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Good Books on the Environment
Send comments and questions to Mary Beth Minick, SPEA Subject Librarian
A short reading list of some important, intriguing and enlightening works...
Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists and Activists Are Fueling the Climate Crisis--And What We Can Do to Avert Disaster
By Ross Gelbspan, New York: Basic Books, 2004 (QC981.8.G56 G44 2004)
Gelbspan reports on how the U.S. Government is ignoring scientific evidence of global warming and criticizes large energy companies and other corporations for funding distorted global warming science, journalists for failing to report on the facts properly, and US environmental activists for operating with outmoded and limited assumptions regarding how to combat the problem.
Ghost Bears: Exploring the Biodiversity Crisis
By Edward Grumbine, Washington: Island Press, 1992 (QH75 .G75 1992)
Grumbine looks at the implications of the widespread loss of biological diversity, and explains why our species-centered approach to environmental protection will ultimately fail. Using the fate of the endangered grizzly bear (the "ghost bear") to explore the causes and effects of species loss and habitat destruction, Grumbine presents a clear introduction to the biodiversity crisis.
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
By Paul Hawken, Amory B. Lovins & Hunter L. Lovins, Boston: Little Brown, 1999 (HC106.82 .H39 1999)
Three top strategists show how leading-edge companies are practicing "a new type of industrialism" that is more efficient and profitable while saving the environment and creating jobs. Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins write that in the next century, cars will get 200 miles per gallon without compromising safety and power, manufacturers will relentlessly recycle their products, and the world's standard of living will jump without further damaging natural resources.
A Morally Deep World: An Essay on Moral Significance and Environmental Ethics
By Lawrence E. Johnson, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991 (GF80 .J64 1991, Philanthropy stacks)
Lawrence Johnson advocates a major change in our attitude toward the nonhuman world. He argues that nonhuman animals, and ecosystems themselves, are morally significant beings with interests and rights. The author considers recent work in environmental ethics in the introduction and then presents his case with the utmost precision and clarity.
Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment
By James Gustave Speth, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005 (GE149 .S64 2004)
Speth, dean of the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, sounds the alarm on the seriousness of the global environmental crisis. The problems stem from a focus on symptoms rather than on the underlying causes of environmental degradation, such as population size, affluence and technology.
Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change
By Elizabet Kolbert, New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2006 (QC981.8.G56 K655 2006)
On the burgeoning shelf of cautionary but occasionally alarmist books warning about the consequences of dramatic climate change, Kolbert's calmly persuasive reporting stands out for its sobering clarity. Kolbert proposes that the Earth is nearly as warm as at any time in the last 420,000 years and is on the precipice of an unprecedented "climate regime, one with which modern humans have had no prior experience."
By Rachel Carson, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962, 1987 (QH545.P4 C38 1987)
Silent Spring, first published in 1962, took a hard look at the effects of insecticides and pesticides on songbird populations throughout the United States, whose declining numbers created the silence described in the title. The publication this book helped to change this trend by inspiring a wave of environmental legislation and galvanizing the just-emerging ecological movement. It is justly considered a classic, and it is well worth rereading today.
Last updated by jgottfri on 07/18/2007