2021 Outstanding Academic Titles: Climate Change

Five selections from the Choice Reviews 2021 Outstanding Academic Titles list for Earth Day

Five selections from the Choice Reviews 2021 Outstanding Academic Titles list for Earth Day. This week we highlight Choice 2021 Outstanding Academic Titles about climate change.

1. How to think about the climate crisis: a philosophical guide to saner ways of living
Parkes, Graham. Bloomsbury Academic, 2020
How to Think About the Climate Crisis an Outstanding Academic Title about climate change.

How to Think About the Climate Crisis draws on philosophical, political, and environmental sources and stands out within the growing climate-change literature. Organized into nine chapters, the text is bookended by a more personal introduction and conclusion. Veteran Nietzsche specialist and author of Composing the Soul (CH, Sep’95, 33-0237), Parkes (emer., Univ. of Hawai‛i; research fellow, Univ. of Vienna) eloquently spells out the roots of the climate crisis while suggesting devolution of power to smaller entities on the ground as a possible path forward. Parkes identifies lack of awareness that everything is connected (citing a core tenet not only of Buddhist, Confucian, and Daoist philosophies but also of Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical) as the main problem. Chapter 3 skewers libertarianism, with its emphasis on individual freedom and minimization of governmental power. Chapters 4 and 5 outline ways the fossil fuel industry, the religious right, and Silicon Valley represent obstructions to addressing climate change. Subsequent chapters emphasize philosophical reflections ranging from Chinese tradition to comparable ideas in Western thought. Parkes moves nimbly from a “Middle Way where Buddhism promotes moderation” to “thinking like a mountain” in the holistic, interconnective words of American ecologist Aldo Leopold. View on Amazon

2. Sustainability and the rights of nature in practice
ed. by Cameron La Follette and Chris Maser CRC Press, 2020
Sustainability and the rights of nature in practice	an Outstanding Academic Title about climate change.

This timely and inspiring book offers examples and critique to build foundational awareness on the rights of nature movement around the world. As the populations of the world increase in size, their demand for resources impacts the ecological systems of the earth. This valuable text begins by introducing the concepts for the rights of nature movement. Following their introduction, editors La Follette and Maser offer 18 collected essays representing the diverse approaches and campaigns as pursued by citizenry, including indigenous cultures, organizations, and judicial institutions from around the world. The approachable tone and presentation of this academic book will enable the reader to gain proficiency in discussing and advocating for the rights of nature. The volume will enhance any level of university or college study, and will remain an impactful resource as citizens strive to design for a resilient future.. View on Amazon

3. The climate change debate: a reference handbook
Newton, David E. ABC-CLIO, 2020
The climate change debate: an Outstanding Academic Title about climate change.

This volume, part of the ABC-CLIO series “Contemporary World Issues: Environment,” begins with a comprehensive, highly readable introduction covering the causes of climate variability, a history of climate research including recent breakthroughs in understanding it, and the response (or lack thereof) from the general public and body politic. Factual and unbiased, this review informs without inflaming, avoiding the pitfalls of “debate” while unequivocally revealing the evidence for anthropogenic sources of excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans, and the consequent impact of the latter on climate. Throughout the following two sections—delving into controversies, proposed solutions, and different perspectives—the selected source materials are authoritative and driven by science. Biases of organizations that refute climate science are also revealed, supported by references to pertinent reliable sources. Profiles of noteworthy scientists, climate advocates, and organizations that have an essential role for climate action comprise the final third of the handbook, along with a careful selection of additional resources, a chronology of essential events and climatic benchmarks, and a glossary. Crucially, with this work’s thorough approach to documentation, educator Newton successfully conveys the overwhelming consensus among scientists about the reality of climate change and the urgent need for action. View on Amazon

4. We alone: how humans have conquered the planet and can also save it
Western, David. Yale, 2020
We alone: how humans have conquered the planet and can also save it, an Outstanding Academic Title about climate change.

This is not just another apocryphal volume decrying climate change and population explosion. Western (founder and chair, African Conservation Centre, Nairobi) grew up in Kenya living closely with Maasai farmers and communities and later headed the Kenya Wildlife Service. He commands a unique perspective on integrating conservation and society. He knows much about conservation, both successes and failures, particularly in Africa, and readers of this book will too. Part 1 (“Roots of Our Success”) traces human history on the savannas, identifies traditional conservation practices, and explains the uniqueness of human cooperation in the region. As Western writes, over eons, humans learned to form support groups beyond the family. Understanding conservation in this context requires understanding humanness: tool use, foresight, and a firm grip all coevolved with growing brain size—and so probably did wanderlust. Part 2 (“The Human Age”) introduces who humans have become, with globalization, economic theory, 20th-century geopolitical history, and human evolutionary history woven throughout. The Maasai generation of 2020 would find their parents’ childhood lifeways inconceivable as they forsake pastoralism for education. View on Amazon.

5. Land of wondrous cold: the race to discover Antarctica and unlock the secrets of its ice
Wood, Gillen D’Arcy. Princeton, 2020

With a flair for interpreting present-day problems and environmental changes against a vast backdrop beginning with the 19th-century age of seafaring discovery, Wood (Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) adeptly mediates between past and present. Aside from demonstrating his creative skills as a writer, this work is all the more welcome for its distinguished scholarship. While focusing mainly on the fierce rivalry among the French, British, and American expeditions of the 1840s, Wood successfully bridges the huge gulf between that time and the present, recounting discoveries of modern scientists that document the effects of global warning on the Antarctic ice cap. Wood’s examination of prior human perceptions of Antarctica in the days of sail, juxtaposed with contemporary appreciation and warnings about what the future may hold, adds up to a marvelously engaging work. It is no easy feat to pass between the Victorian era and the present. Current ocean drilling programs, studies of plate tectonics, glacial erosion, and paleontological discoveries provide detailed substance, even verve, to Wood’s text. View on Amazon.

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