Book mentions in this thread

  • Votes: 12

    Braiding Sweetgrass

    by Robin Wall Kimmerer

    'A hymn of love to the world ... A journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two ways of knowledge together. Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings - asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass - offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In a rich braid of reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.
  • Votes: 11

    Too Hot to Handle?

    by Rebecca Willis

  • Votes: 7

    Doughnut Economics

    by Kate Raworth

    Economics is the mother tongue of public policy. It dominates our decision-making for the future, guides multi-billion-dollar investments, and shapes our responses to climate change, inequality, and other environmental and social challenges that define our times. Pity then, or more like disaster, that its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date yet are still taught in college courses worldwide and still used to address critical issues in government and business alike. That's why it is time, says renegade economist Kate Raworth, to revise our economic thinking for the 21st century. In Doughnut Economics, she sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Along the way, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design. Named after the now-iconic "doughnut" image that Raworth first drew to depict a sweet spot of human prosperity (an image that appealed to the Occupy Movement, the United Nations, eco-activists, and business leaders alike), Doughnut Economics offers a radically new compass for guiding global development, government policy, and corporate strategy, and sets new standards for what economic success looks like. Raworth handpicks the best emergent ideas--from ecological, behavioral, feminist, and institutional economics to complexity thinking and Earth-systems science--to address this question: How can we turn economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive, into economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow? Simple, playful, and eloquent, Doughnut Economics offers game-changing analysis and inspiration for a new generation of economic thinkers.
  • Votes: 5

    Wilding

    by Isabella Tree

    'The most inspirational book I've read in years. In every chapter, new species return.’ - Caitlin Moran (on Twitter) Winner of the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize Highly Commended by the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope. Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade. Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself. Personal and inspirational, Wilding is an astonishing account of the beauty and strength of nature, when it is given as much freedom as possible.
  • Votes: 5

    Surviving the Future

    by David Fleming

    Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and seventy-two interlinked dictionary entries, inviting readers to choose their own path through its radical vision. Recognizing that Lean Logic’s sheer size and unusual structure can be daunting, Fleming’s long-time collaborator Shaun Chamberlin has selected and edited one of these potential narratives to create Surviving the Future. The content, rare insights, and uniquely enjoyably writing style remain Fleming’s, but are presented here at a more accessible paperback-length and in conventional read-it-front-to-back format. The subtitle—Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy—hints at Fleming’s vision. He believed that the market economy will not survive its inherent flaws beyond the early decades of this century, and that its failure will bring great challenges, but he did not dwell on this: “We know what we need to do. We need to build the sequel, to draw on inspiration which has lain dormant, like the seed beneath the snow.” Surviving the Future lays out a compelling and powerfully different new economics for a post-growth world. One that relies not on taut competitiveness and eternally increasing productivity—“putting the grim into reality”—but on the play, humor, conversation, and reciprocal obligations of a rich culture. Building on a remarkable breadth of intellectual and cultural heritage—from Keynes to Kumar, Homer to Huxley, Mumford to MacIntyre, Scruton to Shiva, Shakespeare to Schumacher—Fleming describes a world in which, as he says, “there will be time for music.” This is the world that many of us want to live in, yet we are told it is idealistic and unrealistic. With an evident mastery of both economic theory and historical precedent, Fleming shows that it is not only desirable, but actually the only system with a realistic claim to longevity. With friendliness, humor, and charm, Surviving the Future plucks this vision out of our daydreams and shows us how to make it real.
  • Votes: 5

    The Patterning Instinct

    by Jeremy R. Lent

    "Explores key patterns of meaning underlying various cultures, from ancient times to the present, showing how values emerge from the ways in which cultures find meaning and how those values shape the future"--
  • Votes: 5

    The Forager's Calendar

    by John Wright

    'He writes so engagingly that it's hard to imagine that actual foraging can be more attractive than reading his accounts of it. ...[This book] is a treasure. It is beautifully produced, designed and illustrated.' - John Carey, The Sunday Times Look out of your window, walk down a country path or go to the beach in Great Britain, and you are sure to see many wild species that you can take home and eat. From dandelions in spring to sloe berries in autumn, via wild garlic, samphire, chanterelles and even grasshoppers, our countryside is full of edible delights in any season. John Wright is the country's foremost expert in foraging and brings decades of experience, including as forager at the River Cottage, to this seasonal guide. Month by month, he shows us what species can be found and where, how to identify them, and how to store, use and cook them. You'll learn the stories behind the Latin names, the best way to tap a Birch tree, and how to fry an ant, make rosehip syrup and cook a hop omelette. Fully illustrated throughout, with tips on kit, conservation advice and what to avoid, this is an indispensable guide for everyone interested in wild food, whether you want to explore the great outdoors, or are happiest foraging from your armchair.
  • Votes: 5

    Diary of a Young Naturalist

    by Dara McAnulty

    WINNER OF THE 2020 WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR NATURE WRITING WINNER OF THE BOOKS ARE MY BAG READERS AWARDS FOR NON-FICTION 2020 SHORTLISTED FOR WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020 SHORTLISTED FOR THE IRISH POST AWARDS 2020 LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2020 'Really, really special' CHRIS PACKHAM 'An extraordinary voice and vision' ROBERT MACFARLANE Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of Dara McAnulty's world, from spring to summer, autumn to winter, on his home patch, at school, in the wild and in his head. Evocative, raw and beautifully written, this startling and special book vividly explores the natural world from the perspective of an autistic teenager coping with the uprooting of home, school, and his mental health, while pursuing his life as a conservationist and environmental activist. In a work of power and hope, Dara recalls his sensory encounters in the wild - with blackbirds, whooper swans, red kites, hen harriers, frogs, dandelions, Irish hares and more - while drawing a moving portrait of a young activist dealing with change, and a family making their way in the world. 'One of the most talented and passionate writers of our era' STEVE SILBERMAN
  • Votes: 5

    Don't Even Think About It

    by George Marshall

    From the founder of the Climate Outreach and Information Network, a groundbreaking take on the most urgent question of our time: Why, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, do we still ignore climate change? “Please read this book, and think about it.” --Bill Nye Most of us recognize that climate change is real, and yet we do nothing to stop it. What is this psychological mechanism that allows us to know something is true but act as if it is not? George Marshall's search for the answers brings him face to face with Nobel Prize-winning psychologists and the activists of the Texas Tea Party; the world's leading climate scientists and the people who denounce them; liberal environmentalists and conservative evangelicals. What he discovered is that our values, assumptions, and prejudices can take on lives of their own, gaining authority as they are shared, dividing people in their wake. With engaging stories and drawing on years of his own research, Marshall argues that the answers do not lie in the things that make us different and drive us apart, but rather in what we all share: how our human brains are wired-our evolutionary origins, our perceptions of threats, our cognitive blindspots, our love of storytelling, our fear of death, and our deepest instincts to defend our family and tribe. Once we understand what excites, threatens, and motivates us, we can rethink and reimagine climate change, for it is not an impossible problem. Rather, it is one we can halt if we can make it our common purpose and common ground. Silence and inaction are the most persuasive of narratives, so we need to change the story. In the end, Don't Even Think About It is both about climate change and about the qualities that make us human and how we can grow as we deal with the greatest challenge we have ever faced.
  • Votes: 4

    This Changes Everything

    by Naomi Klein

    Explains why the environmental crisis should lead to an abandonment of "free market" ideologies and current political systems, arguing that a massive reduction of greenhouse emissions may offer a best chance for correcting problems.
  • Votes: 4

