Reads For Earth Day 2024


The theme for Earth Day 2024  is “Planet vs. Plastics” that calls for the end of plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of plastics by 2040 and an ultimate goal of building a plastic-free future for generations to come.  According to the Earth Day website, “Plastics extend beyond an imminent environmental issue; they present a grave threat to human health as alarming as climate change. As plastics break down into microplastics, they release toxic chemicals into our food and water sources and circulate through the air we breathe. Plastic production now has grown to more than 380 million tons per year. More plastic has been produced in the last ten years than in the entire 20th century, and the industry plans to grow explosively for the indefinite future.” This is a great time to plant a garden, clean up litter, reduce your use of plastics, recycle more,  and consider other ways to play your part in conserving and restoring natural resources, and ensuring their sustainability for future generations. Here are some books available with your Livingston Library card, that engagingly and informatively elucidate various environmental and sustainability issues. Before it’s Gone : Stories From the Front Lines of Climate Change in Small-Town America by Jonathan Vigliotti Vigliotti’s travels across the country, taking him to the frontlines of climate disaster and revealing the genuine impacts of climate change that countless Americans have already been forced to confront. From massive forest fires in California to hurricanes in Louisiana, receding coastlines in Massachusetts and devastated fisheries in Alaska, we learn that warnings of a future impacted by climate are no more; the climate catastrophe is already here. From massive forest fires in California to hurricanes in Louisiana, receding coastlines in Massachusetts and devastated fisheries in Alaska, we learn that warnings of a future impacted by climate are no more; the climate catastrophe is already here. Climate Capitali$$m : Winning the Race to Zero Emissions and Solving the Crisis of Our Age by Akshat Rathi On a journey across five continents, this book tracks the unlikely heroes driving the fight against climate change. From the Chinese bureaucrat who did more to make electric cars a reality than Elon Musk, to the Danish students who helped to build the world’s longest-operating wind turbine, or the American oil executive building the technology that can reverse climate damages, we meet the people working to scale technologies that are finally able to bend the emissions curve. Through stories that bring people, policy and technology together, Rathi reveals how the green economy is not only possible, but profitable. Cool Food: Erasing Your Carbon Footprint One Bite At a Time by Robert Downey Jr. Actor and philanthropist Robert Downey Jr. and author Thomas Kostigen show you how to make simple choices in the supermarket, in your kitchen, and in the world to reduce your environmental impact. A Future We Can Love : How We Can Reverse the Climate Crisis With the Power of our Hearts & Minds by Susan Bauer-Wu Though more and more people are alarmed by climate change, many of us remain stuck in inaction-paralyzed by difficult emotions like fear or grief, or simply uncertain what we can do.  The author uses the inspiration of the Dalai Lama and Greta’s words and life stories to embark on a four-part journey toward connection, hope, and purpose.   Filled with the Dalai Lama’s hard-earned wisdom, Greta’s piercing focus, and dozens of accessible practices of climate activism and personal resilience, this book offers a path not just out of inaction but toward a future we can love. H is For Hope : Climate Change From A to Z by Elizabeth Kolbert Twenty-six pithy and piercing essays draw on history, science, statistics, fieldwork, politics, ethics, and social observations to present the jarring facts about the climate crisis. Kolbert’s tone is exemplified in this statement in “A,” which is for Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius, who, at the close of the nineteenth century, created the first climate model: “Here we all are, watching things fall apart. And yet deep down, we don’t believe it.” “B” is from Greta Thunberg’s lament over “thirty years of blah, blah, blah” instead of actual climate action. Kolbert charts the obstacles to building a new clean energy grid and “climate change’s many compounding injustices,” stating that the “ethical challenge is as big, or perhaps even bigger, than the technical challenge. Not the End of the World : How We Can Be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet by Hannah Ritchie In this bold, radically hopeful book, a data scientist, drawing on the latest research, practical guidance and eye-opening graphics, gives us the tools for understanding our current environmental crisis and making lifestyle changes that actually have an impact. On the Move : The Overheating Earth and the Uprooting of America by Abrahm Lustgarten As climate change begins to bite, long-predicted upheavals are underway. Journalist Lustgarten, begins with the usual bad news. Today, less than 1% of the planet is too hot to support civilization. By 2070, it will be 20%. Where will those people go? Tolerable living conditions in the U.S. “will jump dramatically northward,” with states along the Canadian border suffering the least damage. Sea levels have risen more than nine inches since 1960—and two feet in Louisiana, the worst-affected state, drowning a coastal area bigger than Delaware. Rapid global heating produces hot but also extremely unpredictable weather, and hurricanes, forest fires, and droughts have become routine. Traveling the nation, Lustgarten interviews experts and victims to paint a grim but fact-based picture. Responding to catastrophic losses, insurers who have not gone bankrupt have raised premiums or stopped issuing policies in certain areas. Purified : How Recycled Sewage is Transforming Our Water by Peter Annin Journalist Annin shows that wastewater has become a surprising weapon in America’s war against water scarcity. Annin probes deep into the water reuse movement in five water-strapped states–California, Texas, Virginia, Nevada,