Studies, The Science of the Environment, The Green Encyclopedia, Ecology A to Z, Explorations in Environmental Science, Visualizing Environmental Science, Dictionary of Ecology, Environmental Science textbooks, Global Environmental Issues, Protecting Earth’s Land, Ecology of a Changing Planet, man more online books about Environmental Sciences.
‘Collections’ take longer to appear on your screen than single books. On a phone, only about 25 books in a collection may appear.
More than 200 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Environmentalism. Some books: Religion Science and Environmentalism, Green Issues and Debates, American Environmentalism in the 21st Century, Green Culture, A Practical Guide to Minimizing your Impact on the Planet, Easy Ways to Take Back the Planet, Eco-Sanity: a common-sense guide to environmentalism, The Environmental Movement, Climate Change, Issues in the Environment, Green-Collar Jobs, Preserving the Living Earth, many more books online on Environmentalism.
More than 800 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Environmental Issues”. Some books: The World Watch Reader on Global Environmental Issues, Clashing Views on Controversial Environmental Issues, People Penguins and Plastic Trees, The export of Hazard, The Global Casino, Backwoods Ethics, Perspectives on Energy, Environmental Issues and Sustainable Futures, Environmental Chemistry, Global Environmental Institutions, The Environmental Policy Paradox, Environmental Law and Policy, many more online books about Environmental Issues.
You may also like our collection of articles on environmentalism.
About 730 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Climate Change”. Some books: Climate and Climate Change, Climate Change textbooks, Preparing for Climate Change, The Politics of Climate Change, Plant Growth and Climate Change, Climate Change Policy Initiatives, Transportation and Global Climate Change, Climate Change: a reference handbook, The Atlas of Climate Change, Climate Change: impact on coastal habitation, Wildlife Responses to Climate Change, many more free online books about Climate Change.
About 330 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Global Warming”. Some Books: Global Warming, Our Warming Planet, Stop Global Warming, How to Prevent Global Climate Catastrophe, The Troubled Science policy and Politics of Global Warming, Global Warming: the complete briefing, Global Warming: open for debate, Climate in Crisis, Dispatches from the Frontlines of Climate Change, The Truth about our Climate Crisis, Uninhabitable, many more free online books on Global Warming.
About 800 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Conservation of Natural Resources”. Some books: Conservation of Natural Resources, Ecology and Conservation of Natural Resources, Conservation of the Nation’s Resources, Sustaining our Natural Resources, Protecting our Natural Resources, Conserving Living Natural Resources, The Politics of Conservation, Natural Resources and Human Intervention, Conservation of Exploited Species, many more books about Conservation of Natural Resources.
About 150 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Environmental Degradation. Some books: The Oil Crisis has Begun, The Ecology of a Divided Planet, The Ecology of Rich and Poor, The Atlas of Endangered Peoples, Science Economics and Environmentalism, Coping with Environmental Problems, Ecological Resistance Movements, Asia’s Environmental Crisis, Environmental Destruction, Betrayal of Science and Reason, Vanishing Habitats and Species, Population and the Biosphere at the End of the Millennium, Conserving the Environment, Environmental Disasters, The Global Population Challenge, many more online books about Environmental Degradation.
About 400 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Endangered Species. Some books: Endangered Animals (many volumes), Endangered Species, Endangered Zebras, Encounters with the Most Endangered Animals in North America, The Future of Endangered Species, Panda, Endangered Wildlife and Plants of the World, Protecting Endangered Species, Rare Animals of the World, many more free online books about Endangered Species.
About 1,500 books from the Internet Archive, free online on the subject of Water. Some books: Scientists Underestimated Water, Water Voices from around the World, Water No Longer Taken for Granted, Our Dirty Water, Your Water and Your Health, The Coming Water Famine, Water Research, The New Water Book, Conserving and Protecting Water, Water and the Cycle of Life, many more online books on Water.
About 160 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Recycling”. Some books: Recycling in America, Recycling Handbook, Recycle: the essential guide, 15 Simple Things Californians Can Do to Recycle, Recycling and Reclaiming of Municipal Solid Wastes, Resource Recovery and Recycling Handbook of Industrial Wastes, Recycled Tires, Municipal Wasted Disposal in the 1990s, Office Guide to Waste Reduction and Recycling, many more online books on Recycling.
