front cover of Almanac for the Anthropocene
Almanac for the Anthropocene
A Compendium of Solarpunk Futures
Phoebe Wagner
West Virginia University Press, 2022

Original voices from across the solarpunk movement, which positions ingenuity, generativity, and community as ways to resist hopelessness in response to the climate crisis.

Almanac for the Anthropocene collects original voices from across the solarpunk movement, which positions ingenuity, generativity, and community as beacons of resistance to the hopelessness often inspired by the climate crisis. To point toward practical implementation of the movement’s ideas, it gathers usable blueprints that bring together theory and practice. The result is a collection of interviews, recipes, exercises, DIY instructions, and more—all of it amounting to a call to create hope through action.

Inspired by a commitment to the idea that there can be no environmental justice without decolonial and racial justice, Almanac for the Anthropocene unites in a single volume both academic and practical responses to environmental crisis.


front cover of Between Two Pines
Between Two Pines
Ushering in a Sustainable Future Through an Art-Science Practice
Edgar Cardenas
Michigan Publishing Services, 2019
The stories we tell matter. They shape and frame how we identify, understand, and address challenges. Many of the sustainability stories being told and re-told have been predicated on the idea that techno-scientific solutions will be our salvation. Rarely do they deeply interrogate the cultural and aesthetic factors that contribute to our human-environment relationships. Between Two Pines builds on the growing realization that artists must contribute to and enlarge our current conceptions of sustainability. This book explores how conceptions of the sublime, beauty, and the picturesque influenced the development of our natural aesthetic sensibilities and resolves that sustainability stewardship will require the intersection of ecology, aesthetics, and ethics. Pivoting off the history of landscape photography, Cardenas proposes a sustainability aesthetic, a framework for how the arts can reposition themselves for a sustainability social practice. The book concludes with one hundred little dramas, a body of photographic work that puts to practice his sustainability aesthetic. Between Two Pines places scholarship and art on equal footing, ultimately providing a framework and examples of how art practice can and must be integrated into dialogues and narratives on transitioning into a more sustainable future.
*   *   *

“I am truly thankful that Dr. Edgar Cardenas’s thoughtful research is now available in this beautiful book. I have recommended his work to more people, both in my personal and professional spheres of my life, than I can count, and I’m glad to have this provocative and elegant publication to put into people’s hands. Cardenas shows us how each of us really can make a difference.”
Rebecca A. Senf, Chief Curator, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, and author of Making a Photographer
“A truly beautiful and thought provoking treatise on the productive relationship between art and science. In Between Two Pines, Cardenas breaks new interdisciplinary ground through an innovative rethinking of sustainability. This book is a call to action that forces the reader to rethink the antiquated and often paralyzing divisions between the arts and the hard sciences.”
Jason De León, Anthropology and Chicana/o Studies, UCLA, MacArthur Fellow, and author of The Land of Open Graves
“Understanding that broad and complex fields of inquiry must be committed to multiple approaches, Edgar Cardenas makes a cogent and well-grounded case for artistic research in the literatures of sustainability. He also offers his own visual essay—punctuated by philosophical reference and personal reflection—on what it means to live fully engaged with the often unnoticed world at our fingertips. Between Two Pines is an insightful offering on how to open the door to artistic practices in research.”
Joey Orr, Andrew W. Mellon Curator for Research, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas

Between Two Pines anticipates and leads the discussion of scholarship around questions of land and landscape. This work brilliantly and ethically refocuses our vision, from distanced scrutiny to connection and proximity, rooted in daily care-taking and ecological efforts. Thoughtfully imaged, the photographs offer an aesthetic that is based in balanced, enduring reflection, rather than on the grand view. These beautiful images reveal discoveries that bridge the arts, ecology, and sociology, and will serve to reconnect every reader with the world in their backyard and beyond.”
Rebekah Modrak, School of Art & Design, University of Michigan, and author of Reframing Photography

