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Books for all ages which are highly topical covering everything from recycling and biodiversity to global warming and topical eco-tips, and even measuring your carbon footprint.
This book is a precise and fiercely honest projection of what we know about climate change into the future of one small corner of the planet: the islands of Britain and Ireland. Kohn looks closely at six landscapes and one city to show how our world will have altered over the course of the century. These islands will, compared with the parched Mediterranean lands, let alone a devastated Africa, be fairly benign places to live. But we will have paid a terrible price for our relative good fortune. Our parks will be arid brown fields; private automobile use unheard of; water will be severely rationed; significant stretches of our beloved coastline will have been sacrificed to the sea. Some of our flora and fauna will have vanished; and, exotic animals and pests will flourish. Vast numbers of marginalised human migrants will be here. Surveillance and restriction of our movements will be taken for granted. Walking in what is left of 'nature' will be nearly impossible. Terrible summer fires in our upland areas will be commonplace. This is a report from the near future that we cannot afford to ignore.
A natural boffin, Dave Hamilton’s cheery book is the outcome of his quest for free-as-possible food. And growing food the “free” way is good for your purse and good for the environment as you recycle, reuse, scrounge and make-do. Beside the hundreds of tips and ideas, there is some very good advice to be had on soil, compost and fertiliser in particular. It’s fun to read with useful tables and quirky step-by-step diagrams, the projects achievable, that almost free food eminently possible. Like for Like Reading The Self-Sufficient-ish Bible, Andy & Dave HamiltonThe Thrifty Gardener: How to Create a Stylish Garden for Next to Nothing, Alys Fowler
Dwindling resources. Massive population shifts. Natural disasters. Any of the expected consequences of climate change could - as Gwyne Dyer argues - tip the world towards chaos and conflict.
When Manhattan writer Kristin Kimball arrived to interview Mark on a Pennsylvanian farm, she was wearing high heels and a crisp white shirt and had been vegetarian for thirteen years. That evening, she found herself helping him to slaughter a pig. By the next morning she was tucking into sizzling homemade sausages drizzled with warm maple syrup, and within a few months she'd given up her life in the city and moved with Mark, their combined savings, and a dozen chickens to a derelict farm in a remote corner of upstate New York. They gave themselves a year to transform 500 badly neglected acres into an organic community farm. Passionate, inspiring and gorgeously written, this is a story about falling in love with a man and with a different way to live, complete with runaway piglets and dew-fresh lettuce, sceptical locals and a wedding in a hayloft.
'If everyone in China jumps at exactly the same time, it will shake the earth off its axis and killus all'. What an amazing thought, quoted on the first page of this book (see Opening Extract). It captivated a young child and inspired him to a lifelong interest in the largest population in theworld.For it is the people that make this book - not the politics, not the history and not even, it must be said, the places. They are all here, that is true, but it is the human insights that make this book work. The writer's ageless fascination for a billion people - who live on our planet but in a different world - runs through every page.This is not one sudden earth-shaking jump. It is a gentle, leisurely, thoughtful, interestingjourney. A journey which leads you to a heartfelt plea for a behavioural approach that should be considered by all mankind. Consistently attentive to human detail, Watts vividly portrays individual lives in a country all too often viewed from outside as a faceless state. No reader of his book - no consumer in the world - can be unaffected by what he presents.
March 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. There are many predictions on the likely future for the earth, the outcome of global warming, the political upheaval and so on. Here Smith predicts that there will be a Northern shift in emphasis and the Northern rim countries from Canada to Russia (with the UK on the fringe) will become increasingly important in the future. The author puts flesh on the bones of his theories from his own extensive travels in the region. This gives the book a deeper range adding personal observations to the hypothesis. So much writing on the future planet scenario makes for grim reading and while Smith doesn’t pull his punches, there is the human story, people trying to adapt to a very different future, paving a way for the new North. The Magnetic North: Travels in the Arctic Circle, Sara WheelerTrue North: Travels in Arctic Europe, Gavin Franci The Lovereading view... Explores the 'four locomotives' that are changing the world - climate change, rising population, globalisation and resource depletion - and attempts to predict how they will shape the world between now and 2050. This book is about people, and the 'push' and 'pull' factors that determine where and how they live.
'With passion and commitment thousands of 'small' people built Eden as a symbol of hope in action...We may all have feet of clay, but that shouldn't stop us trying to make a difference...We say, 'Demand the impossible . So said Tim Smit and thus was the impossible delivered: a living theatre of plants and people and their interdependence, housed in a disused china clay pit and featuring the world's largest greenhouses. Since Eden opened in 2001, well over ten million visitors have made their way to Eden, drawn by the astonishing, visionary ambition of its founders, the everchanging horticulture and new developments on-site. More have discovered it as an extraordinary music venue, attending Eden's sessions. But Eden is far more than a visitor attraction. It has mutated into an organisation with projects and partnerships all over the world concerned with rehabilitation (physical and social), community education, biodiversity, sustainable construction, green employment and town planning. Marking the 10th anniversary, this edition is the extraordinary, fully updated story of Eden complete with stunning new photographs.
