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David

David Halethorpe, MD, United States Member Since 2010

Indiscriminate Reader

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  • "Your tap water is fine, really!"

    Overall
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    Books about environmental and economic issues are always kind of depressing, because it's really easy to show examples of how very badly we are hoisting ourselves on our own petard on an epic scale. Like most authors of such books, Charles Fishman shows us how very, very bad it's getting and then tries to end on an optimistic note: "Hey, we have the technology and the science, and if we just behave like rational adults who know we're all in this together, we can solve this problem!"

    Uh huh, how often does that happen?

    Some interesting points to ponder:

    1. The Earth will never "run out" of water. The Earth has exactly the same amount of water today that it did a billion years ago and will have in a billion years. It doesn't go away, it doesn't get destroyed, it just gets recycled.

    2. Every drop of water you drink was once dinosaur pee. Probably millions of times over.

    3. It's been shown repeatedly that people given access to relatively unlimited, cheap water use less water than people whose water supply is sporadic and uncertain, because people who can't count on their water supply tend to horde water, which leads to more wastage.

    4. There are potentially oceans-full of "deep water" locked in the Earth's crust, miles down. Unfortunately, no technology currently known to us would make it possible to access it.

    There are a lot of other interesting not-so-random facts in this book. But "The Big Thirst" is about water, and water management, and the economics of water. Basically, we have too many people and not enough water. Except that's not precisely true- we have enough water. We just don't distribute it or manage it wisely. Fishman talks about the extraordinary growth of water technology in the 20th century - how something we now take for granted (in the U.S.), that when you turn on the tap, safe, unlimited, practically free drinking water will come out, is a tectonic shift in culture. People used to have to spend hours every day just to haul enough water to live on. About half the world still does (and this burden mostly falls on women, with many long-term secondary consequences).

    Fishman examines three main "case studies" - Las Vegas, Australia, and India. Las Vegas, of course, is a city built in the middle of a desert where people come and pay hundreds of dollars a night to sleep in hotel rooms overlooking enormous water fountains. Vegas's water supply from Lake Mead has been getting sparser and sparser. In response, they have made a number of very intelligent water choices and imposed restrictions that would seem insane in much of the U.S., yet Vegas residents have shown it's perfectly possible to live comfortably under a water-conservation regime. And yet, they still irrigate luxury golf courses in a desert. And yet, they still use (and waste) less water than farmers.

    Australia is also suffering from years and years of drought, which does not look to be ending any time soon unless you believe the global warming denialists. One of Australia's major crops is rice. Yes, Australians raise rice - a very water-intensive crop - in the desert. Seems like madness, but it made perfect sense when rain was plentiful and rivers were flowing. Now there are rivers that have literally dried up, and if you do believe in climate change, then they are probably not coming back in our lifetimes. There is a certain futility in the attitude of the rice farmers whose "solution" is basically to hope the rains come again.

    There's also an interesting story about a town that could have solved its water shortage problems easily by using waste-water - very clean and efficient sewage treatment plants - except the residents went nuts at the idea of drinking "sewer water" (even though, see above, every drop of water you drink has been urine many, many times for millions of years). More and more cities are in fact now using waste-water and desalinization to provide much of their water. (Desalinization, unfortunately, is not a magical process that turns seawater into drinking water with merely an investment in a plant. It has a massive energy cost - in other words, it's likely to increase global warming — and all that salt you extract has to go somewhere.)

    Then there is India. Where even rich people tend to have erratic public water and supply themselves through inefficient, wasteful, technically illegal jury-rigged supply lines filled by private water trucks. Where millions of girls basically can't go to school because they are too busy fetching water for their families. (And because they have no toilets at school that any human being would want to use.) India also has massive water problems, but ironically, they are worse now than they were in the 70s, because what was once a fairly workable public water system has been allowed to fall apart.

    So, all these problems, which are in fact solvable, but they are solvable through a combination of technological, economic, and social means which will require people act like responsible adults on a global scale. Although Fishman makes the point several times that even if the residents of California suddenly implemented heroic water-saving measures, it wouldn't do a thing for the water needs of people in India or Australia.

    We are really foolish about water, and water is going to become a more pressing problem than oil in the next fifty years in some parts of the world.

    An interesting if somewhat gloomy book (unless you're a really optimistic futurist). I thought Fishman belabored some points a bit, and was a little too trusting in the magic of "the market" to solve our water problems if applied correctly, but the basic point that people don't value something they get for nothing has been born out.

    More

    The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Charles Fishman
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (167)
    Story
    (166)

    The water coming out of your tap is four billion years old and might have been slurped by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. We will always have exactly as much water on Earth as we have ever had. Water cannot be destroyed, and it can always be made clean enough for drinking again. In fact, water can be made so clean that it actually becomes toxic. As Charles Fishman brings vibrantly to life in this delightful narrative excursion, water runs our world in a host of awe-inspiring ways, which is both the promise and the peril of our unexplored connections to it.

