Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.
That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A changing world costs large sums to defend—think of the money that went to repair New Orleans, or the trillions it will take to transform our energy systems. But the endless economic growth that could underwrite such largesse depends on the stable planet we've managed to damage and degrade. We can't rely on old habits any longer.
Our hope depends, McKibben argues, on scaling back—on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community (in the neighborhood, but also on the Internet) that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. Change—fundamental change—is our best hope on a planet suddenly and violently out of balance.
This impassioned plea for radical and life-renewing change is today still considered a groundbreaking work in environmental studies. McKibben's argument that the survival of the globe is dependent on a fundamental, philosophical shift in the way we relate to nature is more relevant than ever. McKibben writes of our earth's environmental cataclysm, addressing such core issues as the greenhouse effect, acid rain, and the depletion of the ozone layer. His new introduction addresses some of the latest environmental issues that have risen during the 1990s. The book also includes an invaluable new appendix of facts and figures that surveys the progress of the environmental movement.
More than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalog of scientific prediction, this classic, soulful lament on Nature is required reading for nature enthusiasts, activists, and concerned citizens alike.
For a generation, Bill McKibben has been among America's most impassioned and beloved writers on our relationship to our world and our environment. His groundbreaking book on climate change, The End of Nature, is considered "as important as Rachel Carson's classic Silent Spring"* and Deep Economy, his "deeply thoughtful and mind-expanding"** exploration of globalization, helped awaken and fuel a movement to restore local economies.
Now, for the first time, the best of McKibben's essays—fiery, magical, and infused with his uniquely soulful investigations of modern life—are collected in a single volume, The Bill McKibben Reader. Whether meditating on today's golden age in radio, the natural place of biting black flies in our lives, or the patriotism of a grandmother fighting to get corporate money out of politics, McKibben inspires us to become better caretakers of the Earth—and of one another.
*The Plain Dealer (Cleveland )
With the rise of extreme weather events worldwide--witness the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Sandy, Irene, and Katrina, and the sustained drought across the American West--global warming has become increasingly difficult to deny.
What is happening to our planet? And what can we do about it? The Global Warming Reader provides more than thirty-five answers to these burning questions, from more than one hundred years of engagement with the topic. Here is Elizabeth Kolbert's groundbreaking essay "The Darkening Sea," Michael Crichton's skeptical view of climate change, George Monbiot's biting indictment of those who are really using up the planet's resources, NASA scientist James Hansen's testimony before the U.S. Congress, and clarion calls for action by Al Gore, Arundhati Roy, Naomi Klein, Van Jones, and many others. The Global Warming Reader is a comprehensive resource, expertly edited by someone who lives and breathes this defining issue of our time.
Bill McKibben is not a person you'd expect to find handcuffed and behind bars, but that's where he found himself in the summer of 2011 after leading the largest civil disobedience in thirty years, protesting the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House.
With the Arctic melting, the Midwest in drought, and Irene scouring the Atlantic, McKibben recognized that action was needed if solutions were to be found. Some of those would come at the local level, where McKibben joins forces with a Vermont beekeeper raising his hives as part of the growing trend toward local food. Other solutions would come from a much larger fight against the fossil-fuel industry as a whole.
Oil and Honey is McKibben's account of these two necessary and mutually reinforcing sides of the global climate fight—from the center of the maelstrom and from the growing hive of small-scale local answers to climate change. With empathy and passion he makes the case for a renewed commitment on both levels of the fight to stop global warming, telling the story of raising one year's honey crop and building a social movement that's still cresting.
In this powerful and provocative manifesto, Bill McKibben offers the biggest challenge in a generation to the prevailing view of our economy. For the first time in human history, he observes, "more" is no longer synonymous with "better"—indeed, for many of us, they have become almost opposites. McKibben puts forward a new way to think about the things we buy, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the money that pays for it all. Our purchases, he says, need not be at odds with the things we truly value.
McKibben's animating idea is that we need to move beyond "growth" as the paramount economic ideal and pursue prosperity in a more local direction, with cities, suburbs, and regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment. He shows this concept blossoming around the world with striking results, from the burgeoning economies of India and China to the more mature societies of Europe and New England. For those who worry about environmental threats, he offers a route out of the worst of those problems; for those who wonder if there isn't something more to life than buying, he provides the insight to think about one's life as an individual and as a member of a larger community.
