Taking Time Off In August? Summer Book Suggestions

If you are taking a few days off this summer or just hoping to do some reading up on environmental issues, there are some great new books to dive into.  Ian Urbina and Tatiana Schlossberg, both of The New York Times, have notable books coming out later this month.  Urbina, a Pulitzer Prize winner, builds on his highly acclaimed exposé series in The Times called “Outlaw Ocean” — only this time he goes to even greater lengths to show how the high seas are the modern-day wild, wild west replete with outlaws and its own group of captive laborers who are caught literally in no-man’s-land.  Schlossberg’s is entitled “Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental impact You Don’t Know You Have” about our ability to use consumption to impact conservation.  One other to consider — though it is more of a textbook called “Valuing U.S. National Parks and Programs: America’s Best Investment” — is by Friend of the Planet Linda Bilmes and Jay Loomis that uses case studies to examine the economic value of our National Parks. There is a wonderful list that John Platt of The Revelator puts together about once a month, with even more interesting titles.

Why This Matters:  It is great to see so many books interesting books coming out on climate change and the environment.  We hope they sell well and that further demonstrates the public’s appetite for more information on these issues.

At the Top of My (Monica’s) List of Other Books Platt Recommends:

  • Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America” by Christopher Leonard — “The scary true story of how one private company stalled action on climate change, bought influence in the government, widened the gap between rich and poor, killed unions and so much more.”
  • “Leave It in the Ground: The Politics of Coal and Climate” by John C. Berg — “Want to know why we need to get rid of coal — and how we do it? This book lays out the science in clear, understandable language and reveals the truth about the politics and economics of the coal industry. Berg then provides a roadmap for how activists and governments can dismantle it.”
  • “The Future of Bluefin Tunas” edited by Barbara A. Block — “Dozens of experts from 15 countries contribute to this exhaustive examination of the threats facing all three species of bluefin tuna and what’s being done to save them.”
  • “Ocean Recovery” by Ray Hilborn and Ulrike Hilborn — “Which of the world’s fisheries are sustainable, and why? This book offers the scientific context for what we know about the status and ecological impact of global fishing operations.”

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A new study in the Journal of Ocean & Coastal Management concludes that decisions regarding which adaptation projects to put in place are not being made on the basis of what is most efficient and effective in the long run and that the poorest citizens are bearing the brunt of these mistakes, Bloomberg reports

Why This Matters:  Beach replenishment is preferable over hardening coastlines to protect them from the climate impacts we are already experiencing, but sometimes buyouts will be more cost-effective than repeatedly replenishing.   Doing adaptation the right way may be more expensive and may require difficult choices about how to be fair, and not simply undertake projects that disproportionately benefit the wealthy landowners and increase the vulnerability of poor and historically marginalized communities.

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Prada Becomes First Luxury Brand to Receive a Sustainability-linked Loan

Prada Becomes First Luxury Brand to Receive a Sustainability-linked Loan

The Prada fashion group has become the first luxury brand to sign a sustainability-linked loan. This type of loan (amounting to $55 million for Prada) links annual interest rates to practices that help the environment.

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A Word About Your Halloween Candy….

A Word About Your Halloween Candy….

The Washington Post has written two pieces this year that examined the two biggest issues plaguing the chocolate industry: child labor and deforestation.

Chocolate companies have made and failed to meet commitments to both. 

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