The Mekong River is a lifeline for millions and a biodiversity hotspot. But massive hydropower projects have put the Southeast Asian body of water, as well as the lives of the people and natural world around it, in serious jeopardy. In the latest BookShelf, writer Melody Kemp, who lives alongside the legendary river, reviews two volumes that help explain what’s killing the Mekong.
Sometimes in the face of bad news, it can help to laugh a little. That’s what award-winning environmental writer Craig Pittman may help readers do with his new dispatch from the Sunshine State. Our latest BookShelf reviews Pittman’s upcoming witty, truth-telling volume,“Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle To Save the Florida Panther.”
Water rights activist Maude Barlow eschews sanitized language to take on what she calls the “lords of water,” fighting global and local battles to turn communities “blue.” Barlow’s new book, “Whose Water Is It Anyway?: Taking Water Protection Into Public Hands” is the subject of our latest BookShelf review.
A new book, “Giants of the Monsoon Forest,” offers an intimate look at the lives of working elephants in conflict-ridden Myanmar, where one of the planet’s most majestic animals faces increasing pressures. BookShelf reviewer Melody Kemp, based in Laos, describes her own experience with elephants, their surprising history with man and hopeful possibilities for their future.
The Detroit River, a key Great Lakes shipping channel, was once the repository of millions of gallons of industrial discharge. But as a new book attests, Detroit’s industrial waterfront has in the last 50 years undergone a remarkable recovery that offers hope for the cleanup of other polluted Rust Belt towns. Read our BookShelf review.
The new book, “Superpower: One Man’s Quest to Transform American Energy,” takes what our reviewer calls an illuminating look into the politics and economics of energy development. The volume examines the decade-long effort to build long-distance transmission lines for wind-generated electricity. More in our latest BookShelf review.
Marine ecologist Drew Harvell’s new book makes the case that the world’s oceans are sick and that few are paying enough attention. According to our latest BookShelf review, her “Ocean Outbreak” takes readers on a panoramic journey through the deep, while equipping reporters to better report problems that go well beyond climate change.
Does the military use ecological restoration as a means to “green” over the complex relationship between nature and culture, undermining the impacts of history and warfare? Our latest BookShelf review of the new volume, “Bombs Away: Militarization, Conservation, and Ecological Restoration,” explores one author’s argument that it does.
A former head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has written a powder keg of a book, “Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator.” Author Gregory Jaczko left the post in 2012, far more critical of nuclear power’s safety claims than he came in, his concerns amplified by the Fukushima meltdown in Japan in 2011. Now, he worries that its lessons have not sunk in deeply enough with an industry that he believes is headed toward catastrophe. Read our latest BookShelf review.
The economics of fracking may be as big a worry as its environmental impacts, finds a new book on the energy extraction industry. Our latest BookShelf reviews the volume from a seasoned business reporter, who questions conventional views about a renewed U.S. energy “dominance,” probes the financial instability of the industry’s boom and raises the politically destabilizing spectre of a future decline for the fossil fuel market.