Environmental Books by SEJ Members

Are you an SEJ member who's authored, co-authored or edited a non-fiction or fiction environmental book (published in 2020 or 2021) you'd like included on this page? Documentaries are also welcome. Please send the following to web content manager Cindy MacDonald:

  1. a one-paragraph description (no more than 200 words, please)
  2. name of publisher and year of publication
  3. ISBN number
  4. .gif or .jpg image of the book cover (optional)
  5. Internet link to more information (optional) 

Members' books published in: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and earlier.

Advertise your 2020 or 2021 environmental book in the SEJournal Online e-newsletter for only $50. Order form (you'll need your member log-in info). SEJ members only.


 

Non-Fiction

 

"At the Precipice: New Mexico's Changing Climate"

By Laura Paskus

Cover of At the Precipice

New Mexico is warming at roughly twice the global average and the impacts of climate change are already clear across the state — from high-elevation conifer forests that can no longer survive warmer, drier conditions to the channel of the Rio Grande, which dries for long stretches each year. As warming continues, New Mexico will keep facing longer fire seasons, more severe fires, water insecurity and public health impacts related to everything from extreme heat to more frequent dust storms. But the state’s diverse population, and the love New Mexicans have for their landscapes, offer hope for the future. In this book, journalist Laura Paskus transforms nearly two decades of coverage of climate change, water, fire, energy and politics in New Mexico into a journey through the state’s challenges and opportunities. And the book isn’t just meant for New Mexicans: “As Laura Paskus makes clear, the stakes of climate change in the American Southwest couldn’t be higher,” wrote Elizabeth Kolbert, author of “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.” “Deeply reported and vividly written, At the Precipice is an important contribution to the literature of our reckless age.” University of New Mexico Press, 2020. ISBN: 978-0-8263-5911-7. More information.

 

 

"Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther"

By Craig Pittman

Cover of At the Precipice

With novelistic detail and an eye for the absurd, Craig Pittman recounts the extraordinary story of the people who brought the endangered Florida panther back from the brink of extinction, the ones who nearly pushed the species over the edge and the cats that were caught in the middle. This being Florida, there's more than a little weirdness, too. Hanover Square Press, 2020. Paperback available: May 4, 2021. ISBN-10: 133593880X. ISBN-13: 978-1335938800. More information.

 

 

"Critical Perspectives on Journalistic Beliefs and Actions: Global Experiences"

Edited By Eric Freedman, Robyn S. Goodman and Elanie Steyn

Cover of At the Precipice

This book provides case studies, many incorporating in-depth interviews and surveys of journalists. It examines issues such as journalists’ attitudes toward their contributions to society; the impact of industry and technological changes; culture and minority issues in the newsroom and profession; the impact of censorship and self-censorship; and coping with psychological pressures and physical safety dilemmas. Its chapters also highlight journalists’ challenges in national and multinational contexts. International scholars, conducting research within a wide range of authoritarian, semi-democratic and democratic systems, contributed to this examination of journalistic practices in the Arab World, Australia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Samoa, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States. Routledge, 2020. ISBN: 9780367590857. More information.

 

 

"Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need"

By Michael P. Hoffmann, Carrie Koplinka-Loehr and Danielle L. Eiseman

Cover of "Outpedaling 'the Big C'"

If you think climate change is a recipe for disaster, you’ll want to read "Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need." SEJ member Carrie Koplinka-Loehr teamed up with Michael Hoffmann and Danielle Eiseman to explain the complex ties between your next meal and a warming planet. They lead you on a journey through a complete menu: before-dinner drinks and salads; main courses and sides; then coffee and dessert. Along the way, you’ll learn what’s happening to the flavors of spices and teas, the yields of wheat, the vitamins in rice and the price of vanilla. Through easy-to-understand prose and beautiful illustrations, "Our Changing Menu" explains the global food system, the causes and impacts of climate change and what you can do to help. The book is a celebration of food and a call to action — encouraging readers to join with others to help tackle the greatest challenge of our time. Learn how climate change affects specific ingredients at the book’s companion website. Cornell University Press, 2021. ISBN: 978-1-5017-5462-3 (paperback); 978-1-5017-5464-7 (pdf); 978-1-5017-5463-0 (epub). More information.

