If you are interested in viruses, and how pandemics start, this is a good listen. If you listen to this and Spillover (David Quammen) you'll be an armchair virologist/epidemiologist.
In The Viral Storm, award-winning biologist Nathan Wolfe tells the story of how viruses and human beings have evolved side by side through history; how deadly viruses like HIV, swine flu, and bird flu almost wiped us out in the past; and why modern life has made our species vulnerable to the threat of a global pandemic. Wolfe's research missions to the jungles have earned him the nickname "the Indiana Jones of virus hunters," and here Wolfe takes listeners along on his groundbreaking and often dangerous research trips - to reveal the surprising origins of the most deadly diseases....
"a bio-geek's wet dream"
Out of the Woods: A Bird Watcher's Year is a journey through the seasons and a joyous celebration of growing old. In 59 essays and poems, Ora E. Anderson, birder, bird carver, naturalist, and nature writer, reveals the insights and recollections of a keen-eyed observer of nature, both human and avian. The essays follow the rivers and creeks, the highways and little-known byways of Appalachia, and along the way we become nearly as familiar with its numerous bird, plant, and animal species as with the author himself.
A superb success as a bird, combining great speed, aeronautical grace, and fearlessness - inhabitant of wild places, inaccessible cliffs, and skyscrapers... worldwide dweller, trans-equatorial migrant, and docile captive - the peregrine falcon stands alone among all others of its kind. Perhaps this is why so many varied people rushed to its aid when it faced decimation by pesticide poisoning.
Most of us recognize that climate change is real, and yet we do nothing to stop it. What is this psychological mechanism that allows us to know something is true but act as if it is not? George Marshall's search for the answers brings him face to face with Nobel Prize-winning psychologists and the activists of the Texas Tea Party; the world's leading climate scientists and the people who denounce them; liberal environmentalists and conservative evangelicals.
Claimed to be the most beneficial "illicit" drug on the American market today. Many people are unaware that it still can be imported to the United States and sold to the American consumer as long as it wasn't cultivated in the United States of America. Since current government bars us from current research of the hemp plant, we always have he past to help us be informed about the world's most medically and industrially beneficial plant.
With all the information out there in the news and on the internet most people are at least aware of pollution problems. The issue is more serious in some areas but the fact remains that we all contribute to it. The concern is that with more people on Earth now and more pollution we are harming our environment. Since we breathe the air that is out there, what is in it should be a top concern for each of us. Yet we often don’t think twice about it.
Sterilizing water is a big job. Solar electric (PV) powered UV water sterilizers are an effective way to sterilize your water from local polluted sources, even brackish water, with safety, reliability, and no fuel-costs. Water found in nature is full of pathogens which can cause disease and illness. Ultra-violet (UV) sterilizers kill 99.99% of all dangerous pathogens and render your water potable and safe to drink.
Rich in amino acids, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, anti-oxidants, phycobiliproteins, and other valuable products, algae is being tapped as the new feedstock across industries. This book describes how to build your own photobioreactor to grow pure algae species (taxa). Algae are Earth's "engine" to fuel the food web. As a "primary producer", responsible for nearly half the oxygen production on Earth, the power of algae is being commercialized to produce valuable organic products.
"Grow your own Algae for fun and profit!"
Marilyn Johnson's Lives in Ruins is an absorbing and entertaining look at the lives of contemporary archaeologists as they sweat under the sun for clues to the puzzle of our past. Johnson digs and drinks alongside archaeologists, and chases them through the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and even Machu Picchu. Her subjects share stories about slaves and Ice Age hunters, ordinary soldiers of the American Revolution, Chinese woman warriors, sunken fleets, and mummies.
Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does a paper clip bend? These are the sorts of questions that Mark Miodownik is constantly asking himself. A globally renowned materials scientist, Miodownik has spent his life exploring objects as ordinary as an envelope and as unexpected as concrete cloth, uncovering the fascinating secrets that hold together our physical world.
"Engaging, fun, and educational"
>When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.
"Beautiful story, beautifully written"
"What should we have for dinner?" To one degree or another, this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma. Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance.
"Great presentation of a moral dilemma"
The lives of millions will be changed after it breaks, and yet so few people understand it, or even realize it runs through their backyard. Dvorak reveals the San Andreas Fault's fascinating history - and its volatile future. It is a prominent geological feature that is almost impossible to see unless you know where to look. Hundreds of thousands of people drive across it every day. The San Andreas Fault is everywhere - and primed for a colossal quake. For decades scientists have warned that such a sudden shifting of the Earth's crust is inevitable.
Everyone knew it was crazy to try to extract oil and natural gas buried in shale rock deep below the ground. Everyone, that is, except a few reckless wildcatters - who risked their careers to prove the world wrong. Things looked grim for American energy in 2006. Oil production was in steep decline and natural gas was hard to find. The Iraq War threatened the nation’s already tenuous relations with the Middle East. China was rapidly industrializing and competing for resources.
