Top 10 Best Books to Read in Environmental Science - August 2021

Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Environmental Science. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Environmental Science - August 2021

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass , Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation". As she explores these themes, she circles toward a central argument: The awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world. Once we begin to listen for the languages of other beings, we can begin to understand the innumerable life-giving gifts the world provides us and learn to offer our thanks, our care, and our own gifts in return.

  • Author: Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Social Sciences, Ethnic Studies, Indigenous Peoples, Native American Studies

                 

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


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Environmental Science - August 2021

The best-selling author of The Botany of Desire explores the ecology of eating to unveil why we consume what we consume in the 21st century. "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, which mushrooms should be avoided, for example, and which berries we can enjoy. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance. The cornucopia of the modern American supermarket and fast-food outlet has thrown us back on a bewildering landscape where we once again have to worry about which of those tasty-looking morsels might kill us. At the same time we're realizing that our food choices also have profound implications for the health of our environment. The Omnivore's Dilemma is best-selling author Michael Pollan's brilliant and eye-opening exploration of these little-known but vitally important dimensions of eating in America. We are indeed what we eat, and what we eat remakes the world. A society of voracious and increasingly confused omnivores, we are just beginning to recognize the profound consequences of the simplest everyday food choices, both for ourselves and for the natural world. The Omnivore's Dilemma is a long-overdue book and one that will become known for bringing a completely fresh perspective to a question as ordinary and yet momentous as "What shall we have for dinner?"

  • Author: Michael Pollan
  • Genre: Audible Books & Originals, Science & Engineering, Science, Nature & Ecology, Ecology

                 

3. Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Environmental Science - August 2021

Mycelium Running is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. That’s right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment, and in this groundbreaking text from mushroom expert Paul Stamets, you’ll find out how.   The basic science goes like this: Microscopic cells called “mycelium”--the fruit of which are mushrooms--recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that we can capitalize on mycelium’s digestive power and target it to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants (mycoremediation), catch and reduce silt from streambeds and pathogens from agricultural watersheds (mycofiltration), control insect populations (mycopesticides), and generally enhance the health of our forests and gardens (mycoforestry and myco-gardening).   In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find chapters detailing each of these four exciting branches of what Stamets has coined “mycorestoration,” as well as chapters on the medicinal and nutritional properties of mushrooms, inoculation methods, log and stump culture, and species selection for various environmental purposes. Heavily referenced and beautifully illustrated, this book is destined to be a classic reference for bemushroomed generations to come.

  • Author: Paul Stamets
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Illustrated edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Genre: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Gardening & Landscape Design
  • ISBN: 978-1580085793
  • Dimensions: 7.44 x 0.88 x 8.98 inches

                 

4. Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: An Identification Guide


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Environmental Science - August 2021

From the author of GROWING GOURMET AND MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS comes the only identification guide exclusively devoted to the world's psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Detailed descriptions and color photographs for over 100 species are provided, as well as an exploration of their long-standing (and often religious) use by ancient peoples and their continued significance to modern-day culture. Some of the species included have just been discovered in the past year or two, and still others have never before been photographed in their natural habitats.

  • Author: Paul Stamets
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1st edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Genre: Science & Math, Biological Sciences
  • ISBN: 978-0898158397
  • Dimensions: 5.97 x 0.67 x 9.04 inches

                 

5. Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Environmental Science - August 2021

"Surging sea levels are inundating the coasts." "Hurricanes and tornadoes are becoming fiercer and more frequent." "Climate change will be an economic disaster." You've heard all this presented as fact. But according to science,  all of these statements are profoundly misleading. When it comes to climate change, the media, politicians, and other prominent voices have declared that "the science is settled." In reality, the long game of telephone from research to reports to the popular media is corrupted by misunderstanding and misinformation. Core questions—about the way the climate is responding to our influence, and what the impacts will be—remain largely unanswered. The climate is changing, but the why and how aren't as clear as you've probably been led to believe.  Now, one of America's most distinguished scientists is clearing away the fog to explain what science really says (and doesn't say) about our changing climate. In Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters , Steven Koonin draws upon his decades of experience—including as a top science advisor to the Obama administration—to provide up-to-date insights and expert perspective free from political agendas.  Fascinating, clear-headed, and full of surprises, this book gives readers the tools to both understand the climate issue and be savvier consumers of science media in general. Koonin takes readers behind the headlines to the more nuanced science itself, showing us where it comes from and guiding us through the implications of the evidence. He dispels popular myths and unveils little-known truths: despite a dramatic rise in greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures actually decreased from 1940 to 1970. What's more, the models we use to predict the future aren't able to accurately describe the climate of the past, suggesting they are deeply flawed.  Koonin also tackles society's response to a changing climate, using data-driven analysis to explain why many proposed "solutions" would be ineffective, and discussing how alternatives like adaptation and, if necessary, geoengineering will ensure humanity continues to prosper. Unsettled is a reality check buoyed by hope, offering the truth about climate science that you aren't getting elsewhere—what we know, what we don't, and what it all means for our future.