“Drawing from a long photographic tradition of examining the relationship between humans and their environment, Edgar Cardenas has found a voice that is as compassionate as it is poignant. Yet he is not content for his photographs to be mere observations, recording the relationship. Between Two Pines is a call to action – a platform by which we might imagine together, with all of the tools in our tool kit, a sustainable future.”
J.D. Talasek, Director, Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences
"This book is about many things.  It is about storytelling, and it tells stories.  It is about aesthetics and awareness, and it envelopes us in its distinctive aesthetic and heightens our awareness.  It presents science and art as complementary modes of inquiry, and uses art and science to guide us along a path of inquiry.  Words and images combine to carry us along an exploration of what sustainability means as a principle in everyday life.  "One hundred little dramas" complete the book by immersing the reader--who has now become an observer and inquirer, collaborating with the author--in a world re-enchanted through compassionate observation, free of glamour or pity." 
Edward J. Hackett, Vice Provost for Research, Brandeis University

front cover of Cooler Smarter
Cooler Smarter
Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living
The Union of Concerned Scientists
Island Press, 2012
How can each of us live Cooler Smarter? While the routine decisions that shape our days—what to have for dinner, where to shop, how to get to work—may seem small, collectively they have a big effect on global warming. But which changes in our lifestyles might make the biggest difference to the climate? This science-based guide shows you the most effective ways to cut your own global warming emissions by twenty percent or more, and explains why your individual contribution is so vital to addressing this global problem.
Cooler Smarter is based on an in-depth, two-year study by the experts at The Union of Concerned Scientists. While other green guides suggest an array of tips, Cooler Smarter offers proven strategies to cut carbon, with chapters on transportation, home energy use, diet, personal consumption, as well as how best to influence your workplace, your community, and elected officials. The book explains how to make the biggest impact and when not to sweat the small stuff. It also turns many eco-myths on their head, like the importance of locally produced food or the superiority of all hybrid cars.
The advice in Cooler Smarter can help save you money and live healthier. But its central purpose is to empower you, through low carbon-living, to confront one of society’s greatest threats.

front cover of The Earth
The Earth
Natural Resources and Human Intervention
Friedrich Schmidt-Bleek
Haus Publishing, 2009
Population growth mainly occurs in fast-developing, and developing nations. Can earth sustain this growth? How will the power shift? This book offers prospects on causes and effects of population growth and the age-ing population in industrialised countries.

front cover of Gray to Green Communities
Gray to Green Communities
A Call to Action on the Housing and Climate Crises
Dana Bourland
Island Press, 2020
US cities are faced with the joint challenge of our climate crisis and the lack of housing that is affordable and healthy. Our housing stock contributes significantly to the changing climate, with residential buildings accounting for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. US housing is not only unhealthy for the planet, it is putting the physical and financial health of residents at risk. Our housing system means that a renter working 40 hours a week and earning minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in any US county. 

In Gray to Green Communities, green affordable housing expert Dana Bourland argues that we need to move away from a gray housing model to a green model, which considers the health and well-being of residents, their communities, and the planet. She demonstrates that we do not have to choose between protecting our planet and providing housing affordable to all.

Bourland draws from her experience leading the Green Communities Program at Enterprise Community Partners, a national community development intermediary. Her work resulted in the first standard for green affordable housing which was designed to deliver measurable health, economic, and environmental benefits.

The book opens with the potential of green affordable housing, followed by the problems that it is helping to solve, challenges in the approach that need to be overcome, and recommendations for the future of green affordable housing. Gray to Green Communities brings together the stories of those who benefit from living in green affordable housing and examples of Green Communities’ developments from across the country. Bourland posits that over the next decade we can deliver on the human right to housing while reaching a level of carbon emissions reductions agreed upon by scientists and demanded by youth.

Gray to Green Communities will empower and inspire anyone interested in the future of housing and our planet.

front cover of Green Victorians
Green Victorians
The Simple Life in John Ruskin's Lake District
Vicky Albritton and Fredrik Albritton Jonsson
University of Chicago Press, 2016
From Henry David Thoreau to Bill McKibben, critics and philosophers have long sought to demonstrate how a sufficient life—one without constant, environmentally damaging growth—might still be rich and satisfying. Yet one crucial episode in the history of sufficiency has been largely forgotten. Green Victorians tells the story of a circle of men and women in the English Lake District who attempted to create a new kind of economy, turning their backs on Victorian consumer society in order to live a life dependent not on material abundance and social prestige but on artful simplicity and the bonds of community.
At the center of their social experiment was the charismatic art critic and political economist John Ruskin. Albritton and Albritton Jonsson show how Ruskin’s followers turned his theory into practice in a series of ambitious local projects ranging from hand spinning and woodworking to gardening, archaeology, and pedagogy. This is a lively yet unsettling story, for there was a dark side to Ruskin’s community as well—racist thinking, paternalism, and technophobia. Richly illustrated, Green Victorians breaks new ground, connecting the ideas and practices of Ruskin’s utopian community with the problems of ethical consumption then and now.

front cover of Humanity's Moment
Humanity's Moment
A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope
Joëlle Gergis
Island Press, 2023
When climate scientist Joëlle Gergis set to work on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, the research she encountered kept her up at night. Through countless hours spent with the world’s top scientists to piece together the latest global assessment of climate change, she realized that the impacts were occurring faster than anyone had predicted.

In Humanity’s Moment, Joëlle takes us through the science in the IPCC report with unflinching honesty, explaining what it means for our future, while sharing her personal reflections on bearing witness to the heartbreak of the climate emergency unfolding in real time. But this is not a lament for a lost world. It is an inspiring reminder that human history is an endless tug-of-war for social justice. We are each a part of an eternal evolutionary force that can transform our world.

Joëlle shows us that the solutions we need to live sustainably already exist—we just need the social movement and political will to create a better world. Humanity’s Moment is a climate scientist’s guide to rekindling hope, and a call to action to restore our relationship with ourselves, each other, and our planet.

front cover of Keeping Oregon Green
Keeping Oregon Green
Livability, Stewardship, and the Challenges of Growth, 1960–1980
Derek R. Larson
Oregon State University Press, 2016

Keeping Oregon Green is a new history of the signature accomplishments of Oregon’s environmental era: the revitalization of the polluted Willamette River, the Beach Bill that preserved public access to the entire coastline, the Bottle Bill that set the national standard for reducing roadside litter, and the nation’s first comprehensive land use zoning law, colloquially known as LDCD. To these case studies is added the largely forgotten tale of what would have been Oregon’s second National Park, intended to preserve the Oregon Dunes as one of the country’s first National Seashores.

 Through the detailed study of the historical, political, and cultural contexts of these environmental conflicts the author uncovers new dimensions in familiar stories linked to the concepts of “livability” and environmental stewardship. Linking events in Oregon to the national environmental awakening of the 1960s-1970s, the innovative environmental policies that carried Oregon to a position of national leadership are shown to be products of place and culture as much as politics. While political leaders played critical roles in framing new laws, the advocacy of ordinary citizens-- farmers, students, business leaders, and factory workers --drove a movement that crossed partisan, geographic, and class lines to make Oregon the nation’s environmental showplace of the 1970s.

 Drawing on extensive archival research, source materials ranging from poetry to congressional hearings, and firmly rooted in the cultural, economic, and political history of the Pacific Northwest, Keeping Oregon Green argues that the state’s environmental legacy is not just the product of visionary leadership, but rather a complex confluence of events, trends, and personalities that could only have happened when and where it did. The linked concepts of livability and stewardship behind Oregon’s success were not transferrable to other places or times, dooming efforts to repeat the state’s signature achievements elsewhere to failure.


front cover of The Nature of a House
The Nature of a House
Building a World that Works
George M. Woodwell
Island Press, 2009
Is it possible for a group of the world’s most respected environmental scientists to truly practice what they preach? Can their expertise in climate change help them in transforming an old house and its nine acres into their new office building and campus—a building that is as energy efficient as possible, uses local materials, and generates all of the energy it consumes? In this candid, charming, and informative book, the director of the renowned Woods Hole Research Center tells a story that will interest anyone who has ever thought about doing a “green” rehab, has tried to build green, or just wonders what’s actually possible.
The Woods Hole Research Center is an international leader in identifying the causes and consequences of environmental change. When the WHRC needed a new administration building, its scientists and staff decided that the building should utilize “state-of-the-shelf” green building techniques and materials. However, the new office had to conform with the laws and building codes of the time, and with materials that were then available—no matter how frustrating these requirements were to the resident scientists and contractors.
The author, George M. Woodwell, founder of the WHRC, was intimately involved in the design and construction of the Gilman Ordway Campus, which was completed in 2003 in collaboration with McDonough + Partners. He details the challenges they faced, some of which are familiar to everyone who tries to “build green”: the vagaries of building codes, the whims of inspectors, the obstreperousness of subcontractors, the search for appropriate materials, and the surprises involved in turning an old house into a modern office building.
Woodwell puts the building in a larger context, not only within the work of the Center and the tradition of Woods Hole, but in the global need to minimize our carbon emissions and overall environmental impact. Building a world that works requires rethinking how we design, reuse, and live in the built environment while preserving the functional integrity of the landscape.

front cover of Plant Kin
Plant Kin
A Multispecies Ethnography in Indigenous Brazil
By Theresa L. Miller
University of Texas Press, 2019

The Indigenous Canela inhabit a vibrant multispecies community of nearly 3,000 people and over 300 types of cultivated and wild plants living together in Maranhão State in the Brazilian Cerrado (savannah), a biome threatened with deforestation and climate change. In the face of these environmental threats, Canela women and men work to maintain riverbank and forest gardens and care for their growing crops, whom they consider to be, literally, children. This nurturing, loving relationship between people and plants—which offers a thought-provoking model for supporting multispecies survival and well-being throughout the world—is the focus of Plant Kin.

Theresa L. Miller shows how kinship develops between Canela people and plants through intimate, multi-sensory, and embodied relationships. Using an approach she calls “sensory ethnobotany,” Miller explores the Canela bio-sociocultural life-world, including Canela landscape aesthetics, ethnobotanical classification, mythical storytelling, historical and modern-day gardening practices, transmission of ecological knowledge through an education of affection for plant kin, shamanic engagements with plant friends and lovers, and myriad other human-nonhuman experiences. This multispecies ethnography reveals the transformations of Canela human-environment and human-plant engagements over the past two centuries and envisions possible futures for this Indigenous multispecies community as it reckons with the rapid environmental and climatic changes facing the Brazilian Cerrado as the Anthropocene epoch unfolds.


front cover of Regional Planning for a Sustainable America
Regional Planning for a Sustainable America
How Creative Programs Are Promoting Prosperity and Saving the Environment
Montgomery, Carleton K
Rutgers University Press, 2012

Regional Planning for a Sustainable America is the first book to represent the great variety of today’s effective regional planning programs, analyzing dozens of regional initiatives across North America.

The American landscape is being transformed by poorly designed, sprawling development. This sprawl—and its wasteful resource use, traffic, and pollution—does not respect arbitrary political boundaries like city limits and state borders. Yet for most of the nation, the patterns of development and conservation are shaped by fragmented, parochial local governments and property developers focused on short-term economic gain. Regional planning provides a solution, a means to manage human impacts on a large geographic scale that better matches the natural and economic forces at work. By bringing together the expertise of forty-two practitioners and academics, this book provides a practical guide to the key strategies that regional planners are using to achieve truly sustainable growth.


front cover of Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities
Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities
Design Strategies for the Post Carbon World
Patrick M. Condon
Island Press, 2010

Questions of how the design of cities can respond to the challenge of climate change dominate the thoughts of urban planners and designers across the U.S. and Canada. With admirable clarity, Patrick Condon responds to these questions. He addresses transportation, housing equity, job distribution, economic development, and ecological systems issues and synthesizes his knowledge and research into a simple-to-understand set of urban design recommendations.

No other book so clearly connects the form of our cities to their ecological, economic, and social consequences. No other book takes on this breadth of complex and contentious issues and distills them down to such convincing and practical solutions.


front cover of Sustainability
A Love Story
Nicole Walker
The Ohio State University Press, 2018
In Sustainability: A Love Story, Nicole Walker questions what it means to live sustainably while still being able to have Internet and eat bacon. After all, who wants to listen to a short, blond woman who is mostly a hypocrite anyway—who eats cows, drives a gasoline-powered car, who owns no solar panels—tsk-tsking them? Armed with research and a bright irony that playfully addresses the devastation of the world around us, Walker delves deep into scarcity and abundance, reflecting on matters that range from her uneasy relationship with bats to the fragility of human life, from adolescent lies to what recycling can reveal about our not so moderate drinking habits. With laugh-out-loud sad-funny moments, and a stark humor, Walker appeals to our innate sense of personal commitment to sustaining our world, and our commitment to sustaining our marriages, our families, our lives, ourselves.
This book is for the burnt-out environmentalist, the lazy environmentalist, the would-be environmentalist. It’s for those who believe the planet is dying. For those who believe they are dying. And for those who question what it means to live and love sustainably, and maybe even with hope.

front cover of The Sustainable Learning Community
The Sustainable Learning Community
One University’s Journey to the Future
John Aber
University of New Hampshire Press, 2009
University communities have the potential to serve as models in the development and application of sustainability principles and practices, not only by what they teach and study, but also by how they operate facilities and engage with off-campus partners. With the oldest endowed campus-wide sustainability program in the country, established in 1997, the University of New Hampshire has become a leader in advancing a campus culture of sustainability. The UNH experience provides a unique window into the development of a new and integrated approach to teaching, learning, research, and operations. It is also a valuable guide for other institutions that aim to enhance the quality of campus life while reducing their environmental footprint. The book’s organization along four functional domains (curriculum, operations, research, and engagement) allows faculty, staff, students, and managers to focus on sections of particular relevance to their university roles. Each chapter develops standards of best practices and presents interesting case studies to humanize the larger effort.

front cover of Twenty Acres
Twenty Acres
A Seventies Childhood in the Woods
Sarah Neidhardt
University of Arkansas Press, 2023

"A memoir infused with both empathy and inquiry."

—Wendy J. Fox, Electric Literature

Sarah Neidhardt grew up in the woods. When she was an infant, her parents left behind comfortable, urbane lives to take part in the back-to-the-land movement. They moved their young family to an isolated piece of land deep in the Arkansas Ozarks where they built a cabin, grew crops, and strove for eight years to live self-sufficiently.
In this vivid memoir Neidhardt explores her childhood in wider familial and social contexts. Drawing upon a trove of family letters and other archival material, she follows her parents’ journey from privilege to food stamps—from their formative youths, to their embrace of pioneer homemaking and rural poverty, to their sudden and wrenching return to conventional society—and explores the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s as it was, and as she lived it.
A story of strangers in a strange land, of class, marriage, and family in a changing world, Twenty Acres: A Seventies Childhood in the Woods is part childhood idyll, part cautionary tale. Sarah Neidhardt reveals the treasures and tolls of unconventional, pastoral lives, and her insightful reflections offer a fresh perspective on what it means to aspire to pre-industrial lifestyles in a modern world.

Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter