In his previous book Alan Weisman presented the fascinating science and, so far, fiction, of The World Without Us; now he’s asking the less theoretical, “how might we have a world with us?” His Countdown (Little, Brown, $28) to catastrophe focuses on human population growth, unsustainable at its current rate; there will be seven to ten billion more people on the planet before today’s slowing numbers start to recede. Experts agree that Earth can reasonably accommodate two billion—the world population of 1930. Other statistics are equally stunning: the optimum population for China is 700 million, its 1964 number. And Pakistan, growing even faster than China, has some 185 million people in a space the size of Texas; Texas has 26 million. But Countdown isn’t about abstractions or statistics; rather, the heart of the book is real people in real places. It’s about the quality, not merely the quantity of life on the planet, for both humans and animals.

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316097758
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 24th, 2013

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780316097741
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - May 6th, 2014

 

In Oil and Honey (Times Books, $26), Bill McKibben describes his personal transformation from writer and environmentalist to environmental activist. He narrates his journey to the leadership of the movement to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, which just this past February organized the largest climate rally in U.S. history. The book also tells the story of McKibben’s equally impactful foray into beekeeping. A passionate lover of nature, McKibben draws lessons from these creatures that have both moral and philosophical relevance to the environmental movement. It is this connection to the land that fuels the author’s fire and vigor as an activist. After reading about his journey, any reader would willingly act alongside him.

Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805092844
Availability: Out of Print in This Format
Published: Times Books - September 17th, 2013

Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250048714
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - July 29th, 2014

For the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring, William Souder looks back to the world that made Rachel Carson’s book so urgent and necessary. In 1962, the Cold War was being conducted via nuclear tests, while throughout the United States a new chemical war was under way against fire ants, gypsy moths, and other pests. These amounted to two massive, unregulated experiments with deadly materials, and that they seem so shocking today is partly due to Carson. On a Farther Shore (Crown, $30) describes the marine biologist’s rising alarm over radiation and DDT, and Souder discusses how Carson’s work marked the transition from the age of conservation—preserving wildlife—to a new era of environmentalism, which recognized that human activity poses dangers to people as well as to nature. And just who was Rachel Carson? A workaholic who supported her mother and adopted her orphaned great-nephew, Carson had always wanted to be a writer. She worked as an editor for the Department of Fish and Wildlife (and lived in Silver Spring). Her first book, The Sea Around Us, won a national book award in 1951 and has never gone out of print; if some of its science is dated, its prose still enchants, and its prescient warnings about climate change are dead on.

On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, Author of Silent Spring Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307462206
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Crown - September 4th, 2012

On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, Author of Silent Spring Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780307462213
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - September 3rd, 2013

Pages