Why does it feel as if our most challenging problems today- the worldwide recession, global warming, fast-spreading viruses, terrorism and poverty - aren't getting solved? What if our brain has limits that prevent it from solving such complex problems? If ancient civilisations collapsed because they, too, hit a cognitive limitation, are we headed for a similar collapse, and if so, can it be prevented? Using historical and modern-day examples, The Watchman's Rattle describes the cognitive gridlock that sets in when complexity races ahead of the brain's ability to manage it. Beginning with the Mayans, Khmer and Roman Empires, Costa shows how the tendency to find a quick fix to problems by focusing on symptoms instead of searching for permanent solutions, leads to frightening long-term consequences: Society's ability to solve its most challenging, intractable problems becomes gridlocked, progress slows and collapse ensues. But, as Costa reveals, there is a growing body of scientific evidence that the human brain can be retrained to comprehend, analyse and resolve massively complex problems. A process of intuitive thinking, which Neuroscientists refer to as 'insight'. Part history, part social science, part biology, The Watchman's Rattle is sure to provoke, engage and incite change.
Fair Trade has come a long way in the last 20 years. The Fair Trade Revolution celebrates the movement's achievement and takes up the challenge of improving more lives through fair dealing with producers. Fair Trade is now mainstream, with large companies like Cadbury's and supermarkets such as Sainsbury's producing and stocking many Fair Trade products. The authors of this collection, many of whom were responsible for the initial success of Fair Trade, emphasise the importance of ensuring that farmers and other producers remain the main beneficiaries. Punchy chapters, illustrated with many real-world examples, cover all the important issues including the tensions between large and small operators, the impact of recession, environmental policy and the danger of large operators embracing Fair Trade more in word than in practice. Written by the leading lights of the Fair Trade movement, including Harriet Lamb (Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation) and Bruce Crowther (Establisher of the world's first Fair Trade Town) this book will inspire activists and consumers to keep making the right choices.
I think I’ve read most of these eco-living guides but this is the first one to advocate making clothes and getting handy with the crochet needle – all credit to Mr Flintoff for pushing the genre in a new direction! One thing led to another it says in the introduction and the author’s energy and desire for knowledge and change pushes him in many new (and strange) directions. You’ll find yourself reading it with pen and notebook to hand to jot down all the ideas and suggestions thrown out in the text, great fun and a great education in showing just how we can change our approach to life in the 21st Century. Like for Like ReadingHow to Be Free, Tom HodgkinsonThe Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less, India Knight
There are lots of ways to whittle away at our carbon totals, it’s all achievable and doesn’t mean a life of sackcloth and ashes. Mike Berners-Lee’s carbon footprint listing throws up some surprising calculations, the increased carbon footprint of baby vegetables versus their more knobbly grown-up relations, the high totals for rice, the importance of eating in season and what staggered me is the huge carbon footprint of cut flowers and the accumulated totals for an average Christmas. And that’s not to forget our last act – dying and the carbon footprint we leave as a legacy. It’s serious stuff but the author’s enthusiasm for his subject is most infectious, there is pleasure to be had in cutting down and changing our way of life, a view he most successfully conveys.Like for Like ReadingSix Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, Mark LynasThe Weather Makers: Our Changing Climate and What it Means for Life on Earth, Tim Flannery
With so many writers absolutely convinced of the environmental hazards we face, it was a relief to turn to the views of David Shukman, someone who has no axe to grind. As the BBC’s Environment correspondent he has travelled the globe reporting on the facts. This is the messy, chaotic reality of humans coping with environmental disasters, it’s a view from close-up where people have no global view but have to carry on the best they can, not having the luxury of choice. It’s a compelling read, sobering, worrying yet at times blackly funny, reporting in best John Simpson style. Wonderfully written and often very funny, the book will be loved by travel, science or environment readers alike.Like for Like ReadingThe Ferocious Summer: Palmer’s Penguins and the Warming of Antarctica, Meredith Hooper The Real Global Warming Disaster: Is the Obsession with “Climate Change” Turning Out to be the Most Costly Scientific Blunder in History?, Christopher Booker
The staff here at Lovereading aren’t just passionate about good books; they are also passionate about doing their bit to help ‘save the planet’ in any way they can. So we thought you might appreciate a bit of guidance on what books are out there that might enthuse you into thinking, and being a bit greener.
We’ve selected some books for all ages which are highly topical covering everything from recycling and biodiversity to global warming and topical eco-tips, and even measuring your carbon footprint. We’ve also chosen a selection of novels and picture books that have some sort of green strand.
You may feel it’s wrong to be promoting books with a green theme because books in themselves are not at first glance exactly green or carbon neutral, for trees are cut down to make them. However, let us assure you that publishers in the UK are all working extremely hard to achieve ethical business practice and some publishers are already achieving zero carbon emissions via carbon offsetting.
Like Egmont (www.egmont.co.uk) for example, who made the decision three years ago to commit to ethical business practices. Their whole manufacturing processes had to change, Greenpeace was consulted and now they use only paper that is approved by the Forestry Stewardship Council. Harper Collins (www.harpercollins.co.uk), one of the largest global publishers has already gone carbon neutral in its commitment to address climate change and at the other end of the size scale there is Meadowside Books (www.meadowsidebooks.com), a small but perfectly formed small children’s publisher who is very proud to use the carbon neutral logo on their books. For more detail on any of these publishers do go to their own websites for more information.
We hope you enjoy the selection of titles and do keep coming back as we will add more on a monthly basis.