The world has known about global warming since the late 1970s, yet little has been done to halt it. The threat, if we fail, is nothing less than catastrophe - the flooding of coastal communities, the extinction of species and entry into a climate regime of which humans have no experience. Exploring the relationship between what we know and what we refuse to know, Elizabeth Kolbert takes us on an urgent journey from the Arctic to Central America, interviewing researchers, environmentalists and traditional Inuits whose lives have already been dramatically altered by climate change.
Max Watman’s compulsively readable memoir of his dogged quest to craft meals from scratch. After an epiphany caused by a harrowing bite into a pink-slime burger, Max Watman resolves to hunt, fish, bake, butcher, preserve, and pickle. He buys a thousand-pound-steer—whom he names Bubbles—raises chickens, gardens, and works to transform his small-town home into a gastronomic paradise. In this compulsively readable memoir, Watman records his experiments and adventures as he tries to live closer to the land and the source of his food. A lively raconteur, Watman draws upon his youth in rural Virginia with foodie parents—locavores before that word existed—his time cooking in restaurants, and his love of the kitchen. Amid trial and experiment, there is bound to be heartbreak. Despite a class in cheese making from a local expert, his carefully crafted Camembert resembles a chalky hockey puck. Much worse, his beloved hens—"the girls," as he calls them—are methodically attacked by a varmint, and he falls into desperate measures to defend them. Finally, he loses track of where exactly Bubbles the steer is. Watman perseveres, and his story culminates in moments of redemption: a spectacular prairie sunset in North Dakota; watching 10,000 pheasants fly overhead; eating fritters of foraged periwinkles and seawater risotto; beachside with his son; a tub of homemade kimchi that snaps and crunches with fresh, lively flavor well after the last harvest. With infectious enthusiasm, Watman brings the reader to the furthest corners of culinary exploration. He learns that the value of living from scratch is in the trying. With a blend of down-home spirit and writing panache, he serves up a delectable taste of farm life—minus the farm.
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species – including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino – some already gone, others at the point of vanishing. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy and Elizabeth Kolbert's book urgently compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
"There are no unsacred places," the poet Wendell Berry has written. "There are only sacred places and desecrated places." What might it mean to behold the world with such depth and feeling that it is no longer possible to imagine it as something separate from ourselves, or to live without regard for its well-being? To understand the work of seeing things as an utterly involving moral and spiritual act? Such questions have long occupied the center of contemplative spiritual traditions. In The Blue Sapphire of the Mind, Douglas E. Christie proposes a distinctively contemplative approach to ecological thought and practice that can help restore our sense of the earth as a sacred place. Drawing on the insights of the early Christian monastics as well as the ecological writings of Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, and many others, Christie argues that, at the most basic level, it is the quality of our attention to the natural world that must change if we are to learn how to live in a sustainable relationship with other living organisms and with one another. He notes that in this uniquely challenging historical moment, there is a deep and pervasive hunger for a less fragmented and more integrated way of apprehending and inhabiting the living world--and for a way of responding to the ecological crisis that expresses our deepest moral and spiritual values. Christie explores how the wisdom of ancient and modern contemplative traditions can inspire both an honest reckoning with the destructive patterns of thought and behavior that have contributed so much to our current crisis, and a greater sense of care and responsibility for all living beings. These traditions can help us cultivate the simple, spacious awareness of the enduring beauty and wholeness of the natural world that will be necessary if we are to live with greater purpose and meaning, and with less harm, to our planet.
