The Big Ones
How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What we Can do About Them)
Throughout history, human society has been threatened by earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions. This chronological survey of natural disasters from Pompeii to Fukushima, examines their causes, effects and how people have responded to them. It demonstrates their global consequences – a volcanic eruption in Iceland, for example, caused a famine that may have ignited the French Revolution – and contemplates how they might be dealt with in future.
Memories of a Meltdown
An Egyptian Between Moscow and Chernobyl
Mohamed Makhzangi was an Egyptian doctor studying in Kiev in April 1986 when the nuclear reactor exploded at Chernobyl, just 85 kilometres away. This book is his literary response, as an exile, to the tragedy of radiation and lies that befell the Soviet people.
A Journey Through the Nuclear Age, from the Atom Bomb to Radioactive Waste
From Hiroshima to Chernobyl, and Windscale to Bikini Atoll, humanity’s management of the power of atomic energy has been riven with danger, secrecy, deceit, human error and short-sighted politics. Environmental journalist Fred Pearce travels through former test sites, closed Soviet cities and toxic wastelands where radioactive wolves roam the streets, to explore the growing legacy of our nuclear past and the dilemmas facing us over decommissioning and future safety. Off-mint.
Chaos and Cosmos
Literary Roots of Modern Ecology in the British Nineteenth Century
Studying prose and poetry from the Romantic and Victorian eras alongside recent ecological writings, Heidi Scott discusses how the 19th-century literary concepts of chaos and microcosm have been adopted into ecology’s scientific epistemology.
The Fight for Beauty
Our Path to a Better Future
In an age when public policy gives precedence to economic arguments, the word ‘beauty’ is now rarely found in official documents. But Reynolds, former Director-General of the National Trust, shows that this was not always the case. Looking back at successful campaigns for heritage and nature conservation, she issues a new and urgent call to arms: ‘If we care about our future, we need to fight for beauty.’
Into the Raging Sea
Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm and the Sinking of El Faro
In 2015, an American cargo ship went down with all hands near the eye of Hurricane Joaquin. Drawing on the conversations of the crew, captured by the ship's data recorder, this analysis of the tragedy recounts the crisis as it unfolded on board, investigates the captain's decision to steer directly into the storm and reviews the shortcomings of the merchant fleet and the increased threat represented by climate change. Off-mint.
A Season in the Wilderness
This classic of American nature writing records the author’s time as a ranger in the canyons of Utah. A rallying-cry for the protection of wilderness, it describes the stark beauty of the landscape: its terracotta earth, arching rock formations, wild horses and Pueblo Indian petroglyphs. First published half a century ago, this new edition includes an introduction by the writer and wildlife campaigner Robert Macfarlane.
Earthquakes, Nations and Civilization
Throughout history, humans have rebuilt settlements destroyed by earthquakes, so that today as many as 60 of the world’s largest cities lie in areas of major seismic activity. Robinson considers how we live with this risk and respond to its challenges: he identifies opportunities for post-disaster renewal and analyses the wider political and economic ramifications of earthquakes, with case studies ranging from the great uprising by ancient Sparta’s subject peoples to debates about nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima meltdown.
Back to the Garden
Nature and the Mediterranean World from Prehistory to the Present
In a deep ecological history of the Mediterranean cultural region since the Palaeolithic era, McGregor argues that the present environmental crisis has its origins in the late-18th-century abandonment of a harmonious working relationship with Nature. American cut pages.
Return to Fukushima
On 3 March 2011 a powerful earthquake shook northern Japan, killing more than 15,000 people and triggering a tsunami that sent the Fukushima nuclear plant into meltdown. Five years later, survivors were allowed to revisit the evacuated town of Tomioka. Rebecca Bathory accompanied them into the exclusion zone. Her photographs of abandoned streets and schoolrooms vividly convey the human cost of the disaster, and offer a stark warning for the future.
Keeping the Barbarians at Bay
The Last Years of Kenneth Allsop, Green Pioneer
The writer and broadcaster Kenneth Allsop was one of Britain’s first television celebrities, but while he enjoyed the high life of fast cars and smart parties, he was also an accomplished naturalist and passionate conservationist. Drawing on his unpublished diaries and papers, this biography charts his last years, his struggles with constant pain after a form of tuberculosis, and his despair at the environmental challenges facing the world.
Goethe on Science
An Anthology of Goethe's Scientific Writings
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) is best known as Germany’s foremost poet and playwright, but he was also an accomplished all-round scientist, studying anatomy, geology, botany, zoology and colour theory. The extracts from his scientific writings reproduced in this book illustrate his belief that we should study our world as people at home in it rather than remotely, and are essential reading for anyone who feels we have lost our spiritual connection to nature.