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Top 10 books and resources on environmental issues

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 1,278 ✭✭✭ gaiscioch

    If one were to read 10 authoritative/reliable books over the summer on the major environmental issues of today and the future, what would you recommend? Is there a sort of widely respected updated book summarising the key environmental facts, figures and prognoses?

    I'll be teaching environmental issues (particularly sustainable development) as part of Politics and Society at LC level, I'm especially interested in alternatives to all the packaging we're using, and creative and workable solutions to the environmental damage caused by rampant consumerism. Is there any one state which is way ahead in terms or environmental innovation in 2021 that I could use as an example of where Ireland could be?

    Vandana Shiva is one of the environmental philosophers (of the 17 set philosophers on the course), as is Seán McDonagh (ecology) and Martha Nussbaum (human development). Who are the key thinkers in environmentalism today and where can I find a comprehensive summary of the key ideas?



  • #2

    It isn't without it's critics, but Padraig Fogarty's book on re-wilding Ireland is intellectually provocative and something that people of LC age should really be thinking about (the UN only saying yesterday that an areas the size of China needs to be re-wilded globally to prevent mass extinctions etc.)- the book relates this issue back to ourselves so it has extra relevance.

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    for historical value, 'silent spring' is worth a read; and is quite readable too.

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    Planet of Slums by Mike Davis. Lots of stats but a real eye opener.

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    A book that I read which I thought was good was The Madhouse Effect by Michael E. Mann and Tom Toles.
    It goes into a bit of detail about the science of the climate crisis, explaining how it is caused, but it mainly explores the ways in which some people deny the existence of the problem. I would say that widespread climate crisis denial is one of the very biggest reasons why human society is struggling to become sustainable, so it is important for as many people as possible to see through such denial.

    Another one that I read is How Bad are Bananas? by Mike Berners-Lee.
    It gives estimates of the carbon footprints of all sorts of activities and products, such as sending an email, going for a swim in a pool, a banana, a university and a war. It is a good way to help individuals reduce their carbon footprints.
    The same author wrote a more recent book, There is no Planet B, but I haven't read it, so I'm not fully sure what it is about.

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