Rachel Carson – Silent Spring First published 1962, the outcry that followed forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting air, land, and water. Carson’s eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. A landmark book.
Jared Diamond – Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed The author investigates the fate of past human societies, and the lessons for our own future. What happened to the people who built the ruined temples of Angkor Wat, the long-abandoned statues of Easter Island, the crumbling Maya pyramids of the Yucatan?
Thomas Friedman – Hot, flat, and crowded: why the world needs a green revolution – and how we can renew our global future – Friedman proposes that an ambitious national strategy, which he calls ‘Code-Green’, is not only what we need to save the planet from overheating – it is what we need to make us all healthier, richer, more innovative, more productive, and more secure
Al Gore ed by Jane O’Connor – An inconvenient truth: the crisis of global warming – What do you think about global warming? Do you care enough about the Earth’s future to get involved? What can we do to deal with this crisis? These and many other important questions are answered in this book
Bjørn Lomborg – Cool it: the skeptical environmentalist’s guide to global warming – Named one of the 100 most influential people by ‘Time’ magazine in 2004, the author argues that many of the schemes being considered to stop global warming will be ineffective, and calls for a focus of resources on more immediate concerns, such as malaria, HIV, and maintaining a fresh water supply
James Lovelock – The vanishing face of Gaia: a final warning – The environmental problems facing us now are even worse than James Lovelock predicted in his previous work. He argues that the Gaia theory can still help us understand the crisis fully. The root problem is that the Earth cannot continue to sustain the number of people and animals currently living on it
Fred Pearce – Peoplequake: mass migration, ageing nations and the coming population crash – the truth about population levels, and where they will take us in the future
Michael Pollan – The omnivore’s dilemma: the search for a perfect meal in a fast-food world – Providing an exploration of the American food industry, this book brings a fresh perspective to the question ‘what shall we have for dinner?’. It follows each food chain, tracing the provenance of everything consumed, and is useful for those who think about where their food comes from
Henry Thoreau – Walden; and, Civil disobedience – Expressing his disdain for the increasingly commercial America of the 19th century, ‘Walden’ is Thoreau’s classic account of his life of solitude in the woods near Walden Pond. In ‘Civil Disobedience’, he expresses his antislavery and antiwar sentiments, which have influenced many nonviolent resistance movements
Jonathan Watts – When a billion Chinese jump: voices from the frontline of climate change – With foul air, filthy water, rising temperatures and encroaching deserts, China is already suffering an environmental disaster. Now it faces a stark choice: either accept catastrophe, or make radical changes. ‘When a Billion Chinese Jump’ tells the story of China’s – and the world’s – biggest crisis
Alan Weisman – The world without us -Take us off the Earth and what traces of us would linger? Weisman writes about which objects from today would vanish without us; how our pipes, wires, and cables would be pulverized into a line of red rock, and why some museums and churches might be the last human creations left standing
Just ordered – A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River by Aldo Leopold