A round-the-globe journey through the periodic table explains how the air people breathe reflects the world's history, tracing the origins and ingredients of the atmosphere to explain air's role in reshaping continents, steering human progress, and powering revolutions.
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. In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option.
In this epic tale of an American civil war, Pooley takes us behind the scenes and into the hearts and minds of the most important players in the struggle to cap global warming pollution--a fight in which trillions of dollars and the fate of the planet are at stake.
A groundbreaking book that transforms the debate about global warming by offering a fresh perspective based on human needs as well as environmental concerns. Bjorn Lomborg argues that many of the elaborate and expensive actions now being considered to stop global warming will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, are often based on emotional rather than strictly scientific assumptions, and may very well have little impact on the world's temperature for hundreds of years.
We don’t have an energy crisis. We have a consumption crisis. And this book, which takes aim at cherished assumptions regarding energy, offers refreshingly straight talk about what’s wrong with the way we think and talk about the problem.
The ongoing assault on climate science in the United States has never been more aggressive, more blatant, or more widely publicized than in the case of the Hockey Stick graph -- a clear and compelling visual presentation of scientific data, put together by Mann and his colleagues, demonstrating that global temperatures have risen in conjunction with the increase in industrialization and the use of fossil fuels.
Right now, a group of scientists is working on ways to minimize the catastrophic impact of global warming.But they're not designing hybrids or fuel cells or wind turbines. They're trying to lower the temperature of the entire planet. And they're doing it with huge contraptions that suck CO2 from the air, machines that brighten clouds and deflect sunlight away from the earth, even artificial volcanoes that spray heat-reflecting particles into the atmosphere.This is the radical and controversial world of geoengineering.
Friel's book is the first to respond directly to Lomborg's controversial research as published in The Skeptical Environmentalist (2001) and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming (2007). His close reading of Lomborg's textual claims and supporting documentation reveals a lengthy list of findings that will rock climate skeptics and their allies in the government and news media, demonstrating that the published peer-reviewed climate science, as assessed mainly by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has had it mostly right--even if somewhat conservatively right--all along.
Piecing together events like a detective story, Schneider reveals that as expert consensus grew, well-informed activists warned of dangerous changes no one knew how to predict precisely, and special interests seized on that very uncertainty to block any effective response. He persuasively outlines a plan to avert the building threat and develop a positive, practical policy that will bring climate change back under our control, help the economy with a new generation of green energy jobs and productivity, and reduce the dependence on unreliable exporters of oil, and thus ensure a future for ourselves and our planet that's as rich with promise as our past.
Possibly the most graphic treatment of global warming that has yet been published, Six Degrees is what readers of Al Gore's best-selling An Inconvenient Truth or Ross Gelbspan's Boiling Point will turn to next. Written by the acclaimed author of High Tide, this highly relevant and compelling book uses accessible journalistic prose to distill what environmental scientists portend about the consequences of human pollution for the next hundred years. In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark report projecting average global surface temperatures to rise between 1.4 degrees and 5.8 degrees Celsius (roughly 2 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century. Based on this forecast, author Mark Lynas outlines what to expect from a warming world.
When a new federal regulatory program conflicts with an existing state-level system, whose approach should prevail? During the 1990s, the federal government sought to implement the Clean Air Act Amendments and resolve previous problems that it had with compliance. This lead to an intense conflict between U.S. EPA regulators and the state of California.
Gorman analyzes the notion of sustainability from a fresh perspective--the integration of human activities with the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen--and provides a supportive alternative to studying sustainability through the lens of climate change and the cycling of carbon. It is the first book to examine the social processes by which industrial societies learned to bypass a fundamental ecological limit and, later, began addressing the resulting concerns by establishing limits of their own.
In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems--climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity--there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face.
"You are about to read a lot about dirt, which no one knows very much about." So begins the cult classic that brings mystery and magic to "that stuff that won't come off your collar." Logan variously observes, "There is glamour to the study of rock"; "The most mysterious place on Earth is right beneath our feet"; and "Dirt is the gift of each to all."
