New Year is the time to take stock. Therefore, we have made for you a selection of the best non-fiction books about ecology for adults and children, which were published in Russian this year.
Every year, topics related to ecology break into the everyday life of an increasing number of people. Burning forests, spreading fuel in Norilsk, mysteriously dying marine animals in Kamchatka, "battles" against the landfill in Shies and the industrial destruction of Shihan Kushtau - all this and much more have become part of the mainstream agenda in 2020.
Against this background, more and more people are striving to lead a greener lifestyle. And publishers do not stand aside, offering a wide variety of books on the topic of ecology - from simple manuals and colorful educational programs to serious works offering to talk about the future of our planet. Below are some really interesting publications on ecology and climate that were published in Russia in 2020.
A striking polemic book by chemist Michael Braungarth and architect William McDonagh was published in English back in 2002 and has since been translated into 12 languages, with several reprints. The authors challenge the conventional wisdom that nature can be saved through the three whales of conscious consumption: reducing consumption, reusing and recycling. Progress and the Industrial Revolution not only made human life much more comfortable, but also created an economic system that inevitably uses colossal amounts of irreplaceable natural resources.
Therefore, Braungarth and McDonagh believe that the solution to environmental problems must be a radical restructuring of the entire economic system, which affects everything from the way of production to the design of objects. The completed cycle of such new objects could be called “From cradle to cradle”, as opposed to the dominant cycle a “from cradle to grave” and in accordance with the basic structure of nature, where the end of something is always someone's beginning. The book is full of actionable examples of what can be done now and draws an appealing ecological utopia to believe in. It will be of interest to designers and philosophers, as well as to everyone who is contemplating large-scale alternatives in the name of returning to a harmonious life with nature.
The popular American writer, master of piercing prose Jonathan Safran Foer ("Full Illumination", "Terribly Loud and Extremely Close") now performs in the non-fiction genre as well. Foer talks about problems that he thinks we should all be concerned about. After the book “Meat. Eating Animals ”, which criticizes industrial livestock production, the author has issued a powerful manifesto on climate change and the consequences it has for our children. We would all like a bright green future, but for now, for most people it looks more like a gassed metropolis.
Foer compares the scale of the problem and the collective effort required with the Second World War, when the efforts of many people and dozens of countries were subordinated to one task - the victory over fascism. Something similar is required from society today. But this does not happen, and the writer tries to give an exhaustive answer to the question why. It is unlikely that this piercing text will leave anyone indifferent. Moreover, the book contains many convincing arguments that can be useful to those who want to explain to their relatives and friends that environmental problems can no longer be simply dismissed.
I absolutely do not want to believe what is written in this book, which has become one of the most discussed environmental texts both in Russia and in the world. The future looks too bad and hopeless. However, scrupulous argumentation and an abundance of references to scientific research do not allow dismissing this book as another visionary nightmare. However, as Wallace Wells shows, the future is already here, and the effects of global warming are being felt today. And if residents of “successful” countries can still feel “as if nothing had happened”, hiding from problems with the help of air conditioners, running water and the health care system, then this situation will not last long.
If we do not take radical steps right now, then in the coming decades we will have a lot of unpleasant surprises that will not be limited to flooded coastal areas. Wallace-Wells' impressive work paints a highly disturbing but detailed scientific prediction of our near future in a global warming world. You can be sure that this text will shake the beliefs of even the most die-hard climate skeptics.