About 120 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Sustainable Living. Some books: The World in 2050, How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, Guide to Sustainable Living, The Vegetarian Imperative, Powering Our Future, Greening Your Home, Cooking Green, 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life, The Urban Homestead, 200 Simple Eco-Ideas for Every Day, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, The Green Guide to Daily Living, Green Buildings, Green Guide Families, 250 Shopping Tips for an Eco Lifestyle, The Gorgeously Green Diet, many more online books on Sustainable Living.
MIT 2005 Dewey Dec. 363.7
America’s Environmental Report Card offers answers to some of our most pressing environmental questions, providing a timely reminder of what we need to accomplish to achieve a sustainable environment. It lays out the scientific facts about water and air pollution, energy, global warming, and the ozone layer in a lively, conversational style, enhanced by illustrations, and charts a course of action for protecting the environment. America’s Environmental Report Card focuses on the environmental issues that polls show are most important to Americans today. It looks at water pollution and the safety of the water supply (20 percent of Americans refuse to drink tap water, at least partly because they doubt its safety), the dangers of floods (increased by the clearing of forests for farms and timber), the leaching of garbage buried in landfills, and pesticide runoff in irrigation waters from agriculture. It examines the ways we generate energy and the resulting global warming, air pollution (much of the 2,500 gallons of air we inhale each day contains exhaust fumes, lead, and asbestos), and ozone depletion and its relationship to skin cancer, and offers a detailed account of nuclear energy production and the radioactive waste it generates. Most important, it outlines ways to deal with these problems—workable and reasonable solutions that individuals, industry, and government can effect without unreasonable hardship, solutions that map the course to a sustainable future.
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Houghton Mifflin 2002 Dewey Dec. 363.7
First published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962, Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. “Silent Spring became a runaway bestseller, with international reverberations . . . [It is] well crafted, fearless and succinct . . . Even if she had not inspired a generation of activists, Carson would prevail as one of the greatest nature writers in American letters” (Peter Matthiessen, for Time’s 100 Most Influential People of the Century).
Cerveny, Randall S.
Prometheus 2009 Dewey Dec. 304
“Why did T-Rex become extinct? Why did the Mayan civilization disappear? If the ancient Israelis did indeed cross the Red Sea, as reported in the Bible, what weather phenomena might have produced the parting of the waters? Why was nearly all human life swept away 73,000 years ago? And what factors created the Great American Dustbowl of the 1930s?
The extraordinary people who are interested in asking–and answering–such questions are known as climatologists. In a lively narrative full of intriguing facts, award-winning, internationally known climatologist Randy Cerveny takes the reader on a fascinating tour of some of the world’s most perplexing and provocative climate mysteries, past and present. Cerveny explains the science of climate study–from digging ice cores in Antarctica to counting tree rings in Arizona–and the various specialists whose ingenious techniques help to sort out climate’s intricate components. He also delves into the human impact of weather through fictional introductions to each chapter that depict how climate change might have affected a typical inhabitant of the ancient Sahara or Indus Valley, a peasant during Europe’s “Little Ice Age,” or an aviation expert probing a deadly jet crash in New York City. Finally, he discusses research that attempts to forecast the weather of the next 10,000 years–essential information for planning the nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.” -Publisher
Facts on File 1998 Dewey Dec. 363.7
Chronicles nearly 100 environmental tragedies.
Doyle, Kevin Lee et al.
Island 1999 Dewey Dec. 363.7
Organized for ease of use and fully updated to reflect ongoing changes in environmental fields, it is the most comprehensive and reliable resource available for anyone seeking information about environmental career opportunities and how to get started in one. The book presents: a thorough consideration of environmental trends for the 21st century and the likely impact of those trends on future career opportunities an overview of environmental professions including a statistical review of the private sector environmental industry, state and local government, federal government, academia, and nonprofits valuable tips on career search strategies along with information about education, volunteering, and internships case studies of representative work and individual profiles that give readers an up-close and personal look at a variety of environmental professionals, what they really do, and how they arrived at their current positions resources for further information including more than 100 of the top web sites for the environmental career seeker.
Contents: Introduction to environmental careers — Education and internships for your environmental career — The environmental job search — The planning profession — Environmental education and communication — Water quality management — Air quality management — Solid waste management — Hazardous waste management — Energy — Land and water conservation — Fishery and wildlife management — Parks and outdoor recreation — Forestry
Fanning, C. E., comp.