McKibben offers a realistic, if challenging, scenario for a hopeful future. Deep Economy makes the compelling case that the more we nurture the essential humanity of our economy, the more we will recapture our own.
Hurricane Katrina. A rapidly disappearing Arctic. The warmest winter on the East Coast in recorded history. The leading scientist at NASA warns that we have only ten years to reverse climate change; the British government's report on global warming estimates that the financial impact will be greater than the Great Depression and both world wars—combined. Bill McKibben, the author of the first major book on global warming, The End of Nature, warns that it's no longer time to debate global warming, it's time to fight it.
Drawing on the experience of Step It Up, a national day of rallies held on April 14, 2007, McKibben and the Step It Up team of organizers provide the facts of what must change to save the climate and show how to build the fight in your community, church, or college. They describe how to launch online grassroots campaigns, generate persuasive political pressure, plan high-profile events that will draw media attention, and other effective actions. Fight Global Warming Now offers an essential blueprint for a mighty new movement against the most urgent challenge facing us today.
In Wandering Home, one of his most personal books, Bill McKibben invites readers to join him on a hike from his current home in Vermont to his former home in the Adirondacks. Here he reveals that the motivation for his impassioned environmental activism is not high-minded or abstract, but as tangible as the lakes and forests he explored in his twenties, the same woods where he lives with his family today.
Over the course of his journey McKibben meets with old friends and kindred spirits, including activists, writers, organic farmers, a vintner, a beekeeper, and environmental studies students, all in touch with nature and committed to its preservation. For McKibben, there is no better place than these woods to work out a balance between the wild and the cultivated, the individual and the global community, and to discover the answers to the challenges facing our planet today.
Bill McKibben's books and essays on our environment -- physical and spiritual -- have shaped and spurred debate since The End of Nature was published in 1989. Then, he sounded one of the earliest alarms about global warming; the decade of science since has proved his prescience. Now, in Maybe One, he takes on the most controversial of environmental problems -- population. We live in a unique and dangerous time, he asserts, when the planet's limits are being tested and voluntary reductions in American childbearing could make a crucial difference.
The father of a single child himself, McKibben maintains that bringing one, and no more than one, child into this world will hurt neither your family nor our nation -- indeed, it can be an optimistic step toward the future. Maybe One is not just an environmental argument but a highly personal and philosophical one. McKibben cites new and extensive research about the developmental strengths of only children; he finds that single kids are not spoiled, weird, selfish, or asocial, but pretty much the same as everyone else.
McKibben recognizes that the transition to a stable population size won't be easy or pain-free but ultimately is inevitable. Maybe One provides the basis for provocative, powerful thought and discussion that will influence our thinking for decades to come.
Working through their local churches, McKibben and his colleagues found that people were hungry for a more joyful Christmas season. For many, trying to limit the amount of money they spent at Christmas to about a hundred dollars per family, was a real spur to their creativity -- and a real anchor against the relentless onslaught of commercials and catalogs that try to say Christmas is only Christmas if it comes from a store.
McKibben shows how the store-bought Christmas developed and how out of tune it is with our current lives, when we're really eager for family fellowship for community involvement, for contact with the natural world, and also for the blessed silence and peace that the season should offer. McKibben shows us how to return to a simpler and more enjoyable holiday.
Christmas is too wonderful a celebration to give up on, too precious a time simply to repeat the same empty gestures from year to year. This book will serve as a road map to a Christmas far more joyful than the ones you've known in the past.
At 37, the celebrated writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben took a break from the life of the mind to put himself to the ultimate test: devoting a year to train as a competitive cross-country skier. Consulting with personal trainers, coaches, and doctors at the US Olympic Center, he followed the rigorous training regimen of a world-class athlete.
Along the way, he learned to cope with his physical limitations and, when his father was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor, discovered something about the real meaning of endurance.
Told with his trademark intelligence, humor, and honesty, Long Distance is an insightful examination ofthe culture and mind-set of endurance athletes, and a moving and inspiring meditation on finding balance in our often harried lives.
