Recommendations to Watch, Listen & Read

To help encourage the current shelter-in-place order, the Sustainability Office has compiled a list of media that can help pass the time in an entertaining and educational way. New additions added frequently.

WATCH          LISTEN          READ

WATCH


Updated: 4/1/2021

Gather (2020)
Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. The film follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona), opening an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California), trying to save the Klamath river.

I Am Greta (2020) 
This documentary follows Greta Thunberg, a teenage climate activist from Northern Europe, on her international crusade to get people to listen to scientists about the world's environmental problems.

David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet (2020)
A broadcaster recounts his life, and the evolutionary history of life on Earth, to grieve the loss of wild places and offer a vision for the future.

Escape From Extinction (2020)
Rare footage of endangered animals and interviews with the world's leading animal welfare specialists and conservation scientists working to protect animals from all seven of Earth's continents, and its mighty oceans, lakes, and rivers.Rare footage of endangered animals and interviews with the world's leading animal welfare specialists and conservation scientists working to protect animals from all seven of Earth's continents, and its mighty oceans, lakes, and rivers.

A Fierce Green Fire (2014)
Written, directed and produced by Academy Award-nominee Mark Kitchell (Berkeley in the Sixties), American Masters: A Fierce Green Fire spans 50 years of grassroots and global activism from the 1960s-2009 and connects the major causes of environmentalism, from conservation to climate change. Narrated by Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Van Jones and Isabel Allende, the film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and has won acclaim worldwide.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017)
Former American Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight, travelling around the world to train an army of activists and influence international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes, in moments both private and public, funny and poignant, as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.

A Passion For Sustainability (2008)
Envision a society where economic opportunity, social justice and sustainable culture all spring from environmental stewardship. Imagine a world where nurturing the health of the planet is the catalyst for global financial success and social stability. Can you?
Ten years ago, fourteen business owners in Portland, Oregon did just that. Using a sustainability tool called The Natural Step, these fourteen business owners looked at their business plans through the lens of environmental sustainability and began the journey to create businesses that would be responsible for Earth's natural systems while building economic growth. Along the way, all fourteen developed A Passion for Sustainability. Join these inspiring pioneers as they describe the journeys they have taken, the challenges and unexpected rewards they have experienced and their ultimate vision of a sustainable world. Prepare to be inspired, motivated and energized to begin your own journey and find your own Passion For Sustainability.

A Plastic Ocean (2016)
When he discovers the world’s oceans brimming with plastic waste, a documentary filmmaker investigates the pollution’s environmental impacts 

Earthwise (2018)
Fifty years ago, the Apollo 8 astronauts witnessed the Earth from the moon, changing their lives. In Earthrise, they tell their story.
In 1968, Apollo 8 astronauts Bill Anders, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell took the first journey beyond Earth’s orbit. Earthrise tells the story of the image they captured of the Earth. The film recounts the astronauts’ experiences and explores the beauty, awe, and grandeur of the Earth against the blackness of space. The Earthrise photograph had an everlasting impact on the astronauts and humanity, offering a powerful perspective that transcended national, political, and religious boundaries.

Evolution of Organic (2017)
Evolution of Organic brings us the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. A motley crew of back-to-the-landers, spiritual seekers and farmers’ sons and daughters reject chemical farming and set out to explore organic alternatives. It’s a heartfelt journey of change from a small band of rebels to a cultural transformation in the way we grow and eat food. By now organic has gone mainstream – split into an industry oriented toward bringing organic to all people, and a movement that has realized a vision of sustainable agriculture.

George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper| The Daily Social Distancing Show
Trevor shares his thoughts on the killing of George Floyd, the protests in Minneapolis, the dominos of racial injustice and police brutality, and how the contract between society and black Americans has been broken time and time again.

Take A Virtual Tour of a Museum!
According to Fast Company, Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 2500 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world. Now, you get “go to the museum” and never have to leave your couch. Google Arts & Culture’s collection includes the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim in New York City, and literally hundreds of more places where you can gain knowledge about art, history, and science. This collection is especially good for students who are looking for ways to stay on top of their studies while schools are closed.

