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51.

THE BOOM

Russell Gold
Hardcover

Price: $26.00

Russell Gold, a brilliant and dogged investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal, has spent more than a decade reporting on one of the biggest stories of our time: the spectacular, world-changin…

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Russell Gold, a brilliant and dogged investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal, has spent more than a decade reporting on one of the biggest stories of our time: the spectacular, world-changing rise of "fracking." Recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award for his work, Gold has traveled along the pipelines and into the hubs of this country's energy infrastructure; he has visited frack sites from Texas to North Dakota; and he has conducted thousands of interviews with engineers and wildcatters, CEOs and roughnecks, environmentalists and politicians. He has also sifted through reams of engineering reports, lawsuit transcripts and financial filings. The result is an essential book: a commanding piece of journalism, an astounding study of human ingenuity and an epic work of storytelling.

Fracking has vociferous critics and fervent defenders, but the debate between these camps has obscured the actual story: Fracking has become a fixture of the American landscape and the global economy. It has upended the business models of energy companies around the globe, and it has started to change geopolitics and global energy markets in profound ways. Gold tells the story of this once-obscure oilfield technology … a story with an incredible cast of tycoons and geologists, dreamers and drillers, speculators and skeptics. It's a story that answers a critical question of our time: Where will the energy come from to power our world, and what price will we have to pay for it?


52.

ASPHALT TO ECOSYSTEMS

Sharon Gamson Danks
Paperback

Price: $39.95

Asphalt to Ecosystems is a compelling color guidebook for designing and building natural schoolyard environments that enhance childhood learning and play experiences while providing connection with th…

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Asphalt to Ecosystems is a compelling color guidebook for designing and building natural schoolyard environments that enhance childhood learning and play experiences while providing connection with the natural world.

With this book, author Sharon Gamson Danks broadens our notion of what a well-designed schoolyard should be, taking readers on a journey from traditional, ordinary grassy fields and asphalt, to explore the vibrant and growing movement to "green" school grounds in the United States and around the world. This book documents exciting green schoolyard examples from almost 150 schools in 11 countries, illustrating that a great many things are possible on school grounds when they are envisioned as outdoor classrooms for hands-on learning and play. The book's 500 vivid, color photographs showcase some of the world's most innovative green schoolyards, including: edible gardens with fruit trees, vegetables, chickens, honeybees and outdoor cooking facilities; wildlife habitats with prairie grasses and ponds, or forest and desert ecosystems; schoolyard watershed models, rainwater catchment systems and waste-water treatment wetlands; renewable energy systems that power landscape features or the whole school; waste-as-a-resource projects that give new life to old materials in beautiful ways; K-12 curriculum connections for a wide range of disciplines from science and math to art and social studies; creative play opportunities that diversify school ground recreational options and encourage children to run, hop, skip, jump, balance, slide and twirl, as well as explore the natural world firsthand. The book grounds these examples in a practical framework that illustrates simple landscape design choices that all schools can use to make their schoolyards more comfortable, enjoyable and beautiful, and describes a participatory design process that schools can use to engage their school communities in transforming their own asphalt into ecosystems.


53.

ECO-BUSINESS

Peter Dauvergne, Jane Lister
Hardcover

Price: $24.95

McDonald's promises to use only beef, coffee, fish, chicken, and cooking oil obtained from sustainable sources. Coca-Cola promises to achieve water neutrality. Unilever has set a deadline of 2020 to r…

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McDonald's promises to use only beef, coffee, fish, chicken, and cooking oil obtained from sustainable sources. Coca-Cola promises to achieve water neutrality. Unilever has set a deadline of 2020 to reach 100 percent sustainable agricultural sourcing. Walmart has pledged to become carbon neutral. Today, big-brand companies seem to be making commitments that go beyond the usual "greenwashing" efforts undertaken largely for public relations purposes. In Eco-Business, Peter Dauvergne and Jane Lister examine this new corporate embrace of sustainability, its actual accomplishments, and the consequences for the environment.

For many leading-brand companies, these corporate sustainability efforts go deep, reorienting central operations and extending through global supply chains. Yet, as Dauvergne and Lister point out, these companies are doing this not for the good of the planet but for their own profits and market share in a volatile, globalized economy. They are using sustainability as a business tool.

Advocacy groups and governments are partnering with these companies, eager to reap the governance potential of eco-business efforts. But Dauvergne and Lister show that the acclaimed eco-efficiencies achieved by big-brand companies limit the potential for finding deeper solutions to pressing environmental problems and reinforce runaway consumption. Eco-business promotes the sustainability of big business, not the sustainability of life on Earth.


54.

NATURE'S FORTUNE

Mark Tercek, Jonathan Adams
Hardcover

Price: $26.99

What is nature worth? The answer to this question, which traditionally has been framed in environmental terms, is revolutionizing the way we do business.

Mark Tercek, the CEO of The Nature Conservancy …

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What is nature worth? The answer to this question, which traditionally has been framed in environmental terms, is revolutionizing the way we do business.

Mark Tercek, the CEO of The Nature Conservancy and a former investment banker, and science writer Jonathan Adams argue that nature is not only the foundation of human well-being, but also the smartest commercial investment any business or government can make. In Nature’s Fortune, they demonstrate that forests, floodplains and oyster reefs (often seen simply as raw materials or obstacles to be cleared in the name of progress) are as important to our future prosperity as technology, law or business innovation.