——The New York Times
Imagine watching an entire day’s worth of television on every single channel. Acclaimed environmental writer and culture critic Bill McKibben subjected himself to this sensory overload in an experiment to verify whether we are truly better informed than previous generations. Bombarded with newscasts and fluff pieces, game shows and talk shows, ads and infomercials, televangelist pleas and Brady Bunch episodes, McKibben processed twenty-four hours of programming on all ninety-three Fairfax, Virginia, cable stations. Then, as a counterpoint, he spent a day atop a quiet and remote mountain in the Adirondacks, exploring the unmediated man and making small yet vital discoveries about himself and the world around him. As relevant now as it was when originally written in 1992–and with new material from the author on the impact of the Internet age–this witty and astute book is certain to change the way you look at television and perceive media as a whole.
“By turns humorous, wise, and troubling . . . a penetrating critique of technological society.”–Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Masterful . . . a unique, bizarre portrait of our life and times.”
–Los Angeles Times
“Do yourself a favor: Put down the remote and pick up this book.”
A book that's also the beginning of a movement, Bill McKibben's debut novel Radio Free Vermont follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide that their state might be better off as its own republic.
As the host of Radio Free Vermont--"underground, underpowered, and underfoot"--seventy-two-year-old Vern Barclay is currently broadcasting from an "undisclosed and double-secret location." With the help of a young computer prodigy named Perry Alterson, Vern uses his radio show to advocate for a simple yet radical idea: an independent Vermont, one where the state secedes from the United States and operates under a free local economy. But for now, he and his radio show must remain untraceable, because in addition to being a lifelong Vermonter and concerned citizen, Vern Barclay is also a fugitive from the law.
In Radio Free Vermont, Bill McKibben entertains and expands upon an idea that's become more popular than ever--seceding from the United States. Along with Vern and Perry, McKibben imagines an eccentric group of activists who carry out their own version of guerilla warfare, which includes dismissing local middle school children early in honor of 'Ethan Allen Day' and hijacking a Coors Light truck and replacing the stock with local brew. Witty, biting, and terrifyingly timely, Radio Free Vermont is Bill McKibben's fictional response to the burgeoning resistance movement.
With reference to the consequences of our poorly considered and self-centered environmental practices—global warming, ozone degradation, deforestation—McKibben combines modern science and timeless biblical wisdom to make the case that growth and economic progress are not only undesirable but deadly. If we continue to accelerate the pace of development, we will inevitably complete the “decreation” of our planet and everything on it, including ourselves.
In his signature lyrical prose, and using Stephen Mitchell's powerful translation of Job, McKibben calls readers to truly appreciate both the majesty of creation and humanity's rightful—and responsible—place in it.
What would it be like to try to live a no-impact lifestyle? Is it possible? Could it catch on? Is living this way more satisfying or less satisfying? Harder or easier? Is it worthwhile or senseless? Are we all doomed or can our culture reduce the barriers to sustainable living so it becomes as easy as falling off a log? These are the questions at the heart of this whole mad endeavor, via which Colin Beavan hopes to explain to the rest of us how we can realistically live a more "eco-effective" and by turns more content life in an age of inconvenient truths.
Contributors focus first on the science of Gaia, considering such topics as the workings of the biosphere, the planet's water supply, and evolution; then discuss Gaian perspectives on global environmental change, including biodiversity destruction and global warming; and finally explore the influence of Gaia on environmental policy, ethics, politics, technology, economics, and education. Gaia in Turmoil breaks new ground by focusing on global ecological problems from the perspectives of Gaian science and knowledge, focusing especially on the challenges of climate change and biodiversity destruction.
ContributorsDavid Abram, Donald Aitken, Connie Barlow, J. Baird Callicott, Bruce Clarke, Eileen Crist, Tim Foresman, Stephan Harding, Barbara Harwood, Tim Lenton, Eugene Linden, Karen Litfin, James Lovelock, Lynn Margulis, Bill McKibben, Martin Ogle, H. Bruce Rinker, Mitchell Thomashow, Tyler Volk, Hywel Williams
Wildfire season is burning longer and hotter, affecting more and more people, especially in the west. Land on Fire explores the fascinating science behind this phenomenon and the ongoing research to find a solution. This gripping narrative details how years of fire suppression and chronic drought have combined to make the situation so dire. Award-winning nature writer Gary Ferguson brings to life the extraordinary efforts of those responsible for fighting wildfires, and deftly explains how nature reacts in the aftermath of flames. Dramatic photographs reveal the terror and beauty of fire, as well as the staggering effect it has on the landscape.
A book as powerful and influential as Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me, her Hope in the Dark was written to counter the despair of radicals at a moment when they were focused on their losses and had turned their back to the victories behind them—and the unimaginable changes soon to come. In it, she makes a radical case for hope as a commitment to act in a world whose future remains uncertain and unknowable. Drawing on her decades of activism and a wide reading of environmental, cultural, and political history, Solnit argued that radicals have a long, neglected history of transformative victories, that the positive consequences of our acts are not always immediately seen, directly knowable, or even measurable, and that pessimism and despair rest on an unwarranted confidence about what is going to happen next. Now, with a moving new introduction explaining how the book came about and a new afterword that helps teach us how to hope and act in our unnerving world, she brings a new illumination to the darkness of 2016 in an unforgettable new edition of this classic book.
Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen or so books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark, both also with Haymarket; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; A Field Guide to Getting Lost; Wanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at Harper's and a regular contributor to the Guardian.
"A sweeping rip-roaring yarn of immense scope, from the birth of the elements in the stars to meditations on the future habitability of our world." -Science
"A fascinating story." -Bill McKibben
Longtime social activist Greg Jobin-Leeds joins forces with AgitArte, a collective of artists and organizers, to capture the stories, philosophy, tactics, and art of today’s leading social change movements. When We Fight, We Win! weaves together interviews with today’s most successful activists and artists from across the country and beyond—including Patrisse Cullors-Brignac, Bill McKibben, Clayton Thomas-Muller, Karen Lewis, Favianna Rodriguez, Rea Carey, and Gaby Pacheco, among others—with narrative recountings of strategies and campaigns alongside full-color photos. It includes a foreword by Rinku Sen and an afterword by Antonia Darder.
When We Fight, We Win! will give a whole generation of readers the chance to celebrate and benefit from a remarkable decade of activism—a decade that shows just how ripe these times are for social transformation.
“When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. The second best time? Today.”—Chinese proverb
Twenty years ago, David Milarch, a northern Michigan nurseryman with a penchant for hard living, had a vision: angels came to tell him that the earth was in trouble. Its trees were dying, and without them, human life was in jeopardy. The solution, they told him, was to clone the champion trees of the world—the largest, the hardiest, the ones that had survived millennia and were most resilient to climate change—and create a kind of Noah’s ark of tree genetics. Without knowing if the message had any basis in science, or why he’d been chosen for this task, Milarch began his mission of cloning the world’s great trees. Many scientists and tree experts told him it couldn’t be done, but, twenty years later, his team has successfully cloned some of the world’s oldest trees—among them giant redwoods and sequoias. They have also grown seedlings from the oldest tree in the world, the bristlecone pine Methuselah.
When New York Times journalist Jim Robbins came upon Milarch’s story, he was fascinated but had his doubts. Yet over several years, listening to Milarch and talking to scientists, he came to realize that there is so much we do not yet know about trees: how they die, how they communicate, the myriad crucial ways they filter water and air and otherwise support life on Earth. It became clear that as the planet changes, trees and forest are essential to assuring its survival.
Praise for The Man Who Planted Trees
“This is a story of miracles and obsession and love and survival. Told with Jim Robbins’s signature clarity and eye for telling detail, The Man Who Planted Trees is also the most hopeful book I’ve read in years. I kept thinking of the end of Saint Francis’s wonderful prayer, ‘And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.’ ”—Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
“Absorbing, eloquent, and loving . . . While Robbins’s tone is urgent, it doesn’t compromise his crystal-clear science. . . . Even the smallest details here are fascinating.”—Dominique Browning, The New York Times Book Review
“The great poet W. S. Merwin once wrote, ‘On the last day of the world I would want to plant a tree.’ It’s good to see, in this lovely volume, that some folks are getting a head start!”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
“Inspiring . . . Robbins lucidly summarizes the importance and value of trees to planet Earth and all humanity.”—The Ecologist
“ ‘Imagine a world without trees,’ writes journalist Jim Robbins. It’s nearly impossible after reading The Man Who Planted Trees, in which Robbins weaves science and spirituality as he explores the bounty these plants offer the planet.”—Audubon
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“Fine is Bryson Funny.” ——Santa Cruz Sentinel
“Fine is an amiable and self-deprecating storyteller in the mold of Douglas Adams. If you're a fan of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-style humor -- and also looking to find out how to raise your own livestock to feed your ice-cream fetish -- Farewell may prove a vital tool.” —— The Washington Post
“Fine is an eco-hero for our time..” —— Miami Herald
“An afterward offers solid advice and sources for learning more.” —— On Earth Magazine, Natural Resources Defense Fund
“This is Green Acres for the smart set—: a witty and educational look at sustainable living. Buy it, read it, compost it.”
