Commissioner Frank Avila

Commissioner Avila-approved further reading

Author: Lester R. Brown

About: As fossil fuel prices rise, oil insecurity deepens, and concerns about climate change cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new energy economy is emerging. Wind, solar, and geothermal energy are replacing oil, coal, and natural gas, at a pace and on a scale we could not have imagined even a year ago. For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, we have begun investing in energy sources that can last forever. Plan B 4.0 explores both the nature of this transition to a new energy economy and how it will affect our daily lives.

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Plan B 4.0 - Mobilizing to Save Civilization 

Author: Thomas M. Kostigen

About: In this groundbreaking book, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Green Book Thomas M. Kostigen reveals the vital missing link in today's environmental crisis: how we as individuals are connected to the most tenuous geography on the planet. Despite the recent prominence of "green" issues in the news, the direct relationship between our actions and the earth is too often ignored. But the seemingly insignificant things we do every day have the power to literally alter the landscape in the ongoing battle to resuscitate the planet.​

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You Are Here

Author: Rachel Carson

About: Silent Spring began with a “fable for tomorrow” – a true story using a composite of examples drawn from many real communities where the use of DDT had caused damage to wildlife, birds, bees, agricultural animals, domestic pets, and even humans. Carson used it as an introduction to a very scientifically complicated and already controversial subject. This “fable” made an indelible impression on readers and was used by critics to charge that Carson was a fiction writer and not a scientist.

 

Serialized in three parts in The New Yorker, where President John F. Kennedy read it in the summer of 1962, Silent Spring was published in August and became an instant best-seller and the most talked about book in decades. Utilizing her many sources in federal science and in private research, Carson spent over six years documenting her analysis that humans were misusing powerful, persistent, chemical pesticides before knowing the full extent of their potential harm to the whole biota.

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Silent Spring

Author: New Revised Standard Version

About: The Green Bible will equip and encourage people to see God's vision for creation and help them engage in the work of healing and sustaining it. With over 1,000 references to the earth in the Bible, compared to 490 references to heaven and 530 references to love, the Bible carries a powerful message for the earth. This Green-Letter edition of the Bible will highlight scriptures in green ink that teach about God's care for creation and how God interacts with creation, in an effort to bring greater awareness to how this message is woven throughout the Old and New Testaments. Essays from leading conservationists and theologians on how to read the Bible through a 'green lens' as well as a green topical index and Green Bible trail guide for personal study will be paired with teachings throughout the ages to show people how caring for God's creation is not only a calling, but a lifestyle.

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The Green Bible

Author: Michael Moss

About: The U.S. has the highest rate of obesity in the world, much of it due to the abundance of cheap, calorie-rich, processed food. Food companies manipulate our biological desires to scientifically engineer foods that induce cravings to overeat, using terms like "mouth feel" for fats and "bliss point" for sugars to tinker with formulations that will trigger the optimum food high. Moss portrays how the industry discovered the allure of added sugar in the 1900s and has been jacking up the levels ever since without regard for consumer health, all in a race for market share. The food industry is not going to change, but this book is a wake-up call to the issues and tactics at play and to the fact that we are not helpless in facing them down. Moss is an investigative reporter with the New York Times; he won a Pulitzer Prize in 2010 for his investigation of the dangers of contaminated meat. 

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Salt, Sugar, Fat

Author: Michael Pollan

About: In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankind's most basic yearnings — and by doing so made themselves indispensable. For, just as we’ve benefited from these plants, the plants, in the grand co-evolutionary scheme that Pollan evokes so brilliantly, have done well by us. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?

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The Botany of Desire

Author: E.G. Vallianatos with McKay Jenkins

AboutImagine walking into a restaurant and finding chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides, or neonicotinoid insecticides listed in the description of your entree. They may not be printed on the menu, but many are in your food. These are a few of the literally millions of pounds of approved synthetic substances dumped into the environment every day, not just in the US but around the world. They seep into our water supply, are carried thousands of miles by wind and rain from the site of application, remain potent long after they are deposited, and constitute, in the words of one scientist, "biologic death bombs with a delayed time fuse and which may prove to be, in the long run, as dangerous to the existence of mankind as the arsenal of atom bombs". All of these poisons are sanctioned--or in some cases, ignored--by the EPA. For 25 years E.G. Vallianatos saw the EPA from the inside, with rising dismay over how pressure from politicians and threats from huge corporations were turning it from the public's watchdog into a "polluter's protection agency." Based on his own experience, the testimony of colleagues, and hundreds of documents Vallianatos collected inside the EPA, Poison Spring reveals how the agency has continually reinforced the chemical-industrial complex.

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Poison Spring

Author: Carey Gillam

About the authorCarey Gillam is a Kansas girl, of the heart and home. But her research has taken her throughout rural America. She has spent time with row crop farmers, ranchers, vegetable growers and orchard operators from the Dakotas to Texas, and from California to the Southeast. She has been welcomed inside the high-tech laboratories, greenhouses and corporate offices of some of the largest U.S. agribusinesses. And she has spent countless hours interviewing key U.S. regulators, lawmakers, and scientists. With years of this behind-the-scenes reporting, Gillam has developed deep insight into the risks and rewards of the modern-day food system, and hopes to share that knowledge with others who care about the food they eat and feed to their families

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Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science

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