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Environmental Chemistry


Saving Central Park: A History and a Memoir

Saving Central Park: A History and a Memoir Lowest new price: $16.25
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Author: Elizabeth Barlow Rogers

The story of how one woman's long love affair with New York's Central Park led her to organize its rescue from a state of serious decline, returning it to the beautiful place of recreational opportunity and spiritual sustenance that it is today.

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers opens with a quick survey of her early life--a middle-class upbringing in Texas; college at Wellesley, marriage, a master's degree in city planning at Yale. And then her move to New York, where she starts a family and, when she finds being a mother and a housewife is not enough, pours herself into the protection and enhancement of the city's green spaces. Interwoven into her own story is a comprehensive history of Central Park: its design and construction as a scenic masterpiece; the alterations of each succeeding era; the addition of numerous facilities for sports and play; and finally, the "anything goes" phase of the 1960s and 70s, which was often fun but nearly destroyed the park. The two narratives continue to entwine as she finds a job in the administration of Central Park, founds the Central Park Conservancy, and transforms both the park and herself--a transformation that has led to the writing of her many books, to travels that have taken her to parks and gardens around the world, and to solidifying the prestige of one of New York's most conspicuous landmarks.

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Rachel Carson: Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment (LOA #307) (Library of America)

Rachel Carson: Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment (LOA #307) (Library of America) Lowest new price: $22.24
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Author: Rachel Carson

The book that sparked the modern environmental movement, with an unprecedented collection of letters, speeches, and other writings that reveal the extraordinary courage and vision of its author

Library of America launches its Rachel Carson edition with this deluxe illustrated volume presenting one of the landmark books of the twentieth century together with rare letters, speeches, and other writings that reveal the personal courage and passionate commitment of its author. A huge bestseller when published in September 1962, Silent Spring led not only to many of the laws and government agencies that protect our air, land, and water, but prompted a revolution in environmental consciousness. Now for the first time, in previously unpublished and newly collected letters to biochemists, ecologists, cancer specialists, ornithologists, and other experts, Carson's groundbreaking expose of the unintended consequences of pesticide use comes together piece-by-piece, like a puzzle or detective story. She makes common cause with conservationists and other allies to build public awareness, hiding her private battle with cancer for fear it might distract from her message. And in the wake of her book's astonishing impact, as she becomes the target of an organized campaign of disinformation by the chemical industry, Carson speaks out in defense of her findings while remaining a model of grace under pressure. Throughout the collection, Carson's lifelong love of nature shines through. In writings both lyrical and intensely moving, she conveys her "sense of wonder" to her young nephew, dreams of conserving old-growth forest in Maine for posterity, and recounts her adventures and epiphanies as birdwatcher and beachcomber. A future companion volume will gather Carson's "sea trilogy": Under the Sea-Wind (1941), The Sea Around Us (1951), and The Edge of the Sea (1955).

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

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The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History

The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt, A Lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History Lowest new price: $6.00
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Author: Darrin Lunde
Brand: Crown Pub

Winner of the inaugural Theodore Roosevelt Association Book Prize

A captivating account of how Theodore Roosevelt’s lifelong passion for the natural world set the stage for America’s wildlife conservation movement and determined his legacy as a founding father of today’s museum naturalism.

 
No U.S. president is more popularly associated with nature and wildlife than is Theodore Roosevelt—prodigious hunter, tireless adventurer, and ardent conservationist. We think of him as a larger-than-life original, yet in The Naturalist, Darrin Lunde has firmly situated Roosevelt’s indomitable curiosity about the natural world in the tradition of museum naturalism. 

As a child, Roosevelt actively modeled himself on the men (including John James Audubon and Spencer F. Baird) who pioneered this key branch of biology by developing a taxonomy of the natural world—basing their work on the experiential study of nature. The impact that these scientists and their trailblazing methods had on Roosevelt shaped not only his audacious personality but his entire career, informing his work as a statesman and ultimately affecting generations of Americans’ relationship to this country’s wilderness.
 
Drawing on Roosevelt’s diaries and travel journals as well as Lunde’s own role as a leading figure in museum naturalism today, The Naturalist reads Roosevelt through the lens of his love for nature. From his teenage collections of birds and small mammals to his time at Harvard and political rise, Roosevelt’s fascination with wildlife and exploration culminated in his triumphant expedition to Africa, a trip which he himself considered to be the apex of his varied life.

With narrative verve, Lunde brings his singular experience to bear on our twenty-sixth president’s life and constructs a perceptively researched and insightful history that tracks Roosevelt’s maturation from exuberant boyhood hunter to vital champion of serious scientific inquiry.

Features:

  • Winner of the inaugural Theodore Roosevelt Association Book Prize

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The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature Lowest new price: $6.85
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Author: J. Drew Lanham

From the fertile soils of love, land, identity, family, and race emerges The Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist J. Drew Lanham.

Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina―a place “easy to pass by on the way somewhere else”―has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity.”

By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking, The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South―and in America today.

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Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World

Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World Lowest new price: $5.00
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Author: Emma Marris
Brand: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

“Remarkable . . . Emma Marris explores a paradox that is increasingly vexing the science of ecology, namely that the only way to have a pristine wilderness is to manage it intensively.” -The Wall Street Journal

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.

In this optimistic book, readers meet leading scientists and environmentalists and visit imaginary Edens, designer ecosystems, and Pleistocene parks. Marris describes innovative conservation approaches, including rewilding, assisted migration, and the embrace of so-called novel ecosystems.

