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Invest In Our Planet: Reads For Earth Day 2023

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Invest In Our Planet: Reads For Earth Day 2023

This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement, commemorated annually as Earth Day.

The theme for Earth Day 2023 is “Invest In Our Planet,” which highlights the importance of dedicating our time, resources, and energy to solving the climate crisis whether it be by planting trees, reducing plastic consumption, making sustainable food and fashion choices, or participating in advocacy campaigns.

This is a great time to plant a garden, enjoy the lovely scent of fresh air and fragrant blossoms, clean up some litter, and, you guessed it, dig into a book that celebrates the importance of the environment and our responsibility towards safeguarding it.

Here are some books available with your Livingston Library card that engagingly and informatively grapple with and elucidate various environmental and sustainability issues.  They will help you think about the marvelous planet that you inhabit, elucidate climate change and other horrendous challenges faced by it, and help you realize the part you can play in conserving and restoring natural resources, and ensuring their sustainability for future generations. (Descriptions are taken from the publishers except where noted.)

can i recycle this

Can I Recycle This? : A Guide To Better Recycling And How To Reduce Single-Use Plastics by Jennie Romer

In this upbeat, helpful guide, recycling expert Romer walks readers through the specifics of what to recycle, what happens to all those recycled items, and what kind of environmental impacts result. She hopes to correct common misconceptions regarding signs and symbols, supposed new reincarnations for discarded materials, and success rates. (From Booklist‘s review)

The Carbon Footprint Of Everything by Mike Berners-Lee

An award-winning, practical (and funny) guide to reducing your carbon footprint.  It breaks items down by the amount of carbon they produce, creating a calorie guide for the carbon-conscious. With engaging writing, leading carbon expert Berners-Lee shares new carbon calculations based on recent research. He considers the impact of the pandemic on the carbon battle–especially the embattled global supply chain–and adds items we didn’t consider a decade ago, like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The Climate Book by Greta Thunberg

Thunberg’s commitment to global education regarding the perils of climate change manifests itself in this sweeping compendium of essays contributed by more than 100 academicians, authors, environmentalists, and journalists whose specific professional expertise or profound humanitarian concern amplifies the existing science surrounding this crisis of sustainability and ecology.  Yet among this esteemed roster of recognized voices, it is Thunberg’s own eloquence that elevates the collection with introductory essays for each section that convey a sense of urgency that is genuine, grounded, and unimpeachable. (From Booklist‘s review)

A Forest Journey : The Role Of Trees In The Fate Of Civilization by John Perlin

The book’s comprehensive coverage of the major role forests have played in human life — told with grace, fluency, imagination, and humor — gained it recognition as a Harvard Classic in Science and World History and as one of Harvard’s “One Hundred Great Books.”  This new, updated and revised edition emphasizes the importance of forests in the fight against global warming and the urgency to protect what remains of the great trees and forests of the world.

great displacement

The Great Displacement : Climate Change And The Next American Migration by Jake Bittle

The untold story of climate migration-the personal stories of those experiencing displacement, the portraits of communities being torn apart by disaster, and the implications for all of us as we confront a changing future.

Groundglass by Kathryn Savage

Drawing on her own experiences growing up on the fence lines of industry and the parallel realities of raising a young son while grieving a father dying of a cancer with known environmental risk factors, Savage traces concentric rings of connection-between our bodies, one another, our communities, and our ecosystem. She explores the porous boundary between self and environment, and the ambiguous yet growing body of evidence linking toxins to disease. Equal parts mourning poem and manifesto for environmental justice, Groundglass reminds us that no living thing exists on its own.

How To Avoid A Climate Disaster:The Solutions We Have And The Breakthroughs We Need by Bill Gates

In this urgent, authoritative book, Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical, and accessible plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions, where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively, where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations. Finally, he lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions, suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, our employers, and ourselves accountable in this crucial enterprise.

Hurricane Lizards And Plastic Squid :The Fraught And Fascinating Biology Of Climate Change by Thor Hanson

Hanson tells the remarkable story of how plants and animals are responding to climate change: adjusting, evolving, and sometimes dying out. Anole lizards have grown larger toe pads, to grip more tightly in frequent hurricanes. Warm waters cause the development of Humboldt squid to alter so dramatically that fishermen mistake them for different species. Brown pelicans move north, and long-spined sea urchins south, to find cooler homes. And when coral reefs sicken, they leave no territory worth fighting for, so aggressive butterfly fish transform instantly into pacifists.

last winter

Last Winter : The Scientists, Adventurers, Journeymen, And Mavericks Trying To Save The World by Porter Fox

As the planet warms, winter is shrinking. In the last fifty years, the Northern Hemisphere lost a million square miles of spring snowpack and in the US alone, snow cover has been reduced by 15-30%. On average, winter has shrunk by a month in most northern latitudes. In this deeply researched, beautifully written, and adventure-filled book, journalist Porter Fox travels along the edge of the Northern Hemisphere’s snow line to track the scope of this drastic change, and how it will literally change everything–from rapid sea level rise, to fresh water scarcity for two billion people, to massive greenhouse gas emissions from thawing permafrost, and a half dozen climate tipping points that could very well spell the end of our world. 

Nomad Century : How Climate Migration Will Reshape Our World by Gaia Vince

Drawing on a career of environmental reporting and over two years of travel to the front lines of climate migration across the globe, an award-winning science journalist, in this urgent call to action, discusses the underreported, seismic consequences of climate change and how it will reshape humanity.

The Rescue Effect : The Key To Saving Life On Earth by Michael Webster

In the face of climate change that is as demoralizing as it is alarming, Webster, a visiting professor at Cornell University’s department of natural resources and the environment, offers an almost sanguine view of the future in considering a combination of six types of environmental rescue: demographic (new individuals emigrating to a struggling population), reproductive (a “baby boom” resulting from low competition), genetic (immigrants bringing new genetic diversity), phenotype (organisms adjusting themselves to changing conditions), geographic (relocation of a species), and evolutionary (“survival of the fittest” to persist under stressful conditions). Then he adds a seventh: “resurrectional rescue.” (From Booklist‘s review)

Rescuing The Planet : Protecting Half The Land To Heal The Earth by Tony Hiss

Beginning in the vast North American Boreal Forest that stretches through Canada, and roving across the continent, from the Northern Sierra to Alabama’s Paint Rock Forest, from the Appalachian Trail to a ranch in Mexico, Hiss sets out on a journey to take stock of the “superorganism” that is the earth: its land, its elements, its plants and animals, its greatest threats–and what we can do to keep it, and ourselves, alive. Hiss not only invites us to understand the scope and gravity of the problems we face, but also makes the case for why protecting half the land is the way to fix those problems. He highlights the important work of the many groups already involved in this fight, such as the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, and the global animal tracking project ICARUS.

Silent Earth : Averting The Insect Apocalypse by Dave Golson

An award-winning entomologist and conservationist explains the importance of insects to our survival, and offers a clarion call to avoid a looming ecological disaster of our own making. “If we lose the insects, then everything is going to collapse,” he warns.

there is no planet b

There Is No Planet B : A Handbook For The Make Or Break Years by Mike Berners-Lee

Berners-Lee offers an evidence-based handbook to guide humanity in addressing the most pressing problems of the 21st century. The book alternates between big picture perspective and small scale specifics as it considers the interconnected issues of food, energy, travel, and climate change. For each topic, Berners-Lee discusses the current context alongside opportunities for intervention and improvement. Both short-term fixes and long-term systemic changes are offered in the form of guidance for individuals, policy makers, and business leaders. (From Choice‘s review)

A Trillion Trees : Restoring Our Forests By Trusting In Nature by Fred Pearce

Pearce takes readers on a whirlwind journey through some of the most spectacular forests around the world. Along the way, he charts the extraordinary pace of forest destruction, and explores why some are beginning to recover. With vivid, observant reporting, Pearce transports readers to the remote cloud forests of Ecuador, the swamps of Indonesia, the remains of a forest civilization in Nigeria, a mystifying mountain peak in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. And he interviews the people who traditionally live and depend on these lands: Indigenous Amazonians, Nepalese hill dwellers, Kenyan farmers, and West African sawyers. They show him that forests are as much human landscapes as they are natural paradises. The lives of humans are now imprinted in forest ecology.

Water Always Wins : Thriving In An Age Of Drought And Deluge by Erica Gies

This book transports us around the world and back through time, exposing us to better ways to live with water. Gies introduces us to water experts the world over as they search for clues to water’s past and present, using close observation, historical research, ancient animal and human wisdom, and cutting-edge science to effect change. We become more aware of the ways in which modern civilizations speed water away, erasing its slow phases on the land. But that’s when, Gies says, “the magic happens”: the slow phases absorb floods, store water for droughts, and feed natural systems. Innovators in what she calls the Slow Water movement are accommodating that desire, and showing us how to forge a more resilient future.

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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