We should really celebrate our small blue planet every day, but recent events give us particular cause to reflect on our home and how we’re treating it.
Books & Resources
A family of turtles has gathered to celebrate the wedding of Miss Taylor Turtley. It is a perfect day for all concerned, until suddenly they are pelted with garbage from a passing car on the nearby highway. Outraged, young Thurman the Turtle vows to take decisive action to stop the littering and spoiling of the turtles’ habitat.
I remember taking a course in University that focused on systems where we learned how everything in the ecosystem is connected in one way or the other. At the time I remember being bored to death and thinking that I will never need to know this information. But now I find myself looking closely at the food we eat.
In The Failure of Environmental Education (And How We Can Fix It), the authors Charles Saylan and Daniel T. Blumstein – a non-profit educational society director and a university professor – bring a nice mix of historical information regarding environmental education, and a thoughtful discussion of the need for improvement and the barriers to be overcome. The main failure of environmental education, the authors contend, is that the lack of comprehensiveness, integration, flexibility and focus has resulted in a serious deficiency in public awareness of environmental problems. So they provide a “manifesto for addressing how people think about environmental education.” Click through for our full review…
Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet is as much a personal letter to humanity as a natural history of the planet. It asks, “Will ours be a Medean or Gaian future?”, referring to diverging hypotheses named for Greek goddesses, one destructive and the other life-giving. Tim Flannery – Australian scientist, Copenhagen Climate Council chairman and author of The Weather Makers, argues that rather than being a foregone conclusion, “what we believe…will determine our fate.” The time to decide what we believe, he says, is upon us.
So far, 24% of respondents say that Robert Bateman is their favourite Canadian nature artist. 43% say that The Lorax by Dr. Seuss is their preferred environmental book for children. Help Alternatives Journal celebrate its 40th birthday by adding your choices to our 40 Best-Of Lists for a Better World. We want to know about your environmental favourites. […]
The title of John Michael Greer’s The Wealth of Nature: Economics as if Survival Mattered contains references to two very different economic works: Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations and E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. He calls on both books in his attempt to demonstrate that contemporary economics has gone astray.
I have a friend I’ll call Dave. An educated, rational and intelligent man, Dave can be counted on for thoughtful, reasoned arguments, except on one issue: climate change. He has read the overwhelming evidence, but Dave remains certain that climate change is a myth. His proof? He has none that hasn’t been dismissed repeatedly by climate scientists. Still, Dave remains steadfast and I could never understand why. Clive Hamilton may have given me the answer.
Considering our vast cultural and political differences, is it really possible to collectively solve the world’s social, economic and environmental problems? And more importantly, if so, how do we formalize our commitments to change without an overarching global government? The highly recommended Global Governance and the UN: An Unfinished Journey is a bold attempt to answer these questions by emphasizing the value of international co-ordination in tackling the most pressing and challenging issues of the 21st century. Click through for our full review…
Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History is a beautifully presented guide to the plants that have had the greatest impact on human civilization. Entries feature a description of the plant, its botanical name, its native range and its primary functions — edible, medicinal, commercial or practical. Concise text is highlighted by elegant botanical drawings, paintings and photographs as well as insightful quotes.