    Lynn says: "Informative Book"
  • "Four fish we won't be able to eat f..."

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    I haven't read Mark Kurlansky's Cod, but this book is clearly capitalizing on the popularity of that book. Paul Greenberg even interviews Kurlansky and has the rather more famous writer sample a variety of wild, farmed, and organic cod to see if he can taste the difference. I guess I can't blame Greenberg for playing "gotcha" with a more famous author who made his reputation on a book about one fish species, but it seemed like he was trying a little too hard.

    This book is another of what the author calls "endangered fish" books. He focuses on four of the most common food fish: salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna. Talking about the biology and our history of consumption of each, Four Fish is interesting for anyone who is into food science, ecology, or marine biology, but the story is pretty depressing for every species: we're eating them all to extinction. Pretty soon many species of once-abundant fish will be available only as farmed fish, or not even that, and the international community has had very bad luck getting fishermen to stop over-fishing even when it's obvious to everyone what the inevitable outcome will be.

    Greenberg tries to end the book on an optimistic note, pointing out that it's not too late, there are conservation, economic, and public policy measures that have been proven to work, and listing the necessary steps that, if taken, could result in all of our favorite fish rebounding and even remaining available as seafood for generations to come. But I cannot say I am as optimistic. The sad story of bluefin tuna seems to be the likely fate of one species after another as we greedily eat anything we can catch.

    Not an extremely deep book, but good for a high-level view of our use and overuse of the ocean's resources, and definitely something that will appeal to anyone who ever had an interest in marine biology.

    More

    Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Paul Greenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (138)

    Our relationship with the ocean is undergoing a profound transformation. Just three decades ago nearly everything we ate from the sea was wild. Today rampant overfishing and an unprecedented biotech revolution have brought us to a point where wild and farmed fish occupy equal parts of a complex and confusing marketplace.

    Dan says: "Great listen"
  1. The Big Thirst: The Secre...
  2. Four Fish: The Future of ...
  3. .

A Peek at Lisa's Bookshelf

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13
 
30 REVIEWS / 79 ratings 0 Followers / Following 0
 
Lisa's greatest hits:
  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    "I loved this story"

    Overall
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    This was an amazing story. I am an animal lover and never knew that elephants were so smart and have such a strong sense of family. I laughed and I cried and I know where I want to go when I get my passport.

bill doyle

bill doyle adelaide, south australia 07-08-12 Member Since 2011

Bloke who took to audiobooks in order to beguile long hours on the road travelling to photography gigs across his home state. Now addicted!

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  • "Read him before you rant about him!"

    3 of 3 helpful votes

    In the early part of the 21st Century few figures have been as respected, and simultaneously reviled, as Jim Hansen.

    Perhaps only his colleague Michael Mann has surpassed him as a target of the so-called climate 'skeptic' community - many of whom, sadly, fail to live up to their self-assumed name.

    Many would have you believe that the man is a fanatic, an environmental extremist, a zealot - even a scientific incompetent and/or fabricator of facts!

    Can I suggest that if you give this book a fair hearing - literally in the case of the audiobook - you simply cannot justly hold these claims to be true.

    That Hansen is a sincere man is undoubtable. That he presents a compelling case for recognising the risks we are collectively running in conducting a radical experiment on the one atmosphere we possess is also beyond dispute.

    Hansen, director of NASA'a Goddard Institute of Space Studies, has been doing this for a long time, and is one of the pioneers of the field of climatology, and is certainly the first internationally-known advocate of the phenomenon we know as Global Warming.

    Certainly one can argue with some of his prescriptions; though a rapid phase-out of our reliance on coal can hardly be questioned if we accept the evidence, whether we should embrace nuclear power or adopt a tax-and-dividend strategy - as opposed to the market mechanism of cap-and-trade (now, ironically, opposed by many 'Free Traders', who tend to deny the reality of anthropogenic climate change) - will remain much more open to debate.

    But these are exactly the points we should be discussing in the face of such a crisis, and nobody is a greater authority on the predicament that we are in than Hansen himself.

    Hansen presents himself, convincingly, as a centrist, small 'c' conservative type of fellow, who really would be quite happy to just do the Science and avoid the abrasive scrutiny of the limelight, were it not for the fact that he feels he owes his grandchildren a livable future.

    He presents the dangers graphically and clearly. He has concluded that 350 ppm of atmospheric CO2 is the maximum safe target - this, Dear Reader, is already well surpassed, and receding further into the distance with every day that passes. This suggestion of Hansen's has been the inspiration for Bill McKibben's climate action group, 350.org.

