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.
The acclaimed author of Founding Gardeners reveals the forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world--and in the process created modern environmentalism.NATIONAL BEST SELLER One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The James Wright Award for Nature Writing, the Costa Biography Award, the Royal Geographic Society's Ness Award, the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Royal Society Science Book Prize, the Kirkus Prize Prize for Nonfiction, the Independent Bookshop Week Book Award
A Best Book of the Year: The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Economist, Nature, Jezebel, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, New Scientist, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Evening Standard, The Spectator
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was the most famous scientist of his age, a visionary German naturalist and polymath whose discoveries forever changed the way we understand the natural world. Among his most revolutionary ideas was a radical conception of nature as a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone. In North America, Humboldt's name still graces towns, counties, parks, bays, lakes, mountains, and a river. And yet the man has been all but forgotten. In this illuminating biography, Andrea Wulf brings Humboldt's extraordinary life back into focus: his prediction of human-induced climate change; his daring expeditions to the highest peaks of South America and to the anthrax-infected steppes of Siberia; his relationships with iconic figures, including Sim n Bol var and Thomas Jefferson; and the lasting influence of his writings on Darwin, Wordsworth, Goethe, Muir, Thoreau, and many others. Brilliantly researched and stunningly written, The Invention of Nature reveals the myriad ways in which Humboldt's ideas form the foundation of modern environmentalism--and reminds us why they are as prescient and vital as ever.
Population sizes of vertebrate species -- mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish -- have declined by 52 percent over the last 40 years. in other words, those populations around the globe have dropped by more than half in fewer than two human generations. -- World Wildlife Fund Living Planet report 2014
This book straddles an awkward boundary between being a colorful popular work and a scientific literature review.... Profusely and beautifully illustrated with figures, maps, charts, and period reconstructions. Recommended. -- Choice
A good introduction to the great puzzle that is extinction study. -- Publishers Weekly
Selected by the Scientific American Book Club and now a more affordable paperback for a far-wider audience.
For more than a century scientists have tried to identify and understand the precise processes responsible for species extinction. Solving the species extinction puzzle has become even more important, even urgent, as human populations and technologies rival sea-level change, volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts as an extinction mechanism.
The Great Extinctions explores the search for an understanding of Earth's five great extinction events and whether the sixth is upon us already. Leading paleontologist Norman MacLeod examines the controversies and conclusions and what they mean to the efforts to preserve Earth's biodiversity.
He also reveals how, contrary to popular conception, species extinction is as natural a process as species evolution. Examining extinction over geological time, he compares ancient extinction events and uses them to predict future extinctions.
Featuring the latest scientific evidence on the subject and informative illustrations and diagrams, The Great Extinctions is an easy-to-understand presentation of a complex and controversial subject.
"A penetrating, page-turning tour of a post-human Earth "
In" The World Without Us, "Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity's impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.
"The World Without Us "reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York's subways would start eroding the city's foundations, and how, as the world's cities crumble, asphalt jungles would give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us. Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders from rabbis to the Dali Lama, and paleontologists---who describe a prehuman world inhabited by megafauna like giant sloths that stood taller than mammoths---Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.
From places already devoid of humans (a last fragment of primeval European forest; the Korean DMZ; Chernobyl), Weisman reveals Earth's tremendous capacity for self-healing. As he shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, Weisman's narrative ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that needn't depend on our demise. It is narrative nonfiction at its finest, and in posing an irresistible concept with both gravity and a highly readable touch, it looks deeply at our effects on the planet in a way that no other book has.
An argument for the urgent danger of global warming in a book that is sure to be as influential as Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring."
Known for her insightful and thought-provoking journalism, "New Yorker" writer Elizabeth Kolbert now tackles the controversial subject of global warming. Americans have been warned since the late nineteen-seventies that the buildup of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere threatens to melt the polar ice sheets and irreversibly change our climate. With little done since then to alter this dangerous course, now is the moment to salvage our future. By the end of the century, the world will likely be hotter than it's been in the last two million years, and the sweeping consequences of this change will determine the future of life on earth for generations to come.
In writing that is both clear and unbiased, Kolbert approaches this monumental problem from every angle. She travels to the Arctic, interviews researchers and environmentalists, explains the science and the studies, draws frightening parallels to lost ancient civilizations, unpacks the politics, and presents the personal tales of those who are being affected most the people who make their homes near the poles and, in an eerie foreshadowing, are watching their worlds disappear. Growing out of a groundbreaking three-part series for the "New Yorker," "Field Notes from a Catastrophe" brings the environment into the consciousness of the American people and asks what, if anything, can be done, and how we can save our planet."
Sometime this century the day will arrive when the human influence on the climate will overwhelm all other natural factors. Over the past decade, the world has seen the most powerful El Niqo ever recorded, the most devastating hurricane in two hundred years, the hottest European summer on record, and one of the worst storm seasons ever experienced in Florida. 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. Along with a riveting history of climate change, Tim Flannery offers specific suggestions for action for both lawmakers and individuals, from investing in renewable power sources like wind, solar, and geothermal energy, to offering an action plan with steps each and every one of us can take right now to reduce deadly CO2 emissions by as much as 70 percent.
In conjunction with Singapore's 50th birthday in August 2015, 50 Years of Environment: Singapore's Journey Towards Environmental Sustainability takes the reader through Singapore's environmental journey over the past 50 years, to its present day challenges and solutions, and seeks to explore what lies ahead for Singapore's environmental future. This book is divided into three parts. The first, drawn largely from the book Clean, Green and Blue: Singapore's Journey Towards Environmental and Water Sustainability, will explore the historical developments in Singapore's environmental journey and the development of NEWater. The second part will be a collection of essays that examine the present environmental challenges that Singapore faces and the ways in which it is addressing those issues through community engagement, international engagement, research and technology, and industry solutions in order to develop sustainable strategies and solutions. Part Three will bring the book to a close by tying the historical and contemporary threads together and discusses the future challenges for Singapore's environment.
Human beings have been concerned about nature and their place in it for millennia. Disquiet about the consequences of human action on the natural environment date back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. The efforts of the green movement can be traced back to the 19th century. In this period, individuals, groups, and organizations began campaigning for the conservation and preservation of natural areas and the protection of wildlife species. Efforts to combat pollution also began. It was not until the 1960s, however, that the green movement in its more modern incarnation emerged. The green movements that arose at this time maintained the concerns with conservation, preservation, and industrial pollution held by earlier generations, but added to their agenda new issues, including justice, equality, participatory democracy, and sustainability. The A to Z of the Green Movement provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of green parties and movements, green issues, and green concepts. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on countries in the world where green parties or proto-parties have formed, green movement organizations, major international environmental conferences, and green concepts. This useful reference will be greatly valued by students, academics, journalists, and policymakers alike.