Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth

Author: William Bryant Logan

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393351602

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 976

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"A gleeful, poetic book…Like the best natural histories, Dirt is a kind of prayer." —Los Angeles Times Book Review "You are about to read a lot about dirt, which no one knows very much about." So begins the cult classic that brings mystery and magic to "that stuff that won't come off your collar." John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Saint Phocas, Darwin, and Virgil parade through this thought-provoking work, taking their place next to the dung beetle, the compost heap, dowsing, historical farming, and the microscopic biota that till the soil. Whether William Bryant Logan is traversing the far reaches of the cosmos or plowing through our planet’s crust, his delightful, elegant, and surprisingly soulful meditations greatly enrich our concept of "dirt," that substance from which we all arise and to which we all must return.
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The Earth Around Us

Maintaining A Livable Planet

Author: Jill Schneiderman

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1466814438

Category: Science

Page: 250

View: 8504

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Soil contamination...public lands...surface and groundwater pollution...coastal erosion...global warming. Have we reached the limits of this planet's ability to provide for us? If so, what can we do about it? These vital questions are addressed by Jill Schneiderman in The Earth Around Us, a unique collection of thirty-one essays by a diverse array of today's foremost scientist-writers. Sharing an ability to communicate science in a clear and engaging fashion, the contributors explore Earth's history and processes--especially in relation to today's environmental issues--and show how we, as members of a global community, can help maintain a livable planet. The narratives in this collection are organized into seven parts that describe: - Earth's time and history and the place of people in it - Views of nature and the ethics behind our conduct on Earth - Resources for the twenty-first century, such as public lands, healthy forests and soils, clean ground and surface waters, and fluctuating coastlines - Ill-informed local manipulations of landscapes across the United States - Innovative solutions to environmental problems that arise from knowledge of the interactions between living things and the Earth's air, water, and soil - Natural and human-induced global scale perturbations to the earth system - Our responsibility to people and all other organisms that live on Earth Never before has such a widely experienced group of prominent earth scientists been brought together to help readers understand how earth systems function to produce our physical and biological environment. Driven by the belief that earth science is, and should be, an integral part of everyday life, The Earth Around Us empowers all of us to play a more educated and active part in the search for a sustainable future for people and other living things on our planet.
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Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good

Author: Heather Menzies

Publisher: New Society Publishers

ISBN: 155092558X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 240

View: 4262

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Commoning was a way of life for most of our ancestors. In Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good, author Heather Menzies journeys to her roots in the Scottish Highlands, where her family lived in direct relation with the land since before recorded time. Beginning with an intimate account of unearthing the heritage of the commons and the real tragedy of its loss, Menzies offers a detailed description of the self-organizing, self-governing, and self-informing principles of this nearly forgotten way of life, including its spiritual practices and traditions. She then identifies pivotal commons practices that could be usefully revived today. A final "manifesto" section pulls these facets together into a unified vision for reclaiming the commons, drawing a number of current popular initiatives into the commoning frame, such as local food security, permaculture, and the Occupy Movement. An engaging memoir of personal and political discovery, Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good combines moving reflections on our common heritage with a contemporary call to action, individually and collectively; locally and globally. Readers will be inspired by the book's vision of reviving the commons ethos of empathy and mutual respect, and energized by her practical suggestions for connection people and place for the common good. Heather Menzies is an award-winning writer and scholar and member of the Order of Canada. She is the author of nine books, including Whose Brave New World? and No Time.
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Earth-honoring Faith

Religious Ethics in a New Key

Author: Larry L. Rasmussen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199986843

Category: Philosophy

Page: 480

View: 5797

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Grand Winner of the 2014 Nautilus Book Awards Thoughtful observers agree that the planetary crisis we now face-climate change; species extinction; the destruction of entire ecosystems; the urgent need for a more just economic-political order-is pushing human civilization to a radical turning point: change or perish. But precisely how to change remains an open question. In Earth-honoring Faith, Larry Rasmussen answers that question with a dramatically new way of thinking about human society, ethics, and the ongoing health of our planet. Rejecting the modern assumption that morality applies to human society alone, Rasmussen insists that we must derive a spiritual and ecological ethic that accounts for the well-being of all creation, as well as the primal elements upon which it depends: earth, air, fire, water, and sunlight. He argues that good science, necessary as it is, will not be enough to inspire fundamental change. We must draw on religious resources as well to make the difficult transition from an industrial-technological age obsessed with consumption to an ecological age that restores wise stewardship of all life. Earth-honoring Faith advocates an alliance of spirituality and ecology, in which the material requirements for planetary life are reconciled with deep traditions of spirituality across religions, traditions that include mysticism, sacramentalism, prophetic practices, asceticism, and the cultivation of wisdom. It is these shared spiritual practices that can produce a chorus of world faiths to counter the consumerism, utilitarianism, alienation, oppression, and folly that have pushed us to the brink. Written with passionate commitment and deep insight, Earth-honoring Faith reminds us that we must live in the present with the knowledge that the eyes of future generations will look back at us.
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Earth