Register for a free webinar with the authors and illustrator on April 15, 2021, 4:00 p.m. ET.

 

 

"Outpedaling 'the Big C': My Healing Cycle Across America"

By Elizabeth McGowan

Cover of "Outpedaling 'the Big C'"

"Proceed as the way opens" is how William Least Heat-Moon put it in his book, "River Horse." The line becomes a sort of mantra for Pulitzer Prize-winner Elizabeth McGowan, a melanoma survivor. Having been given a five-year clean bill of health, McGowan decides to bicycle all 4,000 or so miles from America’s west to east coast. For her, there are multiple reasons for the exhausting trip. She wants to help other melanoma victims, and sets out to use her many miles to raise funds for cancer research in southeastern Wisconsin, where she was treated. She also wants to better understand her late father, who died of melanoma at the age of 44, when Elizabeth was just 15. Her long, nearly 90-day cycling trip across the U.S. continent not only showcases people affected by cancer and more than willing to help promote cancer research, but it personally brings McGowan closer to her father. At the end of her bicycle ride, McGowan’s mother shows her, for the first time, letters about her father received after his untimely death. They open her eyes to the fact that she, too, can move through life with gusto whenever she makes sure that "the way opens." "Outpedaling the Big C" is an anything-but-typical, exhilarating journey story revealing how immersion in the natural world is a balm for the wounded. Bancroft Press, 2020. ISBN: 978-1-61088-514-0 (hardcover); 978-1-61088-516-4 (e-book). More information.

 

 

"Planet Palm: How Palm Oil Ended Up in Everything—and Endangered the World"

By Jocelyn C. Zuckerman

It’s in our instant noodles and our chocolate bars, our lipsticks and our fuel tanks. But what even is palm oil, and how has this little-known commodity come to dominate our lives so completely? To find the answers to these questions, Zuckerman travels across four continents and back in time two centuries. The obscure oil palm fruit, she discovers, has played an outsize role in history, from spurring the colonization of Nigeria and greasing the gears of the Second Industrial Revolution to transforming the economies of Malaysia and Indonesia. But it hasn’t all been pretty. The palm oil revolution has been built on stolen land and slave labor; it’s swept away lives and cultures and so ravaged the landscapes of Southeast Asia that such iconic animals as the orangutan now teeter on the brink of extinction. Fires lit to clear the way for plantations spew carbon emissions to rival those of entire industrialized nations. Combining history, travelogue and investigative reporting, "Planet Palm" offers an unsettling, urgent look at the global palm oil industry and at our own unwitting role in fueling what has today become an environmental and public-health catastrophe. The New Press, May 2021. ISBN: 978-1-62097-523-7. More information.

 

 

"Poisoning the Pacific: The US Military's Secret Dumping of Plutonium, Chemical Weapons, and Agent Orange"

By Jon Mitchell

Cover of Poisoning the Pacific

Based upon 12,000+ pages of CIA and Department of Defense reports obtained via the US Freedom of Information Act, "Poisoning the Pacific" reveals how military operations have contaminated the region with toxic substances including radioactive fallout, chemical weapons and dioxin. Hundreds of thousands of indigenous Chamorro, Marshallese and Okinawans, as well as US service members and their families, have been exposed – but the authorities have hidden the damage and refused to aid victims. Primary documents have been donated to the libraries of George Washington University, University of Hawai’i and Okinawa International University to help survivors. Rowman & Littlefield, 2020. ISBN: 978-1-5381-3033-9 (Hardcover); 978-1-5381-3034-6 (E-book). More information.