Terra (2015)
A visually stunning documentary that reflects human's relationship to other species on Earth as humanity becomes more and more isolated from Nature.

The DC Environmental Film Festival (2020) 
This great festival this past March has made some of their films free to stream online, along with hundreds of other past Festival Selections. Please access them by going to Watch Now: DCEFF Online.

The Need to Grow (2018)
Rosario Dawson’s award-winning documentary that many are calling the ‘environmental film the world has been waiting for’. With the planet on the brink of ecological disaster, and chronic disease rates skyrocketing, this is a story of real-world SOLUTIONS. It will warm your heart, fill you with hope, and inspire you to take action.

The True Cost (2015)
The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?" From the director Andrew Morgan, is filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.


LISTEN


Updated 5/21

Building Community for 30 Years: UCSC's African American Theater Arts Troupe
African American Theater Arts Troupe director Don Williams is joined in conversation by two alumni from UCSC's African American Theater Arts Troupe, Ms. Niketa Calame-Harris (Oakes, ’02 and voice of ‘Young Nala' in Disney's 1994 animated feature The Lion King) and Dr. Eric Jackson-Scott (Rachel Carson, '95). Moderated by KZSC's Luisa Cardoza.

A Matter of Degrees: The Stages of Black Climate Grief
In this podcast episode from "A Matter of Degrees", Nikayla Jefferson, activist and researcher, "shares her journey breaking through denial and into grief"

How to Save a Planet: The Tribe that's Moved Earth (and Water) to Solve the Climate Crisis
Yurok Tribe Vice-Chairman Frankie Myers, talks to Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Alex Blumberg from the Podcast "HOW TO SAVE A PLANET", about how "the Tribe recovered stolen land with the help of a carbon offset program, the creative ways they're bringing the salmon back, and the role beavers play in the ecosystem."


READ


Updated 4/13/21

AASHE article series
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Essay Anthology on Racial Equity and Social Justice

Environmental Justice in a Moment of Danger by Julie Sze
We are living in a precarious environmental and political moment. In the United States and in the world, environmental injustices have manifested across racial and class divides in devastatingly disproportionate ways. What does this moment of danger mean for the environment and for justice? What can we learn from environmental justice struggles?
Environmental Justice in a Moment of Danger examines mobilizations and movements, from protests at Standing Rock to activism in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Environmental justice movements fight, survive, love, and create in the face of violence that challenges the conditions of life itself. Exploring dispossession, deregulation, privatization, and inequality, this book is the essential primer on environmental justice, packed with cautiously hopeful stories for the future.


Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by Willliam McDonough
"Reduce, reuse, recycle" urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. But as this provocative, visionary book argues, this approach perpetuates a one-way, "cradle to grave" manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the materials it uses as waste, much of it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world?

Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do about It by Anna Lappe
Nearly four decades after her mother, Frances Moore Lappé, published Diet for a Small Planet, sparking a revolution in our thinking about the social and environmental impact of our food choices, Anna Lappé picks up the conversation, examining another hidden cost of our food system: the climate crisis. From raising cattle in industrial-scale feedlots to razing rainforests to make palm oil for Pop-Tarts, the choices we make about how we put food on our plates, and what we do with the waste, contribute to as much as one third of total greenhouse-gas emissions. Lappé exposes the interests resisting this crucial conversation while she educates and empowers readers and eaters committed to healing the planet.

Quenching the Thirst: Sustainable Water Supply and Climate Change by George Annandale
This book was conceived out of a deep concern about the impact of pending global water shortages. Increased demand for water by a rapidly growing world population, decreased water availability due to climate change and the ever-worsening condition of water supply infrastructure are great concerns. In the absence of decisive action water shortage will be the norm in both developed and developing nations. The author, during a life-long career in water resources engineering, witnessed the hardships resulting from inadequate water supply throughout the world. Those experiences motivated him to present the solution to this global challenge in a manner understandable to the general public and professionals alike. 

Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by E.F. Schumacher
Small Is Beautiful is Oxford-trained economist E. F. Schumacher's classic call for the end of excessive consumption. Schumacher inspired such movements as "Buy Locally" and "Fair Trade," while voicing strong opposition to "casino capitalism" and wasteful corporate behemoths. Named one of the Times Literary Supplement's 100 Most Influential Books Since World War II, Small Is Beautiful presents eminently logical arguments for building our economies around the needs of communities, not corporations.

Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto by Adam Werbach
The definitive work on business strategy for sustainability by the most authoritative voice in the conversation.
More than ever before, consumers, employees, and investors share a common purpose and a passion for companies that do well by doing good. So any strategy without sustainability at its core is just plain irresponsible - bad for business, bad for shareholders, bad for the environment. These challenges represent unprecedented opportunities for big brands - such as Clorox, Dell, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, Nike, and Wal-Mart - that are implementing integral, rather than tangential, strategies for sustainability. What these companies are doing illuminates the book's practical framework for change, which involves engaging employees, using transparency as a business tool, and reaping the rewards of a networked organizational structure.
The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us by Diane Ackerman
Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award and the PEN New England Henry David Thoreau Prize.
A dazzling, inspiring tour through the ways that humans are working with nature to try to save the planet.
With her celebrated blend of scientific insight, clarity, and curiosity, Diane Ackerman explores our human capacity both for destruction and for invention as we shape the future of the planet Earth. Ackerman takes us to the mind-expanding frontiers of science, exploring the fact that the "natural" and the "human" now inescapably depend on one another, drawing from "fields as diverse as evolutionary robotics…nanotechnology, 3-D printing and biomimicry" (New York Times Book Review), with probing intelligence, a clear eye, and an ever-hopeful heart.

The Hunt for the Golden Mole: All Creatures Great & Small and Why They Matter by Richard Girling
Taking as its narrative engine the hunt for an animal that is legendarily rare, Richard Girling writes an engaging and highly informative history of humankind’s interest in hunting and collecting – what prompts us to do this? what good might come of our need to catalog all the living things of the natural world?
Girling, named Environmental Journalist of the Years 2008 and 2009, has here chronicled – through the hunt for the Somali golden mole – the development of the conservation movement, the importance of diversity in the animal kingdom, including humankind within this realm, as well as a hard look at extinction.

The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Business Will Win by Jeffrey Hollender
How to create a company that not only sustains, but surpasses-that moves beyond the imperative to be "less bad" and embrace an ethos to be "all good".
From the Inspired Protagonist and Chairman of Seventh Generation, the country's leading brand of household products and a pioneering "good company," comes a one-of-a-kind book for leaders, entrepreneurs, and change agents everywhere. The Responsibility Revolution reveals the smartest ways for companies to build a better future-and hold themselves accountable for the results. Thousands of companies have pledged to act responsibly; very few have proven that they know how. This book will guide them. The Responsibility Revolution presents fresh ideas and actionable strategies to commit your company to a genuine socially and environmentally responsible business and culture, one that not only competes but wins on values.

The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability -- Designing for Abundance by William McDonough
The Upcycle is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Cradle to Cradle, one of the most consequential ecological manifestoes of our time. Now, drawing on the green living lessons gained from 10 years of putting the Cradle to Cradle concept into practice with businesses, governments, and ordinary people, William McDonough and Michael Braungart envision the next step in the solution to our ecological crisis: We don't just use or reuse and recycle resources with greater effectiveness, we actually improve the natural world as we live, create, and build.

Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe by Greta Eagan
Have you ever wondered, "How can I inherently do good while looking good?" Wear No Evil has the answer, and is the timely handbook for navigating both fashion and ethics. It is the style guide with sustainability built in that we've all been waiting for. As a consumer, you regain your power with every purchase to support the causes and conditions you already advocate in other areas of your life (such as local or organic food), while upholding your sense of self through the stylish pieces you use to create your wardrobe.
Featuring the Integrity Index (a simplified way of identifying the ethics behind any piece of fashion) and an easy to use rating system, you'll learn to shop anywhere while building your personal style and supporting your values- all without sacrifice. Fashion is the last frontier in the shift towards conscious living. Wear No Evil provides a roadmap founded in research and experience, coupled with real life style and everyday inspiration.

 


Updated: 6/23

And We Are Not Saved By Derrick Bell
From the pioneering legal scholar and bestselling author of Faces at the Bottom of the Well, a compelling investigation of racial justice in America.

