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Environmental Conservation & Protection

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  1. 8.0 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    In his long-awaited memoir, Yvon Chouinard—legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia, Inc.—shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally responsible companies on earth. From his youth as the son of a French Canadian blacksmith to the thrilling, ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for the sport’s equipment, Let My People Go Surfing is the story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life—a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

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    Let My People Go Surfing

    Foreword by Naomi Klein
    8.0 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 12.0 hrs • 6/7/2016 • Unabridged

    The fascinating story of the century-long attempt to control nature in the American wilderness as told through the prism of a tragic death at Yellowstone When twenty-five-year-old Harry Walker was killed by a bear in Yellowstone Park in 1972, the civil trial prompted by his death became a proxy for bigger questions about American wilderness management that had been boiling for a century. At immediate issue was whether the Park Service should have done more to keep bears away from humans, but what was revealed as the trial unfolded was just how fruitless our efforts to regulate nature in the parks had always been. The proceedings drew to the witness stand some of the most important figures in twentieth-century wilderness management, including the eminent zoologist A. Starker Leopold, who had produced a landmark conservationist document in the 1950s, and all-American twin researchers John and Frank Craighead, who ran groundbreaking bear studies at Yellowstone. Their testimonies would help decide whether the government owed the Walker family restitution for Harry’s death, but it would also illuminate decades of patchwork efforts to preserve an idea of nature that had never existed in the first place. In this remarkable excavation of American environmental history, nature writer and former park ranger Jordan Fisher Smith uses the story of one man’s tragic death to tell the larger narrative of the futile, sometimes fatal, attempts to remake wilderness in the name of preserving it. Moving across time and between Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier National Parks, Engineering Eden shows how efforts at wilderness management have always been undone by one fundamental problem—that the idea of what is “natural” dissolves as soon as we begin to examine it, leaving us with little framework to say what wilderness should look like and which human interventions are acceptable in trying to preserve it. In the tradition of John McPhee’s The Control of Nature and Alan Burdick’s Out of Eden, Jordan Fisher Smith has produced a powerful work of popular science and environmental history, grappling with critical issues that we have even now yet to resolve.

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    Engineering Eden by Jordan Fisher Smith

    Engineering Eden

    12.0 hrs • 6/7/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 7.7 hrs • 4/19/2016 • Unabridged

    Told with sincerity, humor, and wit, Trespassing across America is both a fascinating account of one man’s remarkable journey along the Keystone XL pipeline and a meditation on climate change, the beauty of the natural world, and the extremes to which we can push ourselves—both physically and mentally. It started as a far-fetched idea—to hike the entire length of the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. But in the months that followed, it grew into something more for Ken Ilgunas. It became an irresistible adventure—an opportunity to not only draw attention to global warming but to explore his personal limits. So in September 2012, he strapped on his backpack, stuck out his thumb on the interstate just north of Denver, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles to the Alberta tar sands. Once there, he turned around and began his 1,900-mile trek to the XL’s endpoint on the Gulf Coast of Texas, a journey which he would complete entirely on foot, almost exclusively walking across private property. Both a travel memoir and a reflection on climate change, Trespassing across America is filled with colorful characters, harrowing physical trials, and strange encounters with the weather, terrain, and animals of America’s plains. A tribute to the Great Plains and the people who live there, Ilgunas’ memoir grapples with difficult questions about our place in the world: What is our personal responsibility as stewards of the land? As members of a rapidly warming planet? As mere individuals up against something as powerful as the fossil-fuel industry? Ultimately, Trespassing across America is a call to embrace the belief that a life lived not half-wild is a life only half-lived.

