books

Cowslips (Primula veris). Photo: Donna JW via Flickr (CC BY).

The joys and sufferings of plants as sentient beings

Martin Spray
| 10th April 2015
Is it 'morally reprehensible' to arbitrarily decapitate roadside flowers? Yes it is, writes Martin Spray - at least in Switzerland. And now we know that plants have both senses and physiology, why not awareness and emotions too? Even legal standing to have their rights defended in court - at least if they are trees?

Read Article

'Altered Genes, Twisted Truth' front cover (cut).

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

Jane Goodall
| 26th March 2015
The history of genetically modified food has been one of systematic deception and fraud by corporations, scientists, media and regulators, Steven Druker writes in his remarkable new book. Jane Goodall finds the story by turn fascinating, chilling, distressing and ultimately, hope-inspiring.

Read Article

Capital by Thomas Pinketty, front cover (edited).

What Piketty missed - the ecological limits to growth

Rupert Read
| 18th March 2015
Piketty's 'Capital in the 21st Century' has taken the intellectual world by storm, writes Rupert Read. His analysis of wealth inequality is timely and powerful, but there's one crucial thing he hasn't 'got': that growth must run up against ecological limits - indeed it already has.

Read Article

Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, Presidente da Associaç;ão Hutukara Yanomami. Photo: Joelle Hernandez via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

'The Falling Sky' - words of a Yanomami shaman

Sue Branford
| 17th February 2015
This powerful book by Davi Kopenawa and Bruce Albert reveals to us the world view of the Yanomami shaman, writes Sue Branford - together with many uncomfortable insights about the horrors of mainstream modern society, seen from an indigenous viewpoint as a form of organized madness that's driving the world to destruction.

Read Article

Making mud pies - no instruction manual needed. Photo: Jim Purbrick via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Learning with Nature and the nature of play

Martin Spray
| 28th January 2015
A new book aims to get children off their mobile phones and back where they belong: in the great outdoors. It's packed with well thought-out, purposeful activities to get children interacting with nature, but Martin Spray wonders: is it all trying too hard? Has the essential nature of 'play' somehow been forgotten?

Read Article

Naomi Klein. Photo: Resurgence.

Naomi Klein: A crisis this big changes everything

Oliver Tickell
| 21st January 2015
The world's collective failure to tackle climate change comes down to one big problem, says Naomi Klein: the clash of climate necessities against corporate power and a triumphant neo-liberal world order. So after decades of government dithering, she told Oliver Tickell, it's time for civil society to unite and build a radical justice-based movement for climate action.

Read Article

The Circularity of Life by Jane Cull  - front cover illustration.

The circularity of Life

Jane Cull
| 4th November 2014
We must accept the reality that human beings, nature and cosmos are interconnected in a vast circular system, writes Jane Cull. To sustain ourselves on this planet, we must sustain the web of life of which we are part, and construct another kind of world that based on that understanding.

Read Article

Photo: Stéfan via Flickr.

WWF International accused of 'selling its soul' to corporations

John Vidal
The Guardian
| 14th October 2014
A new book charges the world's biggest conservation group with forging links with global corporations that are using its name to 'greenwash' environmentally damaging activities, writes John Vidal - in the process becoming too close to industry, and over-dependent on corporate funding.

Read Article

Naomi Klein. Photo: Morpheu5 via Flickr.

This Changes Everything!

Mike Berners-Lee
| 13th October 2014
Naomi Klein finds kernels of hope amid the closely linked perils of climate change and untamed capitalism, writes Mike Berners-Lee. Ultimately it's down to us, the people, to come together and force the changes we need - but Klein's new book provides some valuable and timely inspiration.

Read Article

George Marshall wins a giant cockroach on the Climate Change Wheel of Misfortune. Photo: Annie Levy.

George Marshall: Why our brains are wired to ignore climate change

Carol Linnitt
DeSmog.ca
| 25th September 2014
Is our inability to tackle climate change the fault of politicians? Corporations? Governments? Or is it because that's the way our brains have evolved, able to hold six contradictory ideas at once, and believe them all? Carol Linnitt met climate campaigner George Marshall, who thinks he is finally asking the right questions.

Read Article

Front cover of 'Art and Ecology Now'. Image: Thames & Hudson.

Art and Ecology Now

Martin Spray
| 16th September 2014
This intriguing new book is a bold attempt to strike a new direction for ecological art, writes Martin Spray - not to communicate environmental issues, but to create new connections with the world around us and imbue our lives with 'artfulness'.

Read Article

The Most Beautiful Place in the World: IMHO - Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile. This amazing light lasted for only a couple of minutes at sunrise. The rest of the day was cloudy and overcast. Photo: © Peter Essick.

Our beautiful, fragile world

Edgar Vaid
| 26th June 2014
There is much merit in the cliché that 'a picture is worth a thousand words', writes Edgar Vaid, but 'Our Beautiful, Fragile World' suggests that great photography complemented by explanatory text is worth even more ...

Read Article

The Man Who Plants Trees

Edgar Vaid
| 25th November 2013
Edgar Vaid reviews the biography of a man who, after a supernatural experience, takes it upon himself to clone species of tree that he deems 'special'; trees that he believes may be crusaders in the fight against global warming ...

Read Article

SUV in countryside. Photo: Eduard Kyslynskyy / shutterstock.com

Brave New Countryside?

Matt Williams
| 22nd November 2013
On the 50th anniversary of Aldous Huxley's death, Matt Williams remembers a little-known passage from his 'Brave New World', and asks if Huxley's dismal vision of our relationship to nature is coming to pass ...

Read Article

The Weeder's Digest: Identifying and enjoying edible weeds

The Weeder’s Digest

Andy McKee
| 17th July 2012
Ever had trouble spotting your hogweed from your hemlock, or your coltsfoot from your charlock? It's a problem Andy McKee will never face again, thanks to Gail Harland's comprehensive new guide on edible weeds

Read Article

The New Scramble for Africa

The New Scramble for Africa

Mark Newton
| 9th May 2012
From slave labour to armed conflict, our thirst for natural resources has created serious problems for Africa. Pádraig Carmody’s latest book attempts to unravel the moral morass, says Mark Newton

Read Article

Learning from the Octopus

Learning from the Octopus

Rachael Stubbins
| 3rd May 2012
Did you know that the humble octopus can teach us how to prevent security threats or deal with natural catastrophes? Nor did Rachael Stubbins until she read Rafe Sagarin’s new book

Read Article

The Peregrine

The Peregrine

Mark Newton
| 26th April 2012
A masterpiece of nature writing, J.A. Baker’s ‘The Peregrine’ is well worth revisiting, says Mark Newton, not just for the prose but also to help us re-engage with the natural world

Read Article