Books about Nature

THE AGES OF GAIA, 1988, James Lovelock. James Lovelock proposes that all living species are components of that organism, as cells are components of the human body. Lovelock first sketched out his theory in his bestseller, Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. People all over the world embraced the theory, and in less than ten years it moved from the margins of scientific research to the mainstream.Lovelock argues that such things as the level of oxygen, the formation of clouds, and the saltiness of the oceans may all be controlled by biological processes. He believes that “living organisms create the optimum conditions for their own existence, and in so doing create the superorganism Gaia.” ISBN:0393312399

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, 2006, Al Gore.Director Davis Guggenheim eloquently weaves the science of global warming with Al Gore’s personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change in the most talked-about documentary of the year. An audience and critical favorite, An Inconvenient Truth makes the compelling case that global warming is real, man-made, and its effects will be cataclysmic if we don’t act now. Gore presents a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way: often humorous, frequently emotional, always fascinating. In the end, An Inconvenient Truth accomplishes what all great films should: it leaves the viewer shaken, involved and inspired (DVD) ASIN: B000ICL3KG

DANGEROUS RELIGION, 2004, Brendan Cathbad Myers.Dangerous Religion is a “thought-opera” of spiritual contemplations on Neo-Pagan and environmental themes. It was also written to be a manual for environmental activists and other participants in the anti-globalization movement. The book describes a planetary Will to Life expressed by everything in nature from animals and plants to the material elements. This concept of “Global Animism” requires radical transformations in our total lives, from the level of personal belief all the way to political and economic organization. Three main sections distinguish particular themes. The first is called “In the beginning was the Mother” and is primarily concerned with environmental and religious matters, particularly in the Celtic world view. The second section, called “Separating Reality from Illusion” examines social and political matters, especially how the global market is a manifestation of the Will to Life in pathological disorder. The third and final section, “The Great Silence,” brings the previous themes into a personal and more purely spiritual unity. It suggests some ways how the disordered Will to Life may be rectified and how we must act to do it. ISBN: 1594055114

DEEP ECOLOGY, 1985, Bill Devall and George Sessions.Deep Ecology explores the philosophical, psychological, and sociological roots of today’s environmental movement, examines the human-centered assumptions behind most approaches to nature, explores the possibilities of an expanded human consciousness, and offers specific direct action suggestions for individuals to practice. Widely read in it first printing, Deep Ecology has established itself as one of the most significant books on environmental thought to appear in this decade .ISBN:0879052473

THE DREAM OF THE EARTH, 1988, Thomas Berry.Explores human-earth relations and seeks a new, non-anthropocentric approach to the natural world. According to cultural historian Berry, our immediate danger is not nuclear war but industrial plundering; our entire society, he argues, is trapped in a closed cycle of production and consumption. Berry points out that our perception of the earth is the product of cultural conditioning, and that most of us fail to think of ourselves as a species but rather as national, ethnic, religious or economic groups. Describing education as “a process of cultural coding somewhat parallel to genetic coding,” he proposes a curriculum based on awareness of the earth. He discusses “patriarchy” as a new interpretation of Western historical development, naming four patriachies that have controlled Western history, becoming progressively destructive: the classical empires, the ecclesiastical establishment, the nation-state and the modern corporation. We must reject partial solutions and embrace profound changes toward a “biocracy” that will heal the earth. ISBN:0871566222

EARTH IN THE BALANCE: ECOLOGY & THE HUMAN SPIRIT 1992, Al Gore,A rationale and blueprint for saving the planet, by the President-Elect of the US! And there is even mention of The Goddess! ISBN: 1594866376

EARTH PRAYERS , 1991, Roberts & Amidon, eds.A selection of meditations on Nature, from poets and scriptures of many cultures. ISBN:006250746X

THE FINAL FOREST: The Battle for the Last Great Trees of the Pacific Northwest, 1993, William Dietrich.In a riveting exploration of our connection to all that we cherish and exploit on Earth, a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent for The Seattle Times examines the human side of the struggle that looms as the fate of our forest s is determined. ISBN: 0140177507

FROM THE REDWOOD FOREST: Ancient Trees and the Bottom Line, 1998, Joan Dunning, Doug Thron.A passionate account of the struggle to save an area of northern California from logging. Describes how it was logged sustainably for decades by a family-owned business, but was subjected to liquidation logging by the Texas corporation that took over the company in 1985. Augmenting the narrative are 57 color photographs by Doug Thron of the forest before and after logging and of protests. ISBN: 189013211X

GAIA: AN ATLAS OF PLANET MANAGEMENT , 1984, Norman Myers, ed.The definitive guide to a planet in critical transition. Profusely illustrated, with over 100 contributors. Extraordinary. ISBN: 0385426267

GAIA: A NEW LOOK AT LIFE ON EARTH, 1979, James Lovelock.In this classic work that continues to inspire its many readers, James Lovelock deftly explains his idea that life on earth functions as a single organism. Written for the non-scientist, Gaia is a journey through time and space in search of evidence with which to support a new and radically different model of our planet. In contrast to conventional belief that living matter is passive in the face of threats to its existence, the book explores the hypothesis that the earth’s living matter-air, ocean, and land surfaces-forms a complex system that has the capacity to keep the Earth a fit place for life.ISBN: 0192862189

GAIA: THE GROWTH OF AN IDEA, 1990, Lawrence Joseph.Discusses the hypothesis that the Earth’s microbes, plants, and animals have coevolved with their environment into one superorganism, and discusses the effect this idea has had on the scientific community. ISBN: 0312058667

JULIA BUTTERFLY HILL, 2002, Dawn FitzGerald. (Biography)Young people are often full of ideals but coming across someone with the super special qualitites, including the vision, necessary for actualising an ideal is rare. Julia Butterfly Hill is a person of integrity and an inspiration to young and old. The world desperately needs people who show such courage and conviction. This little book is easily read, its message clear and inspiring. ISBN: 978-0761326540

THE LAST STAND: The War Between Wall Street and Main Street over California’s Ancient Redwoods , 1997, David Harris.Here is a compelling American story–a tale of greed, fanaticism, and devotion–that ranges from the paneled boardrooms of Wall Street and Rodeo Drive to the banks of the Eel River that curve past the cavernous mills of Pacific Lumber, owner of the Headwaters Forest, the world’s largest privately held stand of ancient redwoods. In this chronicle of takeover of Pacific Lumber by financier Charles Hurwitz, David Harris, brings his astonishing literary gifts, as well as his own moral passion, to the riveting and important story of the struggle to save the Headwaters Forest. Harris gives us a metaphor for the disappearance of an arguably more gentile, kinder capitalism–a capitalism that, in large measure, was responsible for an America now under siege. This is a book about how some people, often against their own will, end up killing the very thing that had long given them sustenance and shelter–the forest itself.ISBN: 0871569442

THE LEGACY OF LUNA: The Story of a Tree, a Woman and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods , 2001, Julia “Butterfly” Hill.A young woman named Julia Butterfly Hill climbed a 200-foot redwood in December 1997. She didn’t come down for 738 days. The tree, dubbed Luna, grows in the coastal hills of Northern California, on land owned by the Maxxam Corporation. In 1985 Maxxam acquired the previous landlord, Pacific Lumber, then proceeded to “liquidate its assets” to pay off the debt–in other words, clear-cut the old-growth redwood forest. Environmentalists charged the company with harvesting timber at a nonsustainable level. Earth First! in particular devised tree sit-ins to protest the logging. When Hill arrived on the scene after traveling cross-country on a whim, loggers were preparing to clear-cut the hillside where Luna had been growing for 1,000 years. The Legacy of Luna, part diary, part treatise, and part New Age spiritual journey, is the story of Julia Butterfly Hill’s two-year arboreal odyssey. ISBN: 0062516590

ONE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE: Inspiring Actions that Change our World, 2002, Julia “Butterfly” Hill.After her record-breaking two year tree sit, Julia Butterfly Hill has ceaselessly continued her efforts to promote sustainability and ecologically-minded ways to save the old-growth redwoods she acted so valiantly to protect. Here she provides advice on how to promote change and improve the health of the planet, distilled into an essential handbook. ISBN: 0062517562