We need to think of values and activities, Berry says, which are intolerant of abstracting. Is it crazy to think of love, when we think of our planets forests? But not an impossibility. William T. Vollmann, No Immediate Danger. Nothing can be done to save it; therefore, nothing need be done. Hence this little book scrapes by without offering solutions. There were none; we had none. Vollmann, No Good Alternative.
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Volume two of the account of the end of our world. Vollman will still be writing these even after the world is over. Edward O. Wilson, Half Earth.
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This would stabilize the environment and save everyone who lives on earth, he argues—including, of course, us. Fred Pearce, The New Wild. She makes food for wild bees and hummingbirds, and watches gorgeous, magenta-tinged grasshoppers feed on her flowers. But her connection to landscape is also spiritual. Sometimes late at night in the wind you can hear them sing or on a long hot summer afternoon you can hear them laughing and talking in the shade.
Turquoise Man [travels] with the rain. When Scranton arrived home to America from his Army tour in Iraq, he was confronted with problems even bigger than Al Qaeda: hurricanes, rising seas, disease outbreaks, and other catastrophes resulting from climate change. Scranton combines memoir, reportage, history, science, and literary analysis to explore what it means to be alive today—and what it might mean in the future. Provocative, erudite, and wonderfully lucid, Learning to Die might be one of the most important books of the Anthropocene.
Too often in conversations about climate change the voices of Indigenous people are absent.
Through first-person accounts and passages that allow Indigenous people to tell their stories in their own words, this book explains how Indigenous ways of life contribute to biological diversity and conservation. This immensely readable—if somewhat academic—collection features essays by experts in anthropology, ecology, science studies, art, literature, and other fields.
I received this book a bit ago and had let its place in the pile steadily get closer to the floor. It helped. I have always leaned on trees when feeling ill or confused, trekked into the forest and sat, hands sifting through the forest floor. Ease worries, get healthy, allow for connection to the natural world as you go deeper into the realm where living things are thousands of years old, wear the scars of survival, and serve as host to magical possibilities of healing.
Love him or hate him, Jonathan Franzen remains a master wordsmith, especially when writing about the environment. Some are also self-examining. In the opener, for example, he questions whether his beef with the Audubon Society was worth the public blow back. Other pieces unpack his complicated relationships with family. Taken together, these writings present a nuanced and provocative look at the world and the author himself. This is the perfect book for bacon-loving, car-driving, but well-meaning people who also want to make a difference. Donna J.
Written by the celebrated eco-feminist scholar Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble draws from the annals of weird fiction and sci-fi to build a new framework for thinking about life on earth during climate change. With Hyperobjects , he argues that some phenomena—like climate change—are too big and all-encompassing for humans to fully understand. In which Nunn finds that ancient folktales from nonliterate cultures have valuable information about massive climate changes—a surprising, perceptive take on how and why we know what we know—and how we could know more.
Slated to be drowned underneath the planned Auburn Reservoir, the canyons attracted misfits and miscreants like a magnet collects iron filings, and Jordan and his fellow rangers were called upon to manage a Mad Max atmosphere in which everyone seemed to be armed, drunk, or both.
Margaret Renkl, Late Migrations. A new collection of essays from New York Times opinion writer Margaret Renkl, in which her young life in Alabama and the natural world around her combine to bring a new understanding of self and place. Drew Lanham, The Home Place. I think about schoolchildren playing in safe, clean, green spaces, where the water and air flow clear and the birdsong sounds sweet.
More and more I think of land not just in remote, desolate wilderness but in inner-city parks and suburban backyards and community gardens. I think of land and all it brings in my life. I think of land and hope that others are thinking about it, too.
Sometimes a little perspective is just what we need. Or a lot of perspective. Bruno Latour, Down to Earth. Sunil Amrith, Unruly Waters. A MacArthur Genius Grant recipient tells the social, political, and geological story of Asia through its rivers, coasts, and seas, and then in turn, looks to these to see how Asia might deal with our uncertain climate future.
Wright, Casting Deep Shade. Read an excerpt of it here. Robert Macfarlane, The Lost Words. Gaia Vince, Adventures in the Anthropocene. Paul Kingsnorth, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist. Read this collection, which includes the manifesto that became a movement , and see for yourself. Drawing upon accounts by early settlers and explorers, Pascoe reveals the material sophistication of pre-invasion Aboriginal society, detailing widespread agriculture, extensive aquaculture involving complex systems of dams and weirs and permanent settlements incorporating wood and even stone structures.
For most Australians these discoveries have been revelatory, shattering long-held orthodoxies about Aboriginal culture and society.
Yet Dark Emu is also a profoundly important contribution to a much larger reckoning with the violence of the colonial project. Equally importantly, Dark Emu underlines colonization has been an ecological as well as a human catastrophe. European agricultural practices, land-clearing and irrigation have all caused immense damage to the Australian environment, a process that is only hastening as global temperatures rise. Avoiding the worst of what is coming is not yet impossible.
And as Dark Emu makes clear, at least part of the model for a sustainable future lies in the knowledge and understandings embedded in Indigenous culture. It is prudent economic management and worshipful respect for the Earth itself. In which three men road trip to the industrial tar sands of northern Alberta to talk to those whose lives are intwined negatively or positively with oil extraction, and wind up with a new understanding of ecology and what we need from our environmental politics.
And voice is the very thing absented, invisible like the injustices and people themselves. So how do we get anyone to pay attention to such elusive nonevents that hardly make the news? This book is ballast to our listing ship of environmental storytelling and to the impoverished people who act as recycling units to the shit industry coughs up. An argument against the self-serious, self-righteous, and sentimental approach to climate change and environmental activism—and for an irreverent, alternative green politics, less likely to alienate everyone and drive us all insane with doom.
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Tristan Gooley, How to Read Water. A text that argues for the necessity of understanding our essential connection to the planet.
Societies and our constructs, like economics, must adapt to those fundamentals defined by ecology. You, me, and everyone we love. Gernot Wagner and Martin L.
Weitzman, Climate Shock. Jedediah Purdy, After Nature. Charles C. Zayne Cowie, Goodbye, Earth. Read the whole book here. Dick Russell, Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This book takes an unusual approach to the entrenched failure of governments and the media to act decisively and effectively to drastically curb CO3 emissions.
The fact that no emergency response has been mounted by national governments is a crime against humanity and indeed all of life.