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The supreme challenge of our time is tackling climate change. We urgently need to curtail our use of fossil fuels - but how can we do so in a just and feasible way? In this compelling book, leading economist James Boyce shows that the key to solving this conundrum is to put a price on carbon emissions, thereby generating powerful incentives for clean energy. But there is a formidable hurdle: how do we secure broad public support for a policy that increases fuel costs for consumers? Boyce powerfully argues that carbon pricing can only be made just and politically durable if linked to returning the revenue to the public as carbon dividends. Founded on the principle that the gifts of nature belong to us all, not to corporations or governments, this bold reform could spark a 21st century clean energy revolution. Essential reading for all concerned citizens, policy-makers, and students of public policy and environmental economics, this book will be a transformative contribution to one of the most important policy debates of our era.
"Sublime writing...a genuinely important book" - Ken Lussey. Hundreds of years after their extinction in these isles, beavers are back in Britain. These highly skilled engineers of the natural world have been reintroduced at several sites across the UK and, even as they become established, are already having a dramatic effect on our wild landscapes. Here, leading nature writer Jim Crumley reveals the pioneering lifestyle of these intriguing and secretive creatures and considers the ecological and economic impact of the beaver reintroductions. Employing his trademark beautiful prose and empathy for life in the wild, Crumley considers the future for Britain's beavers and makes the case for giving them their freedom.
'Remarkable . . . grips with the force of a thriller' Robert MacFarlane An astonishing expose of the aftermath of Chernobyl - and the plot to cover up the truth The official death toll of the 1986 Chernobyl accident, 'the worst nuclear disaster in history', is only 54, and stories today commonly suggest that nature is thriving there. Yet award-winning historian Kate Brown uncovers a much more disturbing story, one in which radioactive isotopes caused hundreds of thousands of casualties, and the magnitude of this human and ecological catastrophe has been actively suppressed. Based on a decade of archival and on-the-ground research, Manual for Survival is a gripping account of the consequences of nuclear radiation in the wake of Chernobyl - and the plot to cover it up. As Brown discovers, Soviet scientists, bureaucrats, and civilians documented staggering increases in cases of birth defects, child mortality, cancers and a multitude of life-altering diseases years after the disaster. Worried that this evidence would blow the lid on the effects of massive radiation release from weapons-testing during the Cold War, scientists and diplomats from international organizations, including the UN, tried to bury or discredit it. Yet Brown also encounters many everyday heroes, often women, who fought to bring attention to the ballooning health catastrophe, and adapt to life in a post-nuclear landscape, where dangerously radioactive radioactive berries, distorted trees and birth defects still persist today. An astonishing historical detective story, Manual for Survival makes clear the irreversible impact of nuclear energy on every living thing, not just from Chernobyl, but from eight decades of radiaoactive fallout from weapons development.
Published to coincide with the Fourth United Nations Environmental Assembly, the Summary for Policymakers of the sixth Global Environment Outlook provides an evidence-based source of environmental information to help policymakers in government, local authorities and businesses achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Since the first edition in 1997, there have been many examples of environmental improvement, especially where problems have been well identified, manageable, and where regulatory and technological solutions have been readily available. Nevertheless, the overall condition of the global environment has deteriorated and urgent action, involving ambitious and effective policies, is necessary to arrest and reverse this situation. This Summary for Policymakers answers key policy questions by assessing the drivers of environmental change, the scale and effectiveness of policy responses, potential pathways for achieving sustainability goals in an increasingly complex world, and the data and information that can support the decision-making process. Also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
The synthesis of the Aquatic Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conference (ABEC) 2015 which was held to assess scientific progress over the past 25 years, this book provides a comprehensive and global review of work since the 1992 publication of 'Plant-Animal Interactions in the Marine Benthos'. Taking a regional and, where appropriate, habitat perspective, it considers sites of coastal biodiversity from around the world to incorporate a global approach. The volume analyses abiotic and biotic interactions and the factors determining distribution patterns, community structure and ecosystem functioning of coastal systems. It explores themes of how phylogeography and biogeographic process influence assemblage composition, and hence drive community structure and the respective roles of environmental factors and biological interactions, with the overall goal to establish how general are the processes in different regions and habitats. For researchers, graduate students and academics studying coastal ecosystems, with interest for conservation practitioners managing areas of high biodiversity.
This timely book considers appropriate legal practices to use to promote conservation, protection and sustainable use of biological diversity in forest and marine areas. The breadth of issues explored across these two themes is immense, and the book identifies both key differences, and striking commonalities between them. Law-makers, managers and users often have little understanding of either the complexity or the true value of biological diversity and of what is needed to preserve forest and marine ecosystems, and to keep inter-relationships between species within them healthy. Regulators face significant and practical challenges, requiring the adoption of legal frameworks in the context of scientific uncertainty. This book provides critical and comparative reflections on the role of law in both of these biodiversity contexts. Key issues not previously addressed through the law are considered - for example, the lack of international governance of peat; and the moral problem of labelling certain species as `alien' or `invasive'. Learned contributors draw valuable lessons for those seeking to protect biodiversity and understand its governance, from analysis of experiences gained forging international and national legal frameworks. With a blend of local and global perspectives, across a wide range of countries and policies, the book will appeal to academics and students in law, international, regional and domestic policymakers, lawmakers, NGOs and conservation agencies.
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This concise introductory text provides a complete overview of
biodiversity - what it is, how it arose, its distribution, why it
is important, human impact upon it, and what should be done to
Britain's lynx are missing, and they have been for more than a thousand years. Why have they gone? And might they come back? A mere 15,000 years ago, Britain was a very different place - home to lions, lynx, bears, wolves, bison and many more megafauna. But as the climate changed and human populations expanded, changing habitats and wiping out wildlife, most of the British megafauna disappeared. Will we ever be able to bring these mammals back? And if it's possible, should we? In The Missing Lynx, palaeontologist Ross Barnett uses case studies, new fossil discoveries, biomolecular evidence and more to paint a picture of these lost species, and to explore the significance of their disappearance in ecological terms. He also discusses how the Britons these animals shared their lives with might have viewed them, and questions why some survived while others vanished. Barnett also looks in detail at the realistic potential of reintroductions, rewilding and even of resurrection, both in Britain and overseas, from the innovative Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve to the revolutionary Pleistocene Park in Siberia, which has already seen progress in the revival of `mammoth steppe' grassland. With the world going through a `sixth extinction' caused by widespread habitat destruction, climate change and an ever-growing human population, this timely book explores the spaces that extinction has left unfilled, in Britain and elsewhere. By understanding why some of our most charismatic animals are gone, we can look to a brighter future, perhaps with some of these missing beasts returned to the land on which they once lived and died.
The debate over genetically modified organisms: health and safety concerns, environmental impact, and scientific opinions. Since they were introduced to the market in the late 1990s, GMOs (genetically modified organisms, including genetically modified crops), have been subject to a barrage of criticism. Agriculture has welcomed this new technology, but public opposition has been loud and scientific opinion mixed. In GMOs Decoded, Sheldon Krimsky examines the controversies over GMOs-health and safety concerns, environmental issues, the implications for world hunger, and the scientific consensus (or lack of one). He explores the viewpoints of a range of GMO skeptics, from public advocacy groups and nongovernmental organizations to scientists with differing views on risk and environmental impact. Krimsky explains the differences between traditional plant breeding and "molecular breeding" through genetic engineering (GE); describes early GMO products, including the infamous Flavr Savr tomato; and discusses herbicide-, disease-, and insect-resistant GE plants. He considers the different American and European approaches to risk assessment, dueling scientific interpretations of plant genetics, and the controversy over labeling GMO products. He analyzes a key 2016 report from the National Academies of Sciences on GMO health effects and considers the controversy over biofortified rice (Golden Rice)-which some saw as a humanitarian project and others as an exercise in public relations. Do GMO crops hold promise or peril? By offering an accessible review of the risks and benefits of GMO crops, and a guide to the controversies over them, Krimsky helps readers judge for themselves.
By making available the almost unlimited energy stored in prehistoric plant matter, coal enabled the industrial age - and it still does. Coal today generates more electricity worldwide than any other energy source, helping to drive economic growth in major emerging markets. And yet, continued reliance on this ancient rock carries a high price in smog and greenhouse gases. We use coal because it is cheap: cheap to scrape from the ground, cheap to move, cheap to burn in power plants with inadequate environmental controls. In this book, Mark Thurber explains how coal producers, users, financiers, and technology exporters drive this supply chain, while fragmented environmental movements battle for full incorporation of environmental costs into the global calculus of coal. Delving into the politics of energy versus the environment at local, national, and international levels, Thurber paints a vivid picture of the multi-faceted challenges associated with continued coal production and use in the twenty-first century.
In the bestselling tradition of Cheryl Strayed's Wild and Helen MacDonald's H Is for Hawk, Karen Auvinen, an award-winning poet, ventures into the wilderness to seek answers to life's big questions with "candor [and] admirable courage" (Christian Science Monitor). Determined to live an independent life on her own terms, Karen Auvinen flees to a primitive cabin in the Rockies to live in solitude as a writer and to embrace all the beauty and brutality nature has to offer. When a fire incinerates every word she has ever written and all of her possessions-except for her beloved dog Elvis, her truck, and a few singed artifacts-Karen embarks on a heroic journey to reconcile her desire to be alone with her need for community. In the evocative spirit of works by Annie Dillard, Gretel Ehrlich, and Terry Tempest Williams, Karen's "beautiful, contemplative...breathtaking [debut] memoir honors the wildness of the Rockies" (Publishers Weekly, starred review). "Rough Beauty offers a glimpse into a life that's pared down to its essentials, open to unexpected, even profound, change" (Brevity Magazine), and Karen's pursuit of solace and salvation through shedding trivial ties and living in close harmony with nature, along with her account of finding community and even love, is sure to resonate with all of us who long for meaning and deeper connection. An "outstanding...beautiful story of resilience" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Rough Beauty is a luminous, lyric exploration, "a narrative that reads like a captivating novel...a voice not found often enough in literature-a woman who eschews the prescribed role outlined for her by her family and discovers her own path" (Christian Science Monitor) to embrace the unpredictability and grace of living intimately with the forces of nature.