H. W. Wilson 1913 Dewey Dec. 333.7
In the first decades of the 20th century publisher H.W. Wilson produced many volumes in its Debaters’ Handbook Series on social and political issues that were under discussion at the time. Each book contains the full text of selected articles and documents representing opposing views on the issue, along with a substantial bibliography of books and articles.
Most of the books mentioned in these guides are likely to be freely available online. Search by title; first at the Internet Archive (archive.org), then at HathiTrust.org. Referenced magazine articles may also be available online at the same sites, with HathiTrust the preferred site for magazines.
Forecast: The Consequences of Climate Change, from the Amazon to the Arctic, from Darfur to Napa Valley
Holt 2009 Dewey Dec. 304
“While reporting from Darfur, journalist Faris discovered that climate change was at the root of that conflict, and began to wonder what current and impending–and largely unanticipated–crises such changes have in store for the world. Here, he provides some answers. Global warming will spur the spread of many diseases. The warming world will shift huge populations and potentially redraw political alliances around the globe, driving environmentalists into the hands of anti-immigrant groups. America’s coasts are already more difficult places to live as increasing insurance rates make them prohibitively expensive. Crops will fail in previously lush places and thrive in some formerly barren zones, altering huge industries and remaking traditions. Water scarcity in India and Pakistan have the potential to inflame the conflict in Kashmir to unprecedented. Told through narratives of current, past, and future events, this is an eye-opening account of this most urgent issue.” -Publisher
Contents: Introduction — “Things will break loose from the hands of the wise men” : Darfur, scarcity, and conflict — “We’re the far country” : the Gulf Coast, warming waters, and the flight from paradise — “A spectacular bit of growth as times get hard” : Europe, migration, and political backlash — “At a new frontier” : Brazil, unsettled ecosystems, and disease — “Beautiful country” : the West Coast, hotter summers, and the grape harvest — “Everything is late in Churchill” : the Arctic, melting ice, and the new land grab — “An elemental kind of existential threat” : South Asia, disappearing glaciers, and regional catastrophe — Epilogue.
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Atlantic Monthly 2005 Dewey Dec. 363.7
With one out of every five living things on this planet committed to extinction by the levels of greenhouse gases that will accumulate in the next few decades, we are reaching a global climatic tipping point. The Weather Makers is both an urgent warning and a call to arms, outlining the history of climate change, how it will unfold over the next century, and what we can do to prevent a cataclysmic future. Along with a riveting history of climate change, Tim Flannery offers specific suggestions for action for both lawmakers and individuals, from investing in renewable power sources like wind, solar, and geothermal energy, to offering an action plan with steps each and every one of us can take right now to reduce deadly CO2 emissions by as much as 70 percent.
Freudenburg, William R. and Gramling, Robert
MIT 2011 Dewey Dec. 363.7
On April 20, 2010, the gigantic drilling rig Deepwater Horizon blew up in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven crew members and causing a massive eruption of oil from BP’s Macondo well. For months, oil gushed into the Gulf, spreading death and destruction. Americans watched real-time video of the huge column of oil and gas spewing from the obviously failed “blowout preventer.” What was missing, though, was the larger story of this disaster. In Blowout in the Gulf, energy experts William Freudenburg and Robert Gramling explain both the disaster and the decisions that led up to it.
Blowout in the Gulf weaves a fascinating narrative of failures, missteps, and bad decisions, explaining why this oil spill was a disaster waiting to happen–and how making better energy choices will help prevent others like it.
Friedman, Thomas L.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2009 Dewey Dec. 363.7
In this brilliant, essential book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas L. Friedman speaks to America’s urgent need for national renewal and explains how a green revolution can bring about both a sustainable environment and a sustainable America.
Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the expansion of the world’s middle class through globalization have produced a dangerously unstable planet–one that is “hot, flat, and crowded.” In this Release 2.0 edition, he also shows how the very habits that led us to ravage the natural world led to the meltdown of the financial markets and the Great Recession. The challenge of a sustainable way of life presents the United States with an opportunity not only to rebuild its economy, but to lead the world in radically innovating toward cleaner energy. And it could inspire Americans to something we haven’t seen in a long time–nation-building in America–by summoning the intelligence, creativity, and concern for the common good that are our greatest national resources.