In And We Are Not Saved, civil rights activist and legal scholar Derrick Bell employs a series of dramatic fables and dialogues to probe the foundations of America's racial attitudes and raise disturbing questions about the nature of our society. How have we failed to achieve racial equality, Bell asks--and why? What does this failure mean--for black people and for whites? Where do we go from here? Should we redirect the quest for racial justice? Guided by these questions, Bell aims to provoke discussion that will provide new insights and prompt more effective strategies for pursuing racial justice.

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal
Hailed as a classic, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? explores the oddities and complexities of animal cognition—in crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, chimpanzees, and bonobos—to reveal how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long. Did you know that octopuses use coconut shells as tools, that elephants classify humans by gender and language, and that there is a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame? Fascinating, entertaining, and deeply informed, de Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence.

A Terrible Thing to Waste by Harriet A. Washington
From injuries caused by lead poisoning to the devastating effects of atmospheric pollution, infectious disease, and industrial waste, Americans of color are harmed by environmental hazards in staggeringly disproportionate numbers. This systemic onslaught of toxic exposure and institutional negligence causes irreparable physical harm to millions of people across the country-cutting lives tragically short and needlessly burdening our health care system. But these deadly environments create another insidious and often overlooked consequence: robbing communities of color, and America as a whole, of intellectual power.

Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors by Carolyn Finney
Why are African Americans so underrepresented when it comes to interest in nature, outdoor recreation, and environmentalism? In this thought-provoking study, Carolyn Finney looks beyond the discourse of the environmental justice movement to examine how the natural environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans. Bridging the fields of environmental history, cultural studies, critical race studies, and geography, Finney argues that the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence have shaped cultural understandings of the "great outdoors" and determined who should and can have access to natural spaces.

Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change by George Marshall
Most of us recognize that climate change is real yet we do nothing to stop it. What is the psychological mechanism that allows us to know something is true but act as if it is not? George Marshall's search for the answers brings him face to face with Nobel Prize-winning psychologists and Texas Tea Party activists; the world's leading climate scientists and those who denounce them; liberal environmentalists and conservative evangelicals. What he discovers is that our values, assumptions, and prejudices can take on lives of their own, gaining authority as they are shared, dividing people in their wake.
With engaging stories and drawing on years of his own research, Marshall argues that the answers do not lie in the things that make us different, but rather in what we share: how our human brains are wired—our evolutionary origins, our perceptions of threats, our cognitive blind spots, our love of storytelling, our fear of death, and our deepest instincts to defend our family and tribe. Once we understand what excites, threatens, and motivates us, we can rethink climate change, for it is not an impossible problem. Rather, we can halt it if we make it our common purpose and common ground. In the end, Don't Even Think About It is both about climate change and about the qualities that make us human and how we can deal with the greatest challenge we have ever faced.

Earth Democracy By Vandana Shiva
World-renowned environmental activist and physicist Vandana Shiva calls for a radical shift in the values that govern democracies, condemning the role that unrestricted capitalism has played in the destruction of environments and livelihoods. She explores the issues she helped bring to international attention—genetic food engineering, culture theft, and natural resource privatization—uncovering their links to the rising tide of fundamentalism, violence against women, and planetary death. Struggles on the streets of Seattle and Cancun and in homes and farms across the world have yielded a set of principles based on inclusion, nonviolence, reclaiming the commons, and freely sharing the earth’s resources. These ideals, which Dr. Shiva calls “Earth Democracy,” serve as an urgent call to peace and as the basis for a just and sustainable future.

Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities By Craig Steven Wilder
A groundbreaking exploration of the intertwined histories of slavery, racism, and higher education in America, from a leading African American historian.
A 2006 report commissioned by Brown University revealed that institution's complex and contested involvement in slavery--setting off a controversy that leapt from the ivory tower to make headlines across the country. But Brown's troubling past was far from unique. In Ebony and Ivy, Craig Steven Wilder, a rising star in the profession of history, lays bare uncomfortable truths about race, slavery, and the American academy.
Many of America's revered colleges and universities--from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to Rutgers, Williams College, and UNC--were soaked in the sweat, the tears, and sometimes the blood of people of color. Slavery funded colleges, built campuses, and paid the wages of professors. Enslaved Americans waited on faculty and students; academic leaders aggressively courted the support of slave owners and slave traders. Significantly, as Wilder shows, our leading universities, dependent on human bondage, became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained them.
Ebony and Ivy is a powerful and propulsive study and the first of its kind, revealing a history of oppression behind the institutions usually considered the cradle of liberal politics.

Ebony Towers in Higher Education: The Evolution, Mission, and Presidency of Historically Black Colleges and Universities By Ronyelle Bertrand Ricard
What is the purpose of black colleges? Why do black colleges continue to exist? Are black colleges necessary?
Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are at the same time the least studied and the least understood institutions of higher education and the most maligned and the most endangered.
This unique study examines the mission of four-year HBCUs from the perspective of the campus president, as a foundation for understanding the relevance and role of these institutions.
This is the first research to focus on the role of presidents of black colleges; is based on extensive interviews with fifteen presidents; and takes into particular account the type of campus environments in which they operate.

Ecowomanism: African American Women and Earth-Honoring Faiths by Melanie L. Harris
Scholarship on African American history and culture has often neglected the tradition of African American women who engage in theological and religious reflection on their ethical and moral responsibility to care for the earth. Melanie Harris argues that African American women make distinctive contributions to the environmental justice movement in the ways that they theologize, theorize, practice spiritual activism, and come into religious understandings about our relationship with the earth. Incorporating elements of her family history to set the stage for her argument, Harris intersperses her academic reflections with her own personal stories and anecdotes.

How to Give Up Plastic by Will McCallum
How to Give Up Plastic is a straightforward guide to eliminating plastic from your life. Going room by room through your home and workplace, Greenpeace activist Will McCallum teaches you how to spot disposable plastic items and find plastic-free, sustainable alternatives to each one. From carrying a reusable straw, to catching microfibers when you wash your clothes, to throwing plastic-free parties, you’ll learn new and intuitive ways to reduce plastic waste. And by arming you with a wealth of facts about global plastic consumption and anecdotes from activists fighting plastic around the world, you’ll also learn how to advocate to businesses and leaders in your community and across the country to commit to eliminating disposable plastics for good.
It takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to fully biodegrade, and there are around 12.7 million tons of plastic entering the ocean each year. At our current pace, in the year 2050 there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish, by weight. These are alarming figures, but plastic pollution is an environmental crisis with a solution we can all contribute to.

Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance by Nick Estes
How two centuries of Indigenous resistance created the movement proclaiming “Water is life”
In 2016, a small protest encampment at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, initially established to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, grew to be the largest Indigenous protest movement in the twenty-first century. Water Protectors knew this battle for native sovereignty had already been fought many times before, and that, even after the encampment was gone, their anticolonial struggle would continue. In Our History Is the Future, Nick Estes traces traditions of Indigenous resistance that led to the #NoDAPL movement. Our History Is the Future is at once a work of history, a manifesto, and an intergenerational story of resistance.

Rethinking Environmentalism: Linking Justice, Sustainability and Diversity by Robert Bullard
Does being an environmentalist mean caring about wild nature? Or is environmentalism synonymous with concern for future human well-being, or about a fair apportionment of access to the earth’s resources and a fair sharing of pollution burdens? Environmental problems are undoubtedly one of the most salient public issues of our time, yet environmental scholarship and action is marked by a fragmentation of ideas and approaches because of the multiple ways in which these environmental problems are “framed.” Diverse framings prioritize different values and explain problems in various ways, thereby suggesting different solutions. Are more inclusive framings possible? Will this enable more socially relevant, impactful research and more concerted action and practice?
This book takes a multidisciplinary look at these questions using examples from forest, water, energy, and urban sectors. It explores how different forms of environmentalism are shaped by different normative and theoretical positions, and attempts to bridge these divides. Individual perspectives are complemented by comprehensive syntheses of the differing framings in each sector. By self-reflectively exploring how researchers study and mobilize evidence about environmental problems, the book opens up the possibility of alternative framings to advance collaborative and integrated understanding of environmental problems and sustainability challenges.

