Environmental Books by SEJ Members (2012)

Are you an SEJ member who's authored, co-authored or edited a non-fiction or fiction environmental book (published in 2012) 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
  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) 

Find links to members' books published in other years here.





Dirty, Sacred Rivers: Confronting South Asia's Water Crisis

By Cheryl Colopy

Cover of Dirty, Sacred Rivers

Dirty, Sacred Rivers explores South Asia's increasingly urgent water crisis, taking readers on a journey through North India, Nepal and Bangladesh, from the Himalaya to the Bay of Bengal. The book shows how rivers, traditionally revered by the people of the Indian subcontinent, have in recent decades deteriorated dramatically due to an exploding population, economic progress and gross mismanagement. Dams and ill-advised embankments strangle the Ganges and its sacred tributaries; rivers have become sewage channels. The first person narrative lingers in key places which have become hot spots in the debate over water. These include the megacity Delhi, a paradigm of water mismanagement; Bihar, India's poorest, most crime-ridden state, thanks largely to the blunders of engineers who tried to tame powerful Himalayan rivers with embankments but instead created annual floods and waterlogging; and Kathmandu, the home of one of the most elegant and ancient traditional water systems on the subcontinent, now the site of a water-development boondoggle. Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN13: 9780199845019. ISBN10: 0199845018. More information.



From Me to We: The Five Transformational Commitments Required to Rescue the Planet, Your Organization and Your Life

By Bob Doppelt

Cover of From Me to We

Numerous frameworks exist to guide the changes in practices, technologies, and policies required to address climate disruption, the loss of biodiversity, toxicity, and their social and economic effects. All effective solutions depend on accurate assumptions, perceptions, and belief. Yet few frameworks exist to guide the changes in thinking and behaviors needed to respond effectively to the challenges we face today. Through an integration of psychology, ecology, and climate science, From Me to We describes the transformations in beliefs, assumptions, and perceptions required by each of us personally, each organization, and society as a whole to resolve the climate emergency and many other of today's crises. Those changes add up to a fundamental shift from a focus on meeting our wants and desires by focusing only on 'Me' — ourselves and immediate family — to meeting our needs by focusing on a much broader 'We' — the people and natural systems that make all life — including ours — possible and worthwhile. Greenleaf Publishing (UK), 2012. ISBN-13:978-1-906093-71-6. More information. Contact the author.



Gardens Aflame: Garry Oak Meadows of BC's South Coast

By Maleea Acker

Cover of Gardens Aflame

In Gardens Aflame, Victoria writer and environmentalist Maleea Acker tells us about the unique and vanishing ecosystem of Garry oak meadows, and the people who have made it their life's work to save oaks and the environment — including the human environment — they depend on. Acker tells us about the Garry oak species and its unique habits and requirements, including its unusual summer dormancy period, when all the surrounding plants are coursing with life. We learn about the scientists, arborists, and Garry oak-loving volunteers who have dedicated themselves to this tree; and about Theophrastus, Humboldt, and their other forebears who are still reshaping our notions of nature and humans' place in it. In the course of Acker's story, we see her fall under the spell of the strange beauty woven by these magnificent trees, and the ecosystems they tower over — until, in the final act, she decides to turn her own backyard into her own version of a Garry oak savannah, defying City Hall and the neighbours, and bringing to a head in 2011 all the issues raised 150 years ago when Europeans first saw the open meadows of Southern Vancouver Island. New Star Books (Vancouver), 2012. ISBN: 9781554200658. More information.



Global Thirst: Water and Society in the 21st Century

By John R. Wennersten

Cover of Global Thirst

This new book is part of Wennersten's ongoing study of estuaries, rivers and water policy. In an age of misinformation and public apprehension about climate change, droughts, floods, and polluted drinking water, Global Thirst offers a critical perspective on water, its uses, and access, as a major global issue in the 21st Century; it also includes commentary on what kinds of sustainable water options we should be pursuing. Wennersten's analysis of water ranges from Nigeria to India and China to Australia and the United States — it goes a long way towards correcting the popular notion that "there will always be water." This is an ideal book for citizens concerned about the fate of the planet and professionals working in government, the environment, international affairs, and public policy. Dr. Wennersten, author of books on environmental history and public affairs, is emeritus professor of environmental history at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. Schiffer Publications, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7643-3973-8. More information.



High Steaks: Why and How to Eat Less Meat

By Eleanor Boyle

Cover of High Steaks

Meat is a hot topic today, as consumers increasingly realize that the ways we produce livestock, and the amounts of animal-source foods we eat, are undermining the environment and public health. Compelling and authoritative, High Steaks shows the many reasons we need to cut back on chicken, pork, beef, and other animal products, as a powerful way of addressing problems from climate change to water pollution to chronic human disease. But there's no need for anyone to become vegetarian who doesn't want to, argues the book. From meat-eaters to vegans, everyone can work together for food systems that are sustainable, compassionate and healthy. As individuals we can scale back to modest intake of animal products. As consumers we can find better sources of meat and pay more for it. As citizens we can urge policy-makers to require that livestock be raised using methods that are clean and kind. Bottom-up through careful consumption, and top-down through visionary policy, we can bring our eating habits and food systems into line with our deepest values and hopes for personal well-being, community, and ecology. New Society Publishers, 2012. ISBN 978-0-86571-713-8. More information.



On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

By William Souder

Cover of Oil Injustice

On a Farther Shore, a new biography of Rachel Carson, marks the 50-year anniversary of Carson’s Silent Spring — and by extension, a half-century of the environmental movement. Carson loved the ocean and wrote three books about its mysteries, including the international bestseller The Sea Around Us. But it was with Silent Spring, and its indictment of the indiscriminate use of pesticides such as DDT, that this unassuming biologist transformed our relationship with the natural world. Seeing an inescapable parallel between dangerous chemicals and the then-pervasive radioactive fallout from nuclear-testing, Carson opened a fault line between the gentle ideal of conservation and the more urgent new concept of environmentalism. Rich in historical context, the book also sensitively considers Carson’s romantic friendship with Dorothy Freeman, and her death from cancer in 1964. This is the timely story of one of the great reformers of the twentieth century. Crown, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-307-46220-6. eISBN: 978-0-307-46222-0. More information. Facebook.