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Books

Environmental Chemistry


The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth

The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth Lowest new price: $6.99
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Author: Edward O. Wilson
Brand: Brand: W. W. Norton Company

The book that launched a movement: “Wilson speaks with a humane eloquence which calls to us all” (Oliver Sacks).

Called “one of the greatest men alive” by The Times of London, E. O. Wilson proposes an historic partnership between scientists and religious leaders to preserve Earth’s rapidly vanishing biodiversity.

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  • Used Book in Good Condition

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Infinite Nature

Infinite Nature Lowest new price: $13.00
Lowest used price: $10.58
List price: $17.50
Author: R. Bruce Hull

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who categorically opposes protecting the environment, yet most people would agree that the environmentalist movement has been ineffectual and even misguided. Some argue that its agenda is misplaced, oppressive, and misanthropic—a precursor to intrusive government, regulatory bungles, and economic stagnation. Others point out that its alarmist rhetoric and preservationist solutions are outdated and insufficient to the task of galvanizing support for true reform. 

In this impassioned and judicious work, R. Bruce Hull argues that environmentalism will never achieve its goals unless it sheds its fundamentalist logic. The movement is too bound up in polarizing ideologies that pit humans against nature, conservation against development, and government regulation against economic growth. Only when we acknowledge the infinite perspectives on how people should relate to nature will we forge solutions that are respectful to both humanity and the environment.

Infinite Nature explores some of these myriad perspectives, from the scientific understandings proffered by anthropology, evolution, and ecology, to the promise of environmental responsibility offered by technology and economics, to the designs of nature envisioned in philosophy, law, and religion. Along the way, Hull maintains that the idea of nature is social: in order to reach the common ground where sustainable and thriving communities are possible, we must accept that many natures can and do exist.

Incisive, heartfelt, and brimming with practical solutions, Infinite Nature brings a much-needed and refreshing voice to the table of environmental reform.

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This Green and Growing Land: Environmental Activism in American History (American Ways)

This Green and Growing Land: Environmental Activism in American History (American Ways) Lowest new price: $31.94
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Author: Kevin C. Armitage

From Benjamin Franklin’s campaign to combat pollution at the Philadelphia’s docks in the 1750s to the movement against climate change today, American environmentalists have sought to protect the natural world and promote a healthy human society. In This Green and Growing Land, historian Kevin Armitage shows how the story of American environmentalism—part philosophy, part social movement--is in no small way a story of America itself, of the way citizens have self-organized, have thought of their communities and their government, and have used their power to protect and enrich the land. Armitage skillfully analyzes the economic and social forces begetting environmental change and emphasizes the responses of a variety of ordinary Americans—as well as a few well-known leaders—to these complex issues. This concise and engaging survey of more than 250 years of activism tells the story of a magnificent American achievement—and the ongoing problems that environmentalism faces.

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Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living

Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living Lowest new price: $0.49
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Author: The Union of Concerned Scientists

How can each of us live Cooler Smarter? While the routine decisions that shape our days—what to have for dinner, where to shop, how to get to work—may seem small, collectively they have a big effect on global warming. But which changes in our lifestyles might make the biggest difference to the climate? This science-based guide shows you the most effective ways to cut your own global warming emissions by twenty percent or more, and explains why your individual contribution is so vital to addressing this global problem.
 
Cooler Smarter is based on an in-depth, two-year study by the experts at The Union of Concerned Scientists. While other green guides suggest an array of tips, Cooler Smarter offers proven strategies to cut carbon, with chapters on transportation, home energy use, diet, personal consumption, as well as how best to influence your workplace, your community, and elected officials. The book explains how to make the biggest impact and when not to sweat the small stuff. It also turns many eco-myths on their head, like the importance of locally produced food or the superiority of all hybrid cars.
 
The advice in Cooler Smarter can help save you money and live healthier. But its central purpose is to empower you, through low carbon-living, to confront one of society’s greatest threats.

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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: $24.21
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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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The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse

The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse Lowest new price: $2.86
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Author: David Owen

Look out for David Owen's next book, Where the Water Goes.

The Conundrum
is a mind-changing manifesto about the environment, efficiency and the real path to sustainability.