    Beyond 350ppm we enter dangerous waters indeed. Hansen is certainly the most prominent qualified authority to warn of the most dire consequences, with regard to future sea-level, extreme weather events - the eponymous 'storms' - and even runaway feedback mechanisms leading to genuinely catastrophic consequences.

    One can only hope things will never be that bad - but we ignore such voices, merely because what they are saying triggers our defensive 'that could never happen to me (or my children!)' reflex, at our peril.

    The excursion into a short, pedagogic science-fiction story based on a future hyper-warmed Earth towards the end of the book constituted the only really jarring note in the story itself for me.

    I also found the reading by John Allen Nelson to be mildly jarring - rather too uninflected for my taste, and somewhat monotonous.

    But neither of these mild reservations is sufficient to mar my enthusiastic endorsement of this audiobook.


    More

    Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By James Hansen
    • Narrated By John Allen Nelson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    In Storms of My Grandchildren, James Hansen - the nation's leading scientist on climate issues - speaks out for the first time with the full truth about global warming: the planet is hurtling even more rapidly than previously acknowledged to a climatic point of no return. Although Hansen was Al Gore's science adviser for the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, his recent data shows that our situation is even more dire today.

    Brad says: "This is a must read"

What's Trending in Environment:

  • 4.4 (3393 ratings)
    The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Pollan Narrated by Scott Brick

    The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3393)
    Performance
    (1147)
    Story
    (1145)

    "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.

    Stephen Redding says: "Great presentation of a moral dilemma"
  • 4.6 (1005 ratings)
    The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence Narrated by Simon Vance

    The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1005)
    Performance
    (922)
    Story
    (932)

    >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.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
  • 4.3 (125 ratings)
    Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge : A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (






UNABRIDGED) by Terence McKenna Narrated by Jeffrey Kafer

    Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge : A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Terence McKenna
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (111)

    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.

    Denise (Julian) Greene says: "A paradigm shifting experience"
  • 4.3 (107 ratings)
    The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters (






UNABRIDGED) by Gregory Zuckerman Narrated by Sean Pratt

    The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Gregory Zuckerman
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
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    Performance
    (100)
    Story
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    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.

    T. Chambless says: "Excellent Book but Mispronunciations Abound!"
  •  
  • 4.4 (105 ratings)
    Rising From the Plains: Annals of the Former World, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by John McPhee Narrated by Nelson Runger

    Rising From the Plains: Annals of the Former World, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By John McPhee
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Rising From the Plains takes McPhee to the high country of Utah along the Continental Divide. His guide is David Love, "the grand old man of Rocky Mountain geology". Helping McPhee see the physical changes that have shaped this region over millions of years, Love also traces his own family's history in this oil-rich, windswept land.

    Nancy says: "Terrific Read"
  • 4.6 (90 ratings)
    Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm (






UNABRIDGED) by Forrest Pritchard Narrated by Roger Wayne

    Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Forrest Pritchard
    • Narrated By Roger Wayne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (84)

    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.

    Sweetbay says: "Loved it! I wanted it to go on further"
  • 4.3 (84 ratings)
    Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures (






UNABRIDGED) by Virginia Morell Narrated by Kirsten Potter

    Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Virginia Morell
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (68)

    Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals. Did you know that ants teach, earthworms make decisions, rats love to be tickled, and chimps grieve? Did you know that some dogs have thousand-word vocabularies and that birds practice songs in their sleep? That crows improvise tools, blue jays plan ahead, and moths remember living as caterpillars?

    Kathi says: "Beautiful insights into the minds of animals"
  • Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Miodownik Narrated by Michael Page

    Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Mark Miodownik
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    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.

  • The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Pollan Narrated by Scott Brick

    The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3393)
    Performance
    (1147)
    Story
    (1145)

    "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.

    Stephen Redding says: "Great presentation of a moral dilemma"
  • The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence Narrated by Simon Vance

    The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1005)
    Performance
    (922)
    Story
    (932)

    >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.

    Tango says: "Beautiful story, beautifully written"
  • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (






ABRIDGED) by Jared Diamond Narrated by Christopher Murney

    Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jared Diamond
    • Narrated By Christopher Murney
    Overall
    (1110)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (263)

    In his million-copy best seller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the other side of the equation: what caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates?

    Rebecca says: "an fascinating book, but better on paper"
  •  
  • Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge : A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (






UNABRIDGED) by Terence McKenna Narrated by Jeffrey Kafer

    Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge : A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Terence McKenna
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (111)

    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.

    Denise (Julian) Greene says: "A paradigm shifting experience"
  • The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters (






UNABRIDGED) by Gregory Zuckerman Narrated by Sean Pratt

    The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Gregory Zuckerman
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (101)

    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.

    T. Chambless says: "Excellent Book but Mispronunciations Abound!"
  • Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm (






UNABRIDGED) by Forrest Pritchard Narrated by Roger Wayne

    Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Forrest Pritchard
    • Narrated By Roger Wayne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (84)

    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.

