A person reading a book in a tent in the forest. (Unsplash/Le Tan)
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in The Revelator and is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration boosting climate story coverage.
These are the moments that test our souls – and our Facebook feeds.
So if you’re tired of the horrors unfolding hour after hour on social media and TV news, stop doomscrolling and direct your eyes to a more useful place: seven new environmental books that offer vital lessons for save the planet and the creatures that live on it.
Some of these books, all of which have been released since the beginning of the year, provide practical advice for people working in specific conservation areas. Others provide experience that we can leverage in multiple avenues. All offer inspiration at a time when it’s all too fleeting – and important to cling to.
“The Intersectional Ecologist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People and the Planet”
by Lea Thomas
The Revealer’s View: If you’ve ever heard the term “intersectional environmentalism,” you have Thomas to thank. The writer-activist focuses on the relationship between social justice and the environment, and she has a lot to say and learn in this vital new book.
From the Editor: “From the activist who coined the term, comes an introduction to intersectional environmentalism for the next generation of activists seeking to create meaningful, inclusive and lasting change. Thomas shows how not only black , Indigenous peoples and people of color are unequally and unfairly impacted by environmental injustices, but she argues that the fight for the planet goes hand in hand with the fight for civil rights; and in fact, that one cannot exist without essential reading, this book addresses the most pressing issues facing people and our planet, examining and dismantling privilege and looking to the future as the voice of a movement that will define a generation.”
“Ever Green: saving great forests to save the planet”
by John W. Reid and Thomas E. Lovejoy
The Revealer’s View: Lovejoy, a groundbreaking biologist, died late last year, but his ideas and influence live on. They are also more important than ever, with deforestation increasing in both pace and climate impact.
From the editor: “Megaforests play a critical role in decarbonizing the atmosphere – the boreal forest alone contains 1.8 trillion metric tons of carbon in its deep soils and peat layers, or 190 years of emissions at 2019 levels – and saving them is the most immediate and affordable large-scale solution to our planet’s most daunting current crisis. Reid and Lovejoy offer practical solutions to address the greatest challenges facing these forests. , from dramatically expanding protected areas to supporting Indigenous forest stewards to planning smarter road networks.
“Effective conservation: parks, rewilding and local development”
by Ignacio Jiménez
The Revealer’s View: This book is aimed at a specific type of reader – people who work directly in park conservation – but shouldn’t that be all of us, anyway?
From the Editor: Jiménez offers a pragmatic approach to conservation that emphasizes working with people – neighbors, governments, politicians, businesses, media – to ensure they have a long-term stake in conservation. protection and restoration of parks and wildlife. This highly readable manual, newly translated into English after successful Spanish and Portuguese editions, provides a groundbreaking, time-tested formula for successful conservation projects around the world that bring parks, people and nature together. »
“Disappearing maize: industrial agriculture and the extinction crisis”
by Helen Anne Curry
The Revealer’s View: As we’ve written, agricultural crops face increasing pressure from climate change, pathogens and other threats, and wild varieties of these common foods may provide the answer to avoid mass hunger.
From the Editor: “Through the contours of efforts to preserve the diversity of one of the world’s most important cultures, Curry reveals how those who have sought to protect indigenous, traditional and heritage cultures have forged their methods around of the expectation that social, political and economic transformations will eliminate diverse communities and cultures. In this fascinating study of how cultural narratives shape science, Curry argues for new understandings of endangerment and alternative strategies to protect and preserve cultural diversity.
“Was It Worth It? A Warrior’s Long Trail of Wilderness”
by Doug Peacock
The Revealer’s View: I have been diving in and out of this beautifully produced book since receiving a review copy a few months ago. At 80, Peacock has a lot to say as he looks back in a way that helps us look to the future.
From the publisher: “In a collection of captivating adventure stories, bestselling author Doug Peacock — loner, iconoclast, conservationist and contemporary of Edward Abbey — reflects on a life lived in nature, given the question that many ask in their twilight years: Was it worth it?”
“Ecoart in action: activities, case studies and provocations for classrooms and communities”
edited by Amara Geffen, Ann Rosenthal, Chris Fremantle and Aviva Rahmani
The Revelator’s perspective: Here’s another way to stop the doomscrolling by getting out your pens, markers, and paint (or graphics software if you’re digitally inclined) and getting ready to make a difference.
From the Editor: “How do we educate those who feel the urgency to address our environmental and social challenges? What ethical concerns do art creators face who engage in a deeply green agenda? How can we refocus education to emphasize integrative thinking and inspire hope?What role could art play in actualizing environmental resilience?Compiled from 67 Ecoart Network members, a group of over of 200 internationally established practitioners, “Ecoart in Action” presents itself as a field guide that offers practical solutions to critical environmental challenges.”
“The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of the American Bird”
by Jack E. Davis
The Revealer’s View: The Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s new book of ‘The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea’ seems particularly timely, with several new bird extinctions announced in the past year and the need to counter these losses with conservation success stories .
From the publisher: “Filled with spectacular stories of founding fathers, raptor hunters, heroic bird rescuers and the lives of bald eagles themselves – monogamous creatures, considered among the best parents in the animal world – ‘The Bald Eagle’ is a cultural and natural history spectacle that shows how this bird’s wondrous journey can inspire us today as we grapple with larger-scale environmental peril.”
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