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    Trespassing across America by Ken Ilgunas

    Trespassing across America

    7.7 hrs • 4/19/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 22.8 hrs • 3/15/2016 • Unabridged

    The acclaimed, award-winning historian—“America’s new past master” (Chicago Tribune)—examines the environmental legacy of FDR and the New Deal. Douglas Brinkley’s The Wilderness Warrior celebrated Theodore Roosevelt’s spirit of outdoor exploration and bold vision to protect 234 million acres of wild America. Now, in Rightful Heritage, Brinkley turns his attention to the other indefatigable environmental leader—Teddy’s distant cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, chronicling his essential yet under-sung legacy as the founder of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and premier protector of America’s public lands. FDR built from scratch dozens of State Park systems and scenic roadways. Pristine landscapes such as the Great Smokies, the Everglades, Joshua Tree, the Olympics, Big Bend, Channel Islands, Mammoth Cave, and the slickrock wilderness of Utah were forever saved by his leadership. Brinkley traces FDR’s love for the natural world from his youth exploring the Hudson River Valley and bird watching. As America’s president from 1933 to 1945, Roosevelt—consummate political strategist—established hundreds of federal migratory bird refuges and spearheaded the modern endangered species movement. He brilliantly positioned his conservation goals as economic policy to combat the severe unemployment of the Great Depression. During its nine-year existence, the CCC put nearly three million young men to work on conservation projects—including building trails in the national parks, pollution control, land restoration to combat the Dust Bowl, and planting over two billion trees. Rightful Heritage is an epic chronicle that is both an irresistible portrait of FDR’s unrivaled passion and drive, and an indispensable analysis that skillfully illuminates the tension between business and nature—exploiting our natural resources and conserving them. Within the narrative are brilliant capsule biographies of such environmental warriors as Eleanor Roosevelt, Harold Ickes, and Rosalie Edge. Rightful Heritage is essential reading for everyone seeking to preserve our treasured landscapes as an American birthright.

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    Rightful Heritage

    22.8 hrs • 3/15/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.6 hrs • 12/1/2015 • Unabridged

    From the front lines of the fracking debate, a “field philosopher” explores one of our most divisive technologies. When philosophy professor Adam Briggle moved to Denton, Texas, he had never heard of fracking. Only five years later he would successfully lead a citizens’ initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton, the first Texas town to challenge the oil and gas industry. On his journey to learn about fracking and its effects, he leaped from the ivory tower into the fray. In beautifully narrated chapters, Briggle brings us to town hall debates and neighborhood meetings where citizens wrestle with issues few fully understand. Is fracking safe? How does it affect the local economy? Why are bakeries prohibited in neighborhoods while gas wells are permitted next to playgrounds? In his quest for answers Briggle meets people like Cathy McMullen. Her neighbors’ cows asphyxiated after drinking fracking fluids, and her orchard was razed to make way for a pipeline. Cathy did not consent to drilling, but those who profited lived far out of harm’s way. Briggle’s first instinct was to think about fracking, deeply. Drawing on philosophers from Socrates to Kant, but also on conversations with engineers, legislators, and industry representatives, he develops a simple theory to evaluate fracking: we should give those at risk to harm a stake in the decisions we make, and we should monitor for and correct any problems that arise. Finding this regulatory process short-circuited, and with government and industry alike turning a blind eye to symptoms like earthquakes and nosebleeds, Briggle decides to take action. Though our field philosopher is initially out of his element, joining fierce activists like “Texas Sharon,” once called the “worst enemy” of the oil and gas industry, his story culminates in an underdog victory for Denton, now nationally recognized as a beacon for citizens’ rights at the epicenter of the fracking revolution.

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    A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking by Adam Briggle

    A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking

    10.6 hrs • 12/1/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 11.1 hrs • 11/10/2015 • Unabridged

    Award-winning journalist Simran Sethi explores the history and cultural importance of our most beloved tastes, paying homage to the ingredients that give us daily pleasure, while providing a thoughtful wake-up call to the homogenization that is threatening the diversity of our food supply. Food is one of the greatest pleasures of human life. Our response to sweet, salty, bitter, or sour is deeply personal, combining our individual biological characteristics, personal preferences, and emotional connections. Bread, Wine, Chocolate illuminates not only what it means to recognize the importance of the foods we love but also what it means to lose them. Award-winning journalist Simran Sethi reveals how the foods we enjoy are endangered by genetic erosion—a slow and steady loss of diversity in what we grow and eat. In America today, food often looks and tastes the same, whether at a San Francisco farmers market or at a Midwestern potluck. Shockingly, 95 percent of the world’s calories now come from only thirty species. Though supermarkets seem to be stocked with endless options, the differences between products are superficial, primarily in flavor and brand. Sethi draws on interviews with scientists, farmers, chefs, vintners, beer brewers, coffee roasters, and others with firsthand knowledge of our food to reveal the multiple and interconnected reasons for this loss and its consequences for our health, traditions, and culture. She travels to Ethiopian coffee forests, British yeast culture labs, and Ecuadoran cocoa plantations collecting fascinating stories that will inspire readers to eat more consciously and purposefully, better understand familiar and new foods, and learn what it takes to save the tastes that connect us with the world around us.

