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Earth Day: A reading list

To celebrate Earth Day on 22 April, we have created a reading list of books, journals, and online resources that explore environmental protection, environmental ethics, and other environmental sciences. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 in the United States. Since then, it has grown to include more than 192 countries and the Earth Day Network coordinate global events that demonstrate support for environmental protection. If you think we have missed any books, journals, or online resources in our reading list, please do let us know in the comments below.

Only One Chance, by Philippe Grandjean
The book is a powerful call to action against chemical pollution and makes a strong case for how pollution harms the developing brain. The author goes into detail about the various chemicals including mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), arsenic, and certain pesticides that we have evidence of polluting our brains. He goes on to discuss various development issues that may be caused by chemical poisoning including mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities.

From Field to Fork, by Paul B. Thompson9780199391691
With over 30 years of experience, Thompson tackles the social injustices in the food industry including workers and farmer’s rights, animal production, health issues caused by GMO-based foods, and more. This is a great book for those who have a general idea of food issues but would like to delve deeper into the matter.

A Perfect Moral Storm, by Stephen M. Gardiner
Stephen Gardiner views the growing issue of climate change through an ethical lens, considering it an ethical failure. He discusses unethical dilemmas including how first world countries tend to pass the cost of climate change to poorer countries. He also remarks on how the current generation of citizens would rather pass this problem to future generations, rather than dealing with it now.

The Oxford Handbook on Climate Change and Society, edited by John S. Dryzek, Richard B. Norgaard, and David Schlosberg9780199566600
This major work covers various topics on the world’s growing concern on climate change and how societies and government should respond. A wide range of topics are discussed including the history of the issues, social and political reception of climate science, the denial of that science by individuals and organized interests, the nature of the social disruptions caused by climate change, and more.

A Philosophy of Gardens, by David E. Cooper
This book discusses the history of gardening through ancient times to present, covering both Western and Eastern civilizations. Cooper discusses how garden appreciation is a distinct type of phenomenon differing from aesthetic or art appreciation. Various garden practices and methods are discussed, and Cooper explains how these meditative activities can lead to a better sense of life. Reading this may give you a better perspective of your own garden.

Environmental Ethics, Second Edition, edited by David Schmidtz and Elizabeth Willott9780199793518
This revised textbook on environmental ethics has new chapters on climate change, technology, and urban management. There is also updated content on human relationship with the wilderness and on practical issues such as GMO-based foods. This is a great book for those who want to have a general foundation and understanding of ethics and moral philosophy as applied to the environment.

‘The Future of Ecology and the Ecology of the Future’, from Foundations of Environmental Sustainability, edited by Larry Rockwood, Ronald Stewart, and Thomas Dietz
This book provides a unique view of the development of environmental policy in the US and abroad, particularly conservation policy in Africa and Asia. This chapter on ecology discusses advances in ecology including the theory that ecology systems are not steady state, but that time and space vary within. The chapter concludes with a section on what issues need to be addressed in ecology, including fashionability, dynamic nature, theory, valid experiments and more.

‘Future climate change’, from Climate: A Very Short Introduction9780199641130, by Mark Maslin
This chapter discusses why changes in the current climate system will lead to more unpredictable weather patterns.  The chapter starts off with evidence for human induced climate change, providing data from various global groups including the IPCC. It goes on to discuss what safe level-changes are and how global energy and food demands will impact our climate system.

Effects of Regional Climate Warming on Phenology of Butterflies in Boreal Forests in Manitoba, Canada in Environmental Entomology, by A. R. Westwood and D. Blair
This article focuses on the Boreal Forest ecosystem and how regional climate changes affect native butterflies. Over 19 species were tested, and temperature and flight periods were observed between the Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer seasons.

Featured image credit: Forest Trees and Light, by Republica. CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay

Recent Comments

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  2. Jessica

    Your list of Earth Day books provides a good scientific understanding of the environmemntal problems we face. However, our children became interested in the environment after reading D is for Dudley & Other Nature Tales by Ron Chandler. That book put the issues on their level of understanding. .

  3. Martin

    Nice that you take part of the Earth day. Especially for our kids it’s so important that we care about our earth. We just have only one planet – so it’s time to change our behaviour.

    Btw: Google also participates with some doodle-drawings on it’s homepage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sDSwYj7xio (saw it on google.com.au)

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