Gold has been exploited intensively in the Brazilian Amazon with garimpo methods, which uses the elemental mercury in amalgamating the gold, the final stage of the ore dressing process. The authors report results from analyzing samples of water, bottom sediments, suspended solids, and fish that were collected at the Madeira River basin in Brazil, to document how the mercury from the gold mining is contaminating the aquatic environment.
Long before organic produce was available at your local supermarket. Wendell Berry was farming and writing with the purity of food in mind. For the last five decades, he has embodied mindful eating through his land practices and his writing.
Yellow Dirt offers readers a window into a dark chapter of modern history that still reverberates today. From the 1940s into the early twenty-first century, the United States knowingly used and discarded an entire tribe for the sake of atomic bombs. Secretly, during the days of the Manhattan Project and then in a frenzy during the Cold War, the government bought up all the uranium that could be mined from the hundreds of rich deposits entombed under the sagebrush plains and sandstone cliffs. Despite warnings from physicians and scientists that long-term exposure could be harmful, even fatal, thousands of miners would work there unprotected.
Dirt, soil, call it what you want--it's everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times,Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizationsexplores the compelling idea that we are--and have long been--using up Earth's soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology,Dirttraces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward.
Call Number: HD 9537 .B63 P676 2011 (e-book also available)
This book presents a multifaceted and interwoven tale of what colonial exploitation of indigenous peoples and resources left in its wake. It is a socio-ecological history that explores the toxic interrelationships between mercury and silver production, urban environments, and the people who lived and worked in them.
Call Number: QH 105 .C2 C366 2010 (e-book also available)
David Carle offers a fascinating exploration of one more primary element of the natural world--the land beneath our feet. From earthworms and earthquakes to Earth Day, this concise, engaging guide is a multifaceted primer on the literal foundation of California's environment.
A groundbreaking analysis of agricultural development and transitions toward more sustainable management in one region. An invaluable resource for researchers, policymakers, and students alike, it examines new approaches to make agricultural landscapes healthier for both the environment and people. The Yaqui Valley is the birthplace of the Green Revolution and one of the most intensive agricultural regions of the world, using irrigation, fertilizers, and other technologies to produce some of the highest yields of wheat anywhere.
Farmer and conservationist Wendell Berry has published more than thirty books, making his name a household word among environmentalists. Kimberly Smith now reveals the depth of his ideas and their relevance for American social and political theory.
Buying Time applies lessons learned the hard way from the global economic crisis of the past decade, to offer an overview of the state of the environment and our energy future. Grounded in subtle thinking about complex systems, including the economy, energy, and the environment, this book underscores the connections linking them all. Kaz Makabe is a veteran financial systems expert who lived through the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. He nevertheless concludes that nuclear energy is the bridge than can help us cross over the abyss we face
Erik Loomis-a historian of both the labor and environmental movements-follows the thread that runs from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York in 1911 to the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2013. The truth is that our systems of industrial production today are just as dirty and abusive as they were during the depths of the industrial revolution and the Gilded Age, but the ugly side of manufacturing is now hidden in faraway places where workers are most vulnerable.
From the front lines of the fracking debate, a "field philosopher" explores one of our most divisive technologies. When philosophy professor Adam Briggle moved to Denton, Texas, he had never heard of fracking. Less than three years later he would successfully lead a citizens' initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton--the first Texas town to challenge the oil and gas industry. On his journey to learn about fracking and its effect on communities, he leaped from the ivory tower into the fray. In beautifully narrated chapters, Briggle brings us to town hall debates and neighborhood meetings where citizens wrestle with issues few fully understand. Is fracking safe? How does it affect the local economy? Why are bakeries prohibited in neighborhoods while gas wells are permitted next to playgrounds? In his quest to answer such questions, our "field philosopher" turns from policy advisor to activist.Granting an insider look at the struggle between citizen and industry, Briggle gives us a completely new way to think about the politics of innovation.
In this book the author tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. She provides a moving account of the disappearances of various species occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up to Lyell and Darwin, and through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Wisconsin's rich tradition of sustainability rightfully includes its First Americans, who along with Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and Gaylord Nelson shaped its landscape and informed its "earth ethics" This collection of Native biographies, one from each of the twelve Indian nations of Wisconsin, introduces the reader to some of the most important figures in Native sustainability.