Rambunctious Garden is short on gloom and long on interesting theories and fascinating narratives, all of which bring home the idea that we must give up our romantic notions of pristine wilderness and replace them with the concept of a global, half-wild rambunctious garden planet, tended by us.

Features:

  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

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Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland Lowest new price: $8.98
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Author: Miriam Horn

Now a feature-length documentary on the Discovery channel narrated by Tom Brokaw.

“Lush, gorgeously written…A profoundly hopeful book.” ―Tina Rosenberg, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

A Kirkus Best Book of 2016

Many of the men and women doing today’s most consequential environmental work―restoring America’s grasslands, wildlife, soil, rivers, wetlands, and oceans―would not call themselves environmentalists; they would be too uneasy with the connotations of that word. What drives them is their deep love of the land: the iconic terrain where explorers and cowboys, pioneers and riverboat captains forged the American identity. They feel a moral responsibility to preserve this heritage and natural wealth, to ensure that their families and communities will continue to thrive.

Unfolding as a journey down the Mississippi River, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman tells the stories of five representatives of this stewardship movement: a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper, and a Gulf fisherman. In exploring their work and family histories and the essential geographies they protect, Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman challenges pervasive and powerful myths about American and environmental values.

6 illustrations; 2 maps

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Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life

Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life Lowest new price: $5.00
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Author: George Monbiot

To be an environmentalist early in the twenty-first century is always to be defending, arguing, acknowledging the hurdles we face in our efforts to protect wild places and fight climate change. But let’s be honest: hedging has never inspired anyone.
 
So what if we stopped hedging? What if we grounded our efforts to solve environmental problems in hope instead, and let nature make our case for us? That’s what George Monbiot does in Feral, a lyrical, unabashedly romantic vision of how, by inviting nature back into our lives, we can simultaneously cure our “ecological boredom” and begin repairing centuries of environmental damage. Monbiot takes readers on an enchanting journey around the world to explore ecosystems that have been “rewilded”: freed from human intervention and allowed―in some cases for the first time in millennia―to resume their natural ecological processes. We share his awe, and wonder, as he kayaks among dolphins and seabirds off the coast of Wales and wanders the forests of Eastern Europe, where lynx and wolf packs are reclaiming their ancient hunting grounds. Through his eyes, we see environmental success―and begin to envision a future world where humans and nature are no longer separate and antagonistic, but are together part of a single, healing world.
 
Monbiot’s commitment is fierce, his passion infectious, his writing compelling. Readers willing to leave the confines of civilization and join him on his bewitching journey will emerge changed―and ready to change our world for the better.

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Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women

Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women Lowest new price: $5.00
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Author: Wilma Mankiller

A rare and often intimate glimpse at the resilience and perserverance of Native women who face each day positively and see the richnes in their lives.

Features:

  • Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women

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The Zero-Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less

The Zero-Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less Lowest new price: $5.00
Lowest used price: $7.49
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Author: Amy Korst

A practical guide to generating less waste, featuring meaningful and achievable strategies from the blogger behind The Green Garbage Project, a yearlong experiment in living garbage-free.

Trash is a big, dirty problem. The average American tosses out nearly 2,000 pounds of garbage every year that piles up in landfills and threatens our air and water quality. You do your part to reduce, reuse, and recycle, but is it enough? 

In The Zero-Waste Lifestyle, Amy Korst shows you how to lead a healthier, happier, and more sustainable life by generating less garbage. Drawing from lessons she learned during a yearlong experiment in zero-waste living, Amy outlines hundreds of easy ideas—from the simple to the radical—for consuming and throwing away less, with low-impact tips on the best ways to:
•  Buy eggs from a local farm instead of the grocery store
•  Start a worm bin for composting
•  Grow your own loofah sponges and mix up eco-friendly cleaning solutions
•  Purchase gently used items and donate them when you’re finished
•  Shop the bulk aisle and keep reusable bags in your purse or car
•  Bring your own containers for take-out or restaurant leftovers
 
By eliminating unnecessary items in every aspect of your life, these meaningful and achievable strategies will help you save time and money, support local businesses, decrease litter, reduce your toxic exposure, eat well, become more self-sufficient, and preserve the planet for future generations.

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Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Other Essays

Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Other Essays Lowest new price: $7.29
Lowest used price: $3.58
List price: $16.00
Author: Paul Kingsnorth

A provocative and urgent essay collection that asks how we can live with hope in “an age of ecocide”

Paul Kingsnorth was once an activist―an ardent environmentalist. He fought against rampant development and the depredations of a corporate world that seemed hell-bent on ignoring a looming climate crisis in its relentless pursuit of profit. But as the environmental movement began to focus on “sustainability” rather than the defense of wild places for their own sake and as global conditions worsened, he grew disenchanted with the movement that he once embraced. He gave up what he saw as the false hope that residents of the First World would ever make the kind of sacrifices that might avert the severe consequences of climate change.

Full of grief and fury as well as passionate, lyrical evocations of nature and the wild, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist gathers the wave-making essays that have charted the change in Kingsnorth’s thinking. In them he articulates a new vision that he calls “dark ecology,” which stands firmly in opposition to the belief that technology can save us, and he argues for a renewed balance between the human and nonhuman worlds.

This iconoclastic, fearless, and ultimately hopeful book, which includes the much-discussed “Uncivilization” manifesto, asks hard questions about how we’ve lived and how we should live.

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