    Sweetbay says: "Loved it! I wanted it to go on further"
  • The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert M. Hazen Narrated by Walter Dixon

    The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Robert M. Hazen
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (391)
    Performance
    (341)
    Story
    (339)

    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.

    Gary says: "Makes minerals interesting"
  •  
  • The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: or, The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Darwin Narrated by Robin Field

    The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: or, The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Charles Darwin
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (37)

    The Origin of Species sold out on the first day of its publication in 1859. It is the major book of the 19th century and one of the most readable and accessible of the great revolutionary works of the scientific imagination. Though, in fact, little read, most people know what it says—at least they think they do. The Origin of Species was the first mature and persuasive work to explain how species change through the process of natural selection. Upon its publication, the book began to transform attitudes about society and religion.

    Riegholt says: "Best way to read the classic!"
  • Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert Bryce Narrated by Stephen Menasche

    Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Robert Bryce
    • Narrated By Stephen Menasche
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    In this provocative and optimistic rebuke to the catastrophists, Robert Bryce shows how innovation and the inexorable human desire to make things Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper is providing consumers with Cheaper and more abundant energy, Faster computing, Lighter vehicles, and myriad other goods. That same desire is fostering unprecedented prosperity, greater liberty, and yes, better environmental protection.

    SESTO22 says: "Title should be Debunk the myths!"
  • The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery (






UNABRIDGED) by Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Richards Narrated by Todd Barsness

    The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Richards
    • Narrated By Todd Barsness
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Is Earth merely an insignificant speck in a vast and meaningless universe? On the contrary: The Privileged Planet shows that this cherished assumption of materialism is dead wrong. In this provocative book, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards present a staggering array of evidence that exposes the hollowness of this modern dogma.

    A User says: "Poor narration mars good book"
  • The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence Narrated by Simon Vance

    The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Lawrence Anthony, Graham Spence
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    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.

    matthew says: "A mediocre adventure"
  • Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Miodownik Narrated by Michael Page

    Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Mark Miodownik
    • Narrated By Michael Page
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    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.

  • White Beech: The Rainforest Years (






UNABRIDGED) by Germaine Greer Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld

    White Beech: The Rainforest Years

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Germaine Greer
    • Narrated By Saskia Maarleveld
    Overall
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    (0)
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    One bright day in December 2001, sixty-two-year-old Germaine Greer found herself confronted by an irresistible challenge in the shape of sixty hectares of dairy farm, one of many in southeast Queensland, Australia, which, after a century of logging, clearing, and downright devastation, had been abandoned to their fate. She didn’t think for a minute that by restoring the land she was saving the world. She was in search of heart’s ease.

  • Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short (






UNABRIDGED) by David Archibald Narrated by A.T. Chandler

    Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By David Archibald
    • Narrated By A.T. Chandler
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Baby boomers enjoyed the most benign period in human history: 50 years of relative peace, cheap energy, plentiful grain supply, and a warming climate due to the highest solar activity for 8,000 years. The party is over - prepare for the twilight of abundance.

  • Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon (






UNABRIDGED) by Paul Rosolie Narrated by Jonathan Yen

    Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Paul Rosolie
    • Narrated By Jonathan Yen
    Overall
    (1)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    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.

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  • How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art (






UNABRIDGED) by Kathleen Meyer Narrated by Khristine Hvam

    How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Kathleen Meyer
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    World changes come fast and furious, and in the backcountry it is no different. The practice of "packing-it-out" - adopted to protect high-use areas and fragile ecosystems - is here to stay. We are now often urged or even required to haul our poop home. To assist with all this responsible human waste disposal, Kathleen Meyer discusses the latest in product innovations, from classy high-tech to inexpensive do-it-yourself.

  • American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood (






UNABRIDGED) by Paul Greenberg Narrated by Christopher Lane

    American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Paul Greenberg
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    In 2005, the United States imported 12 billion dollars' worth of seafood, nearly double what we had imported 10 years earlier. During that same period, our seafood exports rose by a third. In American Catch, our foremost fish expert Paul Greenberg looks to New York oysters, gulf shrimp, and Alaskan salmon to reveal how it came to be that 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat is foreign.

    Amazon Customer says: "Excellent personal view and excellent facts"
  • Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart's Green Revolution (






UNABRIDGED) by Edward Humes Narrated by Michael Quinlan

    Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart's Green Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Edward Humes
    • Narrated By Michael Quinlan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
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    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    What happens when a renowned river guide teams up with the CEO of one of the largest - and least Earth-friendly - corporations in the world? Nothing less than a green business revolution reveals Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Edward Humes in his arresting new book. Humes tells the inside story of the little-known and unlikely partnership between former Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott and white water expert-turned Blu Skye sustainability consultant Jib Ellison, and their struggle to redefine what it means to be green in the world of big business.