Rising by Elizabeth Rush
Hailed as “deeply felt” (New York Times), “a revelation” (Pacific Standard), and “the book on climate change and sea levels that was missing” (Chicago Tribune), Rising is both a highly original work of lyric reportage and a haunting meditation on how to let go of the places we love.
With every passing day, and every record-breaking hurricane, it grows clearer that climate change is neither imagined nor distant―and that rising seas are transforming the coastline of the United States in irrevocable ways. In Rising, Elizabeth Rush guides readers through some of the places where this change has been most dramatic, from the Gulf Coast to Miami, and from New York City to the Bay Area. For many of the plants, animals, and humans in these places, the options are stark: retreat or perish in place.
Weaving firsthand testimonials from those facing this choice―a Staten Islander who lost her father during Sandy, the remaining holdouts of a Native American community on a drowning Isle de Jean Charles, a neighborhood in Pensacola settled by escaped slaves hundreds of years ago―with profiles of wildlife biologists, activists, and other members of these vulnerable communities, Rising privileges the voices of those too often kept at the margins.

Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming the African American Environmental Heritage by Dianne D. Glave
With a basis in environmental history, this groundbreaking study challenges the idea that a meaningful attachment to nature and the outdoors is contrary to the black experience. The discussion shows that contemporary African American culture is usually seen as an urban culture, one that arose out of the Great Migration and has contributed to international trends in fashion, music, and the arts ever since. But because of this urban focus, many African Americans are not at peace with their rich but tangled agrarian legacy. On one hand, the book shows, nature and violence are connected in black memory, especially in disturbing images such as slave ships on the ocean, exhaustion in the fields, dogs in the woods, and dead bodies hanging from trees. In contrast, though, there is also a competing tradition of African American stewardship of the land that should be better known. Emphasizing the tradition of black environmentalism and using storytelling techniques to dramatize the work of black naturalists, this account corrects the record and urges interested urban dwellers to get back to the land.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History is a 2014 non-fiction book written by Elizabeth Kolbert and published by Henry Holt and Company. The book argues that the Earth is in the midst of a modern, man-made, sixth extinction.
 
The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan
The Great Lakes—Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, and Superior—hold 20 percent of the world’s supply of surface fresh water and provide sustenance, work, and recreation for tens of millions of Americans. But they are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan’s compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come.
 
This Changes Everything: Capitalism v.s. The Climate by Naomi Klein
Forget everything you think you know about global warming. It's not about carbon – it's about capitalism. The good news is that we can seize this crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better. In her most provocative book yet, Naomi Klein, author of the global bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, exposes the myths that are clouding climate debate.
You have been told the market will save us, when in fact the addiction to profit and growth is digging us in deeper every day. You have been told it's impossible to get off fossil fuels when in fact we know exactly how to do it – it just requires breaking every rule in the 'free-market' playbook. You have also been told that humanity is too greedy and selfish to rise to this challenge. In fact, all around the world, the fight back is already succeeding in ways both surprising and inspiring. It's about changing the world, before the world changes so drastically that no one is safe. Either we leap – or we sink. This Changes Everything is a book that will redefine our era.

This Radical Land: A Natural History of American Dissent by Daegan Miller
“The American people sees itself advance across the wilderness, draining swamps, straightening rivers, peopling the solitude, and subduing nature,” wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in 1835. That’s largely how we still think of nineteenth-century America today: a country expanding unstoppably, bending the continent’s natural bounty to the national will, heedless of consequence. A country of slavery and of Indian wars. There’s much truth in that vision.
But if you know where to look, you can uncover a different history, one of vibrant resistance, one that’s been mostly forgotten. This Radical Land recovers that story. Daegan Miller is our guide on a beautifully written, revelatory trip across the continent during which we encounter radical thinkers, settlers, and artists who grounded their ideas of freedom, justice, and progress in the very landscapes around them, even as the runaway engine of capitalism sought to steamroll everything in its path. Here we meet Thoreau, the expert surveyor, drawing anticapitalist property maps.
We visit a black antislavery community in the Adirondack wilderness of upstate New York. We discover how seemingly commercial photographs of the transcontinental railroad secretly sent subversive messages, and how a band of utopian anarchists among California’s sequoias imagined a greener, freer future. At every turn, everyday radicals looked to landscape for the language of their dissent—drawing crucial early links between the environment and social justice, links we’re still struggling to strengthen today.
Working in a tradition that stretches from Thoreau to Rebecca Solnit, Miller offers nothing less than a new way of seeing the American past—and of understanding what it can offer us for the present . . . and the future.

