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Science

  • Author:
    Shane, Janelle
    Summary:

    AI is everywhere. It powers the autocorrect function of your iPhone, helps Google Translate understand the complexity of language, and decides which of your friends' Facebook posts you most want to see. In the coming years, it'll perform medical diagnoses and drive your car, and maybe even help our authors write the first lines of their novels. But how does it actually work?

  • Author:
    Fonda, Jane
    Summary:

    A call to action from Jane Fonda, one of the most inspiring activists of our time, urging us to wake up to the looming disaster of climate change and equipping us with the tools we need to join her in protest "This is the last possible moment in history when changing course can mean saving lives and species on an unimaginable scale. It's too late for moderation." In the fall of 2019, frustrated with the obvious inaction of politicians and inspired by Greta Thunberg, Naomi Klein, and student climate strikers, Jane Fonda moved to Washington, D.C., to lead weekly climate change demonstrations on Capitol Hill. On October 11, she launched Fire Drill Fridays, and has since led thousands of people in nonviolent civil disobedience, risking arrest to protest for action. In What Can I Do? , Fonda weaves her deeply personal journey as an activist alongside conversations with and speeches by leading climate scientists and inspiring community organizers, and dives deep into the issues, such as water, migration, and human rights, to emphasize what is at stake. Most significantly, Fonda equips us all with the tools we need to join her in protest, so that everyone can work to combat the climate crisis. No stranger to protest, Fonda's life has been famously shaped by activism. And now she is once again galvanizing the public to take to the streets. Many are already aware of the looming disaster of climate change and realize that a moral responsibility rests on our shoulders. In 2019, we saw atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases hit the highest level ever recorded in human history, and our window of opportunity to act is quickly closing. We are facing a climate crisis, but we're also facing an empathy crisis and an inequality crisis; the surge of protests over police violence against black Americans has once again highlighted the links between racism and environmental degradation in our country. It isn't only earth's life-support systems that are unraveling. So too is our social fabric. This is going to take an all-out war on drilling and fracking and deregulation and racism and misogyny and colonialism and despair all at the same time. As Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA and Fonda's partner in developing Fire Drill Fridays, has declared, "Change is inevitable; by design, or by disaster." Together, we can commandeer change for the positive—but it will require collective actions taken by social movements on an unprecedented scale. The problems we face now require every one of us to join the fight. The fight for not only our immediate future, but for the future of generations to come. *This audiobook program includes a PDF of photographs and graphs. 100% of the author's net proceeds from What Can I Do ? will go to Greenpeace

  • Author:
    Le Bel, Pauline
    Summary:

    An exhilarating mix of natural history and personal exploration Whale in the Door is a passionate account of a woman’s transformative experience of her adopted home.

    For thousands of years, Howe Sound, an inlet in the Salish Sea provided abundant food, shelter, and stories, for the Squamish Nation. After a century of contamination from pulp mills, a chemical factory, and a copper mine, the Sound, a noisy, stinky, polluted place, contained many biologically dead zones. Marine life was severely diminished. But major efforts by the Squamish Nation, governments, and industry has produced dramatic returns of herring, dolphins, porpoises, orcas, and humpbacks.

    Today, Howe Sound, a spectacular fjord in Vancouver’s backyard, is a popular recreation and tourism destination. The recovery, however, is fragile. The Sound is being inundated with proposals for re-industrialization-a controversial liquid natural gas plant, pipelines, super tankers, a gravel mine on a salmon-bearing estuary, and major residential and commercial developments.

    Pauline Le Bel, a resident of Howe Sound, embarks on a journey of discovery to find out what is special about the Sound, its wild nature and its people, to witness the cultural and spiritual revivals taking place. Her research, her interviews, her travels on the land, the water, the skies of Howe Sound, compel her to abandon antiquated ideas about wilderness and community, and to arrive at a new appreciation for the genius of her home.

    Whale in the Door invites readers into a story of biological resilience as a community struggles to shape a vision for its future.

  • Author:
    Quarmby, Lynne
    Summary:

    Concern about the climate crisis is widespread as humans struggle to navigate life in uncertain times. From the vantage of a schooner full of artists on an adventure in the high Arctic, biologist Lynne Quarmby explains the science that convinced her of an urgent need to act on climate change and recounts how this knowledge - and the fear and panic it elicited - plunged her into unsustainable action, ending in arrests, lawsuits, and a failed electoral campaign on behalf of the Green Party of Canada.Watermelon Snowweaves memoir, microbiology, and artistic antics together with descriptions of a sublime Arctic landscape. At the top of the warming world, Quarmby struggles with burnout and grief while an aerial artist twirls high in the ship's rigging, bearded seals sing mournfully, polar bears prowl, and glaciers crumble into the sea. In a compelling narrative, sorrow and fear are balanced by beauty and wonder. The author's journey back from a life out of balance includes excursions into evolutionary history where her discoveries reveal the heart of human existence. The climate realities are as dark as the Arctic winter, yet this is a book of lightness and generosity. Quarmby's voice, intimate and original, illuminates the science while offering a reminder that much about the human experience is beyond reason.Inspiring and deeply personal, Watermelon Snowis the story of one scientist's rediscovery of what it means to live a good life at a time of increasing desperation about the future.

  • Author:
    Varol, Ozan O.
    Summary:

    You don't have to be a rocket scientist to think like one. Ozan Varol reveals nine simple strategies from rocket science that you can use to make your own giant leaps in work and life. Those who can tackle complex and unfamiliar problems, without clear guidelines and with the clock ticking, enjoy an extraordinary advantage.

  • Author:
    Hippel, William von
    Summary:

    Bill von Hippel traces human development through three critical evolutionary inflection points to explain how events in our distant past shape our lives today. From the mundane, such as why we exaggerate, to the surprising, such as why we believe our own lies and why fame and fortune are as likely to bring misery as happiness, the implications are far reaching and extraordinary.

  • Author:
    Mearns, David L.
    Summary:

    David L. Mearns has discovered some of the world's most fascinating and elusive shipwrecks. This book chronicles his most intriguing finds. It describes the extraordinary techniques used, the detailed research and mid-ocean stamina and courage required to find a wreck thousands of feet beneath the sea, as well as the moving human stories that lie behind each of these oceanic tragedies.

  • Author:
    Barnatt, Christopher
    Summary:

    The Next Big Thing explores future revolutions that will determine how things are made, who we share the planet with, where resources come from, and the evolution of the human species. Beyond 2030, the way we live today will no longer be sustainable. We will therefore need to develop technologies including 3D printing, synthetic biology and space travel if our civilization is to survive and thrive.

  • Author:
    Robinson, Kim Stanley
    Summary:

    Established in 2025, the purpose of the new organization was simple: To advocate for the world's future generations and to protect all living creatures, present and future. It soon became known as the Ministry for the Future, and this is its story.

  • Author:
    Patrick-Goudreau, Colleen
    Summary:

    Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has guided countless individuals through the process of becoming vegan. Now, she shares her insights into why some people stay vegan and others stop. In these pages, Colleen shares her wisdom for managing common challenges and arms readers, both vegan and plant-based, with solutions and strategies for creating a sustainable vegan lifestyle.

  • Author:
    Ghosh, Amitav
    Summary:

    Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh examines our inability to grasp the scale and violence of climate change, and asks us to imagine other forms of human existence, a task to which fiction is the best suited of all cultural forms.

  • Author:
    Guillen, Michael
    Summary:

    In nearly all aspects of life, modern science is leading us into vast uncharted territory. Today scientists are performing experiments that threaten to fundamentally alter the practical character and ethical color of our everyday lives. Michael Guillen examines how the scientific community is pushing the boundaries of morality.

  • Author:
    Svensson, Patrik
    Summary:

    Remarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have, for centuries, been obsessed with what has become known as the "eel question": Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don't understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. They remain a mystery.

  • Author:
    Piore, Adam
    Summary:

    Adam Piore introduces the field of bioengineering--which can be used to reverse engineer, rebuild, and augment human beings--and paints a vivid portrait of the people at its center to explore how new developments will forever change what's possible for humankind.

  • Author:
    Johnston, Sean F.
    Summary:

    This is the story of a seductive idea. Over the past century, the potential of new technology to solve social dilemmas has captivated modern culture. From apps that encourage physical activity to airport scanners meant to prevent terrorism, the concept that clever innovation can improve society is irresistible, but faith in such technological fixes is seldom questioned. Where did this idea come from, what makes it so appealing, and how does it endanger our future? Techno-Fixers traces the source of modern confidence in technology to engineering hubris, radical utopian movements, science fiction fanzines, policy-makers' soundbites, corporate marketing, and optimistic consumer culture from the turn of the twentieth century until today. Sean Johnston demonstrates that, through the promotion of prominent government scientists, technocrats, entrepreneurs, and popular media, modern invention became the favourite tool for addressing human problems and society's ills. Nonetheless, when it comes to assessing the success of cigarette filters as the solution to safe smoking, or DDT as the answer for agricultural productivity, the evidence is sobering. Cautioning that the rhetoric of technological fixes seldom matches reality, Johnston examines how employing innovation to bypass traditional methods can foster as many problems as it solves. A critical examination of modern faith in technology, Techno-Fixers evaluates past mistakes, present implications, and future opportunities for innovating societies.