Hybrid cars, fast trains, compact florescent light bulbs, solar panels, carbon offsets: Everything you've been told about living green is wrong. The quest for a breakthrough battery or a 100 mpg car are dangerous fantasies. We are consumers, and we like to consume green and efficiently. But David Owen argues that our best intentions are still at cross purposes to our true goal - living sustainably and caring for our environment and the future of the planet. Efficiency, once considered the holy grail of our environmental problems, turns out to be part of the problem. Efforts to improve efficiency and increase sustainable development only exacerbate the problems they are meant to solve, more than negating the environmental gains. We have little trouble turning increases in efficiency into increases in consumption.

David Owen's The Conundrum is an elegant nonfiction narrative filled with fascinating information and anecdotes takes you through the history of energy and the quest for efficiency. This is a book about the environment that will change how you look at the world. We should not be waiting for some geniuses to invent our way out of the energy and economic crisis we're in. We already have the technology and knowledge we need to live sustainably. But will we do it?

That is the conundrum.

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Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future

Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future Lowest new price: $14.00
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Author: Jeff Goodell

Long dismissed as a relic of a bygone era, coal is back -- with a vengence. Coal is one of the nation's biggest and most influential industries -- Big Coal provides more than half the electricity consumed by Americans today -- and its dominance is growing, driven by rising oil prices and calls for energy independence. Is coal the solution to America's energy problems?

On close examination, the glowing promise of coal quickly turns to ash. Coal mining remains a deadly and environmentally destructive industry. Nearly forty percent of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year comes from coal-fired power plants. In the last two decades, air pollution from coal plants has killed more than half a million Americans. In this eye-opening call to action, Goodell explains the costs and consequences of America's addiction to coal and discusses how we can kick the habit.

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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: $8.99
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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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Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Hidden Wars of the American West

Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Hidden Wars of the American West Lowest new price: $19.31
Lowest used price: $4.66
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Author: Rebecca Solnit
Brand: University of California Press

"A beautiful, absorbing, tragic book."―Larry McMurtry

In 1851, a war began in what would become Yosemite National Park, a war against the indigenous inhabitants. A century later–in 1951–and a hundred and fifty miles away, another war began when the U.S. government started setting off nuclear bombs at the Nevada Test Site. It was called a nuclear testing program, but functioned as a war against the land and people of the Great Basin.

In this foundational book of landscape theory and environmental thinking, Rebecca Solnit explores our national Eden and Armageddon and offers a pathbreaking history of the west, focusing on the relationship between culture and its implementation as politics. In a new preface, she considers the continuities and changes of these invisible wars in the context of our current climate change crisis, and reveals how the long arm of these histories continue to inspire her writing and hope.

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  • University of California Press

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Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist: How a CEO Doubled Earnings, Inspired Employees and Created Innovation from One Simple Idea

Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist: How a CEO Doubled Earnings, Inspired Employees and Created Innovation from One Simple Idea Lowest new price: $9.98
Lowest used price: $4.00
List price: $22.99
Author: Ray C. Anderson
Brand: Griffin

In 1994, Ray Anderson was 60 years old and at the top of his game as founder and CEO of Atlanta-based Interface, Inc., a modular carpet company that makes those clever carpet tiles that you may have underfoot in your office or coveted via the company's residential brand, FLOR.

That was 17 years ago - before 'green' was the compelling business imperative that it is today (for reference, oil was then $18/bbl), and frankly, the environment was nowhere on Ray's radar.  An Interface associate asked Ray to give a speech to a task force that was forming to answer customer concerns about environmental impacts, and though he had not a clue what he would say, he accepted.  As the date for the speech grew closer, he began to sweat -- and then Paul Hawken's book, The Ecology of Commerce, landed on his desk.  The rest is green business history -- Ray read the book (he's called it a 'spear in the chest' epiphany), his outlook was radically transformed, and he gave a speech that would put the petroleum-dependent carpet company on a path to zero environmental footprint.  

What's happened in the intervening years has made Interface the poster child for green business, and Ray's become a bit of an eco rock star. He ditched his gas-guzzling Jaguar in favor of a Prius, built an off-the-grid home, and today, at 76, his life is radically different than what he would have imagined for himself at age 60.  This is his story.

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  • Griffin

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