    The World We Made

    by Jonathon Porritt

    Our planet's future is too often described in terms of doom and despair. However, there is another perspective that is not only positive, but credible, too. The World We Made describes a planet that is green, fair, connected, and collaborative. Based on extensive research, leading environmentalist Jonathon Porritt reveals how we can achieve a genuinely sustainable world by 2050 if we act immediately. Part history, part narrative, The World We Made describes the key events, technological breakthroughs, and lifestyle revolutions that could transform our planet, covering topics as wide-ranging as 3D printing, personal genomics, urban agriculture, and the digital landscape. The book's innovative ideas are brought to life with futuristic photographs, infographics, and hand-drawn sketches, while an extensive index provides the tools and tips needed to prepare for what's ahead. The World We Made is essential reading for anyone interested in preserving our planet. All royalties will support the work of Forum for the Future, one of the world's leading sustainable development non-profits.
  • Votes: 4

    Small Is Beautiful

    by E. F. Schumacher

    This author calls for an end to excessive consumption by individuals and corporations and, at the same time, calls for an economy based on the needs of people, not businesses.
  • Votes: 4

    Rebirding

    by Benedict Macdonald

    WINNER OF THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR WRITING ON GLOBAL CONSERVATION Winner of the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize ‘splendid’ —Guardian ‘visionary’ —New Statesman Rebirding takes the long view of Britain’s wildlife decline, from the early taming of our landscape and its long-lost elephants and rhinos, to fenland drainage, the removal of cornerstone species such as wild cattle, horses, beavers and boar – and forward in time to the intensification of our modern landscapes and the collapse of invertebrate populations. It looks at key reasons why species are vanishing, as our landscapes become ever more tamed and less diverse, with wildlife trapped in tiny pockets of habitat. It explores how Britain has, uniquely, relied on modifying farmland, rather than restoring ecosystems, in a failing attempt to halt wildlife decline. The irony is that 94% of Britain is not built upon at all. And with more nature-loving voices than any European country, we should in fact have the best, not the most impoverished, wildlife on our continent. Especially when the rural economics of our game estates, and upland farms, are among the worst in Europe. Britain is blessed with all the space it needs for an epic wildlife recovery. The deer estates of the Scottish Highlands are twice the size of Yellowstone National Park. Snowdonia is larger than the Maasai Mara. The problem in Britain is not a lack of space. It is that our precious space is uniquely wasted – not only for wildlife, but for people’s jobs and rural futures too. Rebirding maps out how we might finally turn things around: rewilding our national parks, restoring natural ecosystems and allowing our wildlife a far richer future. In doing so, an entirely new sector of rural jobs would be created; finally bringing Britain’s dying rural landscapes and failing economies back to life.
  • Votes: 4

    Entangled Life

    by Merlin Sheldrake

    *THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER* *A NEW STATESMAN, DAILY TELEGRAPH, THE TIMES, BBC SCIENCE FOCUS, EVENING STANDARD, MAIL ON SUNDAY AND SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020* 'A dazzling, vibrant, vision-changing book. I ended it wonderstruck at the fungal world. A remarkable work by a remarkable writer' Robert Macfarlane The more we learn about fungi, the less makes sense without them. Neither plant nor animal, they are found throughout the earth, the air and our bodies. They can be microscopic, yet also account for the largest organisms ever recorded. They enabled the first life on land, can survive unprotected in space and thrive amidst nuclear radiation. In fact, nearly all life relies in some way on fungi. These endlessly surprising organisms have no brain but can solve problems and manipulate animal behaviour with devastating precision. In giving us bread, alcohol and life-saving medicines, fungi have shaped human history, and their psychedelic properties have recently been shown to alleviate a number of mental illnesses. Their ability to digest plastic, explosives, pesticides and crude oil is being harnessed in break-through technologies, and the discovery that they connect plants in underground networks, the 'Wood Wide Web', is transforming the way we understand ecosystems. Yet over ninety percent of their species remain undocumented. Entangled Life is a mind-altering journey into a spectacular and neglected world, and shows that fungi provide a key to understanding both the planet on which we live, and life itself. 'Reads like an adventure story ... wondrous ... beguilingly weaves together lived experience and scientific research' Sunday Times 'An astonishing book that could alter our perceptions of fungi for ever. It seems somehow to tip the natural world upside down' Observer 'Dazzling ... reveals a world that's both more extraordinary and more delicate than could be imagined' Daily Mail
  • Votes: 3

    Turning the Tide on Plastic

    by Lucy Siegle

    Enough plastic is thrown away every year to circle the world 4 times More than 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year 300 million tonnes of new plastic is produced every year An estimated 15-51 trillion pieces of plastic now litter the world's oceans 38.5 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK A million plastic bottles are used per minute around the world 500 million plastic straws are used per year Without big action, at the current rate, pieces of plastic will outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050. That is the legacy we are leaving our children and grandchildren. Plastic flows into our lives from every direction and most of it is not recycled. Instead it is incinerated or ends up in landfill, where it will sit for hundreds of years, or enters the world's seas where it fragments into tiny pieces to become microplastics - the environmental scourge of our times. Many of us had assumed that governments, brands and waste authorities were dealing with plastic on our behalf. But the impact of shows such as Blue Planet along with national beach cleans and high-profile campaigns have resulted in a collective wake-up call. If there were plans and strategies, they have not worked as we imagined. It would be easy to feel despondent but instead we need to turn our anger and emotion into action, starting by making a big dent in our own enormous consumption. Turning the tide on Plastic is here just in time. Journalist, broadcaster and eco lifestyle expert Lucy Siegle provides a powerful call to arms to end the plastic pandemic along with the tools we need to make decisive change. It is a clear-eyed, authoritative and accessible guide to help us to take decisive and effective personal action. Because this matters. When it comes to single-use plastics, we are habitual users, reaching out for plastic water bottles, disposable coffee cups, plastic straws and carrier bags multiple times a day. If only 12 of us adopt Lucy's 'reduce, rethink, refill, refuse' approach, we could potentially ditch 3K-15K single items of plastic in a year. When we consider our power as influencers - whether at school, the hairdressers, at work or on the bus - we suddenly become part of something significant. So now is the time to speak up, take action and demand the change you want to see in the ocean, in the supermarket aisles and on the streets. It's time to turn the tide on plastic, and this book will show you how.
  • Votes: 3

    The Running Hare

    by John Lewis-Stempel

    The Sunday Times Bestseller - SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2017 Traditional ploughland is disappearing. Seven cornfield flowers have become extinct in the last twenty years. Once abundant, the corn bunting and the lapwing are on the Red List. The corncrake is all but extinct in England. And the hare is running for its life. Written in exquisite prose, The Running Hare tells the story of the wild animals and plants that live in and under our ploughland, from the labouring microbes to the patrolling kestrel above the corn, from the linnet pecking at seeds to the seven-spot ladybird that eats the aphids that eat the crop. It recalls an era before open-roofed factories and silent, empty fields, recording the ongoing destruction of the unique, fragile, glorious ploughland that exists just down the village lane. But it is also the story of ploughland through the eyes of man who took on a field and husbanded it in a natural, traditional way, restoring its fertility and wildlife, bringing back the old farmland flowers and animals. John Lewis Stempel demonstrates that it is still possible to create a place where the hare can rest safe. Shortlisted for the Richard Jefferies Society White Horse Bookshop Prize 2016. John Lewis-Stempel was winner of the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015 for MEADOWLAND.
  • Votes: 3

    Call of the Reed Warbler

    by Charles Massy

    In Call of the Reed Warbler, Charles Massy explores regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. It is the story of how a grassroots revolution--a true underground insurgency--can save the planet, help reduce and reverse climate change, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food. Using his personal experience as a touchstone--from an unknowing, chemical-using farmer with dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer carefully regenerating a 2000-hectare property to a state of natural health--Massy tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it. With evocative stories, he shows how other innovative and courageous farmers are finding a new way. At stake is not only a revolution in human health and in our communities, but the very survival of the planet. For farmers, backyard gardeners, food buyers, health workers, policy makers, and public leaders alike, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a tangible path forward and a powerful and moving paean of hope. It's not too late to regenerate the earth. Call of the Reed Warbler shows the way forward for the future of our food supply, our planet, and our health.