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Environmental Chemistry


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: $12.49
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Author: Darrin Lunde
Brand: Lunde Darrin

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.

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  • The Naturalist Theodore Roosevelt a Lifetime of Exploration and the Triumph of American Natural History

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Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World, 2nd Edition

Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World, 2nd Edition Lowest new price: $6.44
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Author: Alan Weisman
Brand: Weisman, Alan

Los Llanos—the rain-leached, eastern savannas of war-ravaged Colombia—are among the most brutal environments on Earth and an unlikely setting for one of the most hopeful environmental stories ever told. Here, in the late 1960s, a young Colombian development worker named Paolo Lugari wondered if the nearly uninhabited, infertile llanos could be made livable for his country’s growing population. He had no idea that nearly four decades later, his experiment would be one of the world’s most celebrated examples of sustainable living: a permanent village called Gaviotas.

In the absence of infrastructure, the first Gaviotans invented wind turbines to convert mild breezes into energy, hand pumps capable of tapping deep sources of water, and solar collectors efficient enough to heat and even sterilize drinking water under perennially cloudy llano skies. Over time, the Gaviotans’ experimentation has even restored an ecosystem: in the shelter of two million Caribbean pines planted as a source of renewable commercial resin, a primordial rain forest that once covered the llanos is unexpectedly reestablishing itself.

Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez has called Paolo Lugari “Inventor of the World.” Lugari himself has said that Gaviotas is not a utopia: “Utopia literally means ‘no place.’ We call Gaviotas a topia, because it’s real.”

Relive their story with this special 10th-anniversary edition of Gaviotas, complete with a new afterword by the author describing how Gaviotas has survived and progressed over the past decade.

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  • Ships from Vermont

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Caring for Creation: The Evangelical's Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment

Caring for Creation: The Evangelical's Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment Lowest new price: $3.98
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Author: Paul Douglas
Brand: Baker Pub Group/Baker Books

Faith-Based Solutions to Caring for the Earth

Climate change is a confusing and polarizing issue. It may also prove to be the most daunting challenge of this century because children, the elderly, and the poor will be the first to feel its effects. The issue is all over the news, but what is seldom heard is a conservative, evangelical perspective.

Connecting the dots between science and faith, this book explores the climate debate and how Christians can take the lead in caring for God's creation. The authors answer top questions such as "What's really happening?" and "Who can we trust?" and discuss stewarding the earth in light of evangelical values. "Acting on climate change is not about political agendas," they say. "It's about our kids. It's about being a disciple of Jesus Christ." Capping off this empowering book are practical, simple ideas for improving our environment and helping our families and those around us.

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  • Caring for Creation The Evangelical s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment

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Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA

Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA Lowest new price: $5.62
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Author: E.G. Vallianatos

When you order a meal in a restaurant, you won't find malathion, kelthane or arsenic listed on the menu as an ingredient of your entrée, but these and scores of other pesticides and dangerous chemicals are in the food we eat. They are dumped into the environment where they seep into our water supply and float in the air we breathe. The use of these poisons is approved-or in some cases, simply ignored--by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Poison Spring documents, in devastating detail, the EPA's corruption and misuse of science and public trust. In its half-century of existence, the agency has repeatedly reinforced the chemical-industrial complex by endorsing deadly chemicals, botching field investigations, turning a blind eye to toxic disasters, and swallowing the self-serving claims of industry. E. G. Vallianatos, who saw the EPA from the inside for more than two decades with rising dismay, reveals in Poison Spring how the agency has allowed our lands and waters to be poisoned with more toxic chemicals than ever. No one who cares for the natural world, or for the health of future generations, can ignore this powerful exposé.

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Icefall: Adventures at the Wild Edges of Our Dangerous, Changing Planet

Icefall: Adventures at the Wild Edges of Our Dangerous, Changing Planet Lowest new price: $7.64
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Author: John All
Brand: PUBLICAFFAIRS

John All has survived encounters with black mamba snakes, run-ins with wild jungle animals, and a brush with death in an icy tomb. No one knows the outer limits of our changing planet quite like him.