Metropolitan 2008 Dewey Dec. 363.7
Acclaimed as “extraordinary” (The New York Times) and “a classic” (Los Angeles Times), The Big Necessity is on its way to removing the taboo on bodily waste—something common to all and as natural as breathing. We prefer not to talk about it, but we should—even those of us who take care of our business in pristine, sanitary conditions. Disease spread by waste kills more people worldwide every year than any other single cause of death. Even in America, nearly two million people have no access to an indoor toilet. Yet the subject remains unmentionable.
Moving from the underground sewers of Paris, London, and New York (an infrastructure disaster waiting to happen) to an Indian slum where ten toilets are shared by 60,000 people, The Big Necessity breaks the silence, revealing everything that matters about how people do—and don’t—deal with their own waste. With razor-sharp wit and crusading urgency, mixing levity with gravity, Rose George has turned the subject we like to avoid into a cause with the most serious of consequences.
Rodale 2009 Dewey Dec. 363.7
Al Gore has been a passionate advocate of action to halt climate change for many years. In his best-selling book, An Inconvenient Truth, he wrote about the urgent need to address the problems of climate change, presenting comprehensive facts and information on all aspects of global warming in a direct, thoughtful and compelling way, using explanatory diagrams and dramatic photos to clarify and highlight key issues.
Adopting the same lucid technique in Our Choice, he proposes solutions at every level of our lives, from the personal and local to the national and political to the area of international policy and law.
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Rodale 2006 Dewey Dec. 363.7
An Inconvenient Truth—Gore’s groundbreaking, battle cry of a follow-up to the bestselling Earth in the Balance—is being published to tie in with a documentary film of the same name. Both the book and film were inspired by a series of multimedia presentations on global warming that Gore created and delivers to groups around the world. With this book, Gore, who is one of our environmental heroes—and a leading expert—brings together leading-edge research from top scientists around the world; photographs, charts, and other illustrations; and personal anecdotes and observations to document the fast pace and wide scope of global warming. He presents, with alarming clarity and conclusiveness—and with humor, too—that the fact of global warming is not in question and that its consequences for the world we live in will be disastrous if left unchecked. This riveting new book—written in an accessible, entertaining style—will open the eyes of even the most skeptical.
Island 2006 Dewey Dec. 363.7
The Digital Age was expected to usher in an era of clean production, an alternative to smokestack industries and their pollutants. But as environmental journalist Elizabeth Grossman reveals in this penetrating analysis of high tech manufacture and disposal, digital may be sleek, but it’s anything but clean. Deep within every electronic device lie toxic materials that make up the bits and bytes, a complex thicket of lead, mercury, cadmium, plastics, and a host of other often harmful ingredients.
High Tech Trash is a wake-up call to the importance of the e-waste issue and the health hazards involved. Americans alone own more than two billion pieces of high tech electronics and discard five to seven million tons each year. As a result, electronic waste already makes up more than two-thirds of the heavy metals and 40 percent of the lead found in our landfills. But the problem goes far beyond American shores, most tragically to the cities in China and India where shiploads of discarded electronics arrive daily. There, they are “recycled”-picked apart by hand, exposing thousands of workers and community residents to toxics.
The answers lie in changing how we design, manufacture, and dispose of high tech electronics. Europe has led the way in regulating materials used in electronic devices and in e-waste recycling. But in the United States many have yet to recognize the persistent human health and environmental effects of the toxics in high tech devices.
Center Point 2011 Dewey Dec. 304
“For twenty years, Mark Hertsgaard has investigated global warming as a journalist, but the full truth did not hit home until he became a father and, soon thereafter, learned that climate change was bound to worsen for decades to come. Hertsgaard’s daughter is part of what he has dubbed “Generation Hot” — the two billion young people worldwide who will spend the rest of their lives coping with climate disruption. Drawing on reporting from around the world, Hot is a call to action that injects hope and solutions into a debate characterized by doom and gloom and offers a blueprint for how all of us – parents, communities, countries – can navigate an unavoidable new era.” -Publisher
Contents: Living through the storm — Three feet of water — My daughter’s Earth — Ask the climate question — The two-hundred-year plan — Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? — In vino veritas : the business of climate adaptation — How will we feed ourselves? — While the rich avert their eyes — “The was a crime”.