  • Author: Steven E. Koonin
  • Publisher: BenBella Books (April 27, 2021)
  • Genre: Science & Math, Earth Sciences
  • ISBN: 978-1950665792
  • Dimensions: 6.19 x 1.1 x 9.31 inches

                 



6. Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Environmental Science - August 2021

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the world's leading forest ecologist who forever changed how people view trees and their connections to one another and to other living things in the forest—a moving, deeply personal journey of discovery Suzanne Simard is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; she's been compared to Rachel Carson, hailed as a scientist who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is dazzling and profound. Her work has influenced filmmakers (the Tree of Souls of James Cameron's Avatar ) and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide. Now, in her first book, Simard brings us into her world, the intimate world of the trees, in which she brilliantly illuminates the fascinating and vital truths--that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp, but are a complicated, interdependent circle of life; that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks by which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerabilities with communal lives not that different from our own. Simard writes--in inspiring, illuminating, and accessible ways—how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved, how they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors, and remember the past; how they have agency about the future; elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication, characteristics ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies--and at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them. Simard writes of her own life, born and raised into a logging world in the rainforests of British Columbia, of her days as a child spent cataloging the trees from the forest and how she came to love and respect them—embarking on a journey of discovery, and struggle. And as she writes of her scientific quest, she writes of her own journey--of love and loss, of observation and change, of risk and reward, making us understand how deeply human scientific inquiry exists beyond data and technology, that it is about understanding who we are and our place in the world, and, in writing of her own life, we come to see the true connectedness of the Mother Tree that nurtures the forest in the profound ways that families and human societies do, and how these inseparable bonds enable all our survival.

  • Author: Suzanne Simard
  • Publisher: Knopf (May 4, 2021)
  • Genre: Science & Math, Biological Sciences
  • ISBN: 978-0525656098
  • Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches

                 

7. Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Environmental Science - August 2021

"Merlin Sheldrake’s marvelous tour of these diverse and extraordinary life forms is eye-opening on why humans should consider fungi among the greatest of earth’s marvels.... Wondrous." ( Time ) A mind-bending journey into the hidden universe of fungi, “one of those rare books that can truly change the way you see the world around you” (Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk ). Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Time New Statesman London Evening Standard Science Friday When we think of fungi, we likely think of mushrooms. But mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that supports and sustains nearly all living systems. Fungi provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel, and behave. In Entangled Life , the brilliant young biologist Merlin Sheldrake shows us the world from a fungal point of view, providing an exhilarating change of perspective. Sheldrake’s vivid exploration takes us from yeast to psychedelics, to the fungi that range for miles underground and are the largest organisms on the planet, to those that link plants together in complex networks known as the "Wood Wide Web", to those that infiltrate and manipulate insect bodies with devastating precision. Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They are metabolic masters, earth makers, and key players in most of life’s processes. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and even help us remediate environmental disaster. By examining fungi on their own terms, Sheldrake reveals how these extraordinary organisms - and our relationships with them - are changing our understanding of how life works. Praise for Entangled Life " Entangled Life is a gorgeous book of literary nature writing in the tradition of Robert Macfarlane and John Fowles, ripe with insight and erudition.... Food for the soul." (Eugenia Bone, Wall Street Journal ) "An ebullient and ambitious exploration... This book may not be a psychedelic - and unlike Sheldrake, I haven’t dared to consume my copy (yet) - but reading it left me not just moved but altered, eager to disseminate its message of what fungi can do." (Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times )

  • Author: Merlin Sheldrake
  • Genre: Science & Math, Biological Sciences, Plants, Mushrooms

                 

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


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Environmental Science - August 2021

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. From the teacup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, the plastic in our appliances to the elastic in our underpants, our lives are overflowing with materials. Full of enthralling tales of the miracles of engineering that permeate our lives, Stuff Matters will make you see stuff in a whole new way.

  • Author: Mark Miodownik
  • Genre: Engineering & Transportation, Engineering, Materials & Material Science, Materials Science

                 

9. Mortuary Confidential:: Undertakers Spill the Dirt


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Environmental Science - August 2021

From scary to heartwarming and hilarious, an assortment of behind-the-scenes, true stories about life as an undertaker. From shoot-outs at funerals to dead men screaming and runaway corpses, undertakers have plenty of unusual stories to tell—and a special way of telling them. In this macabre and moving compilation, funeral directors across the country share their most embarrassing, jaw-dropping, irreverent, and deeply poignant stories about life at death’s door. Discover what scares them and what moves them to tears. Learn about rookie mistakes and why death sometimes calls for duct tape. Enjoy tales of the dearly departed spending eternity naked from the waist down and getting bottled and corked—in a wine bottle. And then meet their families—the weepers, the punchers, the stolidly dignified, and the ones who deliver their dead mother in a pickup truck. If there’s one thing undertakers know, it’s that death drives people crazy. These are the best “bodies of work” from America’s darkest profession. Praise for Mortuary Confidential “As unpredictable and lively as a bunch of drunks at a New Orleans funeral.” —Joe R. Lansdale, author of Moon Lake “Sick, funny, and brilliant! I love this book.” —Jonathan Maberry, author of Ink “McKenzie and Harra keep us reading because these true mortuary tales are poignant—and suddenly, gaspingly, in-your-face funny.” — Booklist

  • Author: Todd Harra
  • Publisher: Citadel Press (April 15, 2010)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Biographies & Memoirs

                 

10. How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need


Top 10 Best Books to Read in Environmental Science - August 2021

In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical - and accessible - plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet's slide to certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal.  He gives us a clear-eyed description of the challenges we face. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions, where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively, where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations. Finally, he lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions - suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, our employers, and ourselves accountable in this crucial enterprise.  As Bill Gates makes clear, achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but if we follow the plan he sets out here, it is a goal firmly within our reach.  This audiobook includes a downloadable PDF of charts, graphs, and pictures from the book.   PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

  • Author: Bill Gates
  • Genre: Engineering & Transportation, Engineering, Civil & Environmental, Environmental