From an appearance on NBC Nightly News by President Bill Clinton, who
shared his personal endeavors for reducing energy consumption, to the
proposed development of an environmentally conscious town in Florida,
recent media coverage has led to increased consumer awareness of
Once confined largely to Earth Day promotions, "green" books are a hot
commodity. "This is decidedly not a once-a-year issue," says Chris
Morrow of Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt. "Now that
climate change is finally getting some mainstream play people are
waking up to the variety of 'environmental' problems." Carla Cohen of
Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., credits Al Gore's documentary
about global warming, An Inconvenient Truth
, with helping to bring environmental topics into the national spotlight.
Cohen was inspired to launch a Climate Action Group after hearing Jared Diamond, the author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
speak at Politics & Prose last year. The group is made up of
professionals and interested individuals and promotes initiatives such
as the Cool Capital Challenge, a city-wide effort to reduce metro
D.C.'s carbon dioxide pollution.
With a wealth of tomes from mainstream and niche publishers alike,
those looking for information on sustainable living, alternative fuel
sources, climate change and more will find no shortage of resources.
"The bottom line is that the economy, the environment and all us
creatures living on the planet are interconnected and to continue
acting like we aren't is suicide," says Morrow. "And there are plenty
of good books helping to show the way."
For those interested in going green, here is a sampling of titles:
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming
by Paul Hawken (Viking, $24.95, 9780670038527/0670038520). From
billion-dollar nonprofits to single-person causes, Hawken offers a look
at organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering
The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis
by Greg Pahl (Chelsea Green, $21.95, 9781933392127/1933392126).
Renewable energy strategies that can be adopted by individuals and
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
by Bill McKibben (Times Books, $25, 9780805076264/0805076263). A former staff writer for the New Yorker
sets forth a new way of thinking about the things we buy, the food we
eat, the energy we use and the money that pays for it all.
Green This! Volume 1: Greening Your Cleaning
by Deirdre Imus
(S&S, $15.95, 9781416540557/1416540555). Cleaning house in an
environmentally responsible way can be as effective (and often cheaper)
than the more traditional, toxic, means.
Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do
by Joseph Romm (Morrow, $24.95, 9780061172120/006117212X). The founder
and executive director of the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions
offers pragmatic answers for averting the threat of global warming.
It's Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living
Cissy Trask (Gibbs Smith, $12.95, 9781586857721/158685772X). Practical
information for adopting greener habits no matter how hectic your
The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements
by Sandor Ellix Katz (Chelsea Green, $20, 9781933392110/1933392118). An
eye-opening look at how ordinary people can revive community-based food
Stop Global Warming: The Solution Is You!
by Laurie David (Fulcrum,
$9.95, 9781555916213/155591621X). The environmental activist recently
wrapped a national college tour (via a biodiesel bus) with singer
Sheryl Crow. David continues to garner national media attention,
including a recent appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
This Moment on Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future
by John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry (Public Affairs, $25,
9781586484316/1586484311). A celebration of American innovators who are
transforming the way we protect and care for the world.
True Green: 100 Everyday Ways You Can Contribute to a Healthier Planet
by Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin (National Geographic, $19.95,
9781426201134/1426201133). Small changes in everyday habits can make a
big difference toward saving the planet.
On the Clean Road Again: Biodiesel and the Future of the Family Farm
by Willie Nelson (Fulcrum, $9.95, 9781555916244/1555916244, May). The
country crooner's pocket-sized primer about the benefits of biodiesel.
(Galleys will be available at BEA.)
Gas Trees and Car Turds: A Kids' Guide to the Roots of Global Warming
by Kirk Johnson and illustrated by Mary Ann Bonnell (Fulcrum, $16.95,
9781555916664/155591666X, July). Educating the next generation about
the perils of global warming.
Chelsea Green's series of "Little Green Guides" ($7.95, September):
Wake Up and Smell the Planet: The Non-Pompous, Non-Preachy Grist Guide to Greening Your Day
- Composting: An Easy Household Guide by Nicky Scott (9781933392745/1933392746)
- Energy: Use Less-Save More: 100 Energy-Saving Tips for the Home by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert (9781933392721/193339272X)
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: An Easy Household Guide by Nicky Scott (9781933392752/1933392754)
- Water: Use Less-Save More: 100 Water-Saving Tips for the Home by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert (9781933392738/1933392738)
edited by Brangien Davis (Skipstone/Grist.org, $14.95,
9781594850394/1594850399, October). One of the first titles from the
new Mountaineers Books imprint Skipstone, this humorous and resourceful
book has suggestions for making "green" choices for everything from
attire to cocktails. The book will be promoted at Grist.org
gatherings nationwide.--Shannon McKenna