Nothing is as elemental, as essential to human life, as the air we breathe. Yet around the world, in rich countries and poor ones, it is quietly poisoning us.
Air pollution prematurely kills seven million people every year, including more than one hundred thousand Americans. It is strongly linked to strokes, heart attacks, many kinds of cancer, dementia, and premature birth, among other ailments. In Choked, Beth Gardiner travels the world to tell the story of this modern-day plague, taking readers from the halls of power in Washington and the diesel-fogged London streets she walks with her daughter to Poland’s coal heartland and India’s gasping capital. In a gripping narrative that’s alive with powerful voices and personalities, she exposes the political decisions and economic forces that have kept so many of us breathing dirty air. This is a moving, up-close look at the human toll, where we meet the scientists who have transformed our understanding of pollution’s effects on the body and the ordinary people fighting for a cleaner future.
In the United States, air is far cleaner than it once was. But progress has failed to keep up with the science, which tells us that even today’s lower pollution levels are doing real damage. And as the Trump administration rips up the regulations that have brought us where we are, decades of gains are now at risk. Elsewhere, the problem is far worse, and choking nations like China are scrambling to replicate the achievements of an American agency—the EPA—that until recently was the envy of the world.
Clean air feels like a birthright. But it can disappear in a puff of smoke if the rules that protect it are unraveled. At home and around the world, it’s never been more important to understand how progress happened and what dangers might still be in store. Choked shows us that we hold the power to build a cleaner, healthier future: one in which breathing, life’s most basic function, no longer carries a hidden danger.
Garbage, wastewater, hazardous waste: these are the lenses through which Melosi views nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. In broad overviews and specific case studies, Melosi treats the relationship between industrial expansion and urban growth from an ecological perspective.
For more than three decades, David Orr has been one of the leading voices of the environmental movement, championing the cause of ecological literacy in higher education, helping to establish and shape the field of ecological design, and working tirelessly to raise awareness of the threats to future generations posed by humanity’s current unsustainable trajectory.
Hope Is an Imperative brings together in a single volume Professor Orr’s most important works. These include classics such as “What Is Education For?,” one of the most widely reprinted essays in the environmental literature, “The Campus and the Biosphere,” which helped launch the green campus movement,and “Loving Children: A Design Problem,” which renowned theologian and philosopher Thomas Berry called “the most remarkable essay I’ve read in my whole life.”
The book features thirty-three essays, along with an introductory section that considers the evolution of environmentalism, section introductions that place the essays into a larger context, and a foreword by physicist and author Fritjof Capra.
Hope Is an Imperative is a comprehensive collection of works by one of the most important thinkers and writers of our time. It offers a complete introduction to the writings of David Orr for readers new to the field, and represents a welcome compendium of key essays for longtime fans. The book is a must-have volume for every environmentalist’s bookshelf.
The environmental movement is plagued by pessimism. And that’s not unreasonable: with so many complicated, seemingly intractable problems facing the planet, coupled with a need to convince people of the dangers we face, it’s hard not to focus on the negative
But that paints an unbalanced—and overly disheartening—picture of what’s going on with environmental stewardship today. There are success stories, and Our Once and Future Planet delivers a fascinating account of one of the most impressive areas of current environmental experimentation and innovation: ecological restoration. Veteran investigative reporter Paddy Woodworth has spent years traveling the globe and talking with people—scientists, politicians, and ordinary citizens—who are working on the front lines of the battle against environmental degradation. At sites ranging from Mexico to New Zealand and Chicago to Cape Town, Woodworth shows us the striking successes (and a few humbling failures) of groups that are attempting to use cutting-edge science to restore blighted, polluted, and otherwise troubled landscapes to states of ecological health—and, in some of the most controversial cases, to particular moments in historical time, before widespread human intervention. His firsthand field reports and interviews with participants reveal the promise, power, and limitations of restoration.
Ecological restoration alone won’t solve the myriad problems facing our environment. But Our Once and Future Planet demonstrates the role it can play, and the hope, inspiration, and new knowledge that can come from saving even one small patch of earth.
Contaminants in fish. Ocean dumping. Biological diversity/integrity and endangered species. Pinelands and forest preservation. Wetlands protection. Watersheds and headwaters. In Protecting New Jersey's Environment these concerns translate into real human interest stories about people and their surroundings not only in the state-a critical site for the growth of environmentalism-but all around the country as well.
And you can add even more to the list-ozone depletion, nuclear power, toxic waste, sprawl, racial inequity, brownfields remediation versus environmental justice concerns. Through a series of gripping accounts organized by geographic area, Thomas Belton considers key environmental issues in New Jersey and champions the ways common citizens have sought justice when faced with unseen health threats. Often, as people search for remedies in their neighborhoods, the challenges they face result in what Belton calls bare-knuckles environmental protection, replete with back-room political deals, infighting, criminals, and hapless victims.
With people as its focus, Protecting New Jersey's Environment explores the science underpinning environmental issues and the public policy infighting that goes undocumented behind the scenes and beneath the controversies. Belton demonstrates the ways that scientists, regulators, lobbyists, and politicians interact and offers the public a go-to guide on how to seek environmental protection in practical ways.
"Sustainable development is the Holy Grail of governments and leaders but has remained elusive and undefined. Wellbeing of Nations provides the diagnostics to turn sustainability into reality. This is the ultimate travel guide to a sustainable future." --Jose Maria Figueres, former President of Costa Rica, World Economic Forum "At long last, a real metric for measuring sustainability and wellbeing. It provides a way to chart a better future. The cornerstone of any working library on environment, development, and quality of life. A volume without peer." --Thomas E. Lovejoy, Chief Biodiversity Advisor, The World Ban.The use of indicators to gauge human progress is common and well understood; Gross Domestic Product and the Index of Leading Economic Indicators are two well-known examples. Yet most of the widely cited indicators focus exclusively on economic activity, and even the most progressive of indicators fail to account for key issues of sustainability. The Wellbeing of Nations addresses that shortcoming by combining indicators of human well-being with those of environmental stability to generate a more comprehensive picture of the state of our world.The author combines 39 indicators of health, population, wealth, education, communication, freedom, peace, crime, and equity into a Human Wellbeing Index, and 39 indicators of land health, protected areas, water quality, water supply, global atmosphere, air quality, species diversity, energy use, and resource pressures into an Ecosystem Wellbeing Index. The two indexes are then combined into a Wellbeing/Stress Index that measures how much human wellbeing each country obtains for the amount of stress it places on the environment. Seventy color-coded geopolitical maps vividly portray the performance of each of the 180 nations for all indexes, and the main indicators that go into them. In addition, all data are given in 160 pages of tables, and the highly accessible methodology is described in appendices so that readers can undertake their own assessments.Produced in collaboration with the leading international organizations involved with sustainable development, The Wellbeing of Nations is a one-of-a-kind reference for development and environmental policy professionals, as well as for students and scholars in environmental studies, international studies, and international development.