Leading up to Earth Day, we thought it would be fun to look at some of our recent non-fiction titles relating to the environment and our planet.
1. Here on Earth by Tim Flannery There’s no denying that we are at a critical moment in the history of our planet; what happens now will decide the fate of our civilization. Tim Flannery’s ambitious new book is both hopeful and will inspire awe as he describes how life and then human civilization came to be on our planet. Read it, share it, talk about it. This book is a big deal.
2. Deep Future by Curt Stager So how about taking a long look into our future? Here’s the big picture – 100,000 years ahead. This book offers a far-reaching perspective, which is unique as many books on the subject appeal to readers on an individual and immediate level. Stager reminds us that while this book covers a time beyond many of our imaginations, it is our responsibility to take care of this future.
3. You Are Here by Thomas M. Kostigen This is a great book for Canadians who are interested in how their daily lives affect the planet. Ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? That’s a patch of plastic garbage, larger than Texas, littering the North Pacific Ocean. Kostigen talks about this issue, among others, and will inspire you to think and act differently.
4. Locavore by Sarah Elton Sarah Elton took on the challenge of trying to feed herself and her family with whatever she could grow or source locally. This book challenges our current lifestyle, where we shop without consideration for the environmental effects that this has. If you want to reclaim your food, and create a stronger community while doing it, then this book is for you.
5. Water by Steven Solomon This important book looks at the effects of global warming on the world’s most valuable and important resource. Extreme droughts, floods, melting glaciers and the impending conflicts over access to freshwater are explored in this book. While giving the reader tangible facts for today (did you know that 1 billion people don’t have access to safe drinking water?), Solomon also gives us a history of water’s role in shaping civilizations through the centuries.
6. Cascadia’s Fault by Jerry Thompson In light of the recent disaster in Japan, this is a timely book exploring the potential for a devastating future earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone (50km offshore, from Vancouver Island down to California). The research suggests that such an earthquake is about 30% likely to occur within the next 50 years.
7. Keeping the Bees by Laurence Packer While the media has recently been focused on colony collapse disorder, this book explores the overall importance of bees. Honey bees and the threat to them are very real and important, however this book reminds us that there are more than 19,000 species of bees and they account for up to one third of the world’s food supply. Don’t be alarmed – Packer suggests some bee-friendly actions that average Canadians can easily implement. (Bonus: the paperback edition hits shelves in May!)
8. The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll This charming book comes out this week, and is a must-read for all animal lovers. The observations recounted in this book are remarkable, as Westoll describes the chimps’ interactions and how similar they are to humans. An absorbing book about man’s closest relative, watch the trailer here.
9. Strange New Worlds by Ray Jayawardhana If thinking about our planet gets you thinking about what’s happening beyond our solar system, then this book will be a great read. It explores the possibility of discovering alien life within the next decade. Renowned astronomer Ray Jayawardhana uses the latest research to discuss this big question, while challenging the limitations of our current understanding of the cosmos.
10. Harmony: Childrens edition by Charles HRH The Prince of Wales His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales sends an inspiring message about how we can change the course of environmental destruction by living in harmony with Nature. This edition written just for kids is the perfect way to teach your children a valuable lesson about the planet.
These are just a few of the books that we thought might inform, spark some debate or inspire change as we think about the world and our place in it.
In light of the upcoming federal elections, we’ve gotten involved by Tweeting our MP’s to remind them that the environment needs to be on the agenda. Join us by using the hashtag #HereOnEarth.
So, what are your plans for Earth Day?
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