 

 

"Routledge Handbook of Environmental Journalism"

By David B. Sachsman and JoAnn Myer Valenti

Cover of Poisoning the Pacific

The "Routledge Handbook of Environmental Journalism" provides a thorough understanding of environmental journalism around the world. An increasing number of media platforms – from newspapers and television to Internet social media networks – are the major providers of indispensable information about the natural world and environmental risk. Despite the dramatic changes in the news industry that have tended to reduce the number of full-time newspaper reporters, environmental journalists remain key to bringing stories to light across the globe. With contributions from around the world broken down into five key regions – the United States of America, Europe and Russia, Asia and Australia, Africa and the Middle East, and South America – this book provides support for today’s environment reporters, the providers of essential news in the 21st century. Routledge, 2020. ISBN: 9781138478503. More information.

 

 

"The School Poisoning Tragedy in Caledonia, Ohio"

By Dr. James Van Keuren

Cover of "The School Poisoning Tragedy in Caledonia, Ohio'"

The story begins with the release of Van Keuren's recent book "World War II POW Camps in Ohio," where in a chapter called "Contamination on the Home Front," he identified former military sites used during World War II. The River Valley Local Schools built its schools and athletic fields on the contaminated grounds of the former Marion Engineer Depot. Researching this triggered Van Keuren's curiosity about the prevalence of the contamination of the school sites of River Valley, which translated into the finding of his upcoming book. He leaves it up to the reader to make a judgement about the facts and outcomes of the environmental site inspections done by governmental agencies. History Press, Feb. 22, 2021. ISBN: 978-1467146326. More information.

 

 

"Snow: A History of the World's Most Fascinating Flake"

By Anthony R. Wood

Cover of "Snow"

Snow has affected the outcome of wars. It has been vital to the world economy. It has helped spur development in the United States. It might be a last line of defense against global warming. But what is most compelling about snow is the complex and enchanting phenomenon itself. For verification of snow’s pervasive hold, watch how the weather chat boards explode with traffic when there’s a winter-storm rumor. "Snow: A History of the World’s Most Fascinating Flake" examines the nation’s bifurcated relationship with snow and its mystical hold on the imagination. It is a relationship with roots in the 17th Century, when colonial settlers were astonished by the literally fantastic snows of the New World in what was to them a colder climate. That interest flourished with the industrial revolution and the mega-snows of the last three decades in a warmer world. Through profiles and anecdotes, Anthony R. Wood takes readers on a 250-page tour of the remarkable and varied universe of snow, tracing the history of snow science and profiling the fascinating characters and researchers who have pursued the crystal enigmas. They will also learn about the making and removing of snow, the psychology of winter and the history of snow in literature, art and popular culture. Roman and Littlefield/Prometheus, December 2020. ISBN: 978-1-63388-594-3. More information. Article by the author.

 

 

"The State You're In: Florida Men, Florida Women, and Other Wildlife"

By Craig Pittman

Cover of "Snow"

With a folksy style, an eye for the absurd and a passion for the history and environment of his home state, Pittman describes some of Florida’s oddest wildlife as well as its quirkiest people. "The State You’re In" includes a love story involving the most tattooed woman in the world, a deep dive into the state’s professional mermaid industry and an investigation of a battle between residents of a nudist resort and the U.S. Postal Service. Pittman introduces readers to a who’s who of Florida crime fiction, a what’s what of exotic animals and an array of beloved places he’s seen change rapidly in his lifetime. Many of these stories are funny, some are serious and several offer rare insights into the heart of the Sunshine State. For Pittman, Florida is both inspiring and dangerous ― an "evolutionary test" for those who live in it. Together these pieces paint a complex picture of a fascinating state longing for an identity beyond palm trees and punchlines. University Press of Florida, Sept. 21, 2021. ISBN-10: 0813066956. ISBN-13: 978-0813066950. More information.

 

 

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