Sunday, April 22nd was Earth Day, but there’s no reason why we can’t honor the Earth every day. Here’s some green reads to celebrate the planet and the world we live in:
Imagine some of the world’s most beautiful places – the grasslands of the Serengeti, the Amazon River Basin, the flatlands of northwest Europe, and the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica. How can we keep these places intact and ultimately save planet Earth? Pulitzer-prize winner and Harvard University professor emeritus Edward O. Wilson has an achievable plan – dedicate half of Earth’s surface area to nature. Wilson believes that biodiversity is key, and he advocates for creatures great and small, rhinoceroses to microorganisms. While some revisionist environmentalist believe that engineering, technology, and cloning can reverse our failures, Wilson theorizes that if we clip a limb of the tree of life that we cannot bring it back. With imminent extinctions looming, Wilson expounds on Earth’s fragility, urging us to act wisely.
Trees play an important role in our lives - they help define space; they provide shade and cool air; and they help connect us to our past. In an urban setting, we pass hundreds of different species of trees on a regular basis, but many of us taken them for granted. In Urban Forests, Jill Jones, author and founder of the Baltimore Tree Trust, highlights the history of trees in urban communities, featuring visionaries and advocates who helped make our world greener. Jones also illustrates how trees also play a key role in our urban infrastructure and support public health initiatives while touching on climate change, global trade, and pests and diseases. Trees are our most beautiful and productive resource, and Urban Forests is a perfect read for botanists, urbanists, environmentalists, naturalists, and anyone wanting to know more about the world they live in.
Actress Jane Alexander has appeared in over sixty films for screen and television, but in Wild Things, Wild Places she takes on a new role – conservationist. While studying in Belize for an upcoming part, Alexander bumped into Alan Rabinowitz, a field biologist, zoologist, and conservationist known for his abilities to track down jaguars. Known as the “Tiger Man,” Rabinowitz gave Alexander a first-hand introduction to the birds, insects, cats, and wild animals of the Cockscomb Basin. Alexander was amazed, but also left asking herself, “What is being done to protect wild things and wild places?” Traveling to South America, India, and Thailand, Alexander shares her experiences with scientists, melding conservation, endangered species, and her own personal hopes for a world that we can all flourish in.
Also, if you missed the Conservation Committee’s annual film festival, you can check out a copy of the DVD at the library. Here’s this year’s list: