Books on the Environment and Ecology


New Releases on the Environment and Ecology

One click way to call up the New Releases on the Environment and Ecology from Barnes and Noble.



A God Within – René  Dubos

Synopsis: Written in 1972. His perspectives on the ecological crisis.


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Kopp & Camille Kingsolver 2008

Amazon Synopsis: Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.


An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It - Al Gore 2006

Amazon Synopsis: 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.


A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River - Aldo Leopold 1968

Amazon Synopsis: First published in 1949 and praised in The New York Times Book Review as "a trenchant book, full of vigor and bite," A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America's relationship to the land. Written with an unparalleled understanding of the ways of nature, the book includes a section on the monthly changes of the Wisconsin countryside; another part that gathers informal pieces written by Leopold over a forty-year period as he traveled through the woodlands of Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Sonora, Oregon, Manitoba, and elsewhere; and a final section in which Leopold addresses the philosophical issues involved in wildlife conservation. As the forerunner of such important books as Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, and Robert Finch's The Primal Place, this classic work remains as relevant today as it was forty years ago.


A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail -  Bill Bryson 2006

Amazon Synopsis: The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaing guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).


Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming - Paul Hawken

Book Jacket: Across the planet, groups ranging from neighborhood associations to well-funded international organizations are confronting issues like the destruction of the environment, the abuses of free-market fundamentalism, social justice, and the loss of indigenous cultures. Though these groups share no unifying ideology or charismatic leader and are mostly unrecognized by politicians and the media, they are bringing about a profound transformation of human society.


The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World - Michael Pollan 2002

Amazon Synopsis: Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?


Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water - Marc Reisner 1993

Amazon Synopsis: This updated study of the economics, politics, and ecology of water covers more than a century of public and private desert reclamation in the American West.


Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed - Jared Diamond 2005

Amazon Synopsis: In his runaway bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond brilliantly examined the circumstances that allowed Western civilizations to dominate much of the world. Now he probes the other side of the equation: What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to fall into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates?

Using a vast historical and geographical perspective ranging from Easter Island and the Maya to Viking Greenland and modern Montana, Diamond traces a fundamental pattern of environmental catastrophe—one whose warning signs can be seen in our modern world and that we ignore at our peril. Blending the most recent scientific advances into a narrative that is impossible to put down, Collapse exposes the deepest mysteries of the past even as it offers hope for the future.


Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things - William McDonough 2008

Amazon Synopsis: "Reduce, reuse, recycle," urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. As William McDonough and Michael Braungart argue in their provocative, visionary book, however, this approach perpetuates a one-way, "cradle to grave" manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the materials it uses as waste, much of it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world? they ask. In fact, why not take nature itself as our model?

A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we do not consider its abundance wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective; hence, "waste equals food" is the first principle the book sets forth. Products might be designed so that, after their useful life, they provide nourishment for something new-either as "biological nutrients" that safely re-enter the environment or as "technical nutrients" that circulate within closed-loop industrial cycles without being "downcycled" into low-grade uses (as most "recyclables" now are). Elaborating their principles from experience redesigning everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, the authors make an exciting and viable case for change.


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Culture and Horticulture: The Classic Guide to Biodynamic and Organic Gardening - Wolf D. Storl 2013

Amazon Synopsis: Various studies have shown time and again that small organic farms and home gardens are capable of producing more food per acre with less fossil energy than large-scale commercial agricultural installations dependent on machines and toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This classic book by Wolf D. Storl, a respected elder in the practice of permaculture, details how food is grown holistically and beautifully by traditional communities around the world, and shows how to apply their ancient wisdom to our own gardens.

With interest in natural, sustainable, organic and local food at an all-time high, people are looking beyond their farmers markets and CSA cooperatives to hyperlocal ways of growing healthy, delicious produce in urban gardens and their own backyards. Culture and Horticulture details time-tested methods that are as effective today as they were hundreds of years ago. On the practical front, the book works as a manual for creating and maintaining a bountiful harvest. It explains how to build the soil to maintain fertility; how to produce compost; how to plant, sow, and tend the various fruit and vegetable plants; how to rotate crops and practice companion planting; how to set up a favorable microclimate; how to deal with so-called weeds and pests; how to harvest at the right time; and finally how to store vegetables and herbs. Special emphasis is given to the art and science of composting, the compost being the "heart" of any self-sufficient garden and a model for the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

At the same time the reader is introduced to the wider aspects of horticulture, to its historical, philosophical, and cosmological contexts and social relevance. Gardening is a cultural activity, shaped by peoples' thoughts, wishes, and needs as well as by their cultural traditions. The author, an anthropologist by profession who has investigated the gardening practices of indigenous people throughout the world and worked for many years on biodynamic farms and in his own food garden, will introduce the reader to Rudolf Steiner's vision of the garden as an organic unit, embedded in the context of terrestrial and cosmic forces. Storl explains the importance of cosmic rhythms (solar, lunar, and planetary), the role of biodynamic herbal preparations as "medicines" for the garden organism, and the so-called "etheric" and "astral" forces. The book presents a vision of the garden as seen through the eyes of "Goethean science," a magical place where alchemical transformations of material substances take place.


Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future - Bill McKibben 2008

Amazon Synopsis: In this powerful and provocative manifesto, Bill McKibben offers the biggest challenge in a generation to the prevailing view of our economy. Deep Economy makes the compelling case for moving beyond "growth" as the paramount economic ideal and pursuing prosperity in a more local direction, with regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment. Our purchases need not be at odds with the things we truly value, McKibben argues, and the more we nurture the essential humanity of our economy, the more we will recapture our own.


Desert Solitaire - Edward Abbey 1985

Amazon Synopsis: Edward Abbey lived for three seasons in the desert at Moab, Utah, and what he discovered about the land before him, the world around him, and the heart that beat within, is a fascinating, sometimes raucous, always personal account of a place that has already disappeared, but is worth remembering and living through again and again.

  

Diet for a New America – John Robbins 1998

Amazon Synopsis: From John Robbins, a new edition of the classic that awakened the conscience of a nation. Since the 1987 publication of Diet for a New America, beef consumption in the United States has fallen a remarkable 19%. While many forces are contributing to this dramatic shift in our habits, Diet for a New America is considered to be one of the most important. Diet for a New America is a startling examination of the food we currently buy and eat in the United States, and the astounding moral, economic, and emotional price we pay for it.

In Section I, John Robbins takes an extraordinary look at our dependence on animals for food and the inhumane conditions under which these animals are raised. It becomes clear that the price we pay for our eating habits is measured in the suffering of animals, a suffering so extreme and needless that it disrupts our very place in the web of life. 

Section II challenges the belief that consuming meat is a requirement for health by pointing our the vastly increased rate of disease caused by pesticides, hormones, additives, and other chemicals now a routine part of our food production. The author shows us that the high health risk is unnecessary, and that the production, preparation, and consumption of food can once again be a healthy process. 

In Section III, Robbins looks at the global implications of a meat-based diet and concludes that the consumption of the resources necessary to produce meat is a major factor in our ecological crisis.

Diet for a New America is the single most eloquent argument for a vegetarian lifestyle ever published. Eloquently, evocatively, and entertainingly written, it is a cant put down book guaranteed to amaze, infuriate, but ultimately educate and empower the reader. A pivotal book nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction in 1987.

 

Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit - Al Gore 2007

Amazon Synopsis: A passionate and lifelong defender of the environment, Vice President Al Gore describes in this classic best-selling book how human actions and decisions can endanger or safeguard the vulnerable ecosystem that sustains us all. The book’s groundbreaking analysis helped place the environment on the national agenda, summoning politicians, the media, and the public to action. The message remains just as urgent today as it did eight years ago: while much has been accomplished, we must meet a global environmental challenge that reaches into every aspect of our society.

In brave and unforgettable terms, Earth in the Balance probes the roots of the environmental crisis and offers a bold and forceful vision of a new, more sustainable path. Having provoked international discussion upon its original publication, it continues to confront us with profound challenges. Human civilization must change its course if we are to heal our ailing environment and preserve the earth’s ecology for future generations.



Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet - Bill McKibben 2010

Amazon Synopsis: The bestselling author of Deep Economy shows that we’re living on a fundamentally altered planet — and opens our eyes to the kind of change we’ll need in order to make our civilization endure.

Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we’ve waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We’ve created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.          

That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A changing world costs large sums to defend — think of the money that went to repair New Orleans, or the trillions of dollars it will take to transform our energy systems. But the endless economic growth that could underwrite such largesse depends on the stable planet we’ve managed to damage and degrade. We can’t rely on old habits any longer.      

Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back — on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change — fundamental change — is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance.

 

Earth 2012: The Violet Age: A Return to Eden the Regenesis that is Birthing a New World – Aurora Juliana Ariel PhD 2010

Amazon Synopsis: In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Aurora Ariel leads us into a glorious future potential that is being initiated by millions of people worldwide. From extraordinary encounters to mystical experiences, a quantum shift is taking place in the psyche of humanity. This book takes us further into the mystical side of our present planetary equation and unveils the mystery behind the Violet People and their unique destiny that could turn the tide at the 11th hour. A Dynamic Treatise on the portents of the Violet Age and the host of extraordinary phenomena facilitating the Great Awakening.

 

Eating Animals - Jonathan Safran Foer 2009

Amazon Synopsis: Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood-facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf-his casual questioning took on an urgency His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.

Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits-from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth-and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting. Marked by Foer's profound moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the vibrant style and creativity that made his previous books, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, widely loved, Eating Animals is a celebration and a reckoning, a story about the stories we've told-and the stories we now need to tell.

 

The Ecology of Commerce - Paul Hawken 1994

Amazon Synopsis: A visionary new program that businesses can follow to help restore the planet.

 

Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization - Derrick Jensen 2006

Amazon Synopsis: The long-awaited companion piece to Derrick Jensen's immensely popular and highly acclaimed works A Language Older Than Words and The Culture of Make Believe. Accepting the increasingly widespread belief that industrialized culture inevitably erodes the natural world, Endgame sets out to explore how this relationship impels us towards a revolutionary and as-yet undiscovered shift in strategy. Building on a series of simple but increasingly provocative premises, Jensen leaves us hoping for what may be inevitable: a return to agrarian communal life via the disintegration of civilization itself.

 

The End of Nature - Bill McKibben 2006

Amazon Synopsis: Reissued on the tenth anniversary of its publication, this classic work on our environmental crisis features a new introduction by the author, reviewing both the progress and ground lost in the fight to save the earth.

This impassioned plea for radical and life-renewing change is today still considered a groundbreaking work in environmental studies. McKibben's argument that the survival of the globe is dependent on a fundamental, philosophical shift in the way we relate to nature is more relevant than ever. McKibben writes of our earth's environmental cataclysm, addressing such core issues as the greenhouse effect, acid rain, and the depletion of the ozone layer. His new introduction addresses some of the latest environmental issues that have risen during the 1990s. The book also includes an invaluable new appendix of facts and figures that surveys the progress of the environmental movement.

More than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalog of scientific prediction, this classic, soulful lament on Nature is required reading for nature enthusiasts, activists, and concerned citizens alike.


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Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal - Eric Schlosser 2012

Amazon Synopsis: “Schlosser has a flair for dazzling scene-setting and an arsenal of startling facts . . . Fast Food Nation points the way but, to resurrect an old fast food slogan, the choice is yours.”—Los Angeles Times

In 2001, Fast Food Nation was published to critical acclaim and became an international bestseller. Eric Schlosser’s exposé revealed how the fast food industry has altered the landscape of America, widened the gap between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and transformed food production throughout the world. The book changed the way millions of people think about what they eat and helped to launch today’s food movement.

In a new afterword for this edition, Schlosser discusses the growing interest in local and organic food, the continued exploitation of poor workers by the food industry, and the need to ensure that every American has access to good, healthy, affordable food. Fast Food Nation is as relevant today as it was a decade ago. The book inspires readers to look beneath the surface of our food system, consider its impact on society and, most of all, think for themselves.



Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change - Elizabeth Kolbert 2006

Amazon Synopsis: Long known for her insightful and thought-provoking political journalism, author Elizabeth Kolbert now tackles the controversial and increasingly urgent subject of global warming. In what began as groundbreaking three-part series in the New Yorker, for which she won a National Magazine Award in 2006, Kolbert cuts through the competing rhetoric and political agendas to elucidate for Americans what is really going on with the global environment and asks what, if anything, can be done to save our planet. Now updated and with a new afterword, Field Notes from a Catastrophe is the book to read on the defining issue and greatest challenge of our times.

 

The Findhorn Book of Connecting with Nature - John R. Stowe 2003

Amazon Synopsis: An introductory book for seekers who would like to cultivate a more meaningful relationship with the natural world, this book introduces principles of nature connection that combine ecological and spiritual perspectives.


Flower Therapy: Welcome the Angels of Nature into Your Life - Doreen Virtue & Robert Reeves 2012

Amazon Synopsis:  “Flower Therapy” is the art of working with flowers, flower essences, and angels for healing, manifestation, and abundance. With flowers as your allies, your dreams really can come true, and you’ll see that nature truly has the ability to heal!

In this book, Doreen Virtue and Robert Reeves give in-depth information about 88 common flowers, illustrated with gorgeous, full-color photographs. You’ll find out about the flowers’ energetic and healing properties, discover which angels are connected to each one, and learn to associate different species with the various chakras (beyond simply categorizing them by color). In addition, there’s a loving, channeled message of guidance and support directly from each flower’s energy.

Doreen and Robert also share with you new and exciting ways to work with Flower Therapy. Create custom bouquets for dear friends. Gather wildflowers to heal and deepen your spirituality. Or choose the perfect blooms for your garden to enhance your connection to the angels. They discuss flower essences, picking fresh blossoms, and purchasing floral arrangements. You’ll even be guided through energetic clearing methods and receive detailed instructions about how to perform a Flower Therapy reading.

While flowers have an energy that must be experienced, it’s not necessary for you to gather any in order to do so. The photos inside, which have been infused with healing energy, are all you need to begin your journey. So, whether you have a green thumb or not, Flower Therapy can start making a difference in your day . . . and bring blessings into your life!

 

Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food - Paul Greenberg 2011

Amazon Synopsis: Writer and life-long fisherman Paul Greenberg takes us on a journey, examining the four fish that dominate our menus: salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna. Investigating the forces that get fish to our dinner tables, Greenberg reveals our damaged relationship with the ocean and its inhabitants. Just three decades ago, nearly everything we ate from the sea was wild. Today, rampant over-fishing and an unprecedented biotech revolution have brought us to a point where wild and farmed fish occupy equal parts of a complex marketplace. Four Fish offers a way for us to move toward a future in which healthy and sustainable seafood is the rule rather than the exception.

 

Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash - Elizabeth Royte 2006

Amazon Synopsis: Out of sight, out of mind ... Into our trash cans go dead batteries, dirty diapers, bygone burritos, broken toys, tattered socks, eight-track cassettes, scratched CDs, banana peels.... But where do these things go next? In a country that consumes and then casts off more and more, what actually happens to the things we throw away? In Garbage Land, acclaimed science writer Elizabeth Royte leads us on the wild adventure that begins once our trash hits the bottom of the can.

Along the way, we meet an odor chemist who explains why trash smells so bad; garbage fairies and recycling gurus; neighbors of massive waste dumps; CEOs making fortunes by encouraging waste or encouraging recycling-often both at the same time; scientists trying to revive our most polluted places; fertilizer fanatics and adventurers who kayak amid sewage; paper people, steel people, aluminum people, plastic people, and even a guy who swears by recycling human waste. With a wink and a nod and a tightly clasped nose, Royte takes us on a bizarre cultural tour through slime, stench, and heat-in other words, through the back end of our ever-more supersized lifestyles.

By showing us what happens to the things we've "disposed of," Royte reminds us that our decisions about consumption and waste have a very real impact-and that unless we undertake radical change, the garbage we create will always be with us: in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we consume. Radiantly written and boldly reported, Garbage Land is a brilliant exploration into the soiled heart of the American trash can.

 

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Jared Diamond 1999

Amazon Synopsis: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.

 

Happy Ways to Heal the Earth – Gloria Chadwick 2008

Amazon Synopsis: From simple ideas and suggestions to tuning into the energies of nature and experiencing the soul of the Earth, you'll find many Happy Ways to Heal the Earth. Encouraging and inspiring, this book shares with you a mix of practical and metaphysical ways to benefit both yourself and the Earth. Filled with hundreds of helpful hints and a few words of warning, this book includes anecdotes, Earth adventures, and Earth-oriented exercises you can do to increase your environmental awareness and become more involved in caring for the Earth.

 

Healing Environments: Your Guide to Indoor Well-Being – Carol Venolia 1995

Synopsis: Covers topics to get the best from your indoor environment - light, color, air quality, noise level, heating, plants and household products.


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Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America - Thomas L. Friedman 2008

Amazon Synopsis: Thomas L. Friedman’s no. 1 bestseller The World Is Flat has helped millions of readers to see globalization in a new way. Now Friedman brings a fresh outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy—both of which could poison our world if we do not act quickly and collectively. His argument speaks to all of us who are concerned about the state of America in the global future.

Friedman proposes that an ambitious national strategy— which he calls “Geo-Greenism”—is not only what we need to save the planet from overheating; it is what we need to make America healthier, richer, more innovative, more productive, and more secure.

As in The World Is Flat, he explains a new era—the Energy-Climate era—through an illuminating account of recent events. He shows how 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the flattening of the world by the Internet (which brought 3 billion new consumers onto the world stage) have combined to bring climate and energy issues to Main Street. But they have not gone very far down Main Street; the much-touted “green revolution” has hardly begun. With all that in mind, Friedman sets out the clean-technology breakthroughs we, and the world, will need; he shows that the ET (Energy Technology) revolution will be both transformative and disruptive; and he explains why America must lead this revolution—with the first Green President and a Green New Deal, spurred by the Greenest Generation.

 

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto - Michael Pollan 2009

Amazon Synopsis: Food. There's plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it?

Because in the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion--most of what we’re consuming today is longer the product of nature but of food science. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we see to become. With In Defense of Food, Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.

 

Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer 1997

Amazon Synopsis: In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir.  In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash.  He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and, unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented.  Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away.  Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild. 

Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life.  Admitting an interest that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the drives and desires that propelled McCandless.  Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons. 

When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris.  He is said  to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's storytelling blaze through every page.

 

Investigating the Unexplained - Ivan T. Sanderson 2007

Synopsis: A compendium of mysteries of the natural world. 


Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You - Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E. Roth 2003

Amazon Synopsis: Reconnect with nature through sketching and writing with these simple methods for capturing the living beauty of each season. Clare Walker Leslie and co-author Charles E. Roth offer easy techniques, exercises, and prompts for all ages.


Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder - Richard Louv 2005

Amazon Synopsis: "I like to play indoors better 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are," reports a fourth-grader. Never before in history have children been so plugged in—and so out of touch with the natural world. In this groundbreaking new work, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as rises in obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and depression.

Some startling facts: By the 1990s the radius around the home where children were allowed to roam on their own had shrunk to a ninth of what it had been in 1970. Today, average eight-year-olds are better able to identify cartoon characters than native species, such as beetles and oak trees, in their own community. The rate at which doctors prescribe antidepressants to children has doubled in the last five years, and recent studies show that too much computer use spells trouble for the developing mind.

Nature-deficit disorder is not a medical condition; it is a description of the human costs of alienation from nature. This alienation damages children and shapes adults, families, and communities. There are solutions, though, and they're right in our own backyards. Last child in the Woods is the first book to bring together cutting-edge research showing that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development—physical, emotional, and spiritual. What's more, nature is a potent therapy for depression, obesity, and ADD. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Even creativity is stimulated by childhood experiences in nature.

Yet sending kids outside to play is increasingly difficult. Computers, television, and video games compete for their time, of course, but it's also our fears of traffic, strangers, even virus-carrying mosquitoes—fears the media exploit—that keep children indoors. Meanwhile, schools assign more and more homework, and there is less and less access to natural areas.

Parents have the power to ensure that their daughter or son will not be the "last child in the woods," and this book is the first step toward that nature-child reunion.

 

The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century - James Howard Kunstler 2006

Amazon Synopsis: A controversial hit that sparked debate among businessmen, environmentalists, and bloggers, The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler is an eye-opening look at the unprecedented challenges we face in the years ahead, as oil runs out and the global systems built on it are forced to change radically.


Man Adapting - René Dubos 1966

Synopsis: The biological and social problems of human adaptation, including nutrition, the co-evolution of diseases, indigenous microbiota, environmental pollution, and population growth. Winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Award for 1966.

 

Man, Medicine, and Environment - René Dubos 1968

Quote: "The most impressive aspect of the law of the jungle is not ruthless competition and destruction, but rather interdependence and co-existence."  - René Dubos, Man, Medicine, and Environment


The Monkey Wrench Gang - Edward Abbey 2006

Amazon Synopsis: Ex-Green Beret George Hayduke has returned from war to find his beloved southwestern desert threatened by industrial development. Joining with Bronx exile and feminist saboteur Bonnie Abzug, wilderness guide and outcast Mormon Seldom Seen Smith, and libertarian billboard torcher Doc Sarvis, M.D., Hayduke is ready to fight the power—taking on the strip miners, clear-cutters, and the highway, dam, and bridge builders who are threatening the natural habitat. The Monkey Wrench Gang is on the move—and peaceful coexistence be damned!


Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth: An Introduction to Spiritual Ecology - John Michael Greer 2012

Amazon Synopsis: The authentic teachings of the mystery schools offer a profoundly different way of making sense of the universe and our place in it. In Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth, ecologist and Druid initiate John Michael Greer offers an introduction to the core teachings of the mysteries through the mirror of the natural world.

Using examples from nature as a touchstone, Greer takes readers on a journey into the seven laws of the mystery traditions:

  • the Law of Wholeness
  • the Law of Flow
  • the Law of Balance
  • the Law of Limits
  • the Law of Cause and Effect
  • the Law of Planes
  • the Law of Evolution 

Greer explains each law, offering meditation, an affirmation, and a theme for reflection, to show how the seven laws can bring meaning and power into our everyday lives.

Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth reveals one of the great secrets of the mysteries--that the laws of nature are also the laws of spirit.


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No Impact Man - Colin Beavan 2010

Amazon Synopsis: What does it really take to live eco-effectively?  For one year, Colin Beavan swore off plastic and toxins, turned off his electricity, went organic, became a bicycle nut, and tried to save the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his young daughter and his Prada-wearing wife along for the ride. Together they attempted to make zero impact on the environment while living right in the heart of Manhattan, and this is the sensational, funny, and consciousness-raising story of how they did it. With No Impact Man, Beavan found that no-impact living is worthwhile--and richer, fuller, and more satisfying in the bargain.

 

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals - Michael Pollan 2007

Amazon Synopsis: Today, buffeted by one food fad after another, America is suffering from what can only be described as a national eating disorder. Will it be fast food tonight, or something organic? Or perhaps something we grew ourselves? The question of what to have for dinner has confronted us since man discovered fire. But as Michael Pollan explains in this revolutionary book, how we answer it now, as the dawn of the twenty-first century, may determine our survival as a species. Packed with profound surprises, The Omnivore's Dilemma is changing the way Americans thing about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.

 

Only One Earth: The Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development - Felix Dodds, Michael Strauss, with Maurice Strong 2012

Amazon Synopsis: Forty years after the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, the goal of sustainable development continues via the Rio+20 conference in 2012. This book will enable a broad readership to understand what has been achieved in the past forty years and what hasn’t. It shows the continuing threat of our present way of living to the planet. It looks to the challenges that we face twenty years from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, "The Earth Summit," in Rio, in particular in the areas of economics and governance and the role of stakeholders. It puts forward a set of recommendations that the international community must address now and in the the future. It reminds us of the planetary boundaries we must all live within and what needs to be addressed in the next twenty years for democracy, equity and fairness to survive. Finally it proposes through the survival agenda a bare minimum of what needs to be done, arguing for a series of absolute minimum policy changes we need to move forward.

 

Only One Earth: The Care and Maintenance of a Small Planet - René Dubos and Barbara Ward 1983

Synopsis: The authors wrote Only One Earth in conjunction with the UN Conference on the Human Environment at Stockholm in 1972. information was contributed from 150 other experts from 58 countries.



The Reenchantment of the World – Morris Berman 1981

Amazon Synopsis: The Reenchantment of the World is a perceptive study of our scientific consciousness and a cogent and forceful challenge to its supremacy. Focusing on the rise of the mechanistic idea that we can know the natural world only by distancing ourselves from it, Berman shows how science acquired its controlling position in the consciousness of the West. He analyzes the holistic, animistic tradition-destroyed in the wake of Scientific Revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries-which viewed man as a participant in the cosmos, not as an isolated observer. Arguing that the holistic world view must be revived in some credible form before we destroy our society and our environment, he explores the possibilities for a consciousness appropriate to the modern era. Ecological rather than animistic, this new world view would be grounded in the real and intimate connection between man and nature.


Reverence, Obedience and the Invisible in the Garden: Talks on the Biodynamic French Intensive System - Alan Chadwick 2013

Amazon Synopsis: Gardening. Environmental Studies. English-born Alan Chadwick (1909-1980) was considered by E. F. Schumacher to be the greatest gardener in America. Chadwick was an early force in the reintroduction of organics into horticulture, creating gardens of exquisite beauty and fertility, mainly in California, in the 60s and 70s. Through his deep connection to Nature, coupled with his tutorship under Rudolf Steiner and studies in some of the great gardens of Europe, Chadwick developed what he called the "biodynamic French Intensive system." Chadwick was a practicing Shakespearian actor, a painter, a musician, a mythologist and a storyteller, and brought all these parts of himself into the creation of what he considered the greatest art: becoming a simple gardener.

 

The Secret Life of Plants: a Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man - Christopher Bird 1989

Amazon Synopsis: The world of plants and its relation to mankind as revealed by the latest scientific discoveries.

 

Secrets of the Soil: New Age Solutions for Restoring Our Planet – Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird 1998

Amazon Synopsis: Tompkins & Byrd is a compendium on the science and metaphysics of soil, agriculture, and the environment. Going beyond the rudiments of biology, the authors demonstrate that the inherent life force woven through all plants, stones, soil, water, and air is central to our survival, and our relationship to the soil is of vital importance to our future. You will not find this kind of valuable information in a textbook.  

 

Silent Spring - Rachel Carson 2002

Amazon Synopsis: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was first published in three serialized excerpts in the New Yorker in June of 1962. The book appeared in September of that year and the outcry that followed its publication forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson’s passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.

In 2012 we invite you to join us in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of this great work.

 

Slim Spurling’s Universe: Ancient Knowledge Rediscovered to Restore the Health of the Environment and Mankind – Cal Garrison 2004

Amazon Synopsis: The Light-Life Technology; Ancient Science Rediscovered to Restore the Health of the Environment and Mankind.

 

So Human an Animal: How We Are Shaped by Surroundings and Events - René Dubos 1998

Amazon Synopsis: Noble Prize winner. Is the human species becoming dehumanized by the condition of his environment? So Human an Animal is an attempt to address this broad concern, and explain why so little is being done to address this issue. The book sounds both an urgent warning, and offers important policy insights into how this trend toward dehumanization can be halted and finally reversed.


Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth - essays by Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, Wendell Berry, Sandra Ingerman, Richard Rohr, Bill Plotkin, Evelyn Tucker, Brian Swimme, Vandana Shiva, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee PhD, Editor 2013

Amazon Synopsis: Showing the deep connection between our present ecological crisis and our lack of awareness of the sacred nature of creation, this series of essays from spiritual and environmental leaders around the world shows how humanity can transform its relationship with the Earth. Combining the thoughts and beliefs from a diverse range of essayists, this collection highlights the current ecological crisis and articulates a much-needed spiritual response to it. Perspectives from Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, and Native American beliefs as well as physics, deep psychology, and other environmental disciplines, make this a well-rounded contribution.


Stone Age Farming - Alanna Moore 2012

Amazon Synopsis: Newly revised and updated, Stone Age Farming delves into the world of subtle earth energies and explains how they can be harnessed for improved plant growth. The result of eight years' research, this book by dowser, researcher and permaculture farmer Alanna Moore provides tips on how to produce healthy, luscious and pest-resistant foods in an economical and eco-friendly way by drawing on the ancient wisdom of the pagan Irish and on modern scientific understandings of the amazing ability of magnetism to stimulate life.


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The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and our Health—and a Vision for Change - Annie Leonard 2010

Amazon Synopsis: We have a problem with Stuff. With just 5 percent of the world’s population, we’re consuming 30 percent of the world’s resources and creating 30 percent of the world’s waste. If everyone consumed at U.S. rates, we would need three to five planets!

This alarming fact drove Annie Leonard to create the Internet film sensation The Story of Stuff, which has been viewed over 10 million times by people around the world. In her sweeping, groundbreaking book of the same name, Leonard tracks the life of the Stuff we use every day—where our cotton T-shirts, laptop computers, and aluminum cans come from, how they are produced, distributed, and consumed, and where they go when we throw them out. Like Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, The Story of Stuff is a landmark book that will change the way people think—and the way they live.

Leonard’s message is startlingly clear: we have too much Stuff, and too much of it is toxic. Outlining the five stages of our consumption-driven economy—from extraction through production, distribution, consumption, and disposal—she vividly illuminates its frightening repercussions. Visiting garbage dumps and factories around the world, Leonard reveals the true story behind our possessions—why it’s cheaper to replace a broken TV than to fix it; how the promotion of "perceived obsolescence" encourages us to toss out everything from shoes to cell phones while they’re still in perfect shape; and how factory workers in Haiti, mine workers in Congo, and everyone who lives and works within this system pay for our cheap goods with their health, safety, and quality of life.