"Balanced approach on controversial topic"
Terence McKenna hypothesizes that as the North African jungles receded, giving way to savannas and grasslands near the end of the most recent ice age, a branch of our arboreal primate ancestors left the forest canopy and began living in the open areas beyond. There they experimented with new varieties of foods as they adapted, physically and mentally, to the environment. Among the new foods found in this environment were psilocybin-containing mushrooms.
"A paradigm shifting experience"
A preeminent geneticist hunts the Neanderthal genome to answer the biggest question of them all: what does it mean to be human? What can we learn from the genes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pbo’s mission to answer that question, beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in his sequencing of the Neanderthal genome in 2009.
"Excellent, human-scale, book about science"
Half of all species could disappear by the end of the century, and scientists now concede that most of America’s endangered animals will survive only if conservationists keep rigging the world around them in their favor. So Jon Mooallem ventures into the field, often taking his daughter with him, to move beyond childlike fascination and make those creatures feel more real. Wild Ones is a tour through our environmental moment and the eccentric cultural history of people and wild animals in America that inflects it.
"The line between conservation and domestication..."
First published in 1962, Silent Spring can single-handedly be credited with sounding the alarm and raising awareness of humankind's collective impact on its own future through chemical pollution. No other book has so strongly influenced the environmental conscience of Americans and the world at large.
"Ahead of her times..."
One fateful day in 1996, after discovering that five freight cars' worth of glittering corn have reaped a tiny profit of $18.16, young Forrest Pritchard vows to save his family's farm. What ensues-through hilarious encounters with all manner of livestock and colorful local characters-is a crash course in sustainable agriculture. Pritchard's biggest ally is his renegade father, who initially questions his son's career choice and rejects organic foods for sugary mainstream fare.
"Loved it! I wanted it to go on further"
When Lawrence Anthony learned that the northern white rhino, living in the war-ravaged Congo, was on the very brink of extinction, he knew he had to act. If the world lost the sub-species, it would be the largest land mammal since the woolly mammoth to go extinct. In The Last Rhinos, Anthony recounts his attempts to save these remarkable animals. The demand for rhino horns in the Far East has turned poaching into a dangerous black market that threatens the lives of not just these rare beasts, but also the rangers who protect them.
"A mediocre adventure"
In his articles and in best-selling books such as The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan has established himself as one of our most important and beloved writers on modern man's place in the natural world. A new literary classic, Second Nature has become a manifesto not just for gardeners but for environmentalists everywhere.
"Lush no-nonsensical brilliance"
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.
"Somehow the author manages to stay balanced"
This clearly written and engrossing book presents a global narrative of the origins of the modern world from 1400 to the present. Unlike most studies, which assume that the "rise of the West" is the story of the coming of the modern world, this history, drawing upon new scholarship on Asia, Africa, and the New World, constructs a story in which those parts of the world play major roles.
In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for "our great green hope"—a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon—and potentially reverse global warming. Her discoveries and vivid storytelling will revolutionize the way we think about our food, our landscapes, our plants, and our relationship to Earth.
"An important message of hope."
Steven Rinella won a lottery to hunt for a wild buffalo in the Alaskan wilderness. One of only four hunters that year who succeeded in killing a buffalo, he carried the carcass down a snow-covered mountainside and floated it four miles down a white-water canyon while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years' worth of buffalo hunters in North America and the place of the buffalo in the American consciousness.
Earth evolves. From first atom to molecule, mineral to magma, granite crust to single cell to verdant living landscape, ours is a planet constantly in flux. In this radical new approach to Earth’s biography, senior Carnegie Institution researcher and national best-selling author Robert M. Hazen reveals how the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere - of rocks and living matter - has shaped our planet into the only one of its kind in the Solar System, if not the entire cosmos.
"Makes minerals interesting"
Not since Thoreau took us to Walden Pond has there been such an important work on the natural world. A Sand County Almanac is Aldo Leopold's simple expression of feeling for the environment at his weekend farm along the Wisconsin River. It is an inviting, gentle world - one that is rapidly disappearing.
"Good book, but..."
For fans of The Lost City of Z, Walking the Amazon, and Turn Right at Machu Picchu comes naturalist and explorer Paul Rosolie’s extraordinary adventure in the uncharted tributaries of the Western Amazon - a tale of discovery that vividly captures the awe, beauty, and isolation of this endangered land and presents an impassioned call to save it.
In Earth in Mind, David W. Orr argues that much of what has gone wrong with the world, is the result of inadequate and misdirected education that: Alienates us from life in the name of human domination; causes students to worry about how to make a living before they know who they are; overemphasizes success and careers; separates feeling from intellect and the practical from the theoretical; deadens the sense of wonder for the created world.
Rising from the depths of the North Pacific lies a fabled island, now submerged just 15 feet below the surface of the ocean. Rumors and warnings about Cortes Bank abound, but among big wave surfers, this legendary rock is famous for one simple (and massive) reason: this is the home of the biggest rideable wave on the face of the earth.
"A Surfing Classic of Monster Waves"
In its 2001 report on global climate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations prominently featured the "Hockey Stick", a chart showing global temperature data over the past 1,000 years. The Hockey Stick demonstrated that temperature had risen with the increase in industrialization and use of fossil fuels. The inescapable conclusion was that worldwide human activity since the industrial age had raised CO2 levels, trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and warming the planet.
In Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter - veteran journalist and son of an American junkyard owner - travels deeply into a vast, often hidden, multibillion-dollar industry that's transforming our economy and environment. Minter takes us from back-alley Chinese computer recycling operations to high-tech facilities capable of processing a jumbo jet's worth of recyclable trash every day. Along the way, we meet an unforgettable cast of characters.
As fossil fuel prices rise, oil insecurity deepens, and concerns about climate change cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new energy economy is emerging. Wind, solar, and geothermal energy are replacing oil, coal, and natural gas, at a pace and on a scale we could not have imagined even a year ago. For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, we have begun investing in energy sources that can last forever. Plan B 4.0 explores both the nature of this transition to a new energy economy and how it will affect our daily lives.
In the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas casinos use billions of gallons of water for fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and indoor canals. Meanwhile, the town of Orme, Tennessee, must truck in water from Alabama because it has literally run out.Robert Glennon captures the irony - and tragedy - of America’s water crisis in a book that is both frightening and wickedly comical.
The Galapagos were once known to the sailors and pirates who encountered them as Las Encantadas: the enchanted islands, home to exotic creatures and dramatic volcanic scenery. In The Galapagos, science writer Henry Nicholls offers a lively natural and human history of the archipelago, charting its evolution from deserted wilderness to scientific resource (made famous by Charles Darwin) and global ecotourism hot spot.
When a shattered kayak and camping gear are found on an uninhabited island, they reignite a mystery surrounding a shocking act of protest. Five months earlier, logger-turned-activist Grant Hadwin had plunged naked into a river in British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Islands, towing a chainsaw. When his night's work was done, a unique Sitka spruce, 165 feet tall and covered with luminous golden needles, teetered on its stump. Two days later it fell.
"Interesting story but ??"
Like many people, Beth Terry didn't think an individual could have much impact on the environment. But while laid up after surgery, she read an article about the staggering amount of plastic polluting the oceans and decided then and there to kick her plastic habit. Now she wants to teach you how you can too.
With food scarcity driven by falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures, control of arable land and water resources is moving to center stage in the global struggle for food security. “In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. Food is the new oil,” Lester R. Brown writes. What will the geopolitics of food look like in a new era dominated by scarcity and food nationalism?
Renewable energy is good for your wallet. Those who see that opportunity are already seizing it … all the way to the bank. Green Is Good is a no-nonsense guide to how you, the average American, can easily incorporate clean energy and energy efficiency into your daily life and in the process save money, make money, and help wean your community off fossil fuels.
"Great book for everyone, not just environmentalist"
Dirty, Sacred Rivers explores South Asia's increasingly urgent water crisis, taking readers on a journey through North India, Nepal and Bangladesh, from the Himalaya to the Bay of Bengal. The book shows how rivers, traditionally revered by the people of the Indian subcontinent, have in recent decades deteriorated dramatically due to economic progress and gross mismanagement.
The ocean teems with life that thrives under difficult situations in unusual environments. The Extreme Life of the Sea takes listeners to the absolute limits of the ocean world - the fastest and deepest, the hottest and oldest creatures of the oceans. It dives into the icy Arctic and boiling hydrothermal vents - and exposes the eternal darkness of the deepest undersea trenches - to show how marine life thrives against the odds. This thrilling book brings to life the sea's most extreme species, and tells their stories as characters in the drama of the oceans.
"A wonderful survey and an important warning..."
When Indonesia's Mount Tambora erupted in 1815, it unleashed the most destructive wave of extreme weather the world has witnessed in thousands of years. The volcano's massive sulfate dust cloud enveloped the Earth, cooling temperatures and disrupting major weather systems for more than three years. Amid devastating storms, drought, and floods, communities worldwide endured famine, disease, and civil unrest on a catastrophic scale.
We are in a race between political and natural tipping points. Can we close coal-fired power plants fast enough to save the Greenland ice sheet and avoid catastrophic sea level rise? Can we raise water productivity fast enough to halt the depletion of aquifers and avoid water-driven food shortages? Can we cope with peak water and peak oil at the same time? These are some of the issues Lester R. Brown skillfully distills in World on the Edge.
Picture an early scene from The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy hurries home as a tornado gathers in what was once a clear Kansas sky. Hurriedly, she seeks shelter in the storm cellar under the house, but, finding it locked, takes cover in her bedroom. We all know how that works out for her.Many investors these days are a bit like Dorothy, putting their faith in something as solid and trustworthy as a house (or, say, real estate). But market disruptions - storms - seem to arrive without warning, leaving us little time to react.