Study Finds Rising Levels of Plastics in Oceans

Some eight million metric tons of plastic waste makes its way into the world’s oceans each year, and the amount of the debris is likely to increase greatly over the next decade unless nations take strong measures to dispose of their trash responsibly, new research suggests.

The report, which appeared in the journal Science on Thursday, is the most ambitious effort yet to estimate how much plastic debris ends up in the sea.

Jenna Jambeck, an assistant professor of environmental engineering at the University of Georgia and lead author of the study, said the amount of plastic that entered the oceans in the year measured, 2010, might be as little as 4.8 million metric tons or as much as 12.7 million.


Indian fishermen pushed their boat through plastic waste last month in Mumbai.

The paper’s middle figure of eight million, she said, is the equivalent of “five plastic grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world” — a visualization that, she said, “sort of blew my mind.”

By 2025, she said, the amount of plastic projected to be entering the oceans would constitute the equivalent of 10 bags per foot of coastline.

The researchers, from the United States and Australia, derived their estimates through a complex calculation that began with the overall mass of waste produced per person annually in 192 nations that have coastlines, worked through the proportion of that waste likely to be plastic, and how much of the plastic could end up in the ocean because of each nation’s waste management practices. The researchers then projected the amount of waste going forward based on population growth estimates.

“This is a significant study,” said Nancy Wallace, director of the marine debris program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who saw the paper before it was published.

Ms. Wallace applauded what she considered the sophisticated use of available data to estimate the amount of plastic entering the marine environment, both collectively and country by country. “Of course we know these aren’t absolute numbers, but it gives us an idea of the magnitude, and where we might need to focus our efforts to affect the issue,” she said.

The research also lists the world’s 20 worst plastic polluters, from China to the United States, based on such factors as size of coastal population and national plastic production.

According to the estimate, China tops the list, producing as much as 3.5 million metric tons of marine debris each year. The United States, which generates as much as 110,000 metric tons of marine debris a year, came in at No. 20.

While Americans generate 2.6 kilograms of waste per person per day, or 5.7 pounds, to China’s 1.10 kilograms, the United States ranked lower on the list because of its more efficient waste management, Professor Jambeck said.

Plastics have been spotted in the oceans since the 1970s. In the intervening decades, masses of junk have been observed floating where ocean currents come together, and debris can be found on the remotest beaches and in arctic sea ice.

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The problem is more than an aesthetic one: Exposed to saltwater and sun, and the jostling of the surf, the debris shreds into tiny pieces that become coated with toxic substances like PCBs and other pollutants.

Research into the marine food chain suggests that fish and other organisms consume the bite-size particles and may reabsorb the toxic substances. Those fish are eaten by other fish, and by people.

Cleaning up the plastic once it is in the oceans is impractical; only a portion of it floats, while most disappears, and presumably what does not wash ashore settles to the bottom.

Any collection system fine enough to capture the smaller particles would also pick up enormous amounts of marine life. So the best option, Professor Jambeck and others suggest, is to improve waste management ashore.

But prodding developing countries to spend money on waste management is difficult, she acknowledged. “You’ve got critical infrastructure needs first, like clean drinking water,” she said. “It’s kind of easy to push waste to the side.”

Over the years she has pursued this line of research, Professor Jambeck said, she has seen a strong, even visceral response from the public.

“You can see waste,” she said. “Not that people want to.”

By JOHN SCHWARTZFEB 12, 2015 New York Times

Nature Climate Change Scientific Journal

Here is one of the best Scientific Journals on Climate
that is accessible to the lay-reader
Recommended by John Atcheson

Public division about climate change rooted in conflicting socio-political identities

Of the climate science papers that take a position on the issue, 97% agree that climate change is caused by humans1, but less than half of the US population shares this belief2. This misalignment between scientific and public views has been attributed to a range of factors, including political attitudes, socio-economic status, moral values, levels of scientific understanding, and failure of scientific communication. The public is divided between climate change ‘believers’ (whose views align with those of the scientific community) and ‘sceptics’ (whose views are in disagreement with those of the scientific community). We propose that this division is best explained as a socio-political conflict between these opposing groups. Here we demonstrate that US believers and sceptics have distinct social identities, beliefs and emotional reactions that systematically predict their support for action to advance their respective positions. The key implication is that the divisions between sceptics and believers are unlikely to be overcome solely through communication and education strategies, and that interventions that increase angry opposition to action on climate change are especially problematic. Thus, strategies for building support for mitigation policies should go beyond attempts to improve the public’s understanding of science, to include approaches that transform intergroup relations. Read more HERE.

Regular book reviewer John Atcheson, has more than 30 years in energy and the environment with government, private industry, and the nation’s leading think tanks.  He is working on his own novel about climate change.

“Eaarth” Book Review by Bill Mckibben

Eaarth: Making a Life on a Hot New Planet
by Bill McKibben
Review by John Atcheson

You had to wonder when it would happen.  That moment when someone would take us from talk of how to prevent climate change to acknowledging that it was here already, here to stay, and that it had — and would continue — to irrevocably foreclose on many of the opportunities humanity has taken for granted for millennia.

Figures it would be Bill McKibben. His first book, The End of Nature was one of the earliest to introduce global warming into popular culture. His latest book, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Hot New Planet, lays out our grim new reality relentlessly (excerpt here). Yet it is not, fundamentally, a pessimistic book.

McKibben’s premise, that we’re already on a new and different planet just as surely as if we’d boarded a spaceship en masse and arrived at a new world, is presented convincingly.

This new world is less friendly, less accommodating, less commodious, just when we needed the old Earth to be more benign.

If you are a regular reader of Climateprogress, you already know we’re now inhabiting an alien place but McKibben’s book is still a must read.

For one thing, he has a knack for expressing complex scientific issues in ways that are accessible to the general public, often in sound bites, and in the age of Twitter this is increasingly the lingua franca of social discourse and cultural exchange – for good or ill.

Here are a few gems:

We’re running Genesis backward, decreating.

Decreating.  My spell check wants to reject that word, yet it is too apt to discard.  It is precisely what we’re engaged in.

Or take this example of ultimate irony McKibben uses with great skill to drive home how lemming-like our behavior has been on our trip to Planet Eaarth.  It appeared in Australian papers back in June of 2009:

New construction plans for the World’s largest coal export facility had been quietly altered to raise the structure two or three meters for fear of rising sea levels.

And yes, it’s true that lemmings don’t actually commit mass suicide, but some myths are too valuable to discard – besides, it appears that people do.

In describing how we’ve completely overshot any hope of preserving the old Earth, McKibben almost makes this stuff funny:

We have, in short, goosed our economy with one jolt of Viagra after another, anything to avoid facing the fact that our reproductive days were passed, and hence constant and unrelenting thrust was no longer so necessary.  (I suspect global warming is the planetary equivalent of the dread “erection lasting more than four hours” that we’re warned about “¦)

Or take this passage, where he skillfully lampoons the whole consumer excess that brought us to Eaarth when he notes the effect of $4.00 a gallon gas:

Suddenly, in fact, you felt a little less confident that you were an Explorer, a Navigator, a Forrester, a Mountaineer, a Scout,  a Tracker, a Trooper, a Wrangler, a Pathfinder, a Trailblazer. You all of a sudden were in Kansas or maybe in New Rochelle – not Durango, or Tahoe, or Denali, or the Yukon. Discovery and Escape and Excursion suddenly seemed less important than the buzz-killing fact that it took a hundred bucks to fill the tank.

Yes, he actually entertains us while mapping out our collective trip to perdition. No mean feat.

He holds out hope for a world that is richer in some ways than the one we left behind.  A world where community matters, where the scale is manageable, and where connections between people and the land are stronger, if less global.  A world, McKibben points out, that is not like Freidman’s Hot, Flat and Crowded. The time when we could grow green and maintain and expand our current globalized consumer economy came and went, according to McKibben.  On the less commodious Eaarth, the investments to do so are simply too staggering; the paucity of natural capital upon which to do it, too scant; and the share of capital spent just coping with what we’ve wrought, too high.

To a lot of global warming luminaries his message will feel like a cold mackerel slapped across their collective cheek.  Growth is civilization’s drug of choice, and like any addict, we will fight with tooth and claw to keep partaking of it.

But McKibben makes his case convincingly.  He invokes the much maligned  Limits to Growth and the Club of Rome (which, it turns out wasn’t wrong in its prognostications, merely off by a couple of decades), Jared Diamond’s Collapse and the relentless litany of facts that describe the detritus of the old Earth that is even now washing up on our shores.
But McKibben doesn’t advocate obsessing on our collapse – which he says gives us only two choices: “Either you’ve got your fingers stuck firmly in your ears or you’re down in the basement oiling your guns” – rather he calls on us “”¦ to choose, instead, to manage our descent.”  To “”¦ aim for a relatively graceful decline” (emphasis is McKibben’s).

While McKibben is standing on firm ground for most of Eaarth, he does make one misstep.  In recommending a world that is more local — in which provision of food, energy, raw materials and goods are distributed, not centralized — McKibben maintains that political power must be similarly dispersed.  He suggests that our institutions should be scaled to our technologies.  Yet managing a “graceful decline” or even a steady state economy will be the greatest collective challenge humanity has ever taken, and it is one we must take together. To presume that the actions of thousands of small entities can effect such a change — or that we can count on every one of them to do it — is to ignore most of human history.  Any strategy that invests most of the responsibility for change to a bunch of individual and essentially autonomous entities runs smack into Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons.

If humanity is to make a transition as profound as McKibben says we must, then we need even stronger institutions at both the national and international level.

The world, including many who have been tireless advocates of climate action, will likely reject McKibben’s diagnosis and his prescription — hoping against hope that we can return to Earth and have what we’ve always had by slapping a green veneer over the massive consumption machine that is our contemporary economy. But they fool only themselves. We are now on planet Eaarth, and much of out talent, capital and time will be spent coping with this harsher, less forgiving new world.

Regular CP book reviewer John Atcheson, has more than 30 years in energy and the environment with government, private industry, and the nation’s leading think tanks.  He is working on his own novel about climate change.

Purchase this book HERE

The Dog Stars

The Dog Stars:
A Must-Read Novel On Climate Change
That Doesn’t Use The Words ‘Climate Change’
Review by John Atcheson

The Dog Stars, a debut novel by Peter Heller, succeeds on so many levels it’s almost frightening.

It is a piece of literary fiction that is likely to be a best seller.

It is a dystopic future tale that is nevertheless full of beauty.

It is a moving novel that illustrates the horror of climate change, without ever mentioning climate change.

Heller paints a grim picture of the world we are even now sculpting, populates it with people who are desperately violent or violently desperate, but leavens it with a triumph of the human spirit in the form of Hig, one of the most endearing and unlikely heroes to show up in fiction in a long time.

Hig, a pilot, lives in an abandoned airport in what appears to be an armed truce with his companion of nine years, a tough survivalist who refers to himself only as Bangley.  Their relationship seems, at first, strictly one of convenience.  Each contributes to the survivability of the other.  Bangley tackles the job of killing marauders with verve; Hig does so with reluctance.  He wants to believe in people, but it is a world which punishes people who do.

It is set sometime near the middle of this century. The natural world is in the process of being devastated by climate change and much of the world’s population has been killed by a pandemic.  Nine years have passed since Hig lost his wife, since the world crumpled into this chaos.

It is certainly one of the better novels addressing climate change out there, but as noted, it doesn’t once use the words climate change or global warming.  And therein lies its strength.  It reveals this new world without lecture, rancor or melodrama, and it does so through the eyes of a character we care about.  As a result, we aren’t beaten over the head with a message; we are exposed to a dramatic tragedy, which, as Whitehead put it, “… resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things.”

At the end of the day, fiction must stand on story, character and damn good writing to succeed.  When it does, it reaches us on a visceral level, and it can be a powerful way to move us.

Heller, an award winning writer for Outdoor Magazine, succeeds on all three levels in his first foray into fiction.

Too many of us, writing novels that include climate change as part of the story allow the facts to compromise the fiction.  Even great writers such as Ian McEwan fall into this trap. I recently published an eco-thriller centered on global warming, part of a trilogy – and I definitely wrestled with this issue.  Still do.

Heller doesn’t.  He transcends it. Yet no one reading this book could fail to be moved by it, and by the future Hig lives in.

One word of caution.  Heller’s prose is not conventional.  It is reminiscent of Cormack McCarthy’s writing in Blood Meridian or perhaps The Road, a Pulitzer Prize winning book Dog Stars has been compared to.  Stark. Clipped sentences.  Non-sentences. No quotation marks. But …

As Robert Penn Warren said of McCarthy, Heller’s writing “… has, line by line, the stab of actuality.”  This kind of fiction must be done well to succeed and avoid the trap of being merely pretentious. Heller succeeds.

Jasper, Hig’s faithful dog and copilot, is one of the best canine characters since Enzo In the Art of Racing in the Rain, and it is Jasper’s death that launches Hig on what could be a one-way journey into the unknown that ultimately redeems his belief in a life with love, friendship and hope.

The past – our present — is as much a part of this book as is the hellish future Hig lives in, and Heller creates it seamlessly; indeed, Hig’s wife and his pre-apocalyptic life are evoked poignantly, and they seem as alive to the reader as they are for Hig.  Once again, Heller manages this without resorting to melodrama or cheap emotional appeals.

It’s difficult to give this book its due without going into the plot in more detail, but that pleasure should be left to the reader, without some reviewer imposing his views or otherwise spoiling it.  Better to let it unfold, the way all great stories must.

Heller’s restraint and discipline are the stuff or great literature, and his mastery of story is the stuff of great reads.  That is why this book should do well now, and be read long into the future, as a classic.

Provided we leave ourselves a future in which we have the luxury of books.

Dog Stars. Buy it. Read it. Pass it on.

John Atcheson has more than 30 years in energy and the environment with government, private industry, and the nation’s leading think tanks. He recently published his own novel, A Being Darkly Wise, the first book of a trilogy chronicling a small band’s attempt to save some part of the world as it unravels in the face of the great warming.

Merchants of Doubt

How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from smoking to global warming
Review by John Atcheson

In Merchants of Doubt Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway take us on a fascinating trip down what they call Tobacco Road.  Take the journey with them, and you’ll see renowned scientists abandon science, you’ll see environmentalism equated with communism, and you’ll discover the connection between the Cold War and climate denial.

And for the most part, you’ll be entertained along the way.

Oreskes and Conway are historians who focus on science. What they do best is to sort through history’s discarded headlines and peak into the nooks and crannies of scientific literature to weave together their tale and to reveal the hypocrisy and hubris of a few scientists who show up again and again in contrarian positions against established science.

The trip exposes an unlikely link between Manhattan project scientists and the cult of denial that confronted virtually every major public health and environmental initiative of the last sixty years.

The original villains in this story are Fred Seitz, Fred Singer, William Nierenberg, and Robert Jastrow – physicists all.  Sietz and Neirenberg had been involved in building the atomic bomb, and both had worked on other weapons programs.  Nierenberg had been the Director of the Scripps Institute and Jastrow, an astrophysicist, had headed up The Goddard Institute for Space Studies and he’d been a successful author of books popularizing space. Singer was a virtual rocket scientist and he had been the first Director of the National Weather Satellite Service. Seitz had been President of the National Academy of Sciences.  Each had worked with or for the Reagan administration.

Oreskes and Conway set the table by giving the impressive credentials of these distinguished scientists then asking:

Why would scientists dedicated to uncovering the truth about the natural world deliberately misrepresent the work of their colleagues?  Why would they spread accusations with no basis?  Why would they not correct their arguments once they had been shown to be incorrect?  And why did the press continue to quote them, year after year, even as their claims were shown, one after another, to be false?

Just as Yali’s question sets up Jarred Diamond’s inquiry in Guns Germs and Steel, these questions animate the discussion in the rest of this book.

The authors trace these scientists through the original denier/delayer effort — the cynical “Doubt is our Product” campaign of the tobacco industry, to the current climate denier campaign, with stops at the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), Acid Rain, the Ozone Hole, the second hand smoke issue, and a swipe at Rachel Carson for good measure.  Along the way, they accumulate fellow travelers such as Lomborg, Lindzen, Michaels, a host of neoclassical economists ready to discount the future down to or near zero, and of course, Conservative politicians.

Each of these campaigns could fit the same template: seemingly credible scientists, conservative think tanks (some created just for the campaigns), allied with industry, lubricated liberally with money and PR savvy, and leavened with a conviction that the ends justified the means.  This explains why talented scientists willingly jettisoned the scientific method.

And what was the end that justified this extreme behavior?

An almost religious conviction in small government and the potential evils of big government; a doctrinaire belief in unconstrained free markets and the purity of capitalism;  and the conviction that “environmentalism” and other do-gooder efforts threatened our free market, capitalistic system.

Oreskes and Conway show why cold warriors saw threats to their brand of uber-capitalism as threats to the United States, and they show how environmentalism came to be seen by them as “green on the outside, but red on the inside.”  The evolution of the Marshall Institute from SDI defender to Exxon-funded climate denier is particularly illustrative.

Climate scientists themselves come in for part of the blame. As the authors point out, while Singer et. al. and their allies from corporations and think tanks cast their disinformation and misinformation directly to the people, the press and politicians, the climate scientists, for the most part, spoke quietly among themselves.

No disinformation campaign can succeed without the cooperation of the press, and the authors provide some egregious examples of how the press in general, and such conservative organs as the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times in particular, printed long discredited information and baseless personal attacks, and declined to print rebuttals or retractions when the errors were pointed out.

The book is not without flaws. For example, while they document the press’s individual failures, they don’t hold the discipline as a whole to account to the extent that the media deserves.  For example, consider the following statement:
In creating the appearance of science, the merchants of doubt sold a plausible    story about scientific debate.  They created a Potemkin Village populated, in only a few cases, with actual scientists.  A reasonable journalist, not to mention the ordinary citizens, could be forgiven for having been fooled.

Really? Their tactics were crude, the lies obvious, and the truth knowable with only a cursory web search.  If the press was “fooled,” it was because they were either hopeless slackers, or they wanted to be fooled.

The authors also describe the scientific method in a manner that makes it sound like a popularity contest. Their almost exclusive focus on peer reviews and peer consensus ignores the critical role of testable hypotheses and empirical observation.  In the end, it is the quality and reproducibility of the data that speaks, and it forms the basis for the peer reviews.  In their prescription for ‘A New View of Science,” they repeat this perspective, saying, “What  counts as knowledge are the ideas that are accepted by the fellowship of experts “¦” This is a slippery slope, in which old theories never die and new ones could be subject to the whims of the times.

In the end, the authors correctly note that what motivates deniers is political ideology, not science.  As CP’s Joe Romm put it in Hell and High Water, the reason most political conservatives and libertarians deny the reality of human-induced climate change is that they simply cannot stand the solution. So they attack both the solution and the science.

Despite its small flaws, Merchants is an impressive and disturbing piece of scholarship that does a good job of answering the questions they pose.  It should be read by every editor and every member of Congress, and by climate scientists as well.

Here is a terrific talk by Oreskes:

Purchase the book HERE


Kingsolver’s Latest Novel Shows Climate Change In Real Time

Barbara Kingsolver’s Latest Novel ‘Flight Behavior’
Shows Climate Change In Real Time
Review by John Atcheson

Reading the opening scene of Flight Behavior, one could easily believe they’d somehow become immersed in a bad country western song — something like “Third Rate Romance, Low Rent Rendezvous.”

Protagonist Dellarobia Turnbow is fleeing the white clapboard house that has been at once her home and her prison since she was seventeen, to hook up with a guy who probably drives a pick up and aims to do her bad, but she can’t help herself because “… the anticipation of him prickled her skin.” On her way, she is waylaid by an ethereal vision of a forest aflame.

If this sounds prosaic, it’s because it is. The book starts slow, and teeters to the brink of cliché, albeit sporting some of the best prose you’ll ever read. But that flaming forest hangs out there like a metaphor without a point of reference for a little too long, risking a reader who isn’t so much intrigued, as frustrated.

But that’s before Kingsolver works her alchemy. In Poisonwood Bible, Kingsolver proved she is a talented writer, capable of telling important and compelling stories in prose that flows with all the beauty, clarity and snap of a glacial stream. And though she takes her time in Flight Behavior, ultimately she delivers.

Climate change is the leitmotif of this novel. It is the driving force behind all that happens, and it is heralded by that flaming forest Dellarobia rushes through on her way to an assignation that never happens.

It turns out that the flames are Monarch butterflies, cast adrift by a combination of deforestation in their traditional breeding grounds in Mexico and a warming world.

Dellarobia is also adrift. She is the proverbial “smart girl” trapped by circumstance, and when Ovid Byron — a world class expert on Monarch butterflies — shows up on her property to study the monarchs, she begins a journey that will ultimately allow her to grow and escape her moorings. Ovid is attractive, serious, unattainable and therefore irresistible. To add fuel to this girl’s fire, he bonds with her son, the precocious Preston, in a way that none of her peers possibly could.

Ovid allows Kingsolver to dole out information on climate change in a way that is organic to the story. The tale he tells is told as a tragedy, in the sense that Alfred Lord Whithead put it: “The essence of tragedy lies in the remorseless working of things.” When Dellarobia tells Ovid “I don’t know how you get through the day, knowing what you know,” he eventually answers “For scientists, reality is not optional.”

Most novels built around climate change resort to narratives of dystopic futures, when the tragedy has already played out. Kingsolver immerses us in the tragedy as it unfolds in real-time. As a writer, this is a challenge — unwinding the slow motion destruction of the natural world by our species doesn’t lend itself to compelling narrative.

I struggled with this in my own novel, A Being Darkly Wise, which is also a contemporary tale centered on climate change. I’ll leave it to others to decide whether I succeeded or not, but Kingsolver definitely does.

Kingsolver embeds Dellarobia in a small town that is conservative, evangelical, emotionally stifling and in the midst of a near apocalyptic rainy season. In fact, all the seasons are askew. Winter is too warm, freak cold snaps appear when they shouldn’t — in short, it is experiencing climate change.

But the real genius of this novel is how Kingsolver intertwines the larger story of what is happening to the world, into the life of Dellarobia and her fellow townspeople. The struggles between faith and science, commerce and conscience, reverence and ennui are our struggles, the small triumphs and epic failures are our legacies.

One of the astounding things she accomplishes is to reveal why people fall for denier claptrap, and in the process, make them sympathetic. In fact, there isn’t a real antagonist in this story — another challenge for a writer, and another she takes on with skill and grace.

Those people, who seemed at first to be redneck caricatures, emerge as real people, and their desire to belong to the culture in which they find themselves is the force that makes them accept counterfactual denier talking points. Interestingly, recent research supports the idea that one’s peer group has more to do with whether one accepts climate science than education. At one point, after Ovid has gone through how grim the future looks as a result of global warming, Dellarobia says, “I’m not saying I don’t believe you, I’m saying I can’t.”

The author’s background in biology shows through. Her knowledge of the life cycle of the Monarch and the rhythms of the natural world is encyclopedic, and her skill as a writer allows her to showcase that knowledge in a way that interests and delights.

Kingsolver, who lives in the Appalachians that are the setting for this story, deals in shades of grey, and exhibits genuine sympathy and affection for all her rural characters. Dellarobia’s husband, Cub, isn’t a villain, he’s simply a gentle giant miscast as the mate of a smarter, more independent woman, who is with her only because she became pregnant. Her mother-in-law, Hester — the closest thing to an antagonist in the story, and an apparent paragon of piety and virtue — ends up having been trapped in her marriage in much the same way Dellarobia did. The minister of their church believes in stewardship of the Earth, not dominion over it. And just to keep things from becoming too sweet, Dellarobia’s best friend, Dovey, is a wisecracking rebel who sees the world through a cynic’s eyes.

Kingsolver evokes the claustrophobic world of rural Tennessee with equal grace and tolerance. It is a world Dellarobia begins to escape when she goes to work as a lab assistant for Ovid. The interaction between her and the more urban graduate students working with Ovid is as entertaining as it is evocative of how different their worlds are. At one point, Dellarobia resorts to telling one of the grad students who is amazed that she owns a sewing machine and is capable of actually using it, that it’s not “… like an atom smasher or anything.”

Kingsolver allows Dellarobia to transcend the limits of her environment. While her flame-red hair is obviously the same color as the Monarch, Kingsolver does not allow the Monarch much likelihood of doing the same.

She seems to be saying that we can still expect moments of grace and transcendence for individuals, but the world will not be so lucky.

Flight Behavior starts a little slow, but if you’re patient, you’ll be rewarded with a glimpse of people struggling to make a life in a world that is changing beneath their feet, told by one of the best contemporary writers out there.

John Atcheson, a former UUFSD Board President, DOE and EPA official, is the Climate Progress book reviewer. He has his own book out available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon, A Being Darkly Wise: A Novel Of Survival.

Buy Flight Behavior HERE.


The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture

An inspiring fast-read that serves as a grassroots how-to guide and cultural reflection.
Review by Wenda Alvarez

The book review excerpt that follows is from a book review by Susan Gardner, published in the Daily Kos. You can read the complete Review HERE.

The Green Boat is definitely not a book that throws statistics at the reader in hopes of convincing her of the reality change. It also is not a primer on persuading the undecided. Ultimately, The Green Boat is a handbook of hope for those fighting the climate fight. Pipher brings a deep compassion to and understanding of the strains of being committed to a political movement, and an optimism and clear-eyed resilience sorely needed in political activism. Besides her own brand of strength and full-hearted commitment, she shares advice from other activists and philosophers throughout the ages.

I can think of no better way to close the review than quoting one of her favorites, Frederich Buechner: ‘God calls you to the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

That place is here, Planet Earth, the green boat that carries us all.

Purchase this book HERE.

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