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    Bread, Wine, Chocolate

    11.1 hrs • 11/10/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
    11.4 hrs • 7/15/2015 • Unabridged

    Project Animal Farm provides a riveting and revealing look at what truly happens behind farm doors, as discovered by a fearless young woman. Sonia Faruqi, a twenty-five-year-old Ivy League graduate and investment banker, had no idea that the night she arrived at the doorstep of an organic dairy farm would mark the beginning of a journey that would ultimately wind all the way around the world. Instead of turning away from the animal cruelty she would come to witness, Sonia made the most courageous decision of her life—a commitment to change our current system of food production. Driven by impulsive will and a new passion, Sonia left everything she knew and loved behind to search the planet for solutions that would benefit not only farm animals, but also human health, the environment, farmers, and consumers. In doing so, she would live with farmers, hitchhike with strangers, and repeatedly risk her life. Heartfelt and brimming with rare insights, Project Animal Farm takes listeners through a top secret tour of egg warehouses in Canada, dairy feedlots in the United States, farm offices in Mexico, lush Mennonite pastures in Belize, flocks of chickens in Indonesia, and factory farms in Malaysia. Lively and filled with insight and suspense, Project Animal Farm illuminates a hidden world that plays a part in all of our lives.

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    Project Animal Farm by Sonia Faruqi

    Project Animal Farm

    11.4 hrs • 7/15/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
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  8. 6.1 hrs • 3/30/2015 • Unabridged

    Mine might have been a simple, pretty story, if not for the wolves. In late July, they emerged from the foothills. In this gripping memoir of a young man, a wolf, their parallel lives, and their ultimate collision, Bryce Andrews describes life on the remote, windswept Sun Ranch in southwest Montana. The Sun’s 20,000 acres of rangeland occupy a still-wild corner of southwest Montana—a high valley surrounded by mountain ranges and steep creeks with portentous names like Grizzly, Dead Man, and Bad Luck. Just over the border from Yellowstone National Park, the Sun holds giant herds of cattle and elk amid many predators, including bears, mountain lions, and wolves. In lyrical, haunting language, Andrews recounts marathon days and nights of building fences, riding, roping, and otherwise learning the hard business of caring for cattle, an initiation that changes him from an idealistic city kid into a skilled ranch hand. But when wolves suddenly begin killing the ranch’s cattle, Andrews has to shoulder a rifle, chase the pack, and do what he’d hoped he would never have to do. Badluck Way is about transformation, complications, and living with dirty hands every day. It is about the hard choices that wake us at night and take a lifetime to reconcile. Above all, Badluck Way celebrates the breathtaking beauty of wilderness and the satisfaction of hard work on some of the harshest, most beautiful land in the world. Badluck Way is the memorable story of one young man’s rebirth in the crucible of the West’s timeless landscape, a place at the center of the heart’s geography, savage and gorgeous in equal measure.

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    Badluck Way

    6.1 hrs • 3/30/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 12.6 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    An award-winning author’s stirring quest to find and understand an elusive and exceptionally rare species in the heart of Southeast Asia’s jungles. In 1992 in a remote mountain range, a team of scientists discovered the remains of an unusual animal with beautiful long horns. It turned out to be a living species new to western science—a saola, the first large land mammal discovered in fifty years. Rare then and rarer now, no westerner had glimpsed a live saola in the wild before Pulitzer Prize finalist and nature writer William deBuys and conservation biologist William Robichaud set off to search for it in the wilds of central Laos. The team endured a punishing trek up and down whitewater rivers and through mountainous terrain ribboned with the snare lines of armed poachers. In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin, Colin Thubron, and Peter Matthiessen, The Last Unicorn is deBuys’s look deep into one of the world’s most remote places. As in the pursuit of the unicorn, the journey ultimately becomes a quest for the essence of wildness in nature and an encounter with beauty.

