Environmental Books by SEJ Members (2011)
Are you an SEJ member who's authored, co-authored or edited a non-fiction or fiction environmental book (published in 2011) you'd like included on this page? Movies are also welcome. Please send the following to web content manager Cindy MacDonald:
- a one-paragraph description
- name of publisher and year of publication
- ISBN number
- .gif or .jpg cover image (optional)
- Internet link to more information (optional)
The Beekeeper's Lament
By Hannah Nordhaus
The honey bee is a willing conscript, a working wonder, an unseen and crucial link in America's agricultural industry. But never before has its survival been so unclear — and the future of our food supply so acutely challenged. Enter beekeeper John Miller, who trucks his hives around the country, bringing millions of bees to farmers otherwise bereft of natural pollinators. Even as the mysterious and deadly epidemic known as Colony Collapse Disorder devastates bee populations across the globe, Miller forges ahead with the determination and wry humor of a true homespun hero. The Beekeeper's Lament tells his story and that of his bees, making for a complex, moving, and unforgettable portrait of man in the new natural world. Harper Perennial, 2011. ISBN 978-0-06187-325-6. More information.
Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis
By Cynthia Barnett
In her second water book, Barnett reports on the many ways one of the most water-rich nations on the planet has squandered its way to scarcity, and argues the best solution is also the simplest and least expensive: a water ethic for America. From backyard grottoes in California to sinkholes swallowing chunks of Florida, Blue Revolution exposes how the nation’s green craze largely missed water — the No. 1 environmental concern of most Americans. But the book is big on inspiration, too. Blue Revolution combines investigative reporting with solutions from around the nation and the globe. Reporting from San Antonio to Singapore, Barnett shows how local communities and entire nations have come together in a shared ethic to dramatically reduce consumption and live within their water means. The first book to call for a national water ethic, Blue Revolution is also a powerful meditation on water and community in America. Beacon Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-080700317-6. More information.
Chemicals, Environment, Health: A Global Management Perspective
Edited by Philip Wexler
Chemicals, Environment, Health: A Global Management Perspective presents an overview of the noteworthy conferences, organizations, and international treaties that focus on chemicals management and policy. It takes into account special challenges faced by developing countries regarding chemicals safety. From the Stockholm Conference to follow-ups in Rio and Johannesburg, it provides concise coverage of a vast swath of information. It highlights pivotal agreements such as the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, the more expansive Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, as well as key regional agreements such as the European Union’s REACH legislation. The book includes invited essays in areas such as emergencies and financing instruments, and offers a clear look at future challenges and opportunities. Written by a team of authors from all continents, with backgrounds in international organizations, national governments, academia, industry, and NGOs, the book reflects a wide experience from a multitude of perspectives. CRC Press, 2011. ISBN: 9781420084696. More information.
Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North
By Nancy Lord
In Early Warming, Nancy Lord takes a cutting-edge look at how communities in the North — where global warming is amplified and climate-change effects are most immediate — are responding with desperation and creativity. This beautifully written and measured narrative takes us deep into regions where the indigenous people who face life-threatening change also demonstrate impressive conservation ethics and adaptive capacities. Underpinned by a long acquaintance with the North and backed with scientific and political sophistication, Lord’s vivid account brings the challenges ahead for us all into icewater clarity. Counterpoint Press, 2011. ISBN 978-1-58243-449-0. More information.
The Failure of Environmental Education: (And How We Can Fix It)
By Charles Saylan and Daniel T. Blumstein
At a time when wild places everywhere are vanishing before our eyes, Charles Saylan and Daniel T. Blumstein offer this passionate indictment of environmental education — along with a new vision for the future. Writing for general readers and educators alike, Saylan and Blumstein boldly argue that education today has failed to reach its potential in fighting climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation. In this forward-looking book, they assess the current political climate, including the No Child Left Behind Act, a disaster for environmental education, and discuss how education can stimulate action — including decreasing consumption and demand, developing sustainable food and energy sources, and addressing poverty. Their multidisciplinary perspective encompasses such approaches as school gardens, using school buildings as teaching tools, and the greening of schoolyards. Arguing for a paradigm shift in the way we view education as a whole, The Failure of Environmental Education demonstrates how our education system can create new levels of awareness and work toward a sustainable future. University of California Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780520265394 (paperback, 247 pages). ISBN: 9780520265387 (hardcover, 247 pages). UCP catalog page. More information.
Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America
By Shawn Lawrence Otto
"Whenever the people are well informed," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "they can be trusted with their own government." Jefferson thought it required "no very high degree" of education, but that was two centuries ago. Today, science influences every aspect of life, and world governments' ineffective policies around science and the environment are leading to compounding problems. There is a growing "science gap" between the power of science and the knowledge level of people in world democracies. And with less than 2 percent of Congress with any professional background in science, how can our government be trusted to lead us in the right direction? Can democracy — and global ecosystems — survive? Are the people still well-enough informed to be trusted with their own government? Shawn Lawrence Otto is the driving force behind the US Presidential Science Debates, which became the largest political initiative in the history of science — the idea that the candidates for president and other high offices should debate the world's top science and environmental issues. It is an idea that has since been adopted in several other nations around the globe. Fool Me Twice is the inspiring, frightening, and ultimately hopeful account of America's relationship with science — a relationship that is on the rocks at the very time we need it most. Rodale Books, 2011. Hardcover ISBN 978-1605292175 (US & Canada). Ebook ASIN B005OS15ZC (US & Canada). Ebook ISBN 978-0-9851622-0-7 (International edition). More information.
The Gospel of Sustainability: Media, Market and LOHAS
By Monica Emerich
In 2000, the world got whiff of a new, or at least an additional, moniker for the natural and organic products industry. Rocketing sales in that sector were pointing to the fact that consumers no longer wanted a single healthy, natural or organic product — they wanted a cohesive lifestyle of health and sustainability, and hence the LOHAS marketplace, short for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, was born. From Oprah Winfrey productions to Martha Stewart Omnimedia, a new discourse was being generated around sustainable living practices as "conscious," "spiritual," and "socially responsible" — as an entire, holistic way of living, from one’s pantry to one’s politics. In The Gospel of Sustainability, Emerich analyzes this cultural expression of sustainability, from its historical rise to the implications for authentic social change. Can the commodification of sustainability really generate the sort of social and environmental transformation LOHAS advocates claim it can or are we creating new means by which some people, places, and institutions further experience discrimination, as well as additional barriers to accessing healthy and sustainable practices and products? The University of Illinois Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-252-03642-2. More information.
Japan's Tipping Point: Crucial Choices in the Post-Fukushima World
By Mark Pendergrast
Japan's Tipping Point is a small book on a huge topic. In the post-Fukushima era, Japan is the "canary in the coal mine" for the rest of the world. Can Japan radically shift its energy policy, become greener, more self-sufficient, and avoid catastrophic impacts on the climate? Mark Pendergrast arrived in Japan exactly two months after the Fukushima meltdown. This book is his eye-opening account of his trip and his alarming conclusions. Nature's Face Publications, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-9829004-3-7. $10.00 (paperback). More information.
Kivalina: A Climate Change Story
By Christine Shearer
What happens when a small Alaska Native village files a legal claim against some of the world's largest fossil fuel companies for damaging their homeland and creating a false debate around climate change? In Kivalina: A Climate Change Story, academic and journalist Christine Shearer explores the history leading up to the lawsuit, from the growth of fossil-fueled industrialization, to the relationship between corporations, government, and science, to the use of lawsuits to hold companies accountable for misinformation. The book then shifts focus to the people of Kivalina, and the difficulties they face in being radically affected by climate change within a political atmosphere where some still question its existence and resist any response, putting the people of Kivalina in danger. Kivalina's struggle for safe relocation, the book argues, is part of our common struggle to acknowledge and address climate change before it is too late. Haymarket Books, 2011. ISBN number: 9781608461288. More information.
Listed: Dispatches from America's Endangered Species Act
By Joe Roman
The first listed species to make headlines after the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 was the snail darter, a three-inch fish that stood in the way of a massive dam on the Little Tennessee River. When the Supreme Court sided with the darter, Congress changed the rules. The dam was built, the river stopped flowing, and the snail darter went extinct on the Little Tennessee, though it survived in other waterways. A young Al Gore voted for the dam; freshman congressman Newt Gingrich voted for the fish. A lot has changed since the 1970s, and Joe Roman helps us understand why we should all be happy that this sweeping law is alive and well today. More than a general history of endangered species protection, Listed is a tale of threatened species in the wild — from the whooping crane and North Atlantic right whale to the purple bankclimber, a freshwater mussel tangled up in a water war with Atlanta — and the people working to save them. Employing methods from the new field of ecological economics, Roman challenges the widely held belief that protecting biodiversity is too costly. And with engaging directness, he explains how preserving biodiversity can help economies and communities thrive. Above all, he shows why the extinction of species matters to us personally — to our health and safety, our prosperity, and our joy in nature. Harvard University Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-674-04751-8. More information.
Merchants of Virtue: Herman Miller and the Making of a Sustainable Company
By Bill Birchard
Starting in 1990, an environmental sea change began in Corporate America. The leaders and work forces of large companies started to seek ways to run more responsibly. Herman Miller, Inc., in Zeeland, Michigan, was one of those companies. Over 20 years, the $2 billion maker of office furniture has shown what seemed impossible: Companies do not have to be the root of all environmental problems. They can be the wellspring of solutions. In this narrative, SEJ member Bill Birchard reveals the inside story of the people at Herman Miller who changed their products, processes, and themselves to make the world a greener place. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-230-10660-4. More information.
Oil Injustice: Resisting and Conceding a Pipeline in Ecuador
By Patricia Widener
In Oil Injustice, Patricia Widener examines the mobilization efforts of grassroots groups, nongovernmental organizations, activist mayors and transnational advocates in contesting, redefining and conceding Ecuador’s oil path during the construction of a cross-country oil pipeline. Widener shows how, in this oil conflict, global environmental justice demands were bound within a capitalist political system that forced activists, NGOs and international allies to seek local change rather than to attempt to defeat a disabling and unequal system. The pipeline was built; oil expansion in the Ecuadorian Amazon increased; and communities have continued to face local risks and environmental injustices. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2011. ISBN 978-1-4422-0861-2. More information.
