Hello nature lovers! Steve joins us to talk about some of his favorite environmental reads. Whether you’re into books that highlight living with nature, or you’re interested in the impact of global warming, then you’re going to love this episode of Book Drops. Get ready to add to your reading list.
The Secret Life of Trees by Colin Trudge
The age of trees often inspires awe, from the redwoods of California to English oaks. We wonder how they live so long, and how they really work after all, trees provide us with air to breathe, fruits to eat, and wood to build with – and they do the same for thousands of creatures and plants. The Secret Life of Trees explores the way trees work and what they are, finding out how they communicate, how they tell the time, how they came to exist, and much much more. Strange and surprising, this witty and informative book will make everyone fall in love with the trees around them.
The Heartbeat of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
In The Heartbeat of Trees, renowned forester Peter Wohlleben draws on new scientific discoveries to show how humans are deeply connected to the natural world. In an era of cell phone addiction, climate change, and urban life, many of us fear we’ve lost our connection to nature–but Peter Wohlleben is convinced that age-old ties linking humans to the forest remain alive and intact.
What Can I Do?: My Path from Climate Despair to Action by Jane Fonda
A call to action from Jane Fonda, one of the most inspiring activists of our time, urging us to wake up to the looming disaster of climate change and equipping us with the tools we need to join her in protest.
In the fall of 2019, frustrated with the obvious inaction of politicians and inspired by Greta Thunberg, Naomi Klein, and student climate strikers, Jane Fonda moved to Washington, D.C., to lead weekly climate change demonstrations on Capitol Hill. On October 11, she launched Fire Drill Fridays, and has since led thousands of people in nonviolent civil disobedience, risking arrest to protest for action. In What Can I Do?, Fonda weaves her deeply personal journey as an activist alongside conversations with and speeches by leading climate scientists and inspiring community organizers, and dives deep into the issues, such as water, migration, and human rights, to emphasize what is at stake. Most significantly, Fonda equips us all with the tools we need to join her in protest, so that everyone can work to combat the climate crisis.
On Fire by Naomi Klein
1 international and New York Times bestselling author Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything, makes the case for a Green New Deal–explaining how bold climate action can be a blueprint for a just and thriving society.
For more than twenty years, Naomi Klein has been the foremost chronicler of the economic war waged on both people and planet–and an unapologetic champion of a sweeping environmental agenda with justice at its center. In lucid, elegant dispatches from the frontlines of contemporary natural disaster, she pens surging, indispensable essays for a wide public: prescient advisories and dire warnings of what future awaits us if we refuse to act, as well as hopeful glimpses of a far better future. On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal gathers for the first time more than a decade of her impassioned writing, and pairs it with new material on the staggeringly high stakes of our immediate political and economic choices.
The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson
Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices and, especially, modern industrial agriculture have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world’s soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for “our great green hope”-a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon and potentially reverse global warming. As the granddaughter of farmers and the daughter of avid gardeners, Ohlson has long had an appreciation for the soil.
Under A White Sky by Elizabeth Kolbert
Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff writer for The New Yorker. Her series on global warming, The Climate of Man, won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s magazine writing award and a National Academies communications award. She is a two-time National Magazine Award winner. She has written several books including Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change and The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, which won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.
This is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan
From number one New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan, a radical challenge to how we think about drugs, and an exploration into the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants–and the equally powerful taboos
In This Is Your Mind on Plants, Michael Pollan dives deep into three plant drugs–opium, caffeine, and mescaline–and throws the fundamental strangeness, and arbitrariness, of our thinking about them into sharp relief. Exploring and participating in the cultures that have grown up around these drugs while consuming (or, in the case of caffeine, trying not to consume) them, Pollan reckons with the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants. Why do we go to such great lengths to seek these shifts in consciousness, and then why do we fence that universal desire with laws and customs and fraught feelings?
Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
When we think of fungi, we likely think of mushrooms. But mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that supports and sustains nearly all living systems. Fungi provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel, and behave.
In Entangled Life, the brilliant young biologist Merlin Sheldrake shows us the world from a fungal point of view, providing an exhilarating change of perspective. Sheldrake’s vivid exploration takes us from yeast to psychedelics, to the fungi that range for miles underground and are the largest organisms on the planet, to those that link plants together in complex networks known as the “Wood Wide Web,” to those that infiltrate and manipulate insect bodies with devastating precision.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as 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 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 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.
The Home Place by J. Drew Lanham
“In me, there is the red of miry clay, the brown of spring floods, the gold of ripening tobacco. All of these hues are me; I am, in the deepest sense, colored.” From these fertile soils of love, land, identity, family, and race emerges The Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist and professor of ecology J. Drew Lanham.
Migrations by J. Charlotte McConaghy
Franny Stone has always been the kind of woman who is able to love but unable to stay. Leaving behind everything but her research gear, she arrives in Greenland with a singular purpose: to follow the last Arctic terns in the world on what might be their final migration to Antarctica. Franny talks her way onto a fishing boat, and she and the crew set sail, traveling ever further from shore and safety. But as Franny’s history begins to unspool–a passionate love affair, an absent family, a devastating crime–it becomes clear that she is chasing more than just the birds. When Franny’s dark secrets catch up with her, how much is she willing to risk for one more chance at redemption?
Epic and intimate, heartbreaking and galvanizing, Charlotte McConaghy’s Migrations is an ode to a disappearing world and a breathtaking page-turner about the possibility of hope against all odds.
The Living Great Lakes by Jerry Dennis
Award-winning nature author Jerry Dennis reveals the splendor and beauty of North America’s Great Lakes in this “masterwork” history and memoir of the essential environmental and economical region shared by the United States and Canada.
No bodies of water compare to the Great Lakes. Superior is the largest lake on earth, and together all five contain a fifth of the world’s supply of standing fresh water. Their ten thousand miles of shoreline border eight states and a Canadian province and are longer than the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States. Their surface area of 95,000 square miles is greater than New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island combined. People who have never visited them–who have never seen a squall roar across Superior or the horizon stretch unbroken across Michigan or Huron–have no idea how big they are. They are so vast that they dominate much of the geography, climate, and history of North America, affecting the lives of tens of millions of people.
Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award Winner
Winner of Best Book of 2003 by the Outdoor Writers Association of America