  • Author:
    Freeman, John
    Summary:

    Building from his acclaimed anthology Tales of Two Americas, beloved writer and editor John Freeman draws together a group of our greatest writers from around the world to help us see how the environmental crisis is hitting some of the most vulnerable communities where they live. In the past five years, John Freeman, previously editor of Granta, has launched a celebrated international literary magazine, Freeman's , and compiled two acclaimed anthologies that deal with income inequality as it is experienced. In the course of this work, one major theme came up repeatedly: Climate change is making already dire inequalities much worse, devastating further the already devastated. But the problems of climate change are not restricted to those from the less developed world. Galvanized by his conversations with writers and activists around the world, Freeman engaged with some of today's most eloquent storytellers, many of whom hail from the places under the most acute stress—from the capital of Burundi to Bangkok, Thailand. The response has been extraordinary. Margaret Atwood conjures with a dystopian future in a remarkable poem. Lauren Groff whisks us to Florida; Edwidge Danticat to Haiti; Tahmima Anam to Bangladesh; Yasmine El Rashidi to Egypt, while Eka Kurniawan brings us to Indonesia, Chinelo Okparanta to Nigeria, and Anuradha Roy to the Himalayas in the wake of floods, dam building, and drought. This is a literary all-points bulletin of fiction, essays, poems, and reportage about the most important crisis of our times.

  • Author:
    Vlessides, Michael, Stroud, Les
    Summary:

    From the sun-scorched sands of the Kalahari to the snake-infested jungles of the Amazon, Les Stroud has made a life of surviving in the harshest, and most remote, regions on Earth. Whether seasoned in the outdoor arts or new to adventuring, everyone will learn something from this book.

  • Author:
    Brockovich, Erin
    Summary:

    From environmental activist, renowned crusader, champion fighter, maverick—a book that looks at our present situation with water and shows us how we can each take action to make changes in our cities, towns, and villages, before it is too late. "Brockovich is a vocal, no-nonsense writer—Roberts might even have downplayed her fire in the movie ... The tales she tells show how addressing water issues at the source can make a big difference all the way down the chain."—Heather Hansman, Outside "Brockovich urges people to continue to fight for what they believe in ... [Her] belief in individual activism—rather than relying on leaders, corporations, or the government to handle the water crisis—is the guiding theme in her new book ... inspirational."—Sam Gillette, People In Erin Brockovich's long-awaited book—her first to reckon with conditions on our planet—she makes clear why we are in the trouble we're in, and how, in large and practical ways, we each can take actions to bring about change. She shows us what's at stake, and writes of the fraudulent science that disguises these issues, along with cancer clusters not being reported. She writes of the saga of PG&E that continues to this day, and of the communities and people she has worked with who have helped to make an impact. She writes of the water operator in Poughkeepsie, New York, who responded to his customers' concerns and changed his system to create some of the safest water in the country; of the moms in Hannibal, Missouri, who became the first citizens in the nation to file an ordinance prohibiting the use of ammonia in their public drinking water; and about how we can protect our right to clean water by fighting for better enforecement of the laws, new legislation, and better regulations. She cannot fight all battles for all people and gives us the tools to take actions ourselves, have our voices heard, and know that steps are being taken to make sure our water is safe to drink and use.

  • Author:
    Martel, Lynn
    Summary:

    With the state of global ice constantly in the news, one mountain journalist examines Canadian glaciers to uncover their secrets and their future.From a mother/daughter duo who spent five months skiing across icefields from Vancouver to Alaska, to scientists discovering biofilms deep inside glacier caverns, to protesters camping for weeks to protect their beloved local glacier, western Canada’s glaciers are dynamic, enigmatic, exquisitely beautiful, sometimes dangerous environments where people play, work, run businesses, explore, and create art every single day.Author Lynn Martel is one of them. With gorgeous images by some of the country’s best outdoor photographers, Stories of Iceshares the excitement, the mystery, and the wonder of Canada’s glaciers and poses questions about their future.

  • Author:
    Epstein, Marcia Jenneth, Bronzaft, Arline
    Summary:

    This book is about how you listen and what you hear, about how to have a dialogue with the sounds around you. Marcia Jenneth Epstein gives readers the impetus and the tools to understand the sounds and noise that define their daily lives in this groundbreaking interdisciplinary study of how auditory stimuli impact both individuals and communities. Epstein employs scientific and sociological perspectives to examine noise in multiple contexts: as a threat to health and peace of mind, as a motivator for social cohesion, as a potent form of communication and expression of power. She draws on a massive base of specialist literature from fields as diverse as nursing and neuroscience, sociology and sound studies, acoustic ecology and urban planning, engineering, anthropology, and musicology, among others, synthesizing and explaining these findings to evaluate the ubiquitous effects of sound in everyday life. Epstein investigates speech and music as well as noise and explores their physical and cultural dimensions. Ultimately she argues for an engaged public dialogue on sound, built on a shared foundation of critical listening, and provides the understanding for all of us to speak and be heard in such a discussion. Sound and Noise is a timely evaluation of the noise that surrounds us, how we hear it, and what we can do about it.

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