These are just a handful of the books that have helped shape my understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability, my deep appreciation for nature, and my hope for an ever-improving future. Add some of these to your book wish list!
John Muir was the founder of our national park system, an ardent and expert hiker, a preservationist and naturalist, a botanist, and a stunningly illustrative writer. Along his many walks through the South, the High Sierra of California, the frontier of Alaska, Mr. Muir descriptively portrayed his discoveries of tiny wildflowers, stout trees, towering mountains, and brilliant sky art. Don’t take my word for it, just read his works. If you like plants, like appreciation for Creation, or like exploring, you will enjoy John Muir.
“The Mountains of California” 1894
“My First Summer in the Sierra” 1911
“The Yosemite” 1912
“Travels in Alaska” 1915. Don’t miss his descriptions of The Northern Lights aka aurora borealis
“Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf.” 1916. Based on his first major outing as a young botanist. He traveled from Indiana to Florida!
Gifford Pinchot disagreed with John Muir’s preservationist stance, but instead focused on utilitarianism. He believed that natural resources could be used if they were responsibly managed by mankind.
“The Fight for Conservation” 1910
Aldo Leopold was a pioneer of conservation and wildlife conservation. I highly recommend his major work.
“A Sand County Almanac” 1949
Rachel Carson was a scientist whose writings helped spur the modern environmental movement.
“The Sea Around Us” 1951
“Silent Spring” 1962
Paul Hawken has more recently written on sustainability and the ability of business to benefit profits as well as the planet and people.
“The Ecology of Commerce” 1993
“Natural Capitalism” 1999 (co-authored by Amory Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins)
The late Ray Anderson was an amazing entrepreneur who, after reading Paul Hawken’s work, worked to transform his carpet company Interface, Inc. into a sustainable cradle-to-cradle business. I had the chance to hear him speak at a Caring for Creation conference a few years ago and was prompted to learn more…
“Mid-Course Correction” 1999
Richard Louv recently outlined the troubles with modern living. The public and kids in particular are deficient of the experience of nature. But a lot can be done!
“Last Child in the Woods” 2005
The following book was edited by Lyndsay Mosely and the staff of Sierra Club books. See where faith enters into the equation…
“Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation” 2008
Greg Craven is a science teacher from Oregon who tries to help folks approach the climate change debate with some sort of rationality. I thoroughly enjoyed his videos and his book.
“What’s the Worst That Could Happen? A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate” 2009
What books do you recommend?