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Are you an SEJ member who's authored, co-authored or edited a non-fiction or fiction environmental book (published in 2019 or 2020) you'd like included on this page? Documentaries 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 image of the book cover (optional)
- Internet link to more information (optional)
"At the Precipice: New Mexico's Changing Climate"
By Laura Paskus
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.
"Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution"
By Beth Gardiner
Air pollution prematurely kills seven million people every year, including more than one hundred thousand Americans. It is strongly linked to strokes, heart attacks, many kinds of cancer, dementia, and premature birth, among other ailments. In "Choked," Beth Gardiner travels the world to tell the story of this modern-day plague, taking readers from the halls of power in Washington and the diesel-fogged London streets she walks with her daughter to Poland’s coal heartland and India’s gasping capital. In a gripping narrative that’s alive with powerful voices and personalities, she exposes the political decisions and economic forces that have kept so many of us breathing dirty air. This is a moving, up-close look at the human toll, where we meet the scientists who have transformed our understanding of pollution’s effects on the body and the ordinary people fighting for a cleaner future. University of Chicago Press, 2019. ISBN: 9780226495859. More information.
"Outpedaling 'the Big C': My Healing Cycle Across America"
By Elizabeth McGowan
"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.
"Wild Capital: Nature's Economic and Ecological Wealth"
By Barbara K. Jones
In "Wild Capital," Barbara Jones demonstrates that looking at nature through the lens of the marketplace is a surprisingly effective approach to protecting the environment. Showing that policy-makers and developers rarely associate wild places with monetary values, Jones argues that nature can and should be viewed as a capital asset like any other in order for environmental preservation to be a competitive alternative to development. Jones describes how the ecosystem services model, a tool that connects human well-being with the services nature provides, can play a critical role in assigning species and their habitats measurable values. She uses five highly recognizable animal species — moose, manatees, sharks, wolves and bald eagles — as examples to show how highly valued charismatic fauna can serve as symbolic representations of entire ecosystems at risk. Through an emphasis on branding, incentives and ecotourism, Jones advocates for channeling the social and economic power of these and other faces of nature to inspire greater environmental awareness and stewardship. Contending that many people don’t realize how fiscally pragmatic environmental initiatives can be, Jones is optimistic that by recognizing the costs of habitat destruction and diminished biodiversity, we will make better choices regarding conservation and development. In doing so, we can more readily move toward co-existence with nature and a sustainable future. University of Florida Press, 2019. ISBN: 978-1-68340-104-9. More information.