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Ecosocialist Bookshelf: August 2023

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New books for reds and greens. Exporting emissions; How weather works; Saving the birds; Bottled water; Cell science; Phosphorous in life and death

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Ecosocialist Bookshelf is a monthly column, hosted by Ian Angus. Books described here may be reviewed at length in future. Inclusion of a book does not imply endorsement, or that C&C agrees with everything (or even anything!) these books say.

Laurie Parsons
How Rich Countries Export Climate Breakdown

Manchester University Press
Climate change is devastating the planet, and globalization is hiding it. Emissions and waste are exported from rich countries to poorer ones corporations and countries maintain a clean, green image while landfills in the world’s poorest countries continue to expand, and droughts and floods intensify under the auspices of globalization, deregulation and economic growth.

John D. Aber
A Guided Tour of Weather, Climate, and Climate Change

Yale University Press
Renowned environmental scientist and educator John D. Aber explores how weather happens, how it relates to climate, and how science has been used to answer major questions about the Earth as a system and inform policies that have can reverse environmental degradation. A guided tour of the science of weather.

Anders & Beverley Gyllenhaal
The Race to Save Our Vanishing Birds

Simon & Shuster
Nearly three billion birds in North America have vanished over the past fifty years. Veteran journalists Anders and Beverly Gyllenhaal have traveled across the Americas, chronicling costly experiments, contentious politics, and new technologies to save the birds, offering hope and an urgent call to action.

Daniel Jaffee
The Fight Against Plastic Water and for Water Justice

University of California Press
The $300 billion bottled water market sits at the convergence of a mounting ecological crisis of single-use plastic waste and climate change, a social crisis of affordable access to safe drinking water, and a struggle over the fate of public water systems. Jaffee examines the global movements that are fighting to reclaim the tap and working to ensure water justice for all.

Alfonso Martinez Arias
How the New Science of the Cell is Rewriting the Story of Life

Basic Books
What defines who we are? For decades, the answer has seemed obvious: our genes, our DNA. Biologist Alfonso Martinez Arias argues that it isn’t genes that define organisms, but cells. They are the master builders that determine everything from the shape of our fingers to where each organ is located to how we reproduce. Drawing on the latest scientific research, Arias demolishes the reductionist “selfish gene” view of life.

Dan Egan
Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance

W.W. Norton
Phosphorous is one of the three most important elements in all modern fertilizers. Plants cannot grow without it, and all animal life depends on it, but massive overuse is killing life in rivers, lakes and oceans. Important background shows why the natural phosphorous cycle is one of nine endangered “planetary boundaries” whose violation is disrupting the Earth System today.