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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Books on the Environment
The best environmental books reviewed over the past 12 months—works of extraordinary research, thought, passion, and artistry—evince a rising intensity of purpose in sync with the increasingly obvious impacts of climate change and the public’s growing awareness of the need for environmentally sound manufacturing, agriculture, and energy.
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. By Bill McKibben. 2010. Times, $24 (9780805090567).
Environmentalist McKibben postulates that today’s hotter, more chaotic planet merits a new name, “Eaarth,” and new solutions to humankind’s food and energy needs.
Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything. By Daniel Goleman. 2009. Broadway, $26 (9780385527828).
Best-selling author Goleman seeks to enhance our “ecological intelligence” and inspire us to demand environmentally safe merchandise.
Eating Animals. By Jonathan Safran Foer. 2009. Little, Brown, $25.99 (9780316069908).
Novelist Foer delves into the role food plays in environmental degradation in a staggering investigation into factory farming.
Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis. By Al Gore. 2009. Rodale, paper, $26.99 (9781594867347).
In a comprehensive, expertly illustrated book in the mode of An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Nobel laureate Gore explains how the harnessing of renewable energy sources will solve a matrix of global traumas.
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster. By Rebecca Solnit. 2009. Viking, $27.95 (9780670021079).
With an eye to potential climate-change-generated disasters, Solnit scrutinizes the aftermath of five major catastrophes to illuminate our ability to rise from the rubble and create better worlds.
Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things. By Rick Smith and others. 2010. Counterpoint, $25 (9781582435671).
This startling exposé reveals that the innocuous rubber duck carries a poison soup of phthalates that “permeate the environment and humans,” as do many other manufactured products and foods.
Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. By James Hansen. 2009. Bloomsbury, $25 (9781608192007).
NASA climatologist Hansen condemns governmental “greenwashing” and the corruption of the political process with corporate money, and closes the gap “between public perception and scientific reality” in this cogent and daring call to prevent climate change.
Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization. By Steven Solomon. 2010. Harper, $27.99 (9780060548308).
Solomon’s unprecedented inquiry into the history, science, and politics of water use provides fascinating and ample testimony to the need to place a higher value on water and its preservation.
The Wild Marsh: Four Seasons at Home in Montana. By Rick Bass. 2009. Houghton, $26 (9780547055169).
Bass, an extraordinary writer and wilderness advocate, chronicles a year in the life of his beloved Yaak Valley in an evocative homage to one particular ecosystem and the greater wild.
The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America. By Douglas Brinkley. 2009. Harper, $34.99 (9780060565282).
When Americans think of wilderness preservation, we think of our national parks, for which we owe thanks, as historian Brinkley fully reveals, to Teddy Roosevelt, who believed that conservation efforts are “essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method.”
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