Environmental Books by SEJ Members

Are you an SEJ member who's authored, co-authored or edited a non-fiction or fiction environmental book (published in 2022 or 2023) you'd like included on this page? Documentaries are also welcome. Please send the following to web content manager Cindy MacDonald:

  1. a one-paragraph description (no more than 200 words, please)
  2. name of publisher and year of publication
  3. ISBN number
  4. .png, .gif or .jpg image of the book's front cover (optional)
  5. Internet link to more information (optional) 

Members' books published in: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and earlier.

MEMBERS: Advertise your environmental book in the SEJournal Online e-newsletter for only $50. Order form (you'll need your member log-in info). SEJ members only.




"Beyond Climate Breakdown: Envisioning New Stories of Radical Hope"

By Peter Friederici
Cover of Beyond Climate Breakdown: Envisioning New Stories of Radical Hope
Peter Friederici, professor in the School of Communication at Northern Arizona University, is author of the new book "Beyond Climate Breakdown: Envisioning New Stories of Radical Hope". Listed as one of Orion Magazine's 10 Books for Fall 2022, the book examines and critiques prevailing climate change narratives. By dissecting how such stories are constructed, the author argues, we can better understand who benefits — and who doesn't — from their dissemination. This analysis points to a need for new sorts of story frames that are based on both democratic values and a fundamental affinity for life. Only these sorts of stories can fuel the broad-based hope and agency that's needed to engage people to action. MIT Press, 2022. ISBN: 9780262543934. More information.



"The Climate Pandemic: How Climate Disruption Threatens Human Survival"

By Dennis Meredith
Cover of "Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History"
"The Climate Pandemic" documents that many of people's beliefs about climate disruption are myths — the most critical being that our species will somehow manage to survive the relentless onslaught of climate disruption. Other myths include that current plans to limit global heating will avoid climate catastrophe; that renewable energy will offer a major clean energy source; and that decarbonizing our energy system is a realistic goal. The book is the most comprehensive explanation of the science, technology, politics, economics and psychology of climate disruption. Its bibliography lists more than 1,700 hyperlinked entries — peer-reviewed scientific papers, books and reports from government and international agencies and scientific associations. The book explains the science of climate-driven heat waves, megadroughts, wildfires, floods and superstorms. It explores the human impacts of climate disruption: increased toxicity and disease, famine, migration, conflict and societal collapse. It documents the failure of the mainstream media, scientists, environmentalists, corporations and politicians to act on climate disruption. And it reveals how the Paris agreement, renewable energy, carbon capture, geoengineering and nuclear power are unrealistic panaceas. As our mission for the future, the book advocates that we dedicate ourselves to palliating our planet, preserving as much as we can. Glyphus, February 2023. ASIN: B0BN727963. More information.



"Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future"

By Gloria Dickie
Cover of "Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future"
Bears have always held a central place in our collective memory, from Indigenous folklore and Greek mythology to nineteenth-century fairytales and the modern toy shop. But as humans and bears come into ever-closer contact, our relationship nears a tipping point. Today, most of the eight remaining bear species are threatened with extinction. Some, such as the panda bear and the polar bear, are icons of the natural world; others, such as the spectacled bear and the sloth bear, are far less known. In "Eight Bears," journalist Gloria Dickie embarks on a globe-trotting journey to explore each bear’s story, whisking readers from the cloud forests of the Andes to the ice floes of the Arctic; from the jungles of India to the backwoods of the Rocky Mountain West. W.W. Norton & Co., July 2023. ISBN: 1324005084. More information.



"Flush: The Remarkable Science of an Unlikely Treasure"

By Bryn Nelson
Cover of Flush
The future is sh*t: the literal kind. For most of human history we've been, well, disinclined to take a closer look at our body's natural product — the complex antihero of this story — save for gleaning some prophecy of our own health. But if we were to take more than a passing look at our poop, we would spy a veritable cornucopia of possibilities. We would see potent medicine, sustainable power and natural fertilizer to restore the world's depleted lands. We would spy a time capsule of evidence for understanding past lives and murderous ends. We would glimpse effective ways of measuring and improving human health from the cradle to the grave, early warnings of community outbreaks like COVID-19 and new means of identifying environmental harm — and then reversing it. "Flush" is both an urgent exploration of the world's single most squandered natural resource, and a cri de coeur (or cri de colon?) for the vast, hidden value in our "waste." Award-winning journalist and microbiologist Bryn Nelson, PhD, leads readers through the colon and beyond with infectious enthusiasm, helping to usher in a necessary mental shift that could restore our balance with the rest of the planet and save us from ourselves. Grand Central Publishing, 2022. ISBN: 978-1538720028. More information.



"In the Spirit of Wetlands: Reviving Habitat in the Illinois River Watershed"

By Clare Howard
Cover of In the Spirit of Wetlands: Reviving Habitat in the Illinois River Watershed

The author and photographer visited dozens of wetlands over several years, interviewed landowners, scientists, environmentalists and farmers about the role wetlands play in a healthy environment and what happens following widespread destruction of wetlands. People who believe in wetlands work not just for their own environment but for the global ecosystem. They continue to discover and learn about the complex role wetlands play in the environment. The people featured in this book are remarkable because they devote their time, energy and money to restoring lost wetlands, often in the face of harsh criticism from people who do not share their vision. The persistence of these wetland pioneers is inspiring. They lead by example, and their stories help change the way we see the world. University of Illinois Press, 2022. ISBN: 9780252086625 (paperback); 9780252053559 (ebook). More information.



"Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History"

By Jori Lewis
Cover of "Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History"
Americans consume over 1.5 billion pounds of peanut products every year. But few of us know the peanut's tumultuous history, or its intimate connection to slavery and freedom. Lyrical and powerful, "Slaves for Peanuts" deftly weaves together the natural and human history of a crop that transformed the lives of millions. Author Jori Lewis reveals how demand for peanut oil in Europe ensured that slavery in Africa would persist well into the twentieth century, long after the European powers had officially banned it in the territories they controlled. Delving deep into West African and European archives, Lewis recreates a world on the coast of Africa that is breathtakingly real and unlike anything modern readers have experienced. "Slaves for Peanuts" is told through the eyes of a set of richly detailed characters — from an African-born French missionary harboring runaway slaves, to the leader of a Wolof state navigating the politics of French imperialism — who challenge our most basic assumptions of the motives and people who supported human bondage. At a time when Americans are grappling with the enduring consequences of slavery, here is a new and revealing chapter in its global history. The New Press, 2022. ISBN: 978-1-62097-156-7. More information.



"Vanishing North: Minnesota Species at Risk of Extinction, and the People Dedicated to Saving Them"

By James Eli Shiffer, Jennifer Bjorhus and Greg Stanley
Cover of "Vanishing North"
The Star Tribune in Minnesota published "Vanishing North" based on their series of the same name. Through the eyes of people dedicated to saving threatened species — like the weird globin fern, prehistoric-looking paddle fish and nearly extinct Poweshiek skipperling butterfly — the series looks at the mass extinction underway and efforts to fight it, on a very local level. The photography is stunning. SEJ members: Project editor James Eli Shiffer and reporters Jennifer Bjorhus and Greg Stanley. Star Tribune, 2023. ISBN: 979-8-218-14755-6. More information.



"Windfall: The Prairie Woman Who Lost Her Way and the Great-Granddaughter Who Found Her"

By Erika Bolstad
Cover of "Windfall: The Prairie Woman Who Lost Her Way and the Great-Granddaughter Who Found Her"
At first, Erika Bolstad knew only one thing about her great-grandmother, Anna: she was a homesteader on the North Dakota prairies in the early 1900s before her husband committed her to an asylum under mysterious circumstances. As Erika's mother was dying, she revealed more. Their family still owned the mineral rights to Anna's land―and oil companies were interested in the black gold beneath the prairies. Their family, Erika learned, could get rich thanks to the legacy of a woman nearly lost to history. Anna left no letters or journals, and very few photographs of her had survived. But Erika was drawn to the young woman who never walked free of the asylum that imprisoned her. As a journalist well versed in the effects of fossil fuels on climate change, Erika felt the dissonance of what she knew and the barely-acknowledged whisper that had followed her family across the Great Plains for generations: we could be rich. Desperate to learn more about her great-grandmother and the oil industry that changed the face of the American West forever, Erika set out for North Dakota to unearth what she could of the past. What she discovers is a land of boom-and-bust cycles and families trying their best to eke out a living in an unforgiving landscape, bringing to life the ever-present American question: What does it mean to be rich? Sourcebooks, 2023. ISBN: 1728246938. More information.



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