Making the case that we can use nuclear power to combat climate change even as we reduce the risks of nuclear terror. Humanity faces two existential threats: nuclear annihilation and catastrophic climate change. Both have human origins, and both are linked to the use of nuclear energy. Inherent in the use of atomic fission is the risk that the technology and materials can be diverted to terrorists or hostile nations and used to make nuclear weapons. The key question is whether we can use nuclear energy to reduce the threat of climate change without increasing the risk that nuclear weapons will be used. In Double Jeopardy, Daniel Poneman argues that the world needs an "all-of-the-above" energy policy, one that advances the goal of decarbonizing the environment through all available means-including nuclear power. Poneman makes a compelling case that we can enhance the ability of nuclear power to combat climate change even as we reduce the risks of nuclear terror. Doing so will require well-crafted laws and policies, implemented with an ethos of constant vigilance and embedded in a culture that weaves safety and security goals into the fabric of our nuclear programs. This will enable government and industry to work together to maximize energy and climate benefits while minimizing safety and security risks.
Most people are familiar with the dodo and the dinosaur, but extinction has occurred throughout the history of life, with the result that nearly all the species that have ever existed are now extinct. Today, species are disappearing at an ever increasing rate, whilst past losses have occurred during several great crises. Issues such as habitat destruction, conservation, climate change, and, during major crises, volacanism and meteorite impact, can all contribute towards the demise of a group. In this Very Short Introduction, Paul B. Wignall looks at the causes and nature of extinctions, past and present, and the factors that can make a species vulnerable. Summarising what we know about all of the major and minor exctinction events, he examines some of the greatest debates in modern science, such as the relative role of climate and humans in the death of the Pleistocene megafauna, including mammoths and giant ground sloths, and the roles that global warming, ocean acidification, and deforestation are playing in present-day extinctions ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This edited volume focuses on the latest and most impactful advancements of multimedia data globally available for environmental and earth biodiversity. The data reflects the status, behavior, change as well as human interests and concerns which are increasingly crucial for understanding environmental issues and phenomena. This volume addresses the need for the development of advanced methods, techniques and tools for collecting, managing, analyzing, understanding and modeling environmental & biodiversity data, including the automated or collaborative species identification, the species distribution modeling and their environment, such as the air quality or the bio-acoustic monitoring. Researchers and practitioners in multimedia and environmental topics will find the chapters essential to their continued studies.
Through the intricate art of origami, LaFosse and Alexander succeed in educating all ages about wildlife conservation and the importance of preserving our Earth's endangered animals. Jack Hanna. A portion of the proceeds benefit wildlife conservation. An interactive way to foster appreciation and understanding of our planet's endangered species! Origami Endangered Animals Kit, from master origami artists Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander, is designed to educate and entertain in equal measure. This origami kit includes everything you need: 48 large sheets of high-quality double-sided folding paper A full-colour 64-page instruction book Free online video demonstrations Educational notes about endangerment and threatened species. The 12 animals featured in this kit range from the diminutive Macaque to the massive Blue Whale, and also include the Leopard, the Rhinoceros, the Macaque, the Gorilla, the Sea Turtle, the Tiger, the Elephant, the Great White Shark, the Blue Whale, the Emperor Penguin, the Giant Panda and the Australian Sea Lion. These fun-to-fold paper animals are an ideal way to bring natural beauty into your home or office, while also highlighting the plight of endangered wildlife species. Animal figures are the most popular form of origami, and now anyone can use them to learn more about these important species.
The Value of Ecocriticism offers a brief, incisive overview of the fast-changing field of environmental literary criticism in a bewildering age of global environmental threat. The intellectual, moral and political complexity of environmental issues, especially at the global scale (the so-called 'Anthropocene') forms a new challenge of inventiveness for both literature and criticism. Ecocriticism has been going through a period of radical change and has become a diverse and huge field on the exciting but unstable boundary between the humanities and the sciences, with a mix of cultural, political, scientific and activist strands. Its mantra is that the environmental crisis demands a reconsideration of society's basic values, constitution and purposes, and that art and literature can be vital in that work. As a leading figure in this field, Timothy Clark surveys recent developments in ecocriticism lucidly, but also sometimes critically. This book examines ecopoetics, material ecocriticism, and the ideas of world literature as well as contentious claims that we are living in a new geological epoch.