A Tenant's Manual

Author: Frank H. T. Rhodes

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801466202

Category: Nature

Page: 400

View: 580

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"It’s impossible to grasp the whole planet or integrate all the descriptions of it. But because we live here, we have to try. This is not just an artistic compulsion or an existential yearning, still less an academic exercise. It’s a survival issue. This is the only planet we have. We’re stuck here, and we don’t own the place—it would be the height of arrogance to assume that we do. We’re tenants here, not owners, but we’re tenants with hope for a long-term tenancy. We want to extend our lease just as far as we can."—from Earth: A Tenant’s Manual In Earth: A Tenant’s Manual, the distinguished geologist Frank H. T. Rhodes, President Emeritus of Cornell University, provides a sweeping, accessible, and deeply informed guide to the home we all share, showing us how we might best preserve the Earth’s livability for ourselves and future generations. Rhodes begins by setting the scene for our active planet and explaining how its location and composition determine how the Earth works and why it teems with life. He emphasizes the changes that are of concern to us today, from earthquakes to climate change and the clashes over the energy resources needed for the Earth’s exploding population. He concludes with an extended exploration of humanity’s prospects on a complex, protean, and ultimately finite world. It is not a question of whether the planet is sustainable; the challenge facing life on Earth—and the life of the Earth—is whether an expanding and high-consumption species like ours is sustainable. Only new resources, new priorities, new policies and, most of all, new knowledge, can reverse the damage that humanity is doing to our home—and ourselves. A sustainable human future, Rhodes concludes in this eloquent, sobering, but ultimately optimistic book, will require a sense of responsible stewardship, for we are not owners of this planet; we are tenants. Surveying the systems, large and small, that govern Earth’s processes and influence its changes, Rhodes addresses the negative consequences of human activities for the health of its regulatory systems but offers practical suggestions as to how we might effect repairs, or at least limit further damage to our home.
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Toni Morrison’s A Mercy

Critical Approaches

Author: Shirley A. Stave,Justine Tally

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 1443833193

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 160

View: 4132

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Toni Morrison’s ninth novel, A Mercy, has been received with much acclaim by both the critical and lay reading public. Hailed as her best novel after the award-winning Beloved, most critics to date have concentrated on its setting in the late seventeenth century, a time in which, according to the author herself, slavery was “pre-racial,” a time before the “Terrible Transformation” irrevocably linked slavery to skin-color or “race.” Though a slender, easy to read novel, A Mercy is in fact a richly-layered text, full of multiple meanings and possibilities, a work of art that has only just begun to be “mined” for its critical import. The present volume is the first to deal with these possibilities, presenting a variety of critical approaches that include narrative theory, the eco-critical, the geographical, the allegorical, the Miltonian, the feminist, the metaphorical, and the Lacanian. As such, not only is it conceived to enrich the work of Morrison scholars and students, but also to illuminate the use of critical theory in elucidating a complex literary text. A Mercy clamors for close reading and thoughtful interrogation and promises to reward the perceptive reader.
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Cultivating an Ecological Conscience

Essays from a Farmer Philosopher

Author: Frederick L. Kirschenmann

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813139589

Category: Nature

Page: 420

View: 6926

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Theologian, academic, and third-generation organic farmer Frederick L. Kirschenmann is a celebrated agricultural thinker. In the last thirty years he has tirelessly promoted the principles of sustainability and has become a legend in his own right. Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher documents Kirschenmann's evolution and his lifelong contributions to the new agrarianism in a collection of his greatest writings on farming, philosophy, and sustainability. Working closely with agricultural economist and editor Constance L. Falk, Kirschenmann recounts his intellectual and spiritual journey. In a unique blend of personal history, philosophical discourse, spiritual ruminations, and practical advice, Kirschenmann interweaves his insights with discussion of contemporary agrarian topics. This collection serves as an invaluable resource to agrarian scholars and introduces readers to an agricultural pioneer whose work has profoundly influenced modern thinking about food.
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Edward Thomas

A Mirror of England

Author: Jacek Wiśniewski

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 1443802468

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 360

View: 9301

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Edward Thomas volunteered when he was 37 years old and a father of three and was killed, as an artillery officer, during the first hour of the Arras offensive, on April 9th, 1917. In the two years before his death, he wrote the 144 poems which ensured a place for him among the poets of his generation. Though all his poems had been written OC under stormOCOs wingOCO, Thomas was not a war poet in the sense that Owen, Sassoon or Rosenberg were war poets. Before he turned to poetry in December 1914, he..."
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Foodshed

An Edible Alberta Alphabet

Author: Dee Hobsbawn-Smith

Publisher: TouchWood Editions

ISBN: 192712915X

Category: Cooking

Page: 278

View: 8110

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Winner of Best Food Literature (Canada) at the 2012 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards In this intimate guide to Alberta's sustainable food scene, writer, poet, professional chef, and food advocate Dee Hobsbawn-Smith profiles more than seventy-five of the province's growers and producers. Learn the A to Z's of each producer, from Asparagus growers to Zizania cultivators, and enjoy the twenty-six original recipes, one for each type of produce. The book also examines the ground that farmers stand on: government involvement, sustainability and the environment, animal welfare, farm labour, and organizations from Slow Food to the grassroots Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement. An (agri)cultural examination of modern farming that offers a clear look at current government policies and sustainable growers' best practices, Foodshed sets forth some of the issues that modern farmers face, as seen by the growers themselves.
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Learning Gardens and Sustainability Education

Bringing Life to Schools and Schools to Life

Author: Dilafruz Williams,Jonathan Brown

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136583513

Category: Education

Page: 232

View: 9040

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Offering a fresh approach to bringing life to schools and schools to life, this book goes beyond touting the benefits of learning gardens to survey them as a whole-systems design solution with potential to address myriad interrelated social, ecological, and educational issues. The theoretical and conceptual framework presented creatively places soil at the center of the discourse on sustainability education and learning garden design and pedagogy. Seven elements and attributes of living soil and learning gardens are presented as a guide for sustainability education: cultivating a sense of place; fostering curiosity and wonder; discovering rhythm and scale; valuing biocultural diversity; embracing practical experience ; nurturing interconnectedness. The living soil of learning gardens forms the basis of a new metaphoric language serving to contest dominant mechanistic metaphors presently influencing educational discourse. Student voices and examples from urban schools provide practical understanding of how bringing life to schools can indeed bring schools to life.
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