Must-Read Books with Environmental Themes

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I am sure you all will agree with this universal fact that a good book is a man’s best friend. Penning down the random thoughts that your mind is brimming with is one of the best ways of relaxation that one can have. And for those who are in genuine love with nature and work for her betterment, voicing their thoughts through pen&paper is the best way to create the awareness towards environment conservation. The following books are the skillful portrayal of fictional/true accounts with environmental themes in a vivacious way that makes all stick to the book along with making us all aware of what carnage we are stepping towards gradually. While some talks of the extreme climatic changes that we are facing due to global warming, some address the issue of overpopulation. With environment conservation being the alarming concern around let us all have a sneak-peek to the world of those who have unquestioningly surrendered their life to the protection/conservation of their Mother Nature. These books are the reflection of the reality with a skillful touch of fiction weaved with them so that the entertainment factor remains the same while we are on a journey of acknowledging the catastrophic consequences of our deeds.

The Caretaker Trilogy, 2006, 2008, 2009, by David Klass

Love thrillers…?/ Well this one would be a must pick for you. Interweaving thriller suspense with strong environmental messages this series of environment-thriller is sure to impress you with its fictional depiction of catastrophic climatic conditions faced due to deliberate negligence of humans. One of the bestsellers this novel takes you deep into the ocean (Firestorm), then through the mystified woods of Amazons (Whirlwind) finally all culminating in the snow-capped mountains of the polar regions (Timelock).

High on entertainment value, Klass provides his readers with the dichotomy present in the mankind often oscillating between his extreme moral limitations and extreme lust for achieving higher ambitions.

The protagonist Jack is portrayed as an Everyman figure here who always suffers from this dichotomy of good and bad but ultimately ends up choosing the good deed of saving the nature by risking own life and committing sacrifices in order to save the mankind.

Mother of Storms, 1994, by John Barnes

One of the bestselling novels till date in the science-fiction category Mother of Storms skillfully exposes the grotesqueness of the lustful nature of humans. Centered on the theme of a nuclear explosion that results in a giant hurricane rapidly changing the face of the Earth the book explicitly brings forth the carnage scenario of such extreme situation. The book can also be seen as an attack on the rapid investments that were initiated back then to a uncountable number of scientific projects by the US government done at the cost of damaging nature and also human lives. Several nuclear projects taken on during this time around by the US government tasted failure and left a gross impact behind. The surrounding areas where these experiments were being carried out were devastated completely with the land being barren and thus of no use. The residents of such areas were being shifted forcefully to other locations, yet the effects of such experiments could not be avoided. The rays from such experiments had deformed newborns, and several physical deformities, especially skin diseases among the masses as its aftermath. The book portrays this situation with the fictional touch of a hurricane that sweeps through the mankind with only two computer augmented human intelligence surviving through. Despite such gross portrayal, the book ends on an optimistic note where these two figures taste success in saving the earth from further devastation.

Make Room!! Make Room!!, 1966, by Harry Harrison

As the title of the book hints Make Room! Make Room! Portrays a future that is corroded by a global population of seven billion subjected to crumbled infrastructure of the US, and the inability of the government to curb problems such as resource shortages, and overcrowding. While the 1966 version essentially focuses on overpopulation and its impact on shortage and over-exploitation of natural resources propagating the need for birth control, the recent edition of 2008 edited by the author himself focuses on the lack of sustainable energy shortly. The book displays a gross but a true picture of a world that we might face as a race where all the “farmlands are poisoned by pollution or absorbed in growing dust bowl” along with a paralyzed government struggling to provide basic needs to a dysfunctional population. This book narrates the picture in a humorous tone though as readers we can make out the lack of faith in governmental policies towards environmental conservation in the author’s tone. This piece of work is a reflection of what we are as “rational” humans and also what we might become if we do not stop our heinous deeds immediately.

The Windward Road: Adventures of a Naturalist on Remote Caribbean Shores, 2001, by Archie Carr

A first-hand account of days spent around Caribbean region the book was first published in 1956. This book provides a beautiful description of the creatures as well as of the islands over there through Dr. Archie Carr’s experiences that he garnered during his stay over there.  Studying the behavioral and migratory pattern of sea turtle the author also provides a detailed description of Kemp’s Ridley, a lesser known species back then. A guide to oceanic creatures and how their behavior and the migratory pattern gets influenced by climatic and environmental changes, especially that of sea turtles is what this book is all about. With a ton of fair narration, this book beautifully describes the natives of islands, their behavior to the oceanic creatures in great detail. This book also in a way preaches the importance of cooperation among the creatures of eco-chain to maintain the essence of biodiversity on this earth.

Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth’s Justice, 2003, by Cormac Cullinan

Believed to bring forth a revolution in the field of environmental laws book is indeed worth reading to dig a bit deeper to the patents and laws that we have today regarding environment conservation. The term suggests a meaning beyond the conventional understanding of laws related to wilderness and wildlife. Cullinan here proposes to see the ecosystem and natural communities as legal persons with legal rights. And with natural communities he essentially emphasizes on the indigenous people who are somewhere outside the conventional framework of “civilization” yet harbors a great deal of genuine affection for Mother Nature. Since its publication several workshops and seminars have been surfaced on this topic all urging to change the conventional meaning of Wild Law. The book literary enlightens all with the significant role that the indigenous communities play in saving the nature and the subsequent need for promoting their work and welfare; along with the active participation of people to save the dignity of his environment.

Another book worth mentioning in this list would be The Green Bible, 2008 which is a critical approach to Bible from the environmental perspective.

The book draws the chapters emphasizing environmental issue in green to draw the readers’ attention. It is a must read for all as it intermingles religion and environment together in a skillful way reminding us all of the fact that we are in dire need of a Garden of Eden, the original earth, where we can all be bereft of any sins and live blissfully.

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