Once and Future Giants: What Ice Age Extinctions Tell Us About the Fate of Earth's Largest Animals
By Sharon Levy
Mammoths, camels and saber-toothed cats once walked the ground that has become Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, and foraged on the marsh land now buried beneath Chicago’s streets. Ten-foot-tall kangaroos ripped branches off Australian trees, and woolly rhinoceros roamed through Europe. Then these enormous creatures disappeared — but why? In Once and Future Giants, Sharon Levy explores the competing theories behind these mass Pleistocene extinctions, while capturing the fervor and enthusiasm of the scientists who dedicate their lives to solving the mystery. From the arrival of Homo sapiens hunters to the changing climate and vegetation, she tours the factors that may have contributed to the giants' demise. Levy goes on to immerse us in the worlds of modern megafauna, showing the surprising ways they alter their environment — and how the changing world, in turn, affects them. Today great beasts like elephants, lions and grizzly bears are threatened worldwide. New research on the demise of ancient megafauna offers vital insights for modern conservation. Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-19-537012-6. For more information, see www.sharonlevy.net or Once and Future Giants/OUP.
Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World
By Emma Marris
A paradigm shift is roiling the environmental world. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state. But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature. Humans have changed the landscapes they inhabit since prehistory, and climate change means even the remotest places now bear the fingerprints of humanity. Emma Marris argues convincingly that it is time to look forward and create the "rambunctious garden," a hybrid of wild nature and human management. Bloomsbury USA, 2011. ISBN-10: 1608190323. ISBN-13: 978-1608190324. More information.
Remediation of Former Manufactured Gas Plants & Other Coal-Tar Sites
By Allen Hatheway
Over the long history of former manufactured gas plants (FMGPs) and other coal-tar-producing sites, there was an enormous variety of fuel stocks used as well as many processing and disposal methods, each leading to unique waste and site circumstances. This book supplies the historical information needed to understand and accurately predict the transport and fate of contaminants at these sites. Understanding the processes and history of a particular site is absolutely critical to performing site and waste characterization and ultimately to successful remediation. The second part of the text covers characterization, selection of remedy, remedial design and construction, and regulatory and legal process. CRC Press, 2011. Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL. 1,096 p., hardbound; ISBN: 978-0-8247-9106-3. More information.
Reporting on Climate Change: Understanding the Science (4th edition)
Edited by L. Jeremy Richardson and Bud Ward
The Environmental Law Institute's fourth edition of its landmark book, Reporting on Climate Change: Understanding the Science, is edited by L. Jeremy Richardson and SEJ co-founder/member Bud Ward. This bestselling guide helps reporters and editors understand and report on the scientific issues related to global climate change. Initially conceived to be exclusively for the members of the media, it has evolved over time as a resource also for formal and informal climate science educators and for other communicators needing a "plain English" grasp of climate science. Replete with four-color charts, graphs, and graphics that explain the complex scientific issues, this new edition provides readers with timely updates to recent events in the ongoing climate debate, including the UK e-mail hacking scandal, as well as new developments in the science itself. For reporters who are generalists rather than specialists in science or environmental writing, this guide provides an in-depth look at what we do know and still don’t know about climate change, all in non-technical terms. ELI Press, 2011. 96 pages. 8 x 10” ISBN 978-1-58576-156-2. Softcover. More information.
Burn Down the Sky
By Mark Nykanen (pen name James Jaros)
Burn Down the Sky is a post-apocalyptic novel set in the latter part of this century after climate change has triggered a worldwide collapse of natural systems. A virus has driven billions to madness and suicide, replacing order and reason with violence and terror. When well-armed marauders roll in at dusk to brutally attack a fiercely defended compound of survivors, Jessie is unable to halt the slaughter — and she can do nothing to prevent the ruthless abduction of innocents, including her youngest child. Now, along with her outraged teenage daughter, Bliss, Jessie must set out on a journey across a blasted landscape — joining up with the desperate, the broken, the half-mad, on an impossible mission: to storm the fortress of a dark and twisted religion and bring the children home. Harper Voyager, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-06-201630-0. More information.
By Abby Luby
Nuclear Romance is a new ebook novel about journalists covering nuclear power and the politics of the utility industry. This debut novel, by New York journalist Abby Luby, was written after the devastating accident at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plants in March 2011. The protagonist in Nuclear Romance is a sports journalist who, because of newspaper cutbacks and internet news competition, is forced to cover the local power plant. His rival and nemesis is a young woman rookie reporter who resorts to blackmail to pump up her byline. The story entwines an unlikely and clandestine love affair that questions journalism ethics against the backdrop of a growing movement of anti-nuclear sentiment, which suddenly escalates after highly radioactive steam escapes from the plant, forcing a mass evacuation. Armory New Media, 2011. ISBN: 978-1-935073-16-1. More information.