Ecco 2010 Dewey Dec. 363.7
Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward Humes offers readers an eye-opening look at the remarkable philanthropists and visionaries who are devoting their lives to saving the earth from overdevelopment and destruction. In Eco Barons, Humes, the bestselling author of Mississippi Mud and Monkey Girl, gives us fascinating portraits of extraordinary men and women who are dedicated to humankind’s survival—as important a contribution to the environmental cause as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. As the New York Times points out, “Humes’s urgent message is clear: We must all strive to become ‘eco barons’ in our own right if we are to save Planet Earth.”
Bloomsbury 2007 Dewey Dec. 363.7
Known for her insightful and thought-provoking journalism, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert now tackles the controversial subject of global warming. Americans have been warned since the late nineteen-seventies that the buildup of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere threatens to melt the polar ice sheets and irreversibly change our climate. With little done since then to alter this dangerous course, now is the moment to salvage our future. By the end of the century, the world will likely be hotter than it’s been in the last two million years, and the sweeping consequences of this change will determine the future of life on earth for generations to come.
In writing that is both clear and unbiased, Kolbert approaches this monumental problem from every angle. She travels to the Arctic, interviews researchers and environmentalists, explains the science and the studies, draws frightening parallels to lost ancient civilizations, unpacks the politics, and presents the personal tales of those who are being affected most—the people who make their homes near the poles and, in an eerie foreshadowing, are watching their worlds disappear.
Lapieree, Dominique and Moro, Javier
Warner 2003 Dewey Dec. 363.7
Union Carbide was a huge, well-intentioned American corporation that invented a miracle pesticide. In the Indian city of Bhopal they built a giant plant to process it. But at five past midnight on December 3, 1984, toxic gas leaked into the night air and was blown into the heavily populated city. By dawn, over a half-million Bhopalis would be poisoned, and between sixteen and thirty thousand would die in agony. Weaving the stories of hundreds of American and Indian participants and eyewitness accounts into one unforgettable human tapestry, this book is a must-read for everyone who cares about the world and its people.
MIT 2010 Dewey Dec. 363.7
“I just got mad. I couldn’t breathe in my own house.” —Ruth Reed, a resident of Ocala, Florida, who lives next door to a Royal Oak Charcoal factory Across the United States, thousands of people, most of them in low-income or minority communities, live next to heavily polluting industrial sites. Many of them, like Ruth Reed, reach a point at which they say “Enough is enough.” After living for years with poisoned air and water, contaminated soil, and pollution-related health problems, they start to take action—organizing, speaking up, documenting the effects of pollution on their neighborhoods. In Sacrifice Zones, Steve Lerner tells the stories of twelve communities, from Brooklyn to Pensacola, that rose up to fight the industries and military bases causing disproportionately high levels of chemical pollution.
Sacrifice Zones offers compelling portraits of accidental activists who have become grassroots leaders in the struggle for environmental justice and details the successful tactics they have used on the fence line with heavy industry.
The Ragged Edge of the World: Encounters at the Frontier Where Modernity, Wildlands and Indigenous Peoples Meet
Viking 2011 Dewey Dec. 303
“A pioneering work of environmental journalism that vividly depicts the people, animals and landscapes on the front lines of change’s inexorable march. A species nearing extinction, a tribe losing centuries of knowledge, a tract of forest facing the first incursion of humans-how can we even begin to assess the cost of losing so much of our natural and cultural legacy? For forty years, environmental journalist and author Eugene Linden has traveled to the very sites where tradition, wildlands and the various forces of modernity collide. In The Ragged Edge of the World, he takes us from pygmy forests to the Antarctic to the world’s most pristine rainforest in the Congo to tell the story of the harm taking place-and the successful preservation efforts-in the world’s last wild places.” -Publisher
Contents: War and peace. Vietnam 1994 — Culture wars. An elusive butterfly in Borneo — New Guinea: the godsend of Cargo — New Guinea redux — Polynesia lost and found — Roads to ruin. Rapa Nui: the other side of the story — Bangui, Bayanga and Bouar — Equateur devolving — Apes at the brink. Travels with Jane — Listening to pygmies — the antipodes : the long reach of humanity. Unfreezing time — The Arctic — The hear wild. The wolf at the door — Survivors. The lost worlds of Cuba — Midway — In the forests it’s good to be a pygmy — Inner worlds : magic, practical and otherwise. Shamans, healers and experiences I can’t explain — Esotéricas.
