Climate Change, Entangled Whales and the Bundy Militia: 15 New Environmental Books for May
By John R. Platt
What do climate change, krill, energy development and public lands have in common? They're all among the topics of new environmental books arriving in bookstores this month.
Frankly there are more environmental books coming out this May than any one person could read, so as usual we've tried to pick what looks like the best of the best. The full list—15 thought-provoking titles—includes books for just about every reader, from dedicated environmentalists to history buffs to wildlife-friendly kids. You can check them all out below—links are to publishers' or authors' websites—and then settle down in your favorite chair or park bench for a month of great reading.
The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Fight to Protect the Arctic and Save the Planet From Climate Change by Sheila Watt-Cloutier—The weather in Inuit territory has become what the local peoples describe as Uggianaqtuq, "behaving in strange and unexpected ways." This memoir by one of the world's most important indigenous advocates recounts her efforts to save her native land—and its peoples—from the destruction of climate change. It gets our vote for the book of the month.
Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know 2nd Edition by Joseph Romm—Yup, you need to read this book. It not only provides the science behind climate change in an easy-to-digest question-and-answer format, it also dives into the solutions. Buy copies for yourself and your friends.
Weather: An Illustrated History: From Cloud Atlases to Climate Change by Andrew Revkin and Lisa Mechaley—To understand climate change, you need to know what's changing in the first place and how things have changed over the centuries and millennia. This book provides 100 snapshots into the history of our understanding of, and relationship with, our weather system. Revkin has been covering global warming since the 1980s and has provided some of the most essential reading on the subject, so this is another must-read for the month.
Philosophy and Climate Science by Eric Winsberg—Climate change, as Winsberg writes in the introduction to his new textbook, is not as simple as "1+1=2." It's real, but it involves complex work from dozens of scientific disciplines, and that make it hard to understand. Can exploring the philosophy of science help to connect the dots? (Hint: The answer is "yes.")
A Thirsty Land: The Making of an American Water Crisis by Seamus McGraw—Using Texas as a case study, McGraw's book proves that the United States simply isn't ready for the next big drought or flood. This is a problem that's been brewing for a long time, and climate change is about to make it worse. Gulp.
Wildlife and Endangered Species:
Trapped! A Whale's Rescue by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Wendell Minor—Inspired by a true story, this kids' book shows how a humpback whale got trapped in fishing ropes and nearly died—until humans came to her rescue. A gorgeous, powerful book offering important lessons for readers of any age.
The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story From the Bottom of the World by Stephen Nicol—Chances are you haven't thought about krill in a while. Well, let's change that. Nicol, a krill scientist, dives deep into the lives of these incredible oceanic species, reveals their importance in the food chain, and talks about how climate change and pollution have started to threaten species that have existed for millions of years. You'll get a thrill out of reading about krill.
No Word for Wilderness: Italy's Grizzlies and the Race to Save the Rarest Bears on Earth by Roger Thompson—The last 50 or so Abruzzo bears of central Italy are in trouble on all fronts, with threats including farmers, illegal hunting, diseases, and even the mafia. Thompson discusses the complex history of this rare subspecies—and whether or not they have a future.
Pandora's Garden: Kudzu, Cockroaches, and Other Misfits of Ecology by Clinton Crockett Peters—Does the way we treat "unwanted" species like sharks or invasive species like kudzu really reflect the threats they create, or are we just projecting elements of our own psyches into these "misfits"? This is possibly this month's most thought-provoking book.
Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children's Literature by Liam Heneghan—What do talking lions and wise spiders teach kids about the natural world? More importantly, does children's literature contain the tools necessary to teach kids about heady topics such as extinction, climate change and deforestation? Heneghan explores the answers, looking at everything from Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter.
Energy (and the Problems It Creates):
Energy: A Human History by Richard Rhodes—Life is about transitions, and here the Pulitzer Prize-winning author explores how the world has transitioned from early energy sources like wood and water to coal and oil and now wind and solar—and how that history may reveal what to expect in the near future.
Fallout: Disasters, Lies, and the Legacy of the Nuclear Age by Fred Pearce—An exploration of eight decades of nuclear technology, the lives it has destroyed and the landscapes it has ruined. An important look back in an era when some people have proposed renewed development of nuclear power as a low-carbon source of energy.
Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe by Serhii Plokhy—Speaking of nuclear disasters, here's a book-length history about one of the worst. You know, a little light reading.
Chosen Country: A Rebellion in the West by James Pogue—Our final book this month is another timely, thought-provoking title. As armed-insurrectionist rancher Ammon Bundy tours the West talking about "range rights" and calling environmentalists "an enemy to humans," this new book offers a firsthand account of the Bundy family's seizure of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and digs deep into the roots of the anti-government militia movement. An important read for troubled times.
Reposted with permission from our media associate The Revelator.
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By Daisy Simmons
1. Stay Informed<p>A first order of business in pet evacuation planning is to understand and be ready for the possible threats in your area. Visit <a href="https://www.ready.gov/be-informed" target="_blank">Ready.gov</a> to learn more about preparing for potential disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. Then pay attention to related updates by tuning <a href="http://www.weather.gov/nwr/" target="_blank">NOAA Weather Radio</a> to your local emergency station or using the <a href="https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app" target="_blank">FEMA app</a> to get National Weather Service alerts.</p>
2. Ensure Your Pet is Easily Identifiable<p><span>Household pets, including indoor cats, should wear collars with ID tags that have your mobile phone number. </span><a href="https://www.avma.org/microchipping-animals-faq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Microchipping</a><span> your pets will also improve your chances of reunion should you become separated. Be sure to add an emergency contact for friends or relatives outside your immediate area.</span></p><p>Additionally, use <a href="https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">'animals inside' door/window stickers</a> to show rescue workers how many pets live there. (If you evacuate with your pets, quickly write "Evacuated" on the sticker so first responders don't waste time searching for them.)</p>
3. Make a Pet Evacuation Plan<p> "No family disaster plan is complete without including your pets and all of your animals," says veterinarian Heather Case in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9NRJkFKAm4" target="_blank">a video</a> produced by the American Veterinary Medical Association.</p><p>It's important to determine where to take your pet in the event of an emergency.</p><p>Red Cross shelters and many other emergency shelters allow only service animals. Ask your vet, local animal shelters, and emergency management officials for information on local and regional animal sheltering options.</p><p>For those with access to the rare shelter that allows pets, CDC offers <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/emergencies/pets-in-evacuation-centers.html" target="_blank">tips on what to expect</a> there, including potential health risks and hygiene best practices.</p><p>Beyond that, talk with family or friends outside the evacuation area about potentially hosting you and/or your pet if you're comfortable doing so. Search for pet-friendly hotel or boarding options along key evacuation routes.</p><p>If you have exotic pets or a mix of large and small animals, you may need to identify multiple locations to shelter them.</p><p>For other household pets like hamsters, snakes, and fish, the SPCA recommends that if they normally live in a cage, they should be transported in that cage. If the enclosure is too big to transport, however, transfer them to a smaller container temporarily. (More on that <a href="https://www.spcai.org/take-action/emergency-preparedness/evacuation-how-to-be-pet-prepared" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.)</p><p>For any pet, a key step is to establish who in your household will be the point person for gathering up pets and bringing their supplies. Keep in mind that you may not be home when disaster strikes, so come up with a Plan B. For example, you might form a buddy system with neighbors with pets, or coordinate with a trusted pet sitter.</p>
4. Prepare a Pet Evacuation Kit<p>Like the emergency preparedness kit you'd prepare for humans, assemble basic survival items for your pets in a sturdy, easy-to-grab container. Items should include:</p><ul><li>Water, food, and medicine to last a week or two;</li><li>Water, food bowls, and a can opener if packing wet food;</li><li>Litter supplies for cats (a shoebox lined with a plastic bag and litter may work);</li><li>Leashes, harnesses, or vehicle restraints if applicable;</li><li>A <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/pet-first-aid-supplies-checklist" target="_blank">pet first aid kit</a>;</li><li>A sturdy carrier or crate for each cat or dog. In addition to easing transport, these may serve as your pet's most familiar or safe space in an unfamiliar environment;</li><li>A favorite toy and/or blanket;</li><li>If your pet is prone to anxiety or stress, the American Kennel Club suggests adding <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">stress-relieving items</a> like an anxiety vest or calming sprays.</li></ul><p>In the not-unlikely event that you and your pet have to shelter in different places, your kit should also include:</p><ul><li>Detailed information including contact information for you, your vet, and other emergency contacts;</li><li>A list with phone numbers and addresses of potential destinations, including pet-friendly hotels and emergency boarding facilities near your planned evacuation routes, plus friends or relatives in other areas who might be willing to host you or your pet;</li><li>Medical information including vaccine records and a current rabies vaccination tag;</li><li>Feeding notes including portions and sizes in case you need to leave your pet in someone else's care;</li><li>A photo of you and your pet for identification purposes.</li></ul>
5. Be Ready to Evacuate at Any Time<p>It's always wise to be prepared, but stay especially vigilant in high-risk periods during fire or hurricane season. Practice evacuating at different times of day. Make sure your grab-and-go kit is up to date and in a convenient location, and keep leashes and carriers by the exit door. You might even stow a thick pillowcase under your bed for middle-of-the-night, dash-out emergencies when you don't have time to coax an anxious pet into a carrier. If forecasters warn of potential wildfire, a hurricane, or other dangerous conditions, bring outdoor pets inside so you can keep a close eye on them.</p><p>As with any emergency, the key is to be prepared. As the American Kennel Club points out, "If you panic, it will agitate your dog. Therefore, <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pet disaster preparedness</a> will not only reduce your anxiety but will help reduce your pet's anxiety too."</p>
Evacuating Horses and Other Farm Animals<p>The same basic principles apply for evacuating horses and most other livestock. Provide each with some form of identification. Ensure that adequate food, water, and medicine are available. And develop a clear plan on where to go and how to get there.</p><p>Sheltering and transporting farm animals requires careful coordination, from identifying potential shelter space at fairgrounds, racetracks, or pastures, to ensuring enough space is available in vehicles and trailers – not to mention handlers and drivers on hand to support the effort.</p><p>For most farm animals, the Red Cross advises that you consider precautionary evacuation when a threat seems imminent but evacuation orders haven't yet been announced. The American Veterinary Medical Association has <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/large-animals-and-livestock-disasters" target="_blank">more information</a>.</p>
Bottom Line: If You Need to Evacuate, So Do Your Pets<p>As the Humane Society warns, pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed. Plan ahead to make sure you can safely evacuate your entire household – furry members included.</p>
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