–A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
“The details of Doug Fine’s experiment in green living are great fun——but more important is the spirit, the dawning understanding that living in connection to something more tangible than a computer mouse is what we were built for. It’ll make you want to move!”
–Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
Like many Americans, Doug Fine enjoys his creature comforts, but he also knows full well they keep him addicted to oil. So he wonders: Is it possible to keep his Netflix and his car, his Wi-Fi and his subwoofers, and still reduce his carbon footprint?
In an attempt to find out, Fine up and moves to a remote ranch in New Mexico, where he brazenly vows to grow his own food, use sunlight to power his world, and drive on restaurant grease. Never mind that he’s never raised so much as a chicken or a bean. Or that he has no mechanical or electrical skills.
Whether installing Japanese solar panels, defending the goats he found on Craigslist against coyotes, or co-opting waste oil from the local Chinese restaurant to try and fill the new “veggie oil” tank in his ROAT (short for Ridiculously Oversized American Truck), Fine’s extraordinary undertaking makes one thing clear: It ain’t easy being green. In fact, his journey uncovers a slew of surprising facts about alternative energy, organic and locally grown food, and climate change.
Both a hilarious romp and an inspiring call to action, Farewell, My Subaru makes a profound statement about trading today’s instant gratifications for a deeper, more enduring kind of satisfaction.
From the Hardcover edition.
Vogel argues provocatively that environmental philosophy, in its ethics, should no longer draw a distinction between the natural and the artificial and, in its politics, should abandon the idea that something beyond human practices (such as "nature") can serve as a standard determining what those practices ought to be. The appeal to nature distinct from the built environment, he contends, may be not merely unhelpful to environmental thinking but in itself harmful to that thinking. The question for environmental philosophy is not "how can we save nature?" but rather "what environment should we inhabit, and what practices should we engage in to help build it?"
—Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that error is the fundamental human condition and should be celebrated as such. Guiding the reader through the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan, Being Wrong will change the way you perceive screw-ups, both of the mammoth and daily variety, forever.
—Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
"Christine Shearer's Kivalina: A Climate Change Story is a fast and bumpy ride that begins with the history of outrageous corporate deceptions through public relations and legal campaigns, continuing with building of the coal-and-oil empire to fuel progress in the United States, leading to the horrendous politics of climate crisis, and finally arriving at its destination, a ground-zero of climate refugee, Kivalina—an Inupiat community along the Chukchi Sea coast of arctic Alaska. I was angry when I turned the last page. I urge you to get a copy, read it, share the story, and join the new global climate justice movement."—Subhankar Banerjee, photographer, writer, activist, and author of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land
While corporate funded scientists continue their effort to spread doubt about global climate change, for one native village in Alaska, the price of further denial could be the complete devastation of their homes and culture. Kivalina must be relocated to survive, but neither the oil giants nor the government have proven willing to take responsibility.
Christine Shearer is a writer, journalist, activist, and academic. She is the environment and ecology editor of Economy Watch, and managing editor of the online progressive magazine Conducive. She is also a contributor to Coalswarm, part of the online corporate watch website SourceWatch.
Are there any genuinely wild places left in Britain and Ireland? That is the question that Robert Macfarlane poses to himself as he embarks on a series of breathtaking journeys through some of the archipelago?s most remarkable landscapes. He climbs, walks, and swims by day and spends his nights sleeping on cliff-tops and in ancient meadows and wildwoods. With elegance and passion he entwines history, memory, and landscape in a bewitching evocation of wildness and its vital importance. A unique travelogue that will intrigue readers of natural history and adventure, The Wild Places solidifies Macfarlane?s reputation as a young writer to watch.