Picador 2004 Dewey Dec. 363.7
“In this groundbreaking book, the author reveals the first evidence – painstaking collected over three years of traveling to far-flung corners of the globe – of how global warming is hitting people’s lives, not in the future, but in our world today. And in the process, Lynas gives us a stark warning about the even worse dangers that lie ahead if nothing is done.” -Publisher
Harcourt 2007 Dewey Dec. 363.7
A leading science journalist delves into a red-hot debate in meteorology: whether the increasing ferocity of hurricanes is connected to global warming.
In the wake of Katrina, Chris Mooney follows the careers of leading scientists on either side of the argument through the 2006 hurricane season, tracing how the media, special interests, politics, and the weather itself have skewed and amplified what was already a fraught scientific debate. As Mooney puts it: “Scientists, like hurricanes, do extraordinary things at high wind speeds.”
Mooney—a New Orleans native, host of the Point of Inquiry podcast, and author of The Republican Brain—has written “a well-researched, nuanced book” that closely examines whether we as a society should be held responsible for making hurricanes even bigger monsters than they already are (The New York Times).
Riverhead 2009 Dewey Dec. 304
Most Americans think of crowded cities as ecological nightmares, as wastelands of concrete and garbage and diesel fumes and traffic jams. Yet residents of compact urban centers, Owen shows, individually consume less oil, electricity, and water than other Americans. They live in smaller spaces, discard less trash, and, most important of all, spend far less time in automobiles. Residents of Manhattan—the most densely populated place in North America—rank first in public-transit use and last in percapita greenhouse-gas production, and they consume gasoline at a rate that the country as a whole hasn’t matched since the mid-1920s, when the most widely owned car in the United States was the Ford Model T. They are also among the only people in the United States for whom walking is still an important means of daily transportation.
These achievements are not accidents. Spreading people thinly across the countryside may make them feel green, but it doesn’t reduce the damage they do to the environment. In fact, it increases the damage, while also making the problems they cause harder to see and to address. Owen contends that the environmental problem we face, at the current stage of our assault on the world’s nonrenewable resources, is not how to make teeming cities more like the pristine countryside. The problem is how to make other settled places more like Manhattan, whose residents presently come closer than any other Americans to meeting environmental goals that all of us, eventually, will have to come to terms with.
Contents: More like Manhattan — Liquid civilization — There and back — The great outdoors — Embodied efficiency — The shape of things to come.
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Hyperion 2010 Dewey Dec. 363.7
Why has it been so hard for America to come to grips with climate change? Why do so many people believe it isn’t really happening? As President Obama’s science advisor John Holdren has said, “We’re driving in a car with bad brakes in a fog and heading for a cliff. We know for sure that cliff is out there. We just don’t know exactly where it is. Prudence would suggest that we should start putting on the brakes.” But powerful interests are threatened by the carbon cap that would speed the transition to a clean energy economy, and their agents have worked successfully to deny the problem and delay the solutions.
Pooley captures the quiet determination and even heroism of climate campaigners who have dedicated their lives to an uphill battle that’s still raging today. He asks whether we have what it takes to preserve our planet’s habitability, and shows how America’s climate war sends shock waves from Bali to Copenhagen. No other reporter enjoys such access to this cast of characters. No other book covers this terrain. From the trenches of a North Carolina power plant to the battlefields of Capitol Hill, Madison Avenue, and Wall Street, The Climate War is the essential read for anyone who wants to understand the players and politics behind the most important issue we face today.
Powell, James Lawrence
Univ. of California 2008 Dewey Dec. 363.6
Where will the water come from to sustain the great desert cities of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix? In a provocative exploration of the past, present, and future of water in the West, James Lawrence Powell begins at Lake Powell, the vast reservoir that has become an emblem of this story. At present, Lake Powell is less than half full. Bathtub rings ten stories tall encircle its blue water; boat ramps and marinas lie stranded and useless. To refill it would require surplus water—but there is no surplus: burgeoning populations and thirsty crops consume every drop of the Colorado River. Add to this picture the looming effects of global warming and drought, and the scenario becomes bleaker still. Dead Pool, featuring rarely seen historical photographs, explains why America built the dam that made Lake Powell and others like it and then allowed its citizens to become dependent on their benefits, which were always temporary. Writing for a wide audience, Powell shows us exactly why an urgent threat during the first half of the twenty-first century will come not from the rising of the seas but from the falling of the reservoirs.
New Press 2005 Dewey Dec. 363.7
Eat a take-out meal, buy a pair of shoes, or read a newspaper, and you’re soon faced with a bewildering amount of garbage. The United States is the planet’s number-one producer of trash. Each American throws out 4.5 pounds daily. But garbage is also a global problem; the Pacific Ocean is today six times more abundant with plastic waste than zooplankton. How did we end up with this much rubbish, and where does it all go? Journalist and filmmaker Heather Rogers answers these questions by taking readers on a grisly, oddly fascinating tour through the underworld of garbage.
Said to “read like a thriller” (Library Journal), Gone Tomorrow excavates the history of rubbish handling from the 1800s to the present, pinpointing the roots of today’s waste-addicted society. With a “lively authorial voice” (New York Press), Rogers draws connections between modern industrial production, consumer culture, and our throwaway lifestyle. She also investigates controversial topics like the politics of recycling and the export of trash to poor countries, while offering a potent argument for change.
Beacon 2009 Dewey Dec. 363.7
An ecologist and mother brings the overwhelming problem of global warming to a personal level, with a mix of memoir and science As Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver examine food issues through their own families’ meals, Amy Seidl looks at climate change through family walks in the woods, work in her garden, and seasonal community events throughout the year. She brings home the reality of global warming by considering how it has altered her life, her daughters’ experiences outdoors, and the traditions of her quintessential small New England town–the iconic landscape celebrated by Robert Frost, Norman Rockwell, and many others. While it may be possible for some to ignore drowning polar bears and PowerPoint presentations, Early Spring considers the observations by our neighbors, families, and friends of the changing weather and landscape and puts them into scientific context. As an ecologist, Seidl explains how natural upheaval occurs in the microcosms of our backyards and parks: spring flowers blossom before pollinators arrive, ponds no longer freeze, and animals begin migrating at unexpected times. While the human community, including Seidl’s daughters, adapts to a changing climate, plants and animals also adapt, she shows, in ways both obvious and surprising. Through beautiful literary writing grounded in the science of ecology and evolutionary biology, Seidl offers both a personal and a research-based testimonial of global warming.
Simpson, John Warfield
Pantheon 2005 Dewey Dec. 363.6
The building of the O’Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in the middle of Yosemite National Park–despite the availability of less expensive, less technically challenging, and less politically complicated possibilities–set off a defining controversy in American environmentalism. From the early 1900s to 1913 Americans argued about proposals to dam the Tuolumne River and transform the extraordinary Hetch Hetchy Valley into a giant source of water and hydroelectric power for the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a story of intrigue replete with political scandals and suspect tactics played out in the corridors of Congress, in San Francisco’s City Hall and its corporate boardrooms, and in the national media. The colorful cast of characters includes Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, and John Muir, as well as a host of political bosses, West Coast boosters, East Coast patricians and publishers, big-business interests, newly formed environmental groups, and the American public.
Simpson also takes us through the building of the enormous dam and the extensive tunnels and aqueducts that carry water to the Bay Area, and the even more controversial hydroelectric project that still fails to deliver the “public” power that Congress mandated and about which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled. He recounts conversations with an array of people currently involved in the ongoing controversy over whether to manage, refurbish, repair, and enlarge the system, or to tear down the dam and restore the valley to its prior splendor. Simpson concludes with a reflection on what all of this reveals about American attitudes toward growth, development, and environmental stewardship.
Speth, James Gustave
Yale Nota Bene 2005 Dewey Dec. 363.7
This book will change the way we understand the future of our planet. It is both alarming and hopeful. James Gustave Speth, renowned as a visionary environmentalist leader, warns that in spite of all the international negotiations and agreements of the past two decades, efforts to protect Earth’s environment are not succeeding. Still, he says, the challenges are not insurmountable. He offers comprehensive, viable new strategies for dealing with environmental threats around the world.