In May 2014, the mountaineer and scientist John All plunged into a crevasse in the Himalayas, a fall that all but killed him. He recorded a series of dramatic videos as he struggled to climb seven stories back up to the surface with a severely dislocated shoulder, internal bleeding, a battered face covered in blood, and fifteen broken bones--including six cracked vertebrae. The videos became a viral sensation, an urgent and gripping dispatch from one of the least-known extremes of the planet.

Yet this climb for his life is only the latest of John All's adventures in some of Earth's most hostile climates. He has also been chased by a wild hyena, scaled Everest, and narrowly missed being hit by an avalanche, all in pursuit of his true calling: the study of how we can master the challenge of our world's changing climate. Icefall is a thrilling adventure story and a report from the extremes of the planet, taking you to collapsing Andean glaciers, hidden jungles in Honduras, and the highest points on Earth. In this gripping account, our changing climate is not a matter of politics; it's a matter of life and death and the human will to survive and thrive in the face of it.

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  • PUBLICAFFAIRS

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The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age Lowest new price: $13.17
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Author: David S. Abraham
Brand: David S Abraham

A natural resource strategist investigates the growing global demand for rare metals and what it means to the environment and our future

Our future hinges on a set of elements that few of us have even heard of. In this surprising and revealing book, David S. Abraham unveils what rare metals are and why our electronic gadgets, the most powerful armies, and indeed the fate of our planet depend on them. These metals have become the building blocks of modern society; their properties are now essential for nearly all our electronic, military, and “green” technologies. But their growing use is not without environmental, economic, and geopolitical consequences.

Abraham traces these elements’ hidden paths from mines to our living rooms, from the remote hills of China to the frozen Gulf of Finland, providing vivid accounts of those who produce, trade, and rely on rare metals. He argues that these materials are increasingly playing a significant role in global affairs, conferring strength to countries and companies that can ensure sustainable supplies.

Just as oil, iron, and bronze revolutionized previous eras, so too will these metals. The challenges this book reveals, and the plans it proposes, make it essential reading for our rare metal age.

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  • The Elements of Power Gadgets Guns and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age

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How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps the World

How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps the World Lowest new price: $8.97
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Author: Colin Beavan
Brand: Ingramcontent

“This is the book where self-help turns into helping the world—and then turns back into helping yourself find a better life. Fascinating and timely!”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

What does it take to achieve a successful and satisfying life? Not long ago, the answer seemed as simple as following a straightforward path: college, career, house, marriage, kids, and a secure retirement. Not anymore. Staggering student loan debt, sweeping job shortages, a chronically ailing economy—plus the larger issues of global unrest, poverty, and our imperiled environment—make the search for fulfillment more challenging. And, as Colin Beavan, activist and author of No Impact Man, proclaims, more exciting.

In this breakthrough book, Beavan extends a hand to those seeking more meaning and joy in life even as they engage in addressing our various world crises. How to Be Alive nudges the unfulfilled toward creating their own version of the Good Life—a life where feeling good and doing good intersect. He urges readers to reexamine the “standard life approaches” to pretty much everything and to experiment with life choices that are truer to their values, passions, and concerns.

How do you stop placing limits on your potential impact? How do you make your choices really matter in everything from your clothing purchases to your career? How do you find the people who will most support you in your quest for a good life? To answer these questions and more, Beavan draws on classic literature and philosophy; surprising new scientific findings; and the uplifting personal stories of real-life “lifequesters”—people who are breaking away from those old broken paths, blazing fresh trails, and reveling in every step along the way.

“There is a movement afoot for a better life and Colin Beavan is its prophet, with a new book as powerful as his already classic No Impact Man.”—John de Graaf, coauthor of Affluenza

Features:

  • How to Be Alive A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps the World

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Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World

Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World Lowest new price: $28.62
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Author: Nancy Langston

A compelling exploration of Lake Superior’s conservation recovery and what it can teach us in the face of climate change

Lake Superior, the largest lake in the world, has had a remarkable history, including resource extraction and industrial exploitation that caused nearly irreversible degradation. But in the past fifty years it has experienced a remarkable recovery and rebirth. In this important book, leading environmental historian Nancy Langston offers a rich portrait of the lake’s environmental and social history, asking what lessons we should take from the conservation recovery as this extraordinary lake faces new environmental threats.
 
In her insightful exploration, Langston reveals hope in ecosystem resilience and the power of community advocacy, noting ways Lake Superior has rebounded from the effects of deforestation and toxic waste wrought by mining and paper manufacturing. Yet, despite the lake’s resilience, threats persist. Langston cautions readers regarding new mining interests and persistent toxic pollutants that are mobilizing with climate change.

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Sustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide

Sustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide Lowest new price: $22.73
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Urban gardeners. Native seed-saving collectives. Ecovillage developments. What is the connection between these seemingly disparate groups? The ecological design system of permaculture is the common thread that weaves them into a powerful, potentially revolutionary—or reevolutionary—movement.

Permaculture is a philosophy based on common ethics of sustainable cultures throughout history that have designed settlements according to nature's patterns and lived within its bounds. As a movement that has been building momentum for the past 40 years, it now is taking form as a growing network of sites developed with the intention of regenerating local ecologies and economies. Permaculture strategies can be used by individuals, groups, or nations to address basic human needs such as food, water, energy, and housing. As a species, humans are being called forth to evolve, using our collective intelligence to meet the challenges of the future. Yet if we are to survive our collective planetary crisis, we need to revisit history, integrating successful systems from sustainable cultures. To boldly confront our position on the brink of the earth's carrying capacity and make changes that incorporate the wisdom of the past is truly revolutionary.

Sustainable Revolution features the work of a worldwide network of visionaries, including journalists, activists, indigenous leaders and permaculturists such as David Holmgren, Vandana Shiva, Charles Eisenstein, Starhawk, Erik Assadourian, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Albert Bates, and Geoff Lawton. This beautifully photographed collection of profiles, interviews, and essays features 60 innovative community-based projects in diverse climates across the planet. Edited by anthropologist Juliana Birnbaum Fox and award-winning activist filmmaker Louis Fox, it can be read as an informal ethnography of an international culture that is modeling solutions on the cutting edge of social and environmental change. The research presented in the book frames the permaculture movement as a  significant ally to marginalized groups, such as the urban poor and native communities resisting the pressures of globalization. Sustainable Revolution uplifts and inspires with its amazing array of dynamic activists and thriving, vibrant communities.

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The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy

The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy Lowest new price: $9.59
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Author: Michael McCarthy
Brand: New York Review of Books

The moth snowstorm, a phenomenon Michael McCarthy remembers from his boyhood when moths “would pack a car’s headlight beams like snowflakes in a blizzard,” is a distant memory. Wildlife is being lost, not only in the wholesale extinctions of species but also in the dwindling of those species that still exist.

The Moth Snowstorm is unlike any other book about climate change today; combining the personal with the polemical, it is a manifesto rooted in experience, a poignant memoir of the author’s first love: nature. McCarthy traces his adoration of the natural world to when he was seven, when the discovery of butterflies and birds brought sudden joy to a boy whose mother had just been hospitalized and whose family life was deteriorating. He goes on to record in painful detail the rapid dissolution of nature’s abundance in the intervening decades, and he proposes a radical solution to our current problem: that we each recognize in ourselves the capacity to love the natural world.

Arguing that neither sustainable development nor ecosystem services have provided adequate defense against pollution, habitat destruction, species degradation, and climate change, McCarthy asks us to consider nature as an intrinsic good and an emotional and spiritual resource, capable of inspiring joy, wonder, and even love. An award-winning environmental journalist, McCarthy presents a clear, well-documented picture of what he calls “the great thinning” around the world, while interweaving the story of his own early discovery of the wilderness and a childhood saved by nature. Drawing on the truths of poets, the studies of scientists, and the author’s long experience in the field, The Moth Snowstorm is part elegy, part ode, and part argument, resulting in a passionate call to action.

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  • New York Review of Books

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