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BOOK REVIEWS

Guides for Green Living

by Dean Simms-Elias


Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman
Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland
Miriam Horn
(W.W. Norton & Company)

Across the American Homeland citizens are working to support their family, take pride in their labor, and preserve the communities and landscapes they love. Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman captures the stories of struggle and success by men and women across the country that work to protect and restore the natural ecosystems that sustain their livelihood. You read the first-hand accounts of these American heroes who raise livestock and cultivate land while actively guarding and restoring the ecosystems that sustain everything.

In these vivid stories you are brought along on the daily lives of a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper, and a Gulf fisherman, who tell of their unique battles that all share a common purpose. Horn depicts the beauty and difficulties of rural life in America’s often overlooked heartland. By reforming their business practices, collaborating with their neighbors, and advocating for better policies, these average Americans are able to create profound change in their communities.

The book is filled with hopeful tales of how to preserve landscapes and jobs that give these rural towns their identity, without including any political tone. These grassroots stories from across the country showcase these heroes, who aren’t diehard environmentalists, but rather fiercely resolute in their missions to improve their natural capital for generations to come.


The New American Homestead
Sustainable, Self-Sufficient Living in the Country or in the City

John H. Tullock
(John Wiley & Sons)

In The New American Homestead, Tullock reintroduces modern generations to the traditions, skills and practices that enabled humans to survive and thrive for thousands of years. With its useful tips, this book’s underlying philosophy advocates for shifting the current economic and social paradigm from consumption to self-sufficiency. It provides a helpful and playful view on how to tend to your garden and grow lush greenery for suburban, rural or city lifestyles. Any time you are about to do some yard work or any outdoor project you should first grab this book for insights that will improve your work and vision.

This step-by-step guide gives you the science and tactics for the best way to cultivate the natural areas you steward. Not only is it an accessible guide to gaining a deeper understanding of your evolving livingscape and how your relationship to nature can nourish your own wellbeing both mentally and physically, it offers plenty of tips for maximizing the potential of your garden.

The New American Homestead explains traditional practices of how to utilize natural resources responsibly to live healthier, and more sustainably — while also saving money. Whether it’s growing vegetables in covered rows during colder months or sprouting herbs from an apartment window, you can learn new tricks for living self-sufficiently, from the science behind soil nutrients to the best way to build a healthy bee colony.

It is a light-hearted and enjoyable read full of fun facts and useful tips.


The Water Will Come
Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World

Jeff Goodell

(Little, Brown & Company)

Many around the world understand the impending damage that climate change can have on our civilization, but many coastal communities are already feeling the effects of climate disruption on a daily basis. The Water Will Come sounds the alarm for coastal towns on the reality that awaits and what can and must be done. This book pulls no punches as it bluntly reminds people of the current state of the climate crisis and the gloomy scenario that will be our future.

Through reporting on the struggles that are being faced now, The Waters Will Come offers ideas for how to change the direction of the climate change conversation towards how to radically rethink and rebuild our cities. Journalist and contributing editor at Rolling Stone, Goodell utilizes his deep reporting from the forefront of the scramble, showing how the impacts of climate change are being addressed by government officials, business leaders, real estate developers and financial institutions. He details the variety of pains already being felt by coastal communities and areas without a resiliency plan in a future with rising seas and severe storms. Goodell does not sugar-coat the high stakes and the level of climate disruption that will befall future generations if we don’t act.

With stories from twelve countries, Goodell gives us on-the-ground accounts of our current state and what we should expect. He explains why we’ve gotten to this point and how an altered 21st century will unfold.


Climate of Hope
How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet

Michael Bloomberg & Carl Pope
(St. Martins Press)

Too often the discussion about climate change focuses on the impending doom that may disrupt the planet if we don’t act quickly. Climate of Hope offers a refreshing, optimistic perspective on the challenges of climate change. The book highlights the solutions with the greatest potential and the practical steps that are needed to achieve them.

Former New York CIty Mayor, billionaire and philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg teams up with former Executive Director of the Sierra Club to compile the stories of concerted collaborative action to curb climate disruption. Collecting stories from business, government and advocacy groups, they pull together the effective strategies already being used to pivot our economy and culture to be more intentional and sustainable period. They draw a road map for how cities, businesses and people can actively work to adapt into a healthy and thriving world.

Their wide ranging chapters zone in on the industries, paradigms and traditions that need reform. Each chapter focuses on how to shift our systems and behaviors into ways that are less wasteful and more equitable. Climate of Hope moves the conversation to a more positive and pragmatic lane that concentrates on what has worked and what can be done today to evolve into the future. •


March-April 2018

‘Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman’
is filled with hopeful tales
of how to preserve landscapes
and jobs that give rural towns
their identidy.


‘The New Homestead’ explains
traditional practices of how
to utilize natural resources
responsibly while saving money.