The author explains why current approaches to critical global environmental problems–climate change, biodiversity loss, deterioration of marine environments, deforestation, water shortages, and others–don’t work. He offers intriguing insights into why we have been able to address domestic environmental threats with some success while largely failing at the international level. Setting forth eight specific steps to a sustainable future, Speth convincingly argues that dramatically different government and citizen action are now urgent. If ever a book could be described as “essential,” this is it.
Dunne 2011 Dewey Dec. 363.7
A bold, far-reaching look at how our actions will decide the planet’s future for millennia to come.
Imagine a planet where North American and Eurasian navies are squaring off over shipping lanes through an acidified, ice-free Arctic. Centuries later, their northern descendants retreat southward as the recovering sea freezes over again. And later still, future nations plan how to avert an approaching Ice Age… by burning what remains of our fossil fuels.
These are just a few of the events that are likely to befall Earth and human civilization in the next 100,000 years. And it will be the choices we make in this century that will affect that future more than those of any previous generation. We are living at the dawn of the Age of Humans; the only question is how long that age will last.
Few of us have yet asked, “What happens after global warming?” Drawing upon the latest, groundbreaking works of a handful of climate visionaries, Curt Stager’s Deep Future helps us look beyond 2100 a.d. to the next hundred millennia of life on Earth.
Harcourt 2008 Dewey Dec. 363.7
One of the most dynamic writers and one of the most respected scientists in the field of climate change offer the first concise guide to both the problems and the solutions of global warming. Guiding us past a blizzard of information and misinformation, Gabrielle Walker and Sir David King explain the science of warming, the most cutting-edge technological solutions from small to large, and the national and international politics that will affect our efforts.
While there have been many other books about the problem of global warming, none has addressed what we can and should do about it so clearly and persuasively, with no spin, no agenda, and no exaggeration. Neither Walker nor King is an activist or politician, and theirs is not a generic green call to arms. Instead they propose specific ideas to fix a very specific problem. Most important, they offer hope: This is a serious issue, perhaps the most serious that humanity has ever faced. But we can still do something about it. And they’ll show us how.
Scribner 2010 Dewey Dec. 363.7
When a Billion Chinese Jump is a road journey into the future of our species. Traveling from the mountains of Tibet to the deserts of Inner Mongolia via the Silk Road, tiger farms, cancer villages, weather-modifying bases, and eco-cities, Watts chronicles the environmental impact of economic growth with a series of gripping stories from the country on the front line of global development. He talks to nomads and philosophers, entrepreneurs and scientists, rural farmers and urban consumers, examining how individuals are trying to adapt to one of the most spectacular bursts of change in human history, then poses a question that will affect all of our lives: Can China find a new way forward or is this giant nation doomed to magnify the mistakes that have already taken humanity to the brink of disaster?
Wohlforth, Charles P.
St. Martin’s 2010 Dewey Dec. 304
“”What capacity for good lies in the hidden depths of people?”
Starting with this question, award-winning author Charles Wohlforth sets forth on a wide-ranging exploration of our relationship with the world. InThe Fate of Nature, he draws on science, spirituality, history, economics, and personal stories to reveal answers about the future of that relationship. There is no better place to witness the highs and lows of our treatment of the natural world than the vast wilds, rocky coasts, and shifting settlements of Alaska. Since the first encounter between Captain Cook’s crew and the Alaskan Natives in 1778, there have been countless struggles between people who have had different plans for the region. Some have hoped to preserve Alaska as they found it, while others aimed to create something new in its place. Incidents such as theExxon Valdez oil spill may seem like cause for despair. In the face of such profound tragedies, Charles Wohlforth has found heartening developments in the science of human altruism. This new understanding of what causes humans to cooperate and act conscientiously may be the first step toward taking the actions necessary to preserve an environment that has already been altered drastically in our lifetime.
A clear-eyed, original work of research, reportage, and philosophical reflections,The Fate of Nature gives us a chance to change the way we think about our place in society and the world at large.” -Publisher
Wyman, Bruce and Stevenson, L. Harold
Facts on File 2001 Dewey Dec. 363.7
“Contains more than 4,000 cross-referenced entries that reflect the great diversity of subjects that are relevant to the environmental field.” -Publisher
Zehnder, Caralyn and others
University System of Georgia 2018
“Uses the basic principles of biology and earth science as a context for understanding environmental policies and resource management practices.” -Open Textbook Library Website