Call Number: QH 76 .S26 2009 (e-book also available)
As an antidote to the destructive culture of consumption dominating American life today, Scott Russell Sanders calls for a culture of conservation that allows us to savour and preserve the world, instead of devouring it. How might we shift to a more durable and responsible way of life?
With BPA in baby bottles, mercury in fish, and lead in computer monitors, the world has become a toxic place. But as Emily Monosson demonstrates in her groundbreaking new book, it has always been toxic...According to Monosson, examining how life adapted to such early threats can teach us a great deal about today's (and tomorrow's) most dangerous contaminants.
From tainted pet food to toxic toys, Americans can thank the successful lobbying efforts of the U.S. chemical industry for the secret ingredients in everyday products that have been linked to rising rates of infertility, endocrine system disruptions, neurological disorders, and cancer. Investigative journalist Mark Schapiro takes the reader to the front lines of global corporate and political power, where tectonic battles are being waged that will determine the physical and economic health of our children and ourselves.
Call Number: TD 195 .C45 R67 2010 (e-book also available)
The chemical pollution that irrevocably damages today's environment is, although many would like us to believe otherwise, the legacy of conscious choices made long ago. The Polluters reveals at last the crucial decisions that allowed environmental issues to be trumped by political agendas. It spotlights the leaders of the chemical industry and describes how they applied their economic and political power to prevent the creation of an effective system of environmental regulation.
The World According to Monsanto charts award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin’s three-year journey across four continents to uncover the disturbing practices of multinational agribusiness corporation Monsanto.
Funny, thought-provoking, and incredibly disturbing, Slow Death by Rubber Duck reveals that just the living of daily life creates a chemical soup inside each of us. Pollution is no longer just about belching smokestacks and ugly sewer pipes - now, it's personal. The most dangerous pollution has always come from commonplace items in our homes and workplaces. Smith and Lourie ingested and inhaled a host of things that surround all of us all the time. This book exposes the extent to which we are poisoned every day of our lives.
Investigative journalist Elizabeth Grossman opens the door on a new world of chemistry-green chemistry - and the scientists who are unearthing the field's potential to transform manufacturing with unprecedented benefits to the corporate bottom line and our health. She finds that a revolution is brewing, and its rallying call is "benign by design." These scientists are creating new, non-toxic materials that work with natural systems instead of disrupting them. Traveling the world to see this cutting-edge science at work, Grossman gives us a first look at the next "big idea" in industrial technology.
In this brilliant companion volume to Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond probes the other side of the equation: What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? He weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Moving from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe. Environmental damage, climate change, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of these societies, but other societies found solutions and persisted.
"The Great Lakes--Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior--hold 20 percent of the world's supply of surface fresh water and provide sustenance, work and recreation for tens of millions of Americans. But they are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent.
In this accessible and timely book, hydrology expert William M. Alley and science writer Rosemarie Alley sound the call to protect groundwater. Drawing on examples from around the world, including case studies in the United States, Canada, Australia, India, and Sub-Saharan Africa, the authors examine groundwater from key scientific and socioeconomic perspectives.
Seamus McGraw takes us on a trip along America's culturally fractured back roads and listens to farmers and ranchers and fishermen, many of them people who are not ideologically, politically, or in some cases even religiously inclined to believe in man-made global climate change. He shows us how they are already being affected and the risks they are already taking on a personal level to deal with extreme weather and its very real consequences for their livelihoods.
Weisman traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were the probably the most important questions on Earth-and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth's ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? Can we know which other species are essential to our survival? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth?
Maude Barlow has for decades been a leading voice arguing that access to safe drinking water should be a basic human right. Called the "Al Gore of water," Barlow is the very best kind of advocate--deeply informed, articulate, and persuasive. Essential reading for anyone interested in the emerging international movement for water justice, Blue Covenant is one of the most important books of our time.
Americans see water as abundant and cheap: we turn on the faucet and out it gushes, for less than a penny a gallon. We use more water than any other culture in the world, much to quench what's now our largest crop--the lawn. Yet most Americans cannot name the river or aquifer that flows to our taps, irrigates our food, and produces our electricity. And most don't realize these freshwater sources are in deep trouble.
