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31.

TOMATOLAND

Barry Estabrook
Hardcover

Price: $10.99

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Supermarket produce sections bulging with a year-round supply of perfectly round, bright red-orange tomatoes have b…

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Supermarket produce sections bulging with a year-round supply of perfectly round, bright red-orange tomatoes have become all but a national birthright. But in Tomatoland, which is based on his James Beard Award-winning article, "The Price of Tomatoes," investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of the $5 billion fresh tomato industry. Fields are sprayed with more than 100 different herbicides and pesticides. Tomatoes are picked hard and green and artificially gassed until their skins acquire a marketable hue. Modern plant breeding has tripled yields, but has also produced fruits with dramatically reduced amounts of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C, and tomatoes that have 14 times more sodium than the tomatoes our parents enjoyed. The relentless drive for low costs has fostered a thriving modern-day slave trade in the United States. How have we come to this point?

Estabrook traces the supermarket tomato from its birthplace in the deserts of Peru to the impoverished town of Immokalee, Fla., aka the tomato capital of the United States. He visits the laboratories of seedsmen trying to develop varieties that can withstand the rigors of agribusiness and still taste like a garden tomato, and then moves on to commercial growers who operate on tens of thousands of acres, and eventually to a hillside field in Pennsylvania, where he meets an obsessed farmer who produces delectable tomatoes for the nation's top restaurants.

Throughout Tomatoland, Estabrook presents a who's who cast of characters in the tomato industry: the avuncular octogenarian whose conglomerate grows one out of every eight tomatoes eaten in the United States; the ex-Marine who heads the group that dictates the size, color and shape of every tomato shipped out of Florida; the U.S. attorney who has doggedly prosecuted human traffickers for the past decade; and the Guatemalan peasant who came north to earn money for his parents' medical bills and found himself enslaved for two years.

Tomatoland reads like a suspenseful whodunit as well as an exposé of today's agribusiness systems and the price we pay as a society when we take taste and thought out of our food purchases.

32.

ECOMIND

Frances Moore Lappe
Hardcover

Price: $18.42

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In EcoMind, Frances Moore Lappé — a giant in the environmental movement — confronts accepted wisdom of environmenta…

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In EcoMind, Frances Moore Lappé — a giant in the environmental movement — confronts accepted wisdom of environmentalism. Drawing on the latest research from anthropology to neuroscience and her own field experience, she argues that the biggest challenge to human survival isn’t our fossil fuel dependency, melting glaciers or other calamities. Rather, it’s our faulty way of thinking about these environmental crises that robs us of power. Lappé dismantles seven common “thought traps”— from limits to growth to the failings of democracy — that believe what we now know about nature, including our own, and offers contrasting “thought leaps” that reveal our hidden power. Like her Diet for a Small Planet classic, EcoMind is challenging, controversial and empowering.

33.

GREEN BARBARIANS

Ellen Sandbeck
Paperback

Price: $8.22

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Author Ellen Sandbeck preaches a return to a more primitive way of life—a life with more joy and fewer household pr…

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Author Ellen Sandbeck preaches a return to a more primitive way of life—a life with more joy and fewer household products. Green Barbarians demonstrates that by mustering a bit of courage and relying less on many modern conveniences, we can live happier, safer, more ecologically and economically responsible lives.

34.

MYCELIUM RUNNING

Paul Stamets
Paperback

Price: $19.25

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Mycelium Running is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. That’s right: growing more mushrooms may be …

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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.

35.

MOBILIZING THE GREEN IMAGINATION

Anthony Weston
Paperback

Price: $6.57

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Dysfunctional cities, catastrophic climate change, ever-deepening distance from nature - today we see environmental…

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Dysfunctional cities, catastrophic climate change, ever-deepening distance from nature - today we see environmental disaster everywhere we look. In Mobilizing the Green Imagination, philosophical provocateur Anthony Weston urges us to move beyond ever more desperate attempts to "green" the status quo, toward entirely different and far more inviting ecological visions:

  • Life after transportation - decentralized work, inventive infill and self-sufficient micro-communities to facilitate life in place
  • Adaptation with attitude - cities that welcome the rising waters
  • A Great Second Chance - moving beyond exploitation of the whole natural world
  • A cosmic ecology - why not a green space program?
These postcards from beyond the leading edge of today's green thinking are bold, audacious, extravagantly hopeful and profoundly inspiring - the perfect antidote to the despair brought on by too many "doom and gloom" scenarios. Nothing less than a complete reinvention of contemporary environmentalism, Mobilizing the Green Imagination belongs in the back pocket of anyone who dares to dream of a brighter future and a better world.

36.

MOUNTAIN JUSTICE

Tricia Shapiro
Paperback

Price: $17.95

Mountaintop removal (MTR) does exactly what it says: A mountaintop is stripped of trees, blown to bits with explosives, then pushed aside by giant equipment … all to expose a layer of coal to be mined…

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Mountaintop removal (MTR) does exactly what it says: A mountaintop is stripped of trees, blown to bits with explosives, then pushed aside by giant equipment … all to expose a layer of coal to be mined. Hundreds of thousands of acres of ancient forested mountains have been ''removed'' this way and will never again support the biologically rich and diverse forest and stream communities that evolved there over millions of years. Instead, they've been sacrificed to support a flawed national energy policy. Mountain Justice tells a terrific set of firsthand stories about living with MTR and offers on-the-scene (and behind-the-scenes) reporting of what people are doing to try to stop it. Tricia Shapiro lets the victims of mountaintop removal and their allies tell their own stories, allowing moments of quiet dignity and righteous indignation to share center stage. This book includes coverage of the sharp escalation of anti-MTR civil disobedience, with more than 130 arrests in West Virginia alone during the first year of the Obama administration. This is an international issue, with campaigns against this massively damaging method of mining taking place in the United Kingdom, India, Canada, New Zealand and Burma. The proposed destruction of a number of habitats, from mountaintops to heath land to jungle, is a loss for us all.

37.

WORLD ON THE EDGE

Lester Brown
Hardcover

Price: $15.95

In this urgent time, World on the Edge calls out the pivotal environmental issues and how to solve them now. We are in a race between political and natural tipping points. Can we close coal-fired powe…

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In this urgent time, World on the Edge calls out the pivotal environmental issues and how to solve them now. We are in a race between political and natural tipping points. Can we close coal-fired power plants fast enough to save the Greenland ice sheet and avoid catastrophic sea level rise? Can we raise water productivity fast enough to halt the depletion of aquifers and avoid water-driven food shortages? Can we cope with peak water and peak oil at the same time? These are some of the issues Lester R. Brown skillfully distils in World on the Edge. Bringing decades of research and analysis into play, he provides the responses needed to reclaim our future.

38.

2052

Jorgen Randers
Hardcover

Price: $34.95

How will humans adapt to the physical limitations of planet Earth? The Limits to Growth addressed this grand question 40 years ago, predicting that during the first half of the 21st century the ongoin…

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How will humans adapt to the physical limitations of planet Earth? The Limits to Growth addressed this grand question 40 years ago, predicting that during the first half of the 21st century the ongoing growth in the human ecological footprint would stop-either through catastrophic "overshoot and collapse," -or through well-managed "peak and decline."

So, where are we now? And what does our future look like? In the book 2052, Jorgen Randers issues a progress report and makes a forecast for the next 40 years. One of the original co-authors of The Limits to Growth, Randers asks dozens of experts to weigh in with their best predictions on how our economies, energy supplies, natural resources, climate, food, fisheries, militaries, political divisions, cities, psyches, and more will take shape in the coming decades. He then synthesizes these scenarios into a global forecast of life as we will most likely know it in the years ahead.

The good news: We will see impressive advances in resource efficiency and an increasing focus on human well-being (rather than on per capita income growth). But this change might not come as we expect. Future growth in population and gross domestic product, for instance, will be constrained in surprising ways-by rapid fertility decline as a result of increased urbanization, productivity decline as a result of social unrest, and continuing poverty among the poorest 2 billion world citizens. Runaway global warming, too, is likely.

So, how do we prepare for the years ahead? With heart, fact and wisdom, Randers guides us along a realistic path into the future and discusses what readers can do to ensure a better life for themselves and their children during the increasing turmoil of the next 40 years.

39.

SMALL STORIES, BIG CHANGES

Lyle Estill
Paperback

Price: $17.95

A remarkable cast of characters inhabit the pages of this book. Meet Tim Toben, who developed a high rise with the lowest energy consumption of any building in the southeastern United States, was fore…

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A remarkable cast of characters inhabit the pages of this book. Meet Tim Toben, who developed a high rise with the lowest energy consumption of any building in the southeastern United States, was foreclosed upon, and lost millions in the process. Gary Phillips held the line against real estate developers in Chatham County and was run out of office for his efforts. Elaine Chiosso has been protecting her watershed by fighting on behalf of the Haw River for 28 years.

Unflinchingly honest and compulsively readable, Small Stories, Big Changes provides an intimate look at the personal experience of being a pioneer in the sustainability movement, laying bare the emotional, spiritual and financial impact of a life lived in the service of change. Activist, farmer, publisher, philosopher or entrepreneur; each writer has a unique personal tale to tell.

Small Stories, Big Changes is a book written by ordinary people doing extraordinary things; whose lives have been transformed by their willingness to commit themselves unreservedly to the creation of a better world. Empowering, hopeful and inspiring, this rich tapestry of voices from the vanguard of societal change is a must-read for anyone dreaming of a brighter future and seeking a counterbalance to a canon of work that is laced with doom and gloom.

40.

DESERT OR PARADISE

Sepp Holzer
Paperback

Price: $29.95

Sepp Holzer is known around the world for bringing deserted landscapes back to life using his unique methods of creating water-retention basins. In Desert or Paradise, he applies his core philosophy -…

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Sepp Holzer is known around the world for bringing deserted landscapes back to life using his unique methods of creating water-retention basins. In Desert or Paradise, he applies his core philosophy - for increasing food production, promoting the earth's health and reconnecting mankind with nature - to reforestation and water conservation across the world. He urges us to look beyond failed solutions to drought by learning from his lengthy catalog of successes in arid, rainfall-dependent regions such as Greece, Turkey, Spain and Portugal.

You'll find here a wealth of information for the gardener, homesteader, permaculture designer and sustainable farmer. Yet the book's greatest value lies in the attitudes it teaches - and in its demonstration that the simple principles found in nature and used to create Holzer's productive systems can be applied anywhere.

Holzer also outlines his 10 points of sustainable self-reliance and how these methods can help feed the world. They include recognizing the need to:

  • Regulate water usage
  • Eliminate factory livestock farming
  • Bring more fallow or unused land into production
  • Enlarge crop areas by using terracing and Holzer-style raised beds
  • Engage in community building
  • … And much more
Expressed with Holzer's unique style and opinions, Desert or Paradise gives hope to those who see an apparently barren landscape as a failure from which there is no return. It helps us move beyond conventional methods that trap us in a cycle of dependence.

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