The Rise of the American Conservation Movement: Power, Privilege, and Environmental Protection by Dorceta E. Taylor
In this sweeping social history Dorceta E. Taylor examines the emergence and rise of the multifaceted U.S. conservation movement from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. She shows how race, class, and gender influenced every aspect of the movement, including the establishment of parks; campaigns to protect wild game, birds, and fish; forest conservation; outdoor recreation; and the movement's links to nineteenth-century ideologies. Initially led by white urban elites—whose early efforts discriminated against the lower class and were often tied up with slavery and the appropriation of Native lands—the movement benefited from contributions to policy making, knowledge about the environment, and activism by the poor and working class, people of color, women, and Native Americans. Far-ranging and nuanced, The Rise of the American Conservation Movement comprehensively documents the movement's competing motivations, conflicts, problematic practices, and achievements in new ways.

Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility by Dorceta Taylor
Uncovers the systemic problems that expose poor communities to environmental hazards
From St. Louis to New Orleans, from Baltimore to Oklahoma City, there are poor and minority neighborhoods so beset by pollution that just living in them can be hazardous to your health. Due to entrenched segregation, zoning ordinances that privilege wealthier communities, or because businesses have found the ‘paths of least resistance,’ there are many hazardous waste and toxic facilities in these communities, leading residents to experience health and wellness problems on top of the race and class discrimination most already experience. Taking stock of the recent environmental justice scholarship, Toxic Communities examines the connections among residential segregation, zoning, and exposure to environmental hazards. Renowned environmental sociologist Dorceta Taylor focuses on the locations of hazardous facilities in low-income and minority communities and shows how they have been dumped on, contaminated and exposed.

Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape by Lauret Savoy
Sand and stone are Earth’s fragmented memory. Each of us, too, is a landscape inscribed by memory and loss. One life-defining lesson Lauret Savoy learned as a young girl was this: the American land did not hate. As an educator and Earth historian, she has tracked the continent’s past from the relics of deep time; but the paths of ancestors toward her—paths of free and enslaved Africans, colonists from Europe, and peoples indigenous to this land—lie largely eroded and lost.
In this provocative and powerful mosaic of personal journeys and historical inquiry across a continent and time, Savoy explores how the country’s still unfolding history, and ideas of “race,” have marked her and the land. From twisted terrain within the San Andreas Fault zone to a South Carolina plantation, from national parks to burial grounds, from “Indian Territory” and the U.S.-Mexico Border to the U.S. capital, Trace grapples with a searing national history to reveal the often unvoiced presence of the past.

Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River by David Owen
An eye-opening account of where our water comes from and where it all goes.
The Colorado River is an essential resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado’s headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry. 
Water problems in the western United States can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on.
The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goes is crucial to our future: how a patchwork of engineering marvels, byzantine legal agreements, aging infrastructure, and neighborly cooperation enables life to flourish in the desert —and the disastrous consequences we face when any part of this tenuous system fails.

Who Really Feeds the World? by Vandana Shiva
The Failures of Agribusiness and the Promise of Agroecology
Debunking the notion that our current food crisis must be addressed through industrial agriculture and genetic modification, author and activist Vandana Shiva argues that those forces are in fact the ones responsible for the hunger problem in the first place. Who Really Feeds the World? is a powerful manifesto calling for agricultural justice and genuine sustainability, drawing upon Shiva’s thirty years of research and accomplishments in the field. Shiva succinctly and eloquently lays out the networks of people and processes that feed the world, exploring issues of diversity, the needs of small famers, the importance of seed saving, the movement toward localization, and the role of women in producing the world’s food.