Call Number: TP 659 .G54 2010 (e-book also available)
Bottled and Sold shows how water went from being a free natural resource to one of the most successful commercial products of the last one hundred years-and why we are poorer for it. It's a big story and water is big business. Every second of every day in the United States, a thousand people buy a plastic bottle of water, and every second of every day a thousand more throw one of those bottles away. That adds up to more than thirty billion bottles a year and tens of billions of dollars of sales. Are there legitimate reasons to buy all those bottles? With a scientist's eye and a natural storyteller's wit, Gleick investigates whether industry claims about the relative safety, convenience, and taste of bottled versus tap hold water.
Pioneering oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer seized the world's imagination when he and his worldwide network of beachcomber volunteers traced ocean currents using thousands of sneakers and plastic bath toys spilled from storm-tossed freighters.
Chad Pregracke was a high school student when he first glimpsed the trash that littered the bottom of the Mississippi, a shocking sight that launched him on a quest to clean up the river. After four discouraging years seeking government help without success, he decided to take his fund-raising private & a corporate sponsor decided to take a chance on this naive but unshakably determined young man. Ten years later Chad's one-man project has grown into a $500,000 operation with more than 60 sponsors (including National Geographic).
Less than 1 percent of the world's water is fresh and potable--and no more will ever be available. Thanks to pollution, global warming, and population growth, water access is poised to become today's most explosive global issue. This book, based on the film by the same title, offers insights into the coming water crisis from visionary scientists, policymakers, activists, and environmentalists.
The world faces an unparalleled water crisis: one that will directly or indirectly threaten every nation and virtually every individual. *Brings the global debate about water resources to a higher level, with authoritative insights into both the crisis and the solutions.
Water scarcity is spreading and intensifying in many regions of the world, with dire consequences for local communities, economies, and freshwater ecosystems. Current approaches tend to rely on policies crafted at the state or national level, which on their own have proved insufficient to arrest water scarcity. To be durable and effective, water plans must be informed by the culture, economics, and varied needs of affected community members.
Water 4. 0 by David Sedlak
Call Number: GB659.6 .S44 2014
Turn on the faucet, and water pours out. Pull out the drain plug, and the dirty water disappears. Most of us give little thought to the hidden systems that bring us water and take it away when we' done with it. But these underappreciated marvels of engineering face an array of challenges that cannot be solved without a fundamental change to our relationship with water, David Sedlak explains in this enlightening book.
Prud'homme introduces readers to an array of colorful, obsessive, brilliant--and sometimes shadowy--characters through whom these issues come alive. He takes readers into the heart of the daily dramas that will determine the future of this essential resource--from the alleged murder of a water scientist in a New Jersey purification plant, to the epic confrontation between salmon fishermen and copper miners in Alaska, to the poisoning of Wisconsin wells, to the epidemic of intersex fish in the Chesapeake Bay, to the wars over fracking for natural gas. Michael Pollan has changed the way we think about the food we eat; Alex Prud'homme will change the way we think about the water we drink.
For millennia the collection, distribution, and symbolism of water have played pivotal roles in the lands where Islam has flourished. This book is the first to address this important subject. A diverse spectrum of scholars covers a wide range of topics: from the revelation of Islam in the 7th century to today's conservation and development issues, from watering oases in the Moroccan desert to the flooded plains of Bengal.
When Pabich received a monthly water bill for 30,000 gallons (for a household of two people and one dog), she was chagrined. After all, she is an expert on sustainable water use. So she set out to make a change.
Today, freshwater scarcity is one of the twenty-first century's decisive, looming challenges and is driving the new political, economic, and environmental realities across the globe. As modern society runs short of its most indispensable resource and the planet's renewable water ecosystems grow depleted, an explosive new fault line is dividing humanity into water Haves and Have-nots.
Water is a vital part of every ecosystem on the planet and is a prerequisite for the basic function and productive efficiency of life on Earth. Today, approximately a third of the Earth's population suffers because of water scarcity, and by the year 2050, this percentage is likely to rise to two-thirds.