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    The Last Unicorn

    12.6 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.1 hrs • 1/26/2015 • Unabridged

    A tale of the selfless courage and humanity of a few men and women living dangerously for all the right reasons, Babylon’s Ark is an inspiring and uplifting true-life adventure of individuals on both sides working together for the sake of magnificent wildlife caught in a war zone. When the Iraq war began, conservationist Lawrence Anthony could think of only one thing: the fate of the Baghdad Zoo, caught in the crossfire at the heart of the city. Once Anthony entered Iraq, he discovered that hostilities and uncontrolled looting had devastated the zoo and its animals. Working with members of the zoo staff and a few compassionate US soldiers, Anthony defended the zoo, bartered for food on war-torn streets, and scoured bombed palaces for desperately needed supplies. Babylon’s Ark chronicles Anthony’s hair-raising efforts to save a pride of Saddam’s lions, close a deplorable black-market zoo, run ostriches through shoot-to-kill checkpoints, and rescue the dictator’s personal herd of thoroughbred Arabian horses.

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    Babylon’s Ark

    8.1 hrs • 1/26/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 6.6 hrs • 1/21/2015 • Unabridged

    The twentieth century saw unprecedented growth in population, energy consumption, and food production. As the population shifted from rural to urban, the impact of humans on the environment increased dramatically. The twenty-first century ushered in an era of declines in a number of crucial parameters: • Global oil, natural gas, and coal extraction• Yearly grain harvests• Climate stability• Population• Economic growth• Fresh water• Minerals and ores, such as copper and platinum To adapt to this profoundly different world, we must begin now to make radical changes to our attitudes, behaviors, and expectations. Peak Everything addresses many of the cultural, psychological, and practical changes we will have to make as nature rapidly dictates our new limits. This latest book from Richard Heinberg touches on the most important aspects of the human condition at this unique moment in time.

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    Peak Everything

    6.6 hrs • 1/21/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 6.7 hrs • 1/21/2015 • Unabridged

    In The Vanishing Face of Gaia, British scientist James Lovelock predicts global warming will lead to a hot epoch. Lovelock is best known for formulating the controversial Gaia theory in the 1970s, with Ruth Margulis of the University of Massachusetts, which states that organisms interact with and regulate Earth’s surface and atmosphere. We ignore this interaction at our peril. An “unwilling Cassandra,” he is nevertheless an “an optimistic pessimist” and thinks we will survive the coming hot epoch, but predicts climate change will reduce our population from nine billion to around one billion or less. If simple microbial life forms could effect such a change, why is it hard to believe that humans could do so, too? And we are, unwittingly at first, but many have recognized the danger for some time now, and time is running out. There are factions at work today trying to convince the public that global warming is a leftwing conspiracy, a liberal hoax. They claim that scientists perpetuate this “myth” to obtain government grants, and point to “independent” scientists (usually funded by the oil industry) who refute climate change science. Dr. Lovelock may be the antidote to these claims, as he is a truly independent scientist. Lovelock, a chemist and inventor by profession and a climate activist, is not beholden to any government, university, or granting agency.

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    The Vanishing Face of Gaia

    6.7 hrs • 1/21/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 4.4 hrs • 6/30/2014 • Unabridged

    Kathleen Meyer presents a colorful how-to guide for surviving in the wilderness. World changes come fast and furious, and in the backcountry it is no different. The practice of “packing-it-out”—adopted to protect high-use areas and fragile ecosystems—is here to stay. We are now often urged or even required to haul our poop home. To assist with all this responsible human waste disposal, Kathleen Meyer discusses the latest in product innovations, from classy high-tech to inexpensive do-it-yourself. She covers the most current solutions to the health risks of drinking straight from wilderness waterways, presents a raft of natural substitutes for the purist who swears off toilet tissue, and offers a wealth of new recommendations for ladies who must make do without a loo. In rowing hundreds of urbanites down whitewater rivers, Meyer honed her squatting skills. Her delightfully shameless discussion of a once-shameful activity, her erudite examination of its associated vocabulary, and her unapologetic promotion of its colorful vernacular make How to Shit in the Woods essential—and vastly entertaining—listening for anyone who has ever paused at the edge of the forest and pondered, “where do I go to go?”