In Water, esteemed journalist Steven Solomon describes a terrifying—and all too real—world in which access to fresh water has replaced oil as the primary cause of global conflicts that increasingly emanate from drought-ridden, overpopulated areas of the world. Meticulously researched and undeniably prescient, Water is a stunningly clear-eyed action statement on what Robert F Kennedy, Jr. calls “the biggest environmental and political challenge of our time.”
Blending inspiration with practical how-to’s, Rural Renaissance captures the American dream of country living for contemporary times. Journey with the authors and experience their lessons, laughter and love for the land as they trade the urban concrete maze for a five-acre organic farm and bed and breakfast in southwestern Wisconsin. Rural living today is a lot more than farming. It’s about a creative, nature-based and more self-sufficient lifestyle that combines a love of squash, solar energy, skinny-dipping and serendipity . . .
The many topics explored in Rural Renaissance include:
"right livelihood" and the good life
organic gardening and permaculture
renewable energy and energy conservation
wholesome organic food, safe water and a natural home
simplicity, frugality and freedom
green design and recycled materials
community, friends and raising a family
independence and interdependence
wildlife conservation and land stewardship.
An authentic tale of a couple whose pioneering spirit and connection to the land reaches out to both the local and global community to make their dream come true, Rural Renaissance will appeal to a wide range of Cultural Creatives, free agents, conservation entrepreneurs and both arm-chair and real-life homesteaders regardless of where they live.
Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko are innkeepers, organic growers, copartners in a marketing consulting company, and have previously published books. John is also a photographer. Former advertising agency fast-trackers, they are nationally recognized for their contemporary approach to homesteading, conservation and more sustainable living. They share their farm with their son, two llamas, and a flock of free-range chickens. Rural Renaissance also offers a foreword by Bill McKibben.
When the Freeman family decided to restore a damaged creek in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula—to transform it from a drainage ditch into a stream that could again nurture salmon— they knew the task would be formidable and the rewards plentiful.
In Saving Tarboo Creek, Scott Freeman artfully blends his family’s story with powerful universal lessons about how we can all live more constructive, fulfilling, and natural lives by engaging with the land rather than exploiting it. Equal parts heartfelt and empowering, this book explores how we can all make a difference one choice at a time. In the proud tradition of Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, Saving Tarboo Creek is both a timely tribute to our land and a bold challenge to protect it.
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
A leading expert on modern-day slavery, Kevin Bales has traveled to some of the world’s most dangerous places documenting and battling human trafficking. In the course of his reporting, Bales began to notice a pattern emerging: Where slavery existed, so did massive, unchecked environmental destruction. But why?
Bales set off to find the answer in a fascinating and moving journey that took him into the lives of modern-day slaves and along a supply chain that leads directly to the cellphones in our pockets. What he discovered is that even as it destroys individuals, families, and communities, new forms of slavery that proliferate in the world’s lawless zones also pose a grave threat to the environment. Simply put, modern-day slavery is destroying the planet.
The product of seven years of travel and research, Blood and Earth brings us dramatic stories from the world’s most beautiful and tragic places, the environmental and human-rights hotspots where this crisis is concentrated. But it also tells the stories of some of the most common products we all consume—from computers to shrimp to jewelry—whose origins are found in these same places.
Blood and Earth calls on us to recognize the grievous harm we have done to one another, put an end to it, and recommit to repairing the world. This is a clear-eyed and inspiring book that suggests how we can begin the work of healing humanity and the planet we share.
Praise for Blood and Earth
“A heart-wrenching narrative . . . Weaving together interviews, history, and statistics, the author shines a light on how the poverty, chaos, wars, and government corruption create the perfect storm where slavery flourishes and environmental destruction follows. . . . A clear-eyed account of man’s inhumanity to man and Earth. Read it to get informed, and then take action.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[An] exposé of the global economy’s ‘deadly dance’ between slavery and environmental disaster . . . Based on extensive travels through eastern Congo’s mineral mines, Bangladeshi fisheries, Ghanian gold mines, and Brazilian forests, Bales reveals the appalling truth in graphic detail. . . . Readers will be deeply disturbed to learn how the links connecting slavery, environmental issues, and modern convenience are forged.”—Publishers Weekly
“This well-researched and vivid book studies the connection between slavery and environmental destruction, and what it will take to end both.”—Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“This is a remarkable book, demonstrating once more the deep links between the ongoing degradation of the planet and the ongoing degradation of its most vulnerable people. It’s a bracing reminder that a mentality that allows throwaway people also allows a throwaway earth.”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
From the Hardcover edition.
"Buddhist Economics will give guidance to all those who seek peace, fairness, and environmental sustainability." -Jeffrey Sachs, author of The Age of Sustainable Development.
Traditional economics measures the ways in which we spend our income, but doesn't attribute worth to the crucial human interactions that give our lives meaning.
Clair Brown, an economics professor at U.C. Berkeley and a practicing Buddhist, has developed a holistic model, one based on the notion that quality of life should be measured by more than national income. Brown advocates an approach to organizing the economy that embraces rather than skirts questions of values, sustainability, and equity. Complementing the award-winning work of Jeffrey Sachs and Bill McKibben, and the paradigm-breaking spirit of Amartya Sen, Robert Reich, and Thomas Piketty, Brown incorporates the Buddhist emphasis on interdependence, shared prosperity, and happiness into her vision for a sustainable and compassionate world.
Buddhist economics leads us to think mindfully as we go about our daily activities, and offers a way to appreciate how our actions affect the well-being of those around us. By replacing the endless cycle of desire with more positive collective activities, we can make our lives more meaningful as well as happier. Inspired by the popular course Professor Brown teaches at U.C. Berkeley, Buddhist Economics represents an enlightened approach to our modern world infused with ancient wisdom, with benefits both personal and global, for generations to come.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Ecotherapy, or applied ecopsychology, encompasses a broad range of nature-based methods of psychological healing, grounded in the crucial fact that people are inseparable from the rest of nature and nurtured by healthy interaction with the Earth. Leaders in the field, including Robert Greenway, and Mary Watkins, contribute essays that take into account the latest scientific understandings and the deepest indigenous wisdom. Other key thinkers, from Bill McKibben to Richard Louv to Joanna Macy, explore the links among ecotherapy, spiritual development, and restoring community.
As mental-health professionals find themselves challenged to provide hard evidence that their practices actually work, and as costs for traditional modes of psychotherapy rise rapidly out of sight, this book offers practitioners and interested lay readers alike a spectrum of safe, effective alternative approaches backed by a growing body of research.
“Frank is a superb writer. His voice is clear, accurate and accessible.”
"No joy, no gain!–that might well be Frank Forencich's exercise motto. A nation filled with fit, playful hominids fully in touch with their evolutionary heritage is a true pleasure to contemplate."
“I really appreciate Frank’s innovative approach. His method is sophisticated, playful and holistic.”
1984 Olympic Gold Medalist
spirituality and looks at religious communities dedicated to the
This groundbreaking book explores the inherent
interconnectedness of sustainability and spirituality, acknowledging the
dependency of one upon the other. John E. Carroll contends that true ecological
sustainability, in contrast to the cosmetic attempts at sustainability we see
around us, questions our society's fundamental values and is so countercultural
that it is resisted by anyone without a spiritual belief in something deeper
than efficiency, technology, or economics. Carroll draws on the work of cultural
historian and "geologian" Thomas Berry, whose eco-spiritual thought underlies
many of the sustainability efforts of communities described in this book,
including particular branches of Catholic religious orders and the loosely
organized Sisters of the Earth. The writings of Native Americans on spirituality
and ecology are also highlighted. These models for sustainability not only
represent the tangible link between ecology and spirituality, but also, more
importantly, a vision of what could be.
“…a useful documentation of some
contemporary and truly radical counter-cultural models.” —
“John Carroll has written a thought-provoking and
important book. Carroll … shows that individuals and groups who have a strong
spiritual connection to the earth often have a very high level of commitment to
ecology … he explores specific principles and practices of sustainability within
religious communities, which can serve as useful models for broader application
within our society.” — Academia
"Carroll begins his journey
looking for examples of environmental sustainability, and I think he has found
them—more convincing examples than people who have looked in more obvious and
secular places. But along the way he has found something related, and just as
important: examples of human sustainability, hints about ways that we might
reshape our attitudes as compellingly as our kitchens and gardens and boilers."