Who invests in nature, and why? What rates of return can it produce? When is protecting nature a good investment? With stories from the South Pacific to the California coast, from the Andes to the Gulf of Mexico and even to New York City, Nature’s Fortune shows how viewing nature as green infrastructure allows for breakthroughs not only in conservation (protecting water supplies; enhancing the health of fisheries; making cities more sustainable, livable and safe; and dealing with unavoidable climate change), but in economic progress, as well. Organizations obviously depend on the environment for key resources: water, trees and land. But they can also reap substantial commercial benefits in the form of risk mitigation, cost reduction, new investment opportunities, and the protection of assets. Once leaders learn how to account for nature in financial terms, they can incorporate that value into the organization’s decisions and activities, just as habitually as they consider cost, revenue and return on investment.

A must-read for business leaders, CEOs, investors and environmentalists alike, Nature’s Fortune offers an essential guide to the world’s economic (and environmental) well-being.


55.

PLASTIC PURGE

Michael SanClements
Paperback

Price: $16.99

Plastic is everywhere we look. Our computers and children's toys are made out of it, and our water and slices of American cheese are packaged in it. But why is there so much and what is it doing to ou…

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Plastic is everywhere we look. Our computers and children's toys are made out of it, and our water and slices of American cheese are packaged in it. But why is there so much and what is it doing to our bodies? Is it possible to use less plastic and be happier and healthier?

In Plastic Purge, ecologist Michael SanClements has put together the most up-to-date and scientifically backed information available to explain how plastics release toxins into your body and the effect they have on your health (and that of your children). Both approachable and engaging, Plastic Purge provides easy-to-follow advice for how to use less plastic, thereby reaping the benefits such as eating a healthier diet and living with less clutter. Dividing plastics into three separate categories, SanClements shows you how to embrace the good (items such as your phone or medical equipment), avoid the bad (food storage containers and toys that contain toxic chemicals), and use less of the ugly (single-use plastic that's just plain wasteful).

With the help of Michael SanClements’s Plastic Purge, you and your family will develop easy habits to live healthier and happier lives.


56.

OVERFISHED OCEAN STRATEGY

Nadya Zhexembayeva
Hardcover

Price: $27.95

We all know the proverb about teaching someone to fish, but if there are no fish left, knowing how to catch them won’t do you any good. And that’s the position businesses are in today. Resources are b…

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We all know the proverb about teaching someone to fish, but if there are no fish left, knowing how to catch them won’t do you any good. And that’s the position businesses are in today. Resources are being depleted at an alarming rate. The cost of raw materials is rising dramatically. We are, simply put, running out of things to take and places to trash.

To survive in the long term, says Nadya Zhexembayeva, businesses need to make resource scarcity—the overfished ocean—their primary strategic consideration, not just a concern for their “green” division. Those managers who deeply understand and master this shift will be able to turn the new reality into a remarkable competitive advantage.

Overfished Ocean Strategy offers five essential principles for innovating in this new reality. Zhexembayeva shows how businesses have been finding new opportunities in what were once considered useless byproducts, discovering resource-conserving efficiencies up and down their value chain, transferring their expertise from physical products to services, and developing ways to rapidly try out and refine these new business models. A business owner herself, Zhexembayeva fills the book with examples of companies that are already successfully navigating the overfished ocean, from established corporations such as BMW, Microsoft and Puma to newcomers such as Lush, FLOOW2 and Sourcemap.

The linear, throwaway economy of today—in which we extract resources at one end, create products, and throw them away at the other—is rapidly coming to an end. A new economy is being born, one that takes this line and turns it into a circle. In every industry, creative minds are learning how to make money from reducing rather than expanding. Zhexembayeva shows how you can join them and avoid being left high and dry.


57.

BACKYARD BIODIESEL

Lyle Estill & Bob Armantrout
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Small-scale home biodiesel production holds a singular attraction for the do-it-yourself enthusiast. While perhaps it can't save the world, this unique renewable fuel is economical, fun to make, bette…

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Small-scale home biodiesel production holds a singular attraction for the do-it-yourself enthusiast. While perhaps it can't save the world, this unique renewable fuel is economical, fun to make, better for the environment, and will help you reduce your dependence on Big Oil. And getting started is easier than you think.

Backyard Biodiesel is written by two recognized experts in the field of small-scale biofuels. This comprehensive hands-on, practical, DIY guide includes:

  • The basics of small-scale brewing – recipes, strategies and technologies
  • Advanced backyard analytics and troubleshooting
  • Safety considerations and regulatory issues
  • Topping up the tank – how to put your biodiesel to work for you
Making your own fuel is not only possible, it is rewarding. Designed to be accessible to everyone from readers with no prior technical expertise to alternative energy buffs, Backyard Biodiesel is a must-read for any aspiring brewer, packed with everything you need to get up and running quickly and safely.


58.

CONSULTING THE GENIUS OF THE PLACE

Wes Jackson
Paperback

Price: $22.95

Locavore leaders such as Alice Waters, Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver all speak of the need for sweeping changes in how we get our food. A longtime leader of this movement is Wes Jackson, who f…

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Locavore leaders such as Alice Waters, Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver all speak of the need for sweeping changes in how we get our food. A longtime leader of this movement is Wes Jackson, who for decades has taken it upon himself to speak for the land, to speak for the soil itself. Here, he offers a manifesto toward a conceptual revolution: Jackson asks us to look to natural ecosystems—or, if one prefers, nature in general—as the measure against which we judge all of our agricultural practices.

Jackson believes the time is right to do away with annual monoculture grains, which are vulnerable to national security threats and are partly responsible for the explosion in our health care costs. Soil erosion and the poisons polluting our water and air—all associated with agriculture from its beginnings—foretell a population with its natural fertility greatly destroyed.

In this eloquent and timely volume, Jackson argues we must look to nature itself to lead us out of the mess we’ve made. The natural ecosystems will tell us, if we listen, what should happen to the future of food.

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