The first book by wildlife photographer and writer Larry Laverty, Power and Majesty features extraordinary images and informative text that capture the life of African elephants. The book focuses on these majestic animals and features stunning photographs from the most remote corners of Africa, from the savannas and deserts to the rivers and jungles. The text introduces various elephant habitats, explores the magical qualities of elephants, and underscores the immense challenges they face for survival in a world dominated by humans. The photographs and information showcased in this book will help increase our appreciation and understanding of the African elephant's significant place in the animal kingdom. Their abilities to love, to remember, to function as families, and to survive under some of the harshest conditions will change the way we think about elephants, with the hope that this knowledge will encourage more people to help save those who remain in the wild.
Today, the issue of waste management is as prominent as reactor safety in the controversies surrounding nuclear power and is particularly topical in the US since the 2010 closure of the Yucca Mountain repository project. William and Rosemarie Alley provide an engaging and authoritative account of the controversies and possibilities surrounding disposal of nuclear waste in the US, with reference also to other countries around the world. The book tells the full history from the beginnings after World War II up to today, bringing to life the pioneering science, the political wrangling and media drama, and the not-in-my-backyard communities fighting to put waste elsewhere. Written in down-to-earth language, by an expert with key involvement in the Yucca Mountain project, this is a timely book for public interest groups, affected communities, policymakers, environmentalists and research scientists working in related fields and anyone interested in finding out more about this important issue. Provides an enjoyable synthesis of the scientific, political and social elements of the problem of high-level nuclear waste Presents an in-depth, accessible explanation of the Yucca Mountain project, enabling readers to understand its strengths and weaknesses, and providing a substantive discussion for future proposed geologic repositories Includes an international perspective on the difficulties and progress other countries are experiencing compared to the US with regard to high-level waste management
This comprehensive and up-to-date book explains the economic rationale behind the production, delivery and exchange of electricity. Creti and Fontini explain why electricity markets exist, outlining the economic principles behind the exchange and supply of power to consumers and firms. They identify the specificities of electricity, as compared to other goods, and furthermore suggest how markets should be optimally designed to produce and deliver electricity effectively and efficiently. The authors also address key issues, including how electricity can be decarbonized. Written in a technical yet accessible style, this book will appeal to readers studying power system economics and the economics of electricity, as well as those more generally interested in energy economics, including engineering and management students looking to gain an understanding of electricity market analysis.
The consequences of twenty-first-century sea level rise on the United States and its nearly 90,000 miles of shoreline will be immense: Miami and New Orleans will disappear; many nuclear and other power plants, hundreds of wastewater plants and toxic waste sites, and oil production facilities will be at risk; port infrastructures will need to be raised; and over ten million Americans fleeing rising seas will become climate refugees. In Sea Level Rise Orrin H. Pilkey and Keith C. Pilkey argue that the only feasible response along much of the U.S. shoreline is an immediate and managed retreat. Among many topics, they examine sea level rise's effects on coastal ecosystems, health, and native Alaskan coastal communities. They also provide guidelines for those living on the coasts or plan on moving to or away from them, as well as the steps local governments should take to prepare for this unstoppable, impending catastrophe.
An important goal of environmental research is to inform policy and decision making. However, environmental experts working at the interface between science, policy and society face complex challenges, including how to identify sources of disagreement over environmental issues, communicate uncertainties and limitations of knowledge, and tackle controversial topics such as genetic modification and the use of biofuels. This book discusses the problems environmental experts encounter in the interaction between knowledge, society, and policy on both a practical and conceptual level. Key findings from social science research are illustrated with a range of case studies, from fisheries to fracking. The book offers guidance on how to tackle these challenges, equipping readers with tools to better understand the diversity of environmental knowledge and its role in complex environmental issues. Written by leading natural and social scientists, this text provides an essential resource for students, scientists and professionals working at the science-policy interface.
A timely intervention on climate change from the author of the hugely influential The Weather Makers. The tools required to avoid a climate disaster already exist. Between emissions cuts and emerging technologies, we can do it. Here Professor Tim Flannery introduces us to the innovative new solutions being developed around the world, which work with the Earth's systems to combat climate change - and could safeguard our future. 'An important voice in the debate on global warming' Josh Glancy, Sunday Times 'Balances the difficult business of raising alarm about the dangers ahead with proposals for the types of action we need to take now to head off catastrophe tomorrow' Robin McKie, Guardian 'If you're not already addicted to Tim Flannery's writing, discover him now' Jared Diamond 'Thoughtful, candid and - yes - ultimately upbeat, Atmosphere of Hope could not be more timely. It is just the book the world needs right now' Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction
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