The climate change debate is often so focused on fossil fuels and mining that it ignores impacts in economic, political, neo-colonial and social terms, writes BookShelf’s Melody Kemp in her review of “Carbon Colonialism: How Rich Countries Export Climate Breakdown.” Why concepts like corporate social responsibility do little to stem the losses that come with such development.
Toilet-to-tap water jokes aside, the technology and economics of turning sewage into potable drinking water is increasingly seen as a remedy for water-stressed communities. The new BookShelf review of “Purified: How Recycled Sewage is Transforming Our Water,” explains how water shortages, climate change, unsustainable growth and other factors have led some communities, most recently Los Angeles, to consider going “all in” on purified wastewater.
To make climate change less abstract and more direct, writer Madeline Ostrander traveled the country to speak to those living with its impacts in the places they call home. In a BookShelf “Between the Lines” Q&A, Ostrander discusses her resulting book, “At Home on an Unruly Planet: Finding Refuge on a Changed Earth,” and addresses the lenses she used, the characters she portrayed and the surprises she encountered.
Leading water expert Peter Gleick’s new book on water’s past, present and future is an ambitious volume that offers a panoramic look at this essential resource — and hope for living in harmony with it in the future. BookShelf Editor Tom Henry calls “The Three Ages of Water” a rare book of breadth and depth, part history and part sustainable remedy. Read his review.
With a dozen books under his belt, environmental writer and Great Lakes policy expert Dave Dempsey is ready to put away his pen. But not before sharing important lessons from his career, how he found hope amid the destruction and how he sees journalism succeeding. BookShelf contributor Gary Wilson talks with the author for our occasional “Between the Lines” interview series.
A new book takes readers around the planet to better understand the world’s eight bear species and our relationships with them, including not just how we’ve popularized some but also the many ways we’ve mistreated or pushed others to the brink of extinction. In the new BookShelf, Frances Backhouse reviews Gloria Dickie’s just-published volume, “Eight Bears.” Plus, Freelance Files interviews Dickie.
When most people think of coastal tourist destinations, they imagine beaches lined by palm trees and exclusive resorts. But those are exactly the kind of realities that contribute to the environmental and economic decline of coastal communities and their local residents, argues a new book. Contributing Editor Jenny Weeks has our review in the new BookShelf.
The world has heard all about how algae has spread harmfully in large waterways. Now a new book, “The Devil’s Element,” zeroes in on phosphorus, which not only helped feed humanity but also fueled algae’s dangerous blooms. Plus, why soap bubbles turned out to be bad for the environment. A review of the new volume, from BookShelf Editor Tom Henry.
For BookShelf Editor Tom Henry, historian Douglas Brinkley's latest volume is a remarkable opportunity for anyone seeking an in-depth understanding of the “Great Environmental Awakening” and the myriad personalities that helped drive it. And not just the names you’d expect, but unlikely ones such as convicted Watergate figure John Ehrlichman, MLK Jr. widow Coretta Scott King and UAW President Walter Reuther. Discover what other lessons abound in this “utterly brilliant” new book.
When humans began to put down roots, we also started to forge what Giulio Boccaletti calls a “social contract” with water. In his new book, “Water: A Biography,” the London-based scientist explores that relationship through a long historical lens. BookShelf contributor Gary Wilson reviews the volume and finds that political ambitions and economic development are central to the story.