I’m sure you’re busy celebrating the natural beauty that is planet Earth on this special day – maybe planting trees, cleaning your local river or building a composting bin, but why not take a break and wind down with a few great reads.
5. An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It by Al Gore
In this brilliant book, Al Gore makes exquisitely clear the ‘inconvenient truths’ surrounding the ‘climate crisis’. Gore addresses land and water conservation issues, air pollution that results from the burning of greenhouse gases, deforestation of once lush areas, and the displacement of native species. He also examines the larger global consequences that will occur if we continue on our path of ‘business as usual’; namely, the rising in temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and bodies of water and, so, the rising in ocean and sea levels. The book has been described in the New York Times as one which could ‘push awareness of global warming to a real tipping point’. It is a truly great read and allows us to come face-to-face with the raw truth.
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4. Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit by Barry Estabrook
Tomatoland is a book for the modern era and beyond, becoming a New York Times best-seller upon its first paperback release. The book, based on a James Beard award-winning article on the politics of agribusiness, is of interest to anyone who is passionate about food, agriculture and the various politics and environmental issues surrounding the mysterious and controversial tomato. Estabrook does a terrific job to make these matters relatable and intelligible. We recommend taking a look.
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3. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution by Paul Hawken
Hawken sets a new precedent in this groundbreaking book, cleanly revealing the tension between modern economic systems and Earth’s natural limits; but, too, offers a program to follow that may direct us in a mutually desirable way. More specifically, Hawken describes a future in which business and environmental interests come to largely, but positively, overlap: here, economic structures can better satisfy consumer needs, while increasing profits, and, concurrently, help to solve several of the pressing environmental problems we face today.
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2. A Sand County Almanac (Outdoor Essays & Reflections) by Aldo Leopold
Quite possibly one of the most beautiful books about the natural world ever written; certainty to be placed among the greats like Henry David Thoreau and John Muir. A Sand County Almanac is filled with thoroughly insightful observations and unparalleled understandings of the ever awesome ways of nature. Leopold is poetic, strong and is able to craft a true work of art. Here’s a taste:
“Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel. By virtue of this curious loophole in the rules, any clodhopper may say: Let there be a tree – and there will be one.”
― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac with Other Essays on Conservation from Round River
1. Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril by Kathleen Dean Moore
We picked this book to be our favorite as it harmoniously intertwines perspectives from religious leaders, scientists, elected officials, business leaders, naturalists, activists, and writers to craft a diverse and profound call for a higher moral code. This book gives one a sense of true moral guidance, one that includes ethical obligations towards the planet as a whole: its animals, flora and wonderfully active systems that we participate with everyday.
“We are the only species on the planet without full employment. Brilliant. We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy Earth in real time than to renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank, but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it “gross domestic product.”
― Kathleen Dean Moore, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril