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Breakfast of Biodiversity
John Vandermeer
093502896X
July 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
Unweaving the Web of Destruction The continuing devastation of the world’s tropical rain forest affects us all—spurring climate change, decimating biodiversity, and wrecking our environment’s resiliency. Millions of worried people around the world want to do whatever it takes to save the forest that is left. But halting rain forest destruction means understanding what is driving it. In Breakfast of Biodiversity, John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto insightfully describe the ways in which such disparate factors as the international banking system, modern agricultural techniques, rain forest ecology, and the struggles of the poor interact to bring down the forest. They weave an alternative vision in which democracy, sustainable agriculture, and land security for the poor are at the center...


Flush
Carl Hiaasen
0375821821
September 2005
Hardcover
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8–Noah and his sister, Abbey, are more understanding of their volatile dad's latest arrest than their mother, who begins talking of divorce. Dad sank the Coral Queen, a casino boat on a Florida Key because, he alleges, its owner, Dusty Muleman, has been illegally dumping raw sewage into the local waters. Soon enough the kids begin trying to gather proof that will vindicate their father and put the casino out of business. The colorful cast includes a drunken lout named Lice who disappears before he can be persuaded to testify against Dusty, his former boss. His rough-around-the-edges girlfriend, Shelly, comes through, though, helping the siblings dump dye in the boat's holding tanks, which finally brings the matter to court. Dusty's son, Jasper, is a chip off the old block, threatening and...


Hoot
Carl Hiaasen
0440419395
December 2005
Paperback
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Book Review
Roy Eberhardt is the new kid--again. This time around it's Trace Middle School in humid Coconut Grove, Florida. But it's still the same old routine: table by himself at lunch, no real friends, and thick-headed bullies like Dana Matherson pushing him around. But if it wasn't for Dana Matherson mashing his face against the school bus window that one day, he might never have seen the tow-headed running boy. And if he had never seen the running boy, he might never have met tall, tough, bully-beating Beatrice. And if he had never met Beatrice, he might never have discovered the burrowing owls living in the lot on the corner of East Oriole Avenue. And if he had never discovered the owls, he probably would have missed out on the adventure of a lifetime. Apparently, bullies do serve a greater purpose in the scope of the...


Life in the Chesapeake Bay
Alice Jane Lippson
080185475X
Jan 1997
Paperback
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Review
"Handsome, generously illustrated... All of the Bay's richness is catalogued here." -- Washington Post Book World, reviewing a previous edition or volume
"A story book, a field guide and a reference work, and anyone interested in fishing, ecology, or our bay should own it." -- Baltimore Sun, reviewing a previous edition or volume
"This is the best-written and best-illustrated guide ever about a North American tidal estuary. It is the model for all future coastal nature guides." -- Whole Earth Review, reviewing a previous edition or volume

Book Description
Published in 1984, the first edition of Life in the Chesapeake Bay became an instant classic, providing fascinating insights into some of the more than two thousand plants and animals that make their home in America's largest...


Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water
Marc Reisner
0140178244
June 1993
Paperback
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Amazon.com
The definitive history of water resources in the American West, and a very illuminating lesson in the political economy of limited resources anywhere. Highly recommended!

From Publishers Weekly
In this stunning work of history and investigative journalism, Reisner tells the story of conflicts over water policy in the West and the resulting damage to the land, wildlife and Indians. PW stated that this "timely and important book should be required reading for all citizens." Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Editorial Reviews


The Botany of Desire
Michael Pollan
0375760393
May 2002
Paperback
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Book Review's Best of 2001
Working in his garden one day, Michael Pollan hit pay dirt in the form of an idea: do plants, he wondered, use humans as much as we use them? While the question is not entirely original, the way Pollan examines this complex coevolution by looking at the natural world from the perspective of plants is unique. The result is a fascinating and engaging look at the true nature of domestication.

In making his point, Pollan focuses on the relationship between humans and four specific plants: apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. He uses the history of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) to illustrate how both the apple's sweetness and its role in the production of alcoholic cider made it appealing to settlers moving west, thus greatly expanding the plant's range. He also explains how human manipulation of the...



Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
Edward Abbey
0345326490
January 1985
Mass Market Paperback
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Amazon.com
With language as colorful as a Canyonlands sunset and a perspective as pointed as a prickly pear, Cactus Ed captures the heat, mystery, and surprising bounty of desert life. Desert Solitaire is a meditation on the stark landscapes of the red-rock West, a passionate vote for wilderness, and a howling lament for the commercialization of the American outback.

Review
The New York Times Book Review Like a ride on a bucking bronco...rough, tough, combative. The author is a rebel and an eloquent loner. His is a passionately felt, deeply poetic book...set down in a lean, racing prose, in a close-knit style of power and beauty. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

See all Editorial Reviews


Return to Wild America
Scott Weidensaul
0865476888
Nov 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In the midst of environmental-policy gloom and global-warming doom, Weidensaul's poetic account of his travels to several scattered wilderness oases of North America is an unexpected tonic. The naturalist and author (Living on the Wind) certainly waxes caustic about the current administration's ecological evils; bemoans the impact of Earth's warming trend on northern ice packs and southern wetlands; decries the near (sometimes total) extinction of a multitude of fauna and flora; and laments the incursion of "invasive exotics"—foreign plants, insects, animals and fish that are crowding out native species. But in retracing the steps of American birding guru Roger Tory Peterson and British naturalist James Fisher's legendary 1953 trek—from Newfoundland's craggy coastline, down the...


Ecology of a Cracker Childhood
Janisse Ray
1571312471
September 2000
Paperback
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Book Review
The scrubby forests of southern Georgia, dotting a landscape of low hills and swampy bottoms, are not what many people would consider to be exalted country, the sort of place to inspire lyrical considerations of nature and culture. Yet that is just what essayist Janisse Ray delivers in her memorable debut, a memoir of life in a part of America that roads and towns have passed by, a land settled by hardscrabble Scots herders who wanted nothing more than to be left alone, and who bear the derogatory epithet "cracker" with quiet pride.

Ray grew up in a junkyard outside what had been longleaf pine forest, an ecosystem that has nearly disappeared in the American South through excessive logging. Her family had little money, but that was not important; they more than made up for material want through unabashed love and a passion...



Living on the Edge
Jeff Corwin
1594860556
Oct 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Corwin, host of numerous television specials about wildlife, offers commentary on some of his favorite regions and animal inhabitants. He begins with his last bachelor's outing, spending several weeks in Arizona's Sonoran Desert, before his wedding. Corwin planned poorly and didn't think he would need equipment or supplies in this domestic wilderness. However, after one night of nearly freezing to death, he sought shelter in his car and then went to buy a tent. After this inauspicious start, Corwin spent nearly two weeks searching for snakes and reptiles, with only limited success. In his words, "There would be no Gila monsters flowing from their subterranean dens, and the eerie rasping shudder of a rattlesnake's rattle kept silent wherever I searched. Tortoises never ventured from their lairs into the light for...


Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World
Bjorn Lomborg
0521010683
December 2001
Paperback
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Matt Ridley, author of Genome
"...should be read by every environmentalist, so that the appalling errors of fact the environmental movement has made in the past are not repeated."

Review
'This is one of the most valuable books on public policy - not merely on environmental policy - to have been written for the intelligent reader in the past ten years ... The Skeptical Environmentalist is a triumph.' The Economist '... a superbly documented and readable book.' Wall Street Journal
'The Skeptical Environmentalist should be read by every environmentalist, so that the appalling errors of fact the environmental movement has made in the past are not repeated. A brilliant and powerful book.' Matt Ridley, author of Genome 'The Skeptical Environmentalist is perhaps the most important book about the...


Looking for Longleaf
Lawrence S. Earley
0807828866
Sept 2004
Hardcover
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From Booklist
The longleaf pine once comprised the largest ecosystem in North America, extending from Texas to Virginia and south to Florida. The forest was so vast that one early traveler, finding the landscape monotonous, summarized the woodlands as "entirely too immense." Part of the geographic success of the pine resided in its flammable resins; seasonal fires triggered seed production of the longleaf and its plant associates, enabling them to propagate over wide areas. These same resins, however, led to the forest's downfall, because they were sought-after ingredients in the manufacture of tar and turpentine. Out of the original 92 million acres of longleaf, fewer than 3 million remain. Recently, however, collaborations between ecologists and foresters have brought new hope to the beleaguered ecosystem, and painstaking effort may...


Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest
Lynne Cherry
0152026142
March 2000
Paperback
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Book Review
If a tree falls in the forest... someone or something will always be there to hear it. Many, many creatures will feel the effects when their source of sustenance and shelter falls to the earth. So when a man is sent into the Amazon rain forest one day, under instructions to chop down a great kapok tree, many eyes watch him nervously. It's not long before he grows tired, though, and the "heat and hum" of the rain forest lulls him to sleep. One by one, snakes, bees, monkeys, birds, frogs, and even a jaguar emerge from the jungle canopy to plead with the sleeping ax-man to spare their home. When the man awakens, startled at all the rare and marvelous animals surrounding him, he picks up his ax as if to begin chopping again, then drops it and walks away, presumably never to return.

Unfortunately, there's always someone else...



Water Hole
Graeme Base
0810945681
September 2001
Hardcover
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Book Review
Who can resist the allure of the hidden wilderness water hole? Certainly not one rhino. Not two tigers. Nor three toucans. Pretty soon the delicious pool is drawing moose, catfish, pandas, tortoises... and more than 100 other critters from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and beyond. But is it our imagination or is that rhino-sized water hole dwindling to a mere shadow of its former self, a puddle not fit for eight ladybugs, let alone 10 kangaroos? As the seasons change across the world, and the animals get thirstier, the water supply diminishes. Eventually, even the flowery-shirted frog that has stoically lingered through the drought packs his suitcase and takes off. The only hope now is a drop of rain on the parched earth...

With his usual elaborate detail, Graeme Base, mad genius behind Animalia, The...



How the Earthquake Bird Got Its Name and Other Tales of an Unbalanced Nature
H. H. Shugart
030010457X
Jan 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The "balance of nature" trope beloved of lion vs. wildebeest wildlife documentaries reassures viewers of the robustness of the ecological equilibrium. This engaging collection of essays, by contrast, emphasizes the fragility of nature's equilibrium by exploring the wide-ranging, often irreversible, consequences of disturbing it. Ecologist Shugart structures each chapter around a paradigmatic animal species whose travails or triumphs illustrate important principles of environmental change. Some, like the now extinct ivory-billed woodpecker, are done in by habitat depletion, while others, like the European rabbits that overran Australia, are themselves the agents of natural catastrophe by virtue of their own success. While Shugart explores the effects of earthquakes and wildfires, people are a constant presence in...


Finding a Clear Path
Jim Minick
0937058971
July 2005
Paperback
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Frightful's Mountain
Jean Craighead George
0141312351
May 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
Fans of Jean Craighead George's My Side of the Mountain (a Newbery Honor Book) and On the Far Side of the Mountain will be delighted to return to upstate New York's Catskill Mountains for the conclusion of her trilogy, which appears 40 years after the first title's publication in 1959. Written because a young fan asked, "What happened to Frightful?" this volume tells how Sam Gribley's peregrine falcon--that's Frightful--has to make her own way in the world after Sam is forced to release her. Although told in the third person, the story is developed entirely from the bird's point of view. George's narrative follows the falcon through a series of dangerous adventures (involving DDT, electricity lines, and unscrupulous bird traders, to name a few) as she learns to depend on her own instincts. The environmental message is...


The Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced
Thomas S. Litwin
0813535050
Mar 2005
Hardcover
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Book Description
"This is a profoundly perceptive and beautifully written book that sheds tremendous insights on Alaska and is a must-read for anyone who wants a deeper, richer understanding of America’s last frontier."—Deborah Williams, executive director, Alaska Conservation Foundation"With heart and soul, The Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced both helps us see the beauty of the earth’s ecosystems and confronts the difficult realities surrounding their use. . . . Through science, art, and the poet’s words, [this book] urges us toward a sustainable use of our environment."—Gretchen C. Daily, coauthor The New Economy of Nature"The Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced takes us across 100 years of Alaskan and American history, showing us the magnificence and vulnerability of our vast wilderness...


Song of the Trees
Mildred D. Taylor
0142500755
May 2003
Paperback
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The New York Times Book Review
A triumphant book...A story truly told.

Book Description
With the depression bearing down on her family and food in short supply, Cassie Logan isn't sure where her next meal will come from. But there is one thing that she knows will always be there-the whispering trees outside her window. Cassie's trees are a steady source of comfort to her, but they also happen to be worth a lot of money. When Mr. Andersen tries to force Big Ma to sell their valuable trees, Cassie can't just sit by and let it happen. She knows that her family needs the money, but something tells her that they need the trees just as much. The beloved heroine of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry enchants us again in this story of strength and pride.

Illustrated by Jerry...

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