Based on years of ground-breaking research, this book supplies a look at the unique relationship between each text and the individual reader that results in a satisfying, pleasurable, and even life-changing reading experience. • Supplies succinct, authoritative, and readable accounts on a wide range of genre literature and explains why these types of books appeal to readers • Promotes the librarian's role with readers and helps librarians design readers' advisory services to better serve readers • Offers valuable insights into readers and reading based on reading research • Includes an extensive bibliography and list of relevant titles for further reading • Provides a fascinating read for librarians, educators, and avid readers
A Calendar of Earth-Focused Festivals That Align the Planet with the Galaxy
Author: Richard Leviton
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
The spiritual world blesses the Earth at least 58 times a year-here's how you can join the party. Do you think folklore customs about solstices and equinoxes and other regular celebration days are quaint holdovers from the past? Not so. Do you sometimes wish there were a way to include the entire planet in a meditation practice? There is, and it's called the geomantic year. At least 58 times a year the spiritual world-angels, archangels, Ascended Masters, Star-Angels, even the Supreme Being-tunes in to the Earth, blesses, and even heals it in real-time day-long events. Our planet is constantly receiving input from the cosmos and heavenly realms. It's all part of a rhythmic maintenance calendar in which the Earth is enlivened, and all of humanity is invited to participate. This book shows you how. What kinds of events? On Epiphany, January 6, the Christ focuses on the planet to birth his Light. On Bifrost Paints the Planet, April 10, the Great Bear constellation envelopes the Earth in 14 rays of light. On Michaelmas, September 29, the Archangel Michael cleanses the Earth's sacred sites and all their "plumbing." Other events in the geomantic year involve stars, Nature Spirits, holy mountains, River-gods, Pleiadians, Hollow Earth dwellers, Grail Kings, volcano spirits, the Great Mother, and much more. The Geomantic Year documents 58 festival dates that focus on the Earth through its sacred sites, and it provides 58 simple meditations to help you participate. And it offers 12 informative essays linking Earth energies with hot topics such as the Illuminati and world control, parallel universes, the world's gold supply, the Ghost Dance, the Fall of Man, Earth and climate changes, and the apocalyptic year 2012. Why not get out your appointment book and pencil in a few dates: the Earth's expecting you!
The most colossal environmental disturbance in human history is under way. Ever-rising levels of the potent greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) are altering the cycles of matter and life and interfering with the Earth's natural cooling process. Melting Arctic ice and mountain glaciers are just the first relatively mild symptoms of what will result from this disruption of the planetary energy balance. In CO2 Rising, scientist Tyler Volk explains the process at the heart of global warming and climate change: the global carbon cycle. Vividly and concisely, Volk describes what happens when CO2 is released by the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), letting loose carbon atoms once trapped deep underground into the interwoven web of air, water, and soil. To demonstrate how the carbon cycle works, Volk traces the paths that carbon atoms take during their global circuits. Showing us the carbon cycle from a carbon atom's viewpoint, he follows one carbon atom into a leaf of barley and then into an alcohol molecule in a glass of beer, through the human bloodstream, and then back into the air. He also compares the fluxes of carbon brought into the biosphere naturally against those created by the combustion of fossil fuels and explains why the latter are responsible for rising temperatures. Knowledge about the global carbon cycle and the huge disturbances that human activity produces in it will equip us to consider the hard questions that Volk raises in the second half of CO2 Rising: projections of future levels of CO2; which energy systems and processes (solar, wind, nuclear, carbon sequestration?) will power civilization in the future; the relationships among the wealth of nations, energy use, and CO2 emissions; and global equity in per capita emissions. Answering these questions will indeed be our greatest environmental challenge.
Over this last decade, the concept of Social Metabolism has gained prestige as a theoretical instrument for the required analysis, to such an extent that there are now dozens of researchers, hundreds of articles and several books that have adopted and use this concept. However, there is a great deal of variety in terms of definitions and interpretations, as well as different methodologies around this concept, which prevents the consolidation of a unified field of new knowledge. The fundamental aim of the book is to conduct a review of the past and present usage of the concept of social metabolism, its origins and history, as well as the main currents or schools that exist around this concept. At the same time, the reviews and discussions included are used by the authors as starting points to draw conclusions and propose a theory of socio-ecological transformations. The theoretical and methodological innovations of this book include a distinction of two types of metabolic processes: tangible and intangible; the analysis of the social metabolism at different scales (in space and time) and a theory of socio-ecological change overcoming the merely “systemic” or “cybernetic” nature of conventional approaches, giving special protagonism to collective action.
Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World
Author: Leslie Garrett
Publisher: New World Library
Sure, there are people who chain themselves to old-growth trees, raise their one child diaper-free, and make their own soap. The Virtuous Consumer is for the rest of us, struggling to make choices that are better for the planet — and for us. Leslie Garrett has created a comprehensive reference guide that — like a smart, funny, and eco-conscious friend — will steer you toward ethical purchases for everything from lipstick to cars, kids' toys to a new mattress. The Virtuous Consumer is your key to shopping consciously and creating a simpler, greener lifestyle.