Beavers, National Parks and Trump’s Attacks on Science: 16 New Environmental Books for June
By John R. Platt
We've made it past Memorial Day weekend, which means that for many of us it's time to start planning our summer reading lists. Luckily there are plenty of new environmentally themed books coming out in June—more than any one person could read at the beach or by the campfire, but enough for everyone to easily pick out a few titles that appeal to them.
Here's our list of the 16 best-looking books being published this month, including books about whales, beavers, sea-level rise, national parks, the Trump administration's attacks on science, the history of radical environmentalism and a whole lot more. As usual, we've tried to pick a wide range of titles for dedicated environmentalists, nature-loving kids, mystery fans and everyone in between.
Wildlife, Animals and Endangered Species:
North America's ecosystems are messed up, and the eradication of beavers is often to blame. Millions of these crafty critters were trapped and killed for their fur, leaving the ecosystems that depended on them up a creek without a beaver. Goldfarb looks at the consequences of the loss of beavers, as well as the people who are trying to restore their populations. (Related: read Goldfarb's recent essay, Can Wildlife Services Learn to Believe in Beavers?)
The Last Lobster: Boom or Bust for Maine's Greatest Fishery? by Christopher White
As someone who spent eight years living in coastal Maine, I know how utterly reliant the local economy is on lobster fishing. But that industry, currently booming, could soon crash as a result of climate change and warming oceans. White bites into this critical issue and talks to the lobstermen who are working their tails off now but already bracing for an uncertain future.
How did whales evolve, and can they continue to survive in the face of climate change and other threats to the world's oceans? Pyenson, one of the world's most influential marine mammal researchers, dives deep into these issues in his important new book.
The Animal Lover's Guide to Changing the World by Stephanie Feldstein
Subtitled "Practical Advice and Everyday Actions for a More Sustainable, Humane and Compassionate Planet," this book by Feldstein, an activist with the Center for Biological Diversity (publishers of The Revelator) takes fans of pets and wildlife through the actions they can take to protect the planet and all of its denizens.
The Intrinsic Value of Endangered Species by Ian A. Smith
This academic book, from a series on studies in ethics and moral theory, argues that species have a right to exist because they are capable of existing and reproducing in the first place. Sounds like a good argument.
Squidtoons: Exploring Ocean Science with Comics by Garfield Kwan, Dana Song
Kids love weird creatures, and the ocean is full of them. So is this book. The illustrations are pretty neat, too.
Science and Politics:
Corrupted Science: Fraud, Ideology and Politics in Science (Revised & Expanded) by John Grant
I was a huge fan of this book when it was first released as a small hardcover 10 years ago. Now it's back in a much larger and massively updated format. Grant (an award-winning science-fiction writer and editor) looks at centuries of history to expose how science has been misused and misrepresented since the age of Galileo—and into the modern climate-change denial movement and the Trump administration.
What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City by Mona Hanna-Attisha
A first-person account of how the author, a pediatrician and activist, helped to uncover and expose the devastating lead-water contaminant crisis in Flint, Michigan.
National Parks and Public Lands:
Yosemite Fall: A National Park Mystery by Scott Graham
A mystery novel, book four in a series set in national parks, about an archeologist trying to solve two murders: one from 150 years ago and another, in the present day, in which he's just been implicated.
Where the Fire Falls: A Vintage National Parks Novel by Karen Barnett
Here's another mystery set in a national park, this time a romantic thriller that takes place in Yellowstone during the 1920s.
This month's third and final work of fiction set in a national park, this time an epoch-leaping kids' book that explores thousands of years of history of Maine's Acadia National Park.
This heavily researched book—nonfiction, to set it apart from the others in this category—lays out the arguments for privatizing public land … and then obliterates them, showing why these landscapes are an asset for the country and its people.
Rising: Dispatches From the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush
A heavily reported look at the plants, animals and people in the United States who are already being affected by climate change and sea-level rise. Billed as "a shimmering meditation on vulnerability and vulnerable communities," as well as a look at "how to let go of the places we love." Uh-oh.
Environmentalism and Sustainability:
The Ecocentrists: A History of Radical Environmentalism by Keith Makoto Woodhouse
A look at the radical environmentalism movement that arose during the 1980s, from Earth First! and beyond.
What the heck are we eating, and what's happening to our bodies as a result? Lawless looks at the deteriorating nutritional content of our food, the chemicals it's packaged with, and how that's reshaping our brains, microbiota and genes.
A New Reality: Human Evolution for a Sustainable Future by Jonas Salk and Jonathan Salk
A look at the future of human population and related issues, with Jonathan Salk expanding upon ideas developed by his father, the famous creator of the polio vaccine.
That's it for this month, but there are lots more recent books waiting for you at your local bookstore or library. Check out our previous "Revelator Reads" columns for dozens of additional recent recommendations—and feel free to recommend your own recent favorites in the comments.
Reposted with permission from our media associate The Revelator.
In a dramatic rescue captured on camera, a Florida man ran into a pond and pried open an alligator's mouth in order to rescue his beloved puppy, all without dropping his cigar.
- 'He had green eyes': Florida man will paint alligator that attacked him ›
- Florida alligator attack: A woman was attacked by a 10-foot alligator ... ›
- Weird presidential pets include alligator, tiger cub, dog named Satan ... ›
- Alligators make terrible pets: 'You're basically dealing with a dinosaur.' ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
- Coronavirus Plastic Waste Polluting the Environment - EcoWatch ›
- Scuba Divers Make Face Masks out of Recycled Ocean Plastic ... ›
By Bret Wilkins
In a year in which the United States has already suffered 16 climate-driven extreme weather events causing more than $1 billion in economic damages, and as millions of American workers face loss of essential unemployment benefits due to congressional inaction, a report published Monday reveals the Trump administration has given fossil fuel companies as much as $15.2 billion in direct relief — and tens of billions more indirectly — through federal COVID-19 recovery programs since March.
- 'We Need People's Bailout, Not Polluters' Bailout': Climate Groups ... ›
- Corporate Polluters Have Received Tens of Millions in PPP Loans ... ›
- Trump Bails Out Oil Industry, Not U.S. Families, as Coronavirus ... ›
- Former Federal Reserve Governor Rebukes Fed for Fossil Fuel Bail ... ›
By Ashia Aubourg
As Thanksgiving approaches, some Indigenous organizations and activists caution against perpetuating further injustices towards Native communities. Indigenous activist Mariah Gladstone, for example, encourages eaters to celebrate the harvest time in ways that do not involve stereotypes and pilgrim stories.
- Why Face Masks Belong at Your Thanksgiving Gathering + 7 Things ... ›
- Reasons to Be Thankful — 8 Food and Farm 'Good News' Stories ... ›
- Why I'm Going to Standing Rock for Thanksgiving - EcoWatch ›
By Alex Middleton
Losing weight and reducing fat is a hard battle to fight. Thankfully, there are fat burner supplements that help you gain your target body and goal. However, how would you know which supplement is right for you?