Thursday, September 17, 2015

New & Novel: Sustainability

Multi-ethnic girls holding green balloons. [Photography]. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest.

The Denver Post, meanwhile, notes that hundreds of gallons of toxic water are still leaking every minute from other abandoned mines in the mountains. “These mines are draining as we speak,” Bruce Stover, director of Colorado’s abandoned mines reclamation programme, told the paper. “We had a disaster last week – a surging amount of water coming out. That same amount of water is coming out over six months and harming the Animas. That water is coming out 24/7.”
~David Usborne, "Animas pollution: The toxic orange river that America cannot ignore", The Independent

The recent Gold King Mine disaster and the U.S. government's decision to allow Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil and natural gas in the Arctic Ocean has got us thinking about environmental issues and sustainability. We all know the catchphrases - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Upcycling! Freecycling! Green living! Carbon footprint! - but how much do we know about the many issues affecting our world today?

There's garbage - as the website Rotten Truth (About Garbage), on-line exhibition created by the ASTC and the Smithsonian Institution's Traveling Exhibition Service, says, "Throwing out garbage, putting it by the curb, taking it to the dump -- try as we might, we can never really make garbage disappear. When we throw garbage 'away,' it just goes somewhere else." There's plastic in our oceans, too, combining with the garbage to form The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Water shortages, over-fished oceans, pollution, global warming, deforestation, overpopulation, species going extinct - there's a lot of things to think about, let alone measures we could put into practice (carbon offsetting, going vegan, greywater reuse, planting bee-friendly flowers in your yard). Sometimes it's hard to know what to do - we like wind power, one of the cleanest and most sustainable ways to generate electricity, but it is not without negative impact on wildlife, for instance.

We've compiled a list of some of the library catalog's most recent sustainability reads for adults and youth, covering a variety of environmental issues. We figure, forewarned is forearmed.  Or, as journalist Martha Gellhorn once said, "Citizenship is a tough occupation which obliges the citizen to make his own informed opinion and stand by it."

For Adult Readers

A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm by Dave Goulson

After Preservation: Saving American Nature in the Age of Humans edited by Ben A. Minteer & Stephen J. Pyne

A Man Apart: Bill Coperthwaite's Radical Experiment in Living by Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow

Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman   

The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips, Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History by Thor Hanson

The Water-Wise Home: How to Conserve, Capture, and Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape by Laura Allen  

The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us by Diane Ackerman [audiobook]

The Hunt for the Golden Mole: All Creatures Great and Small and Why They Matter by Richard Girling

Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York by Ted Steinberg

Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made by Gaia Vince

The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold

The People's Republic of Chemicals by William J. Kelly and Chip Jacobs

Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA by E.G. Vallianatos with McKay Jenkins      

Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products by Stephen Leahy 

For Kids & Teens

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