Antarctica is the most alien place on the planet, the only part of the Earth where humans could never survive unaided. Out of our fascination with it have come many books, most of which focus on only one aspect of its unique strangeness. None has managed to capture the whole story - until now. Drawing on her broad travels across the continent, in Antarctica Gabrielle Walker weaves all the significant threads of life on the vast ice sheet into an intricate tapestry, illuminating what it really feels like to be there and why it draws so many different kinds of people.
"it's a different world!"
Farm animals have been disappearing from our fields as the production of food has become a global industry. We no longer know for certain what is entering the food chain and what we are eating - as the UK horsemeat scandal demonstrated. We are reaching a tipping point as the farming revolution threatens our countryside, health, and the quality of our food wherever we live in the world.
"Good book, bad reading."
Eye of the Albatross takes us soaring to locales where whales, sea turtles, penguins, and shearwaters flourish in their own quotidian rhythms. Carl Safina's guide and inspiration is an albatross he calls Amelia, whose life and far-flung flights he describes in fascinating detail. Interwoven with recollections of whalers and famous explorers, Eye of the Albatross probes the unmistakable environmental impact of the encounters between man and marine life.
In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for "our great green hope"-a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon-and potentially reverse global warming. Her discoveries and vivid storytelling will revolutionize the way we think about our food, our landscapes, our plants, and our relationship to Earth.
The grid is an accident of history and of culture, in no way intrinsic to how we produce, deliver and consume electrical power. Yet this is the system the United States ended up with, a jerry-built structure now so rickety and near collapse that a strong wind or a hot day can bring it to a grinding halt. The grid is now under threat from a new source: renewable and variable energy, which puts stress on its logics as much as its components.
"Poor introduction to an important subject"
In Earth in Mind, noted environmental educator David W. Orr focuses not on problems in education, but on the problem of education.
Much of what has gone wrong with the world, he argues, is the result of inadequate and misdirected education that: alienates us from life in the name of human domination; causes students to worry about how to make a living before they know who they are; overemphasizes success and careers; separates feeling from intellect and the practical from the theoretical; deadens the sense of wonder for the created world.
Most of us recognize that climate change is real, and yet we do nothing to stop it. What is this psychological mechanism that allows us to know something is true but act as if it is not? George Marshall's search for the answers brings him face to face with Nobel Prize-winning psychologists and the activists of the Texas Tea Party; the world's leading climate scientists and the people who denounce them; liberal environmentalists and conservative evangelicals.
"Extremely interesting and well narrated"
We live in a world of seeds. From our morning toast to the cotton in our clothes, they are quite literally the stuff and staff of life, supporting diets, economies, and civilizations around the globe. Just as the search for nutmeg and the humble peppercorn drove the Age of Discovery, so did coffee beans help fuel the Enlightenment and cottonseed help spark the Industrial Revolution. And from the fall of Rome to the Arab Spring, the fate of nations continues to hinge on the seeds of a Middle Eastern grass known as wheat.
"very interesting if you're curious about seeds :)"
A preeminent geneticist hunts the Neanderthal genome to answer the biggest question of them all: what does it mean to be human? What can we learn from the genes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pbo's mission to answer that question, beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in his sequencing of the Neanderthal genome in 2009.
"the best book ever!"
This original audiobook considers one of the most extraordinary scientific and political stories of our time: how in the 1980s a handful of scientists came to believe that mankind faced catastrophe from runaway global warming, and how today this has persuaded politicians to land us with what promises to be the biggest bill in history. Christopher Booker interweaves the science of global warming with that of its growing political consequences, showing how just when the politicians are threatening to change our Western way of life beyond recognition, the scientific evidence behind the global warming theory is being challenged like never before.
"Refreshing look at the skeptic view"
An entertaining and enlightening exploration of why waste matters, this cultural history explores an often ignored subject matter and makes a compelling argument for a deeper understanding of human and animal waste. Approaching the subject from a variety of perspectives - evolutionary, ecological, and cultural - this examination shows how integral excrement is to biodiversity, agriculture, public health, food production and distribution, and global ecosystems.
"Funny and informative"
From the science of greenhouse gases to the intricate logic of cap and trade, Broome reveals how the principles that underlie everyday decision making also provide simple and effective ideas for confronting climate change. Climate Matters is an essential contribution to one of the paramount issues of our time.
"An important book everyone should read"
In Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter - veteran journalist and son of an American junkyard owner - travels deeply into a vast, often hidden, multibillion-dollar industry that's transforming our economy and environment. Minter takes us from back-alley Chinese computer recycling operations to high-tech facilities capable of processing a jumbo jet's worth of recyclable trash every day. Along the way, we meet an unforgettable cast of characters.
"Interesting delve into a largely hidden industry"
Coming home from the war in Iraq, US Army private Roy Scranton thought he'd left the world of strife behind. Then he watched as new calamities struck America, heralding a threat far more dangerous than ISIS or al-Qaeda: Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, megadrought - the shock and awe of global warming. Our world is changing. Rising seas, spiking temperatures, and extreme weather imperil global infrastructure, crops, and water supplies. Conflict, famine, plagues, and riots menace from every quarter.
An icon of the environmental movement outlines a provocative approach for reclaiming our planet. According to Stewart Brand, a lifelong environmentalist who sees everything in terms of solvable design problems, three profound transformations are under way on Earth right now. Climate change is real and is pushing us toward managing the planet as a whole. Urbanization - half the world's population now lives in cities, and 80 percent will by midcentury - is altering humanity's land impact and wealth.
"Must read (or listen) for all, particularly greens"
The ocean teems with life that thrives under difficult situations in unusual environments. The Extreme Life of the Sea takes listeners to the absolute limits of the ocean world - the fastest and deepest, the hottest and oldest creatures of the oceans. It dives into the icy Arctic and boiling hydrothermal vents - and exposes the eternal darkness of the deepest undersea trenches - to show how marine life thrives against the odds. This thrilling book brings to life the sea's most extreme species, and tells their stories as characters in the drama of the oceans.
In this classic work that continues to inspire its many fans, James Lovelock deftly explains his idea that life on Earth functions as a single organism. Written for the non-scientist, Gaia is a journey through time and space in search of evidence with which to support a new and radically different model of our planet. In contrast to conventional belief that living matter is passive in the face of threats to its existence, the book explores the hypothesis that the Earth's living matter - air, ocean, and land surfaces - forms a complex system that has the capacity to keep the Earth a fit place for life.
"A good way to digest a dense book!"
The familiar call of the common cuckoo, "cuck-oo", has been a harbinger of spring ever since our ancestors walked out of Africa many thousands of years ago. However, for naturalist and scientist Nick Davies, the call is an invitation to solve an enduring puzzle: How does the cuckoo get away with laying its eggs in the nests of other birds and tricking them into raising young cuckoos rather than their own offspring?
Pioneering oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer unravels the mystery of marine currents, uncovers the astonishing story of flotsam, and changes the world's view of trash, the ocean, and our global environment. Curtis Ebbesmeyer is no ordinary scientist. He's been a consulting oceanographer for multinational firms and a lead scientist on international research expeditions, but he's never held a conventional academic appointment.
One bright day in December 2001, sixty-two-year-old Germaine Greer found herself confronted by an irresistible challenge in the shape of sixty hectares of dairy farm, one of many in southeast Queensland, Australia, which, after a century of logging, clearing, and downright devastation, had been abandoned to their fate. She didn't think for a minute that by restoring the land she was saving the world. She was in search of heart's ease.
For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams sets out to uncover the science behind nature's positive effects on the brain.
Amanda Owen has been seen by millions on ITV's The Dales, living a life that has almost gone in today's modern world, a life ruled by the seasons and her animals. She is a farmer's wife and shepherdess, living alongside her husband, Clive, and seven children at Ravenseat, a 2,000 acre sheep hill farm at the head of Swaledale in North Yorkshire. It's a challenging life but one she loves.
The fourth volume of memoirs from the author who inspired the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small. Finally home from London after his wartime service in the RAF, James Herriot is settling back into life as a country vet. While the world has changed after the war, the blunt Yorkshire clients and menagerie of beasts with weird and wonderful ailments remain the same.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist: more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast; there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon. His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story.
"Seems to tie together not only science, but history too. Fascinating"
The fifth volume of memoirs from the author who inspired the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small. During his decades spent as a country vet in Yorkshire, James Herriot has seen huge advances in medical science, technological leaps, and a world irrevocably changed by war. Yet some things have always stayed the same - gruff farmers, hypochondriac pet owners, and animals that never do quite what you expect them to.