Meanwhile we, as consumers, are compromising our health and well-being, whether it’s through neurotoxins in our pillows or lead leaching into our kids’ food from their lunchboxes—and all this Stuff isn’t even making us happier! We work hard so we can buy Stuff that we quickly throw out, and then we want new Stuff so we work harder and have no time to enjoy all our Stuff. . . . With staggering revelations about the economy, the environment, and cultures around the world, alongside stories from her own life and work, Leonard demonstrates that the drive for a "growth at all costs" economy fuels a cycle of production, consumption, and disposal that is killing us.

It is a system in crisis, but Annie Leonard shows us that this is not the way things have to be. It’s within our power to stop the environmental damage, social injustice, and health hazards caused by polluting production and excessive consumption, and Leonard shows us how. Expansive, galvanizing, and sobering yet optimistic, The Story of Stuff transforms how we think about our lives and our relationship to the planet.

Walden - Henry David Thoreau 2008

Amazon Synopsis: Walden is one of the best-known non-fiction books ever written by an American. It details Thoreau's sojourn in a cabin near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson. Walden was written with expressed seasonal divisions. Thoreau hoped to isolate himself from society in order to gain a more objective understanding of it.

Simplicity and self-reliance were Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired by Transcendentalist philosophy. As pertinent and relevant today as it was when it was first written.

Read online or download

 

The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth - Tim Flannery 2001

Amazon Synopsis: An international best seller embraced and endorsed by policy makers, scientists, writers and energy industry executives from around the world, Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers contributed in bringing the topic of global warming to national prominence. For the first time, a scientist provided an accessible and comprehensive account of the history, current status, and future impact of climate change, writing what has been acclaimed by reviewers everywhere as the definitive book on global warming.

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. Originally somewhat of a global warming skeptic, Tim Flannery spent several years researching the topic and offers a connect-the-dots approach for a reading public who has received patchy or misleading information on the subject. Pulling on his expertise as a scientist to discuss climate change from a historical perspective, Flannery also explains how climate change is interconnected across the planet.

 

Whispered Wisdom - Mary Summer Rain 1992

Amazon Synopsis: Whispered Wisdom is a celebration of the incredible beauty of nature. The photos were taken by Mary Summer Rain, whose powerful and lyrical descriptions of the Colorado mountains set the background and the tone for her writings about her experiences with No-Eyes, her beloved Indian shaman teacher. Accompanying the photos is a collection of verse, prose, vignettes, and sayings taken from her woods-walking journal. Together the pictures and the words weave wonderful tapestry of the many faces of Mother Earth, and the wisdom that nature has to teach humanity. Here is an inspiring and enlightening addition to the works of this unique writer.

To my beloved Grandmother Earth--

For the primeval Wisdom you have whispered from your sweet and

gentle Breath... your timeless Wind,

For the warm Comfort you have radiated from your tender and sensitive Heart... your shimmering Core, For the laughing Happiness you have sung from you coursing and eternal Life Force. . .your singing Streams, For the deep Sensitivities you have instilled from your dignified and Lustrous Spirit. . .your moonlit Mountains, And for the Universal Truths you have revealed from your aged and ancient Bones. . .your Golden Canyons. Each evening as my prayer smoke rises into the receiving night sky, I give thanks for the sharing of your ancient whispered wisdom.

 

The Wooing of Earth - René Dubos 1981

Amazon Synopsis: New perspectives on man's use of nature. This Is essential To A Balance and understanding Of The Environmental Crisis And Of The Course We Must Take To Ensure The Mutually Beneficial Interplay Of Human kind And Earth.


The World Without Us - Alan Weisman 2008

Amazon Synopsis: Most books about the environment build on dire threats warning of the possible extinction of humanity. Alan Weisman avoids frightening off readers by disarmingly wiping out our species in the first few pages of this remarkable book. He then continues with an astounding depiction of how Earth will fare once we’re no longer around.

The World Without Us is a one-of-a-kind book that sweeps through time from the moment of humanity’s future extinction to millions of years into the future. Drawing on interviews with experts and on real examples of places in the world that have already been abandoned by humans—Chernobyl, the Korean DMZ and an ancient Polish forest—Weisman shows both the shocking impact we’ve had on our planet and how impermanent our footprint actually is.


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