Thursday, July 5, 2012

Creation Corner Column, July 2012, Ecology Resources: Rio + 20, Books, etc.

Ecology Resources:  Rio + 20, Books, Young People's Selections, Business Issues, Films and DVD Series, Web Sites, Photography Exhibit
Rio + 20
"Rio + 20: An Endangered Species?" article by Timothy O'Riordan et al. (Mar/Apr '12) and
"Greening the United Nations Charter" article by Frank Biermann (May/June '12)
A Tear at the Edge of Creation: A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe by Marcelo Gleiser (2010).
 A World Without Bees, by Allison Benjamin & Brian McCallum (2009).
The Carbon Age: How Life's Core Element Has Become Civilization's Greatest Threat, by Eric Roston (2008).
The Global Warming Reader: A Century of Writing About Climate Change, edited by Bill McKibben.  Scholar/activist collects writings of Elizabeth Kolbert, Rev. Sally Bingham, James Hansen, Arundhati Roy, Al Gore, Naomi Klein, George Monbiot, Van Jones, Svante Arrhenius, Paul Crutzen, and others (2012).
The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World's Wild Places, by Bernie Krause (2012).  The author, who helped define the structure of soundscape ecology and coined the term biophony ("the sound of all living organisms except us"), has spent decades recording and archiving wild/pristine sound environments ("soundscapes") from around the world, and produced an impressive discography (In a Wild Sanctuary, Gorillas in the Mix, Amazon Days Amazon Nights, are examples).  Together with his books (some with a companion CD), the collections are a guide to nature's sonic treasures, and as such beg us to pay attention to their fate.  The Wikipedia site for Krause notes that "Sadly, it is now estimated that over half of these habitats have been destroyed or so compromised by human intervention that Krause's recordings are all that is left of their original diversity."  What do you hear when you experience the native habitat of your local symphony orchestra? (2012).
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, by Richard Dawkins (2009).
The Illustrated Atlas of Wildlife by Channa Bambaradeniya et al (2009).
The Race for What's Left:  The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resources, by Michael T. Klare.  Is combative conflict for arable land, minerals and energy resources avoidable?  Might adaptive cooperation solve increasing consumer demand for the world's remaining resource reserves?  Are extreme extractive technologies for exploiting fossil fuels accelerating climate change and destroying the environment?  (2012)
The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson.  Our latter-day Darwin and Thoreau, Pulitzer Prize-winning author asks: "Where do we come from?; "What are we?"; and "Where are we going?"  (2012)
The Thoreau You Don't Know:  What the Prophet of Environmentalism Really Meant, by Robert Sullivan (2009).
The Wealth of Nature: Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Human Well-Being, by Cristina G. Mittermeier, series editor (2009).
Change Comes to Dinner: How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers and Other Innovators are Revolutionizing What America Eats, by Katherine Gustafson.
"Hoperaking" positive ideas and trends to offset our pessimism.  (2012)
Climate Change and Climate Modeling by J. David Neelin (2011 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title).
Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher, by Frederick L. Kirschenmann (2010).    The author, also an academic philosopher/theologian, is a leader in sustainable agriculture who manages his North Dakota family's 3500 acre certified organic farm.
Ethics and Animals by Lori Gruen. (2011 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title).
Fevered:  Why a Hotter Planet Will Make Us Sick and How We Can Save Ourselves, by Linda Marsa, forthcoming from Rodale Press.
Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis, by Rowan Jacobsen (2008).
Global Warming Gridlock by David G. Victor.  (One of the Best Books of 2011, rated by The Economist).
Gunfight at the Eco-Corral: Western Cinema and the Environment by Robin L. Murray and Joseph K. Heumann (in paperback).  "Most film critics point to classic conflicts---good versus evil, right versus wrong, civilization versus savagery---as defining themes of the American western.  In this provocative examination of Westerns from Tumbleweeds (1925) to Rango (2011), the authors argue for a more expansive view that moves beyond traditional conflicts to encompass environmental themes and struggles" (from the advert for the book). 2012
Vedic Ecology: Practical Wisdom for Surviving the 21st Century, by Ranchor Prime, a Worldwide Fund for Nature advisor, (2002).
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed relates her journey in solitude from grief, seeking for a cure by taking a hike.  2012 
 Young People's  Selections
Richard Louv's The Last Child in the Woods and latest The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age have helped launch the New Nature Movement, thus planting a seed for re-envisioning the restorative power of the natural world.  See his blog at; The Children and Nature Network at  For a catalog of resources, go to .
A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by LeUyem Pham, might make kids want to run outside and play. 2012
Nasty Bugs by children's poetry expert Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrations by Will Terry includes a "biography" of each bug described. 2012
A Meal of Stars: Poems Up and Down by Dana Jensen and illustrated by Tricia Tusa is another book on outdoor poems. 2012
In the Garden by Elizabeth Spurr and illustrated by Manelle Oliphant is for kids age 1-3.  Peachtree, .  2012
Better Ways of Doing Business
Certified B Corporations meet rigorous independent social and environmental performance standards.  They create greater economic opportunity, strengthen local communities and preserve our environment.  
Films and DVD series
Frozen Planet: The Complete Series, from BBC Earth, follows their 2007 nature documentary film Planet Earth.  This 7-part effort looks at the Arctic and Antarctic.  Narrated by naturalist David Attenborough, the final episode, On Thin Ice, examines the changes in these two regions and their implications.
Extreme Ice aired on PBS as a Nova-National Geographic special 12/28/11.  It documents the world's melting ice with time-lapse photography, thus updating the 2007 Academy Award winning An Inconvenient Truth.  Causes and consequences are examined. by writer/director Markus Rothrant (who also wrote Heal Yourself 101) is inspired by actual events happening right now.
Last Call at the Oasis documentary reminds us of water issues (scarcity and access, pollution, our habits with it, recycling of it, etc.) and our stewardship responsibility.  Participant Media .
Web Sites The day's arguments for and against climate change.
Photography Exhibition
Edward Burtynsky's series Oil is "an essential visual document of our times", according to one reviewer, and took more than a decade to complete.  A book by the same name appeared in 2008.  Images of a "vast, human-altered landscape" are "astonishing," "dramatic", "haunting", and "disturbing."  See at [photographic works]
A critical reflection on Earth Day:

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