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    How to Shit in the Woods, Third Edition

    4.4 hrs • 6/30/14 • Unabridged
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  14. 14.3 hrs • 4/7/2014 • Unabridged

    In the mid-1990s, residents of Anniston, Alabama, began a legal fight against the agrochemical company Monsanto over the dumping of PCBs in the city’s historically African American and white working-class west side. Simultaneously, Anniston environmentalists sought to safely eliminate chemical weaponry that had been secretly stockpiled near the city during the Cold War. In this probing work, Ellen Griffith Spears offers a compelling narrative of Anniston’s battles for environmental justice, exposing how systemic racial and class inequalities reinforced during the Jim Crow era played out in these intense contemporary social movements. Spears focuses attention on key figures who shaped Anniston—from Monsanto’s founders to white and African American activists to the ordinary Anniston residents whose lives and health were deeply affected by the town’s military-industrial history and the legacy of racism. Situating the personal struggles and triumphs of Anniston residents within a larger national story of regulatory regimes and legal strategies that have affected toxic towns across America, Spears unflinchingly explores the causes and implications of environmental inequalities, showing how civil rights movement activism undergirded Anniston’s campaigns for redemption and justice.

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    Baptized in PCBs by Ellen Griffith Spears

    Baptized in PCBs

    14.3 hrs • 4/7/14 • Unabridged
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  15. 14.0 hrs • 4/1/2014 • Unabridged

    Renowned naturalist and bestselling author Jane Goodall examines the critical role that trees and plants play in our world. In her wise and elegant new audiobook, Jane Goodall blends her experience in nature with her enthusiasm for botany to give listeners a deeper understanding of the world around us.Long before her work with chimpanzees, Goodall’s passion for the natural world sprouted in the backyard of her childhood home in England, where she climbed her beech tree and made elderberry wine with her grandmother. The garden her family began then is a place she continues to enjoy today. Seeds of Hope takes us from England to Goodall’s home-away-from-home in Africa, deep inside the Gombe forest, where she and the chimpanzees are enchanted by the fig and plum trees they encounter. She introduces us to botanists around the world, as well as unique places for plants, such as The Millennium Seed Bank, where one billion seeds are preserved. This world of plants, with all its mysteries, shows us how we can heal our bodies and the planet itself.Looking at the world as an adventurer, a scientist, and a devotee of sustainable foods and gardening, Jane Goodall delivers an enlightening story of the wonders we can find in our own backyards.

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    Seeds of Hope

    By Jane Goodall, with Gail Hudson
    14.0 hrs • 4/1/14 • Unabridged
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  16. 9.6 hrs • 10/7/2013 • Unabridged

    In this inspiring, heartfelt account, Lawrence Anthony, conservationist and coauthor of The Elephant Whisperer, traces his efforts to save the endangered northern white rhino. When Lawrence Anthony learned that the northern white rhino, living in the war-ravaged Congo, was on the very brink of extinction, he knew he had to act. If the world lost the sub-species, it would be the largest land mammal since the woolly mammoth to go extinct. In The Last Rhinos, Anthony recounts his attempts to save these remarkable animals. The demand for rhino horns in the Far East has turned poaching into a dangerous black market that threatens the lives of not just these rare beasts, but also the rangers who protect them. The northern white rhino’s last refuge was in an area controlled by the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army, one of the most vicious rebel groups in the world. In the face of unmoving government bureaucracy, Anthony made a perilous journey deep into the jungle to try to find and convince them to help save the rhino. An inspiring story of conservation in the face of brutal war and bureaucratic quagmires, The Last Rhinos will move animal lovers everywhere.

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    The Last Rhinos

    By Lawrence Anthony, with Graham Spence
    Read by Simon Vance
    9.6 hrs • 10/7/13 • Unabridged
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