Each year, Earth Day is about both honoring the ongoing work of the environmental movement as well as appreciating the wonders of the planet that we live on. We’ve selected a few new titles below that showcase both calls to action and appreciation of the diversity of landscapes here on planet Earth. Happy #EarthDay2018!
Coasts in Crisis: A Global Challenge
Coastal regions around the world have become increasingly crowded, intensively developed, and severely exploited. Hundreds of millions of people living in these low-lying areas are subject to short-term coastal hazards such as cyclones, hurricanes, and destruction due to El Niño, and are also exposed to the long-term threat of global sea-level rise. Coasts in Crisis is a comprehensive assessment of the impacts that the human population is having on the coastal zone globally and the diverse ways in which coastal hazards impact human settlement and development.
Grand Canyon for Sale: Public Lands versus Private Interests in the Era of Climate Change
Grand Canyon For Sale is a carefully researched investigation of the precarious future of America’s public lands: our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, monuments, and wildernesses. Taking the Grand Canyon as his key example, and using on-the-ground reporting as well as scientific research, Stephen Nash shows how accelerating climate change will dislocate wildlife populations and vegetation across hundreds of thousands of square miles of the national landscape.
The Myth of Silent Spring: Rethinking the Origins of American Environmentalism
Since its publication in 1962, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring has often been celebrated as the catalyst that sparked an American environmental movement. Yet environmental consciousness and environmental protest in some regions of the United States date back to the nineteenth century, with the advent of industrial manufacturing and the consequent growth of cities. As these changes transformed people’s lives, ordinary Americans came to recognize the connections between economic exploitation, social inequality, and environmental problems. As the modern age dawned, they turned to labor unions, sportsmen’s clubs, racial and ethnic organizations, and community groups to respond to such threats accordingly. The Myth of Silent Spring tells this story.
Cane Toad Wars
Cane Toad Wars chronicles the work of intrepid scientist Rick Shine, who has been documenting the cane toad’s ecological impact in Australia and seeking to buffer it. Despite predictions of devastation in the wake of advancing toad hordes, the author’s research reveals a more complex and nuanced story. A firsthand account of a perplexing ecological problem and an important exploration of how we measure evolutionary change and ecological resilience, this book makes an effective case for the value of long-term natural history research in informing conservation practice.
The Mountains That Remade America: How Sierra Nevada Geology Impacts Modern Life
Craig H. Jones
From ski towns to national parks, fresh fruit to environmental lawsuits, the Sierra Nevada has changed the way Americans live. Whether and where there was gold to be mined redefined land, mineral, and water laws. Where rain falls (and where it doesn’t) determines whose fruit grows on trees and whose appears on slot machines. All this emerges from the geology of the range and how it changed history, and in so doing, changed the country.