Recommended – Book Reviews

Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben, 2010

“Imagine we live on a planet.”EaarthBill McKibben  

So begins Bill McKibben’s 2010 book, Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet.  Those few words powerfully contain the message of the book.  We do live on a planet, a very small one, interdependent one; there is no other place – here is home, our only home.  The point of the book is very clear:  global warming is not something that is going to happen, it is here now.  It is our reality, and we better start figuring out right now how we are going to respond to it.  Doing nothing is only a short term option that will result in wars over the last drops of fossil fuels, and after they are gone, we’ll still have to figure out something else.  So let’s do it now. Read more here….

Reviewed by:  Lynda Schneekloth, Chair, Sierra Club Niagara Group

Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, New World Library, CA (2012)

Active Hope Bit by bit, we are losing our world.  Joanna MacyWe are losing the forests, the fish, the bees; we are wiping out whole species. We are losing the richness of community and most of what makes life meaningful. We are now on the brink of losing the biological support systems we need to survive. (223)

But we can’t despair — that’s actually what the ‘forces of evil’ (the theological language feels appropriate) want.  But we do, occasionally, need help to carry on. I found Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone’ book, ACTIVE HOPE: How to face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy to be a formidable reminder of why we continue to work in the face of power, and how to take care of ourselves as individuals and communities of intention at the same time.  Read more here…

Reviewed by:  Lynda Schneekloth, Chair, Sierra Club Niagara Group

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants,  Douglas W. Tallamy, 2009

Bringing Nature Home Douglas Tallamy Sometimes you read a book that addresses something you already knew, but does it in a way that radically opens your mind to the depth and importance of the issue.  Tallamy’s book, Bringing Nature Home is one such book.

I’m a landscape architect, a real plantophile, and have been a strong proponent of native plants for years.  So what is it about this book that has captured my imagination and interest so completely that I urge everyone of you to read it?  Three reasons.  First, his discussion of the interactions of plants, insects and other species is clear, cogent and fascinating.  Second, he asserts that we – you and me — can undo much of the environmental damage we have inflicted on the land while doing our gardening.  And third, it is critical work to do.  Tallamy says, [m]y central message is that unless we restore native plants to our suburban [urban] ecosystems, the future of biodiversity in the United States is dim.    Read more here…

Reviewed by:  Lynda Schneekloth, Chair, Sierra Club Niagara Group

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