— from the Foreword by Bill McKibben
"Carroll clearly addresses a key
topic for those interested in the relationship between ecology and ethics, and
makes clear that sustainability is not possible without a deep change of values
and commitment to a lifestyle. It cannot be achieved simply as an expression of
economic functionality nor as an expression of ideology alone." — Rosemary
Radford Ruether, coeditor of Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-Being
of Earth and Humans
In light of climate change and tireless human enterprise to be present everywhere on the planet, Miller uses Antarctica as a point on entry for contemplating humanity's relationship with the natural world. Using photographs and film stills from his journey to the bottom of the world, along with original artworks and re-appropriated archival materials, Miller ponders how Antarctica could liberate itself from the rest of the world. Part fictional manifesto, part history and part science book, Book of Ice furthers Miller's reputation as an innovative artist capable of making the old look new.
The Book of Ice contains an introduction by celebrated physicist Brian Greene, author of the bestselling Fabric of the Cosmos.
"This is not cool, this is freezing. I still have frostbite."
"A rare mind encounters a rare place--this is an entirely new take on the bottom of the world, very cool (but getting warmer)."
--Bill McKibben, American environmentalist, journalist, and author
"Antarctica is full of wonder. Paul D Miller has visited and returned with treasure. You hold in your hand interviews, photographs, histories, architectural plans, propaganda, sheet music, hyperlinks and a manifesto demanding that you never set foot there. This is work as unbounded and untameable as the continent itself. Read it and feel dislocated in the best possible way."
--Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing
The world's premier climatologist, Lonnie Thompson has been risking his career and life on the highest and most remote ice caps along the equator, in search of clues to the history of climate change. His most innovative work has taken place on these mountain glaciers, where he collects ice cores that provide detailed information about climate history, reaching back 750,000 years. To gather significant data Thompson has spent more time in the death zone—the environment above eighteen thousand feet—than any man who has ever lived.
Scientist and expert climber Mark Bowen joined Thompson's crew on several expeditions; his exciting and brilliantly detailed narrative takes the reader deep inside retreating glaciers from China, across South America, and to Africa to unravel the mysteries of climate. Most important, we learn what Thompson's hard-won data reveals about global warming, the past, and the earth's probable future.
This book brings together in one place and in a highly usable format the lessons of those movements culled from practitioners and academic analysts.
"Protecting Earth's rich web of life, and our only known living companions in the universe, depends upon people caring enough to act. This book shows conservationists how to evoke the caring and action necessary to change policy and ultimately society." Paul R Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies, Stanford University and author of The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment
“This timely book by David Johns explains why facts alone don’t motivate and mobilize people to care for the natural world. Even better, Johns spells out what will work, based on a frank and informed assessment of human nature applied to social and political movements. If you would rather see change than be right, this readable and authoritative guide should be your bible.” Michael Soulé, Professor Emeritus, Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
“For me, this is a truly fascinating book. I spend much of my time writing--trying to write the stories we need to tell--and the rest of it helping run national and global mobilizations on climate change (Step It Up and now 350.org). I think David Johns has done a tremendous job of linking together insights about useful rhetoric and very practical notions about organizing. If you're trying to save a river, a forest, or a planet you need to read this book.” Bill McKibben, Scholar-in-Residence, Middlebury College
A POWERFUL, PERSONAL STORY OF HOW GROWING AND SHARING FOOD PULLS US CLOSER TO GOD
Like many seekers of the authentic life, Fred Bahnson sought answers to big questions like What does it mean to follow God? and How should I live my life? But after divinity school at Duke, Bahnson began to find answers not in a pulpit, but at the handle of a plow. After his agrarian conversion, Bahnson started a faith-based community garden in rural North Carolina to help its members grow real food and to feed his own spiritual hunger.
Soil and Sacrament tells the story of how Bahnson and people of faith all over America are re-rooting themselves in the land, reconnecting with their food and each other, and praying with their very lives the prayer of the early Christian monks: “We beg you, make us truly alive.” Through his journeys to four different faith communities—Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Jewish—Bahnson explores the connections between spiritual nourishment and the way we feed our bodies with the sensitivity, personal knowledge, and insight shared by Wendell Berry and Bill McKibben.
Soil and Sacrament is a book about communion in its deepest sense—an inspiring and joyful meditation on what grows above the earth, beneath it, and inside each one of us.