Books

We are the weather

Jonathan Safran Foer

Safran Foer is a wonderful writer. Whether you agree with or understand the tact he takes in a given piece, it is always well put and stylistically elegant. For him to take on a topic like our diet and its relationship to climate change was exciting.

The Overstory

Richard Powers

I don't read a lot of fiction, but this was given to me as a present and I heard good things about it.

What attracted me more than anything else was to the book was that it is about the intertwining relationships between humans and trees. On reading it you realise it is not just about humans and trees, it is the relationships between trees and all life, and the infrastructure that has made that happen over evolutionary time.

How did we get into this mess?

George Monbiot

George Monbiot is one of the pre-eminent voices of our times, all the more shocking because he is given space in a major newspaper like the Guardian. This book is a compilation of many of his editorial style articles over the years.

Green is the New Red

Will Potter

I was lucky enough to see Will Potter speak as part of the Voiceless lecture series in 2014, and thus I have a signed copy of this import book.  

Throughout its pages, he sets out how the environmental and animal rights movements have been demonised by a capitalist, political and social world that sees them as a threat to their continued profitable existence.

The Blind Watchmaker

Richard Dawkins

The first line of a book I wish to write is "It is almost impossible to overstate how much we live an evolutionary existence".

Given such pretensions, I thought reading this classic by Richard Dawkins was a good idea.

It showed me whilst at once I had a very good idea of how evolution works, the complexities of it and the examples really do boggle and edify the mind.

Requiem for a Species

Clive Hamilton

As has been said, we are sleep-walking to the edge of a cliff.

I don't know what to do with the information contained in this book.  I almost envy the people who can dismiss the terrible truth of what we are doing to this planet with hand waving statements like "Science doesn't know everything", who go about their small daily lives as if only they and their social circles matter.

Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay

Yves Engler and Bianca Mugyenyi

The authors of the book are Canadians, who have the idea of travelling around the US and looking at how the car dominates economic and social life.  They echo many of the experiences I have in Australia living without a car. They also give a wealth of information about the effects cars have on our society, from many different perspectives, but I would say the one which resonates most is how unfriendly and isolating they are on urban culture.

A New Green History of the World

Clive Ponting

The importance of humanity's relationship with our environment didn't start with the release of Silent Spring, or the industrial revolution. How we have treated our environment has been affecting the rise and fall of civilisations for thousands of years.

The International Politics of Whaling

Peter J. Stoett

After reading this book, I felt abreast of most of the issues surrounding whaling, and its history.

It offers a reasonably even-handed approach, whilst informing the reader that the blue whale has never recovered from the slaughter that went on unimpeded from the 18th to the 20th centuries, he also asks the question of how the whaling moratorium can continue when some species have made good recoveries.

Affluenza : The All Consuming Epidemic

John De Graaf, David Wann, Thomas N. Taylor

One of two books I've read with this title, Affluenza (Affluence + Influenza) takes the point of view that ever increasing consumption is a disease, caused by greed, spread by advertising, it's symptoms are ever increasing piles of stuff we never use, and it's logical end is the destruction of the natural world in which we live.