"Perfect cosy read"
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Landmarks, a fascinating exploration of the relationship between language and landscapes by Robert Macfarlane, read by Roy McMillan. Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about the power of language to shape our sense of place.
"Love it, but it's costing me a fortune!"
To better put into perspective the various issues surrounding energy in the 21st century, you need to understand the essential science behind how energy works. And you need a reliable source whose focus is on giving you the facts you need to form your own educated opinions.
"Comprehensive picture of energy resources"
A must-have book for walkers, sailors and everyone interested in the natural world, How to Read Water unlocks the secrets of water in all its forms. Natural navigator Tristan Gooley imparts knowledge and teaches skills, tips and useful observations to help you navigate the landscape around you.
"Great read (listen)..."
In Storms of My Grandchildren, James Hansen - the nation's leading scientist on climate issues - speaks out for the first time with the full truth about global warming: the planet is hurtling even more rapidly than previously acknowledged to a climatic point of no return. Although Hansen was Al Gore's science adviser for the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, his recent data shows that our situation is even more dire today.
"Tough but interesting reading"
This gripping, deeply thoughtful book considers the future of civilization in the light of what we know about climate change and related threats. David Orr, an award-winning, internationally recognized leader in the field of sustainability and environmental education, pulls no punches: Even with the Paris Agreement of 2015, Earth systems will not reach a new equilibrium for centuries.
"Moving, terrifying, vitally important!"
What if we can make ourselves, our communities, and our planet healthier all at the same time by moving our bodies more? Movement Matters is a collection of essays in which biomechanist Katy Bowman continues her groundbreaking investigation of the mechanics of our sedentary culture and the profound potential of human movement. Here she widens her message and invites us to consider our personal relationship with sedentarism, privilege, and nature.
"Another amazing and thought provoking book"
Travelling the circumference of the truly gigantic Pacific, Simon Winchester tells the story of the world's largest body of water and - in matters economic, political and military - the ocean of the future. The Pacific is a world of tsunamis and Magellan, of the Bounty mutiny and the Boeing Company. It is the stuff of the towering Captain Cook and his wide-ranging network of exploring voyages, Robert Louis Stevenson and Admiral Halsey.
"The Pacific - Tumultuous Ocean"
First published in 1962, Silent Spring can single-handedly be credited with sounding the alarm and raising awareness of humankind's collective impact on its own future through chemical pollution. No other book has so strongly influenced the environmental conscience of Americans and the world at large.
"incredible book! :)"
A few months of married bliss, a lovers' nest in Darrowby and the wonders of home cooking are rudely interrupted for James Herriot by the Second World War. James Herriot's fifth volume of memoirs relocates him to a training camp somewhere in England. And in between square pounding and digging for victory, he dreams of the people and livestock he left behind him.
"Calming Yorkshire at its best"
Here, the man who started the "food revolution" with the million-plus-selling Diet for a New America, boldly posits that, collectively, our personal diet can save ourselves and the world. If, according to chaos theory, the beating of a butterfly's wing can cause a hurricane in another part of the world, try this out for chaotic cause and effect: monarch butterflies are dying in droves due to genetically-engineered corn growing in the Midwest. There is also a direct correlation between the Big Mac in your hand and the mile-wide river now running across the North Pole.
It was the winter of 1902; South African park ranger Harry Wolhuter was on horseback, patrolling the area for poachers at Kruger National Park. Little did he know, he was also being stalked. Out of nowhere, two huge male lions pounced on Harry's horse, knocking the man to the ground. The horse ran off, leaving Harry to fend for himself. One of the lions lunged at him - piercing deep into his flesh and bones - and began to drag him far into the jungle to finish him off.
Geology is often thought of as simply the study of rocks. In reality, geology is the study of our planet on all scales, from microscopic to planet-wide, and ranging in time from almost instantaneous events, like earthquakes, to the glacially slow motion of the tectonic plates. Everything we know about our world from a geologic perspective is based on information locked into the rock record and the job of a geologist is to tease out that story through a wide variety of observations. This insightful course explores a range of topics that help to tell the story